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In a five to one vote with Director Stephan Blanford giving the lone “No” vote, the Seattle School Board passed a resolution ,sponsored by Directors Sue Peters and Rick Burke, in favor of requesting the state to provide an alternative summative test to the SBAC based on the newly authorized ESSA. The request is to use a locally selected alternative summative assessment framework to measure achievement and student growth.
See Seattle Public School Board votes to pursue alternative to SBAC under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for additional information on the resolution.
We asked each of the candidates running for the position of State Superintendent to provide their thoughts on the resolution.
To follow is the response by Erin Jones:
I am in complete agreement with this resolution. In my first meeting with one of the new board members we discussed this very issue. I have been very skeptical of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA); however, I am encouraged that a board member from the largest district in our state is interested in having serious conversations about an alternative to our current assessment system. I am eager to walk with Seattle as they pilot a new model, and believe the conversations had in this district can provide a model for larger systemic change.
My campaign is built on four pillars that I believe must be addressed to transform education in our state: 1. Full-funding of Basic Education (McCleary), 2. Assessment reform to eliminate intrusive testing practices and place the locus of control for assessments back in the hands of classroom teachers, 3. Closing of opportunity gaps, and 4. Promotion of innovative school models (alternative learning environments funded and overseen by local dollars and local school boards) that will meet the diverse needs of our diverse student populations.
In my opinion, the Seattle school board resolution speaks directly to 3 of my 4 platform items in the following ways:
1. FUNDING: The SBA has been incredibly expensive to create, to administer, to grade, and to share results. I would add that the SBA has also requires FTE, both at district and building levels to manage the complicated process and security issues. Let’s add to that the significant instructional time that is spent by classroom teachers to prepare students for the process – time that could be spent on teaching and learning.
2. ASSESSMENT: This resolution supports my desire to create a less intrusive, more informative testing mechanism. Seattle has the opportunity to be a front-runner in the state and learn from other states that have already shifted to other models.
3. CLOSE OPPORTUNITY GAPS: No Child Left Behind asserted that through testing, we would be able to hold schools and systems accountable to serve ALL children at high levels. However, the results and responses of the state/Feds served to further disenfranchise schools and communities that already felt “left behind.” One test, given purely in written/computerized format will always disadvantage those with less access to academic English and up-to-date technology. If Seattle is able to find a tool that can more successfully assess and provide strategies to better support students, this could be a huge win for the state of Washington! In the end, whatever we do must provide us with the information necessary to better address and meet the needs of students of color, ELL students, students with special needs, and students from low income communities.
As state superintendent, I welcome this opportunity to work with a district towards finding a more effective solution to our “assessment problem.” It is my hope that the current ESSA work groups will arrive at the conclusion that the Seattle school board resolution represents a legitimate option for the state of Washington.
*government by the wealthy.
*a country or society governed by the wealthy.
Plural noun: plutocracies
*an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.
Dollarocracy: How the money and media election complex is destroying America
By John Nichols and Robert McChesney
From the Preface:
Carter declared-as the planet's most famous election observer- that '“We have one of the worst election processes in the world right here in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money."
Click the image to see their interview with Bill Moyers.
More than 1.2 million students are homeless, and nearly 76,000 are living on their own without parents.
Click the image for a link to the article.
"There is something grotesque about the fact that education reform is being led not by educators but by financiers and speculators and billionaires."
This process -- a handful of the wealthiest people in our country controlling the political process -- is called "oligarchy."
The great political struggle we now face is whether the United States retains its democratic heritage or whether we move toward an oligarchic form of society where the real political power rests with a handful of billionaires, not ordinary Americans.
"I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture."
ALEC Exposed-The Privatization of Public Schools:
And more about the Koch brothers and their dad: kochexposed.org
Charter School Scandals
Charter School Scams and Scamsters
Class Size Matters:
Common Core Standards:
Democrats for Education Reform
Teach for America:
"Any time hedge fund managers...when they walk into the inner city areas and start talking about poor children's education, it's not because they want kids to read and write, it's because they know that the federal government spends $600B on education and they want it and they're going to get it."
Jesse has collected stories from students, educators and parents around the country and formed a picture of what is happening in public education and why:
More Than A Score edited by Jesse Hagopian
This book is a must read to understand what teachers are going through with the corporate takeover of our public school system:
Confessions of a Bad Teacher by John Owens
Need I say more? It's a book by Chris Hedges:
Death of the Liberal Class: Chris Hedges
Dollarocracy: Robert Waterman McChesney
Ravitch lays it out in this book and its no holds barred:
Reign of Error: Diane Ravitch
Want to know where over 50% of each tax dollar is going? Read this book:
The Operators by Michael Hastings
Why is it is hard to tell the difference between the Dems and Repubs? Read this book and find out:
The Party is Over: Mike Lofgren
This is a must read. Naomi Klein breaks it down in this book about how oligarchs are manipulating us and running our world:
The Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein
If you want to know about the financial collapse of 2008, why the rest of us are no better off now and yet the stock market and banks have rebounded, making huge profits and why another collapse is inevitable, check out this book by Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics:
Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy