Education concerns: Film on Friday, and other events this week

One week from today, it’s the last day of school for thousands of local kids. But for those concerned about education and where it’s going, the school year’s ending with a bang, not a whimper. Two things to mention. First, the clip above is from a documentary called “Race to Nowhere,” which will be screened at West Seattle High School at 6 pm this Friday night, with the director Vicki Abeles on hand for a discussion at 7:30. The gist, as you’ll hear in the trailer: “Our kids are pressured to perform – but not to learn.” More details here. (The screening is co-sponsored by the Washington Education Association.)

Second – the final Seattle School Board meeting of the school year is tomorrow night, 6 pm at district HQ in SODO. Here’s the agenda; one of the items is introduction of the report regarding evaluating Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, extending her contract and reviewing her pay. That’s why a group calling itself the “Seattle Shadow School Board” is organizing a protest outside district HQ before the meeting; it’s also been distributing information about the “no-confidence votes” that some local public-school employees (including groups at Schmitz Park and Sanislo elementaries) have taken in recent weeks (WSB reports here and here), and circulating an online petition.

Third – if you have anything you want to bring up with West Seattle’s school board rep, Steve Sundquist‘s final community chat of the school year is 11 am this Saturday, at the High Point library branch.

4 Replies to "Education concerns: Film on Friday, and other events this week"

  • Erik June 15, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    Yes, the pressure to perform is very pervasive in our society. Even before school starts, the parents (who have already been taught to be achievement-oriented) are pushing the kids to move (walk, run, etc.) in ways they may not be ready to. Causing them to skip over valuable lessons they can use as they’re growing up.
    I teach many adults how to Learn to learn, their biggest hurdle is getting over being achievers!
    It is possible to bring organic learning back into the schools, the powers-that-be would have to change their mindset dramatically.
    Then the kids can teach their parents how to learn and be as they were when they were kids.

  • madashell June 15, 2010 (10:45 pm)

    I encourage any parents, students, or neighbors with concerns about the “privatization” ofpublic schools to attend the Rally on June 16th at John Stanford Center beginning at 5:30. The insidious nature of these “reformers” is clearly evident once you get behind the code words: merit pay, enhanced education opportunities (charters), curriculum alignment (standardization), philanthropic/community funding partners (Gates and Broad foundations), Teach for America (untrained newbies). Our schools are being hijacked by phony “grassroots organizations like League of Education Voters (who push “pro-reform” candidates for the legislature), the Our Schools coalition, the Alliance for Education (bunch of corporate types whose kids probably go to private school). Their darling is Superintendent Marie Goodloe-Johnson. She’s working to bust the teachers and principals unions. She’s already busted alternative education, special education, native american studies, math curriculum and the list goes on and on.

    Sign the online vote of No-Confidence in MGJ and her lackeys on the School Board Maier, Sundquist, Carr, Martin-Morris!

  • wsparent June 16, 2010 (6:51 am)

    It’s not just the privatization! The current SPS administration has grossly mismanaging the district and has botched the implementation of every change they’ve made – closures, math books, new assignment plan, overcrowding, portables, – you name it, it was done in an incompetent and/or arbitrary and capricious manner!

  • K. Engstrom June 18, 2010 (11:30 am)

    Yes, we need to write letters to our School Board to TELL them not to renew Ms. Goodloe-Johnson’s contract. She has destroyed the Seattle School system – which may have been flawed, but treated students and staff as humans. Seattle citizens are always concerned about their environment! Well, it begins with the school environment – how we are treated and how we care about one another. I visualize Ms. Goodloe-Johnson’s decisions and actions as placing the Seattle schools staff and students into the freezer – cold, dark and without feeling. . .shut off from engagement and real life interaction with each other and the community. The schools need to be a vibrant part of our community – inspiring and including our future voters and public servants to invest their future in THEIR community, Seattle.

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