Seattle’s public schools sure have been through a lot in the 2010-2011 school year. On top of the multimillion dollar scandals and the firing of superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, we saw funding cuts from the legislature that has decimated our classroom teachers and classroom supports and caused serious overcrowding at Garfield High School and other schools, which meant that some students had to go without teachers or classrooms for part of the year. At Lowell, overcrowding has brought a need for more classrooms, and I have heard that the district plans to take away space from developmental preschool and toileting facilities.There's a school in the district in which students had to go "part of the year" without teachers or classrooms? This is how the public -- in the form of the legislature -- supports public education? Are there public funds going to charters or private schools? If so, why is money being funded away from the public schools if they need it? This is just flat out wrong, in my opinion. Why aren't the people up in arms?
Here are some other things which have happened in Seattle this year:
Yes...they're laying off teachers in Seattle and then filling classrooms with TFA bodies.
- Ex-superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson tried to ram through a proposal to tie teacher evaluations to the results of standardized tests – a measure that would increase “teaching to the test.”
- The state legislature tried to pass law after law that would erode seniority, even though teachers improve greatly over the first five years of teaching, and most especially in their first year.
- The district laid off teachers, even though we will see an increase in enrollment next year.
- The district also signed a deal with Teach for America to bring in teachers with five weeks of training to address “shortages,” despite the fact that there were 18,668 applications for 766 positions last year.
When the public schools "fail" because the state has "failed" to support them who will get blamed? Are the legislators interested in the students, or just crushing public education and public educators?