Thursday, December 10, 2009

Submit your Responses - NCTQ report

This week we sent a copy of the NCTQ report to all teachers in Seattle Public Schools. We truly want to hear from you. Please click on comments below to provide feedback and participate in the online conversation.


  1. Karen,
    None of this tells us WHY the Alliance is involved in teacher quality. Isn't this a topic for discussion between parents/community groups and district? Between teachers union and district?

    Why does the Alliance involve itself in this?

    I thought A4E was a fund-raising organization, formed ten years ago, to raise funds for school activities, etc. I had no idea it was actually a conduit to funnel Gates money into NCTQ in order to publish predetermined "recommendations" for discussion.

    If A4E really wanted teachers to "lead" discussion about this issue, it would have actually asked for some teacher input before it hired (using Gates money) NCTQ to do this "report" about teachers. It would have required the metric for the report to actually include teacher comments and perspectives.

    So NOW you want teacher comment?

  2. The Alliance for Education is a Local Education Fund (LEF). Part of our work committed to finding private support for investment into our public schools. There are also other areas of work that we prioritize, such as community engagement, college access, exploring community schools, etc.

    The priorities of the Alliance are listed in our materials, our web site, and you're always welcome to call if you have questions (206-205-0333). And you can look at the Public Education Network Web site if you're interested:

    We do want teacher comment and are already getting some. There are several individuals and organizations that are bringing people together to talk about these recommendations and we believe the input from teachers, parents, community members, etc. are all valuable.

    We'll be happy to share that info when we've compiled it.

  3. My guess is you're getting very little teacher comment because you went about this whole thing bass-ackwards: Instead of first asking for comments (from teachers, parents, everybody) and then doing some research, you went and hired a company that is notorious for wanting "merit" pay and other big changes to teaching (in other words, they have an agenda) and you used money from ANOTHER company that is notorious for the same agenda, and then you expect us to believe that the report isn't biased, that there is no agenda, that you want teacher's comments (yet you haven't posted wonders if the one's you have received are negative comments change your perspective, or will you merely work harder to ram an agenda down the throats of teachers?)

    There's no process here. It's apparent that you have an agenda, so teachers are probably hesitant to say word one to you. Maybe you received comment from the few who want merit pay, but most teachers are probably avoiding your agenda like the plague.

  4. Karen - input from parents and teachers is the only input that is important....they're the ones LIVING IT... parents as watchdogs over their child's daily experience, and teachers in having to adapt to every non-proven and system-driven rather than child-driven or learning-driven idea that comes down the pike...

    I dont know why you dont consult the experts - parents and teachers - first.... compile a report based on that information, take that report back to your financial backers, and ask them then to fund 'reform' that's been identified as necessary by the parents and teachers.... how hard is that? Seems very logical, practical, sensible and straightforward to me....

  5. Sahila,

    We are collecting information from parents and teachers and appreciate their input into the dialogue. As you might imagine, the responses vary quite a bit. There is not a single voice when it comes to sharing thoughts about education.

    There are others who should have a voice also and we are inviting them. Of particular note are the community organizations that represent families who don't necessarily have the access to be a "watchdog" over their child's experience. Also we believe that a healthy school system strengthens the entire community and therefore we all have a stake in public education.

    We are invite feedback from parents, teachers, administrators, community members, community organizations, businesses, and any other individual who believes they have a stake in public education in Seattle.

    We are currently receiving and compiling the responses and will share those over the next couple months as we gather more information.

    We deeply appreciate all the feedback already contributing to the constructive dialogue.

    We welcome your suggestions.

  6. Karen - more double-speak and disrespect for those whom these matters impact the most.... children (and their parents) and teachers... you could get to all those parents whom you claim dont have access to be watchdogs of their children's experience by going direct to them through the schools... you dont need to go to an intermediary body that claims to represent them...

    and you should collect all that information from parents, teachers and (dare I say it, in the spirit of SPS Policy C54.00 re alt schools democratic, site-based governance) students BEFORE you compile and publish a report... rather than presenting the community with a 'fait accompli' report, skewed to your own reformist agenda, and then expect parents and teachers to comment on that...

    They're in a no-win situation, with no true influence if all they can do is comment on conclusions reached without their perspective being included in the process itself...

    Your methodology reminds me of the tobacco and drug companies producing reports and PR materials that either dont include damaging information/results at all, or down-play, spin and obscure them....

    No respect for our intelligence, or real interest in what we have to say (in case we bring up issues you have an agenda in handling in a very particular manner)... kinda sad in an Orwellian way...

  7. Karen, would A4E provide on-line access to the documents that catalogue the comments you are getting from parents and teachers and their representatives? I would like to hear what these people are saying. Are you adding to this catalogue the comments that you are getting via this blog?

  8. Karen,

    I am a teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. Thank you for sending your report. I appreciate the work that you put into it. I have found the report to be thoughtful and agree with many of its recommendations.

    Ken Windus