Archive for January, 2013
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office has been getting a lot of questions this week about rumors of attempted abductions of children in Custer and Lynden.
They posted on their Facebook page that the Custer incident was actually a student who got spooked when a car drove by slowly while the child was waiting for a bus. The driver didn’t get out of the car or say anything to the child.
The sheriff’s office has also posted about a suspicious driver in Lynden:
On Tuesday evening (1/29) the Sheriff’s Office received a report that a teenage male was approached several hours earlier when he departed the school bus in the area of Sunrise and Badger roads. A white male in his 30′s, driving a black Honda Civic hatchback offered to give him a ride home in his car. The boy refused to get into the car and went to a neighbor’s house. The driver of the car looked unkempt and it appeared that he might be living out of his car. The man drove off and the boy was not able to get the license plate information. School officials have sent out notifications on this incident. This incident does not appear to have any connection to the (Custer) Zell Road incident. Anyone with information as to the driver’s identity, location or vehicle should contact 911.
Just thought I’d post this in case anyone had heard the rumors and was concerned.
A Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, school board member referred to the President as “black and scary-looking” at a gun rights event, but he swears that doesn’t mean that he’s racist, according to a column in The Spokesman-Review.
(School board member Brent) Regan recently made the following comment at a forum on God-given assault-rifle rights in Coeur d’Alene, referring to supporters of gun control: “My wife and I were having this conversation and I said, ‘They can’t figure out what an assault weapon is – it’s just black and it looks scary. And she looks at me and says, ‘Well, so is Obama.’ ”
Regan argues that this comment isn’t racist. In fact, it’s the people who call those who criticize the president racist that are the true racists.
Click here to read the full column by Shawn Vestal.
Creating a system to give teachers feedback is one of the most important changes the U.S. can make to its K-12 education system, according to Bill Gates annual letter to the public.
Gates argues that tools that measure teacher’s strengths and weaknesses and failures and successes would give teachers a better idea of what works and what doesn’t in their classrooms, creating better teachers and students who are more likely to succeed. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has come up with its own measurement tool that he’d like to see used.
Starting in 2009, the foundation funded a project called Measures of Effective Teaching, or MET, that worked with 3,000 classroom teachers to better understand how to build an evaluation and feedback system to help teachers improve. In January 2013, we announced the final results of the MET project. The report concluded that there were observable, repeatable, and verifiable ways of measuring teacher effectiveness. MET highlighted several measures that schools should use to assess teacher performance, including student surveys and reports from trained evaluators who observe teachers at work.
Read the letter here.
Do you think having a system to provide teacher feedback could have an impact on education as we know it?
Western Washington University industrial design students have turned waste into something wanted for the annual ReMade project.
The students turned scrap piping into vases, discarded rope into doormats and old wooden coat hangers into kitchen utensils, to name a few.
Students will show their projects from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Ideal, 1227 Cornwall Ave.
Here are a few photos of the projects:
Pipe vessels by Kirk Turner
Hanger utensils by Leon Wolfendale
Floor mat by Jonathan Mayfield
A Sedro-Woolley man who threatened to shoot up schools if his gun rights were taken away because of the Sandy Hook school shooting was sentenced to three months in jail Thursday, Jan. 24, according to the Skagit Valley Herald.
Korry Martinson, 19, made the threat on Facebook Dec. 14, the same day as the Connecticut shooting.
Read more of the story here.
It seems obvious, but threatening to shoot schools is probably not the best way to argue for gun rights.
Facebook can be a wonderful tool. It helps people keep in touch with friends and family and share life’s little twists and turns.
Or, if you’re like this Vancouver-area parent, it’s a way to make yourself look like a truly terrible person.
After a Skyview vs. Camas boys’ basketball game, one Skyview parent posted this: “Camas fans!!!!! Worst in the league!!!!! I hope someone shoots up their school real soon!!!!!!!!”
Read the full story here.
What do you think about his inappropriate Facebook rant?
The Ridgefield School District, located near Vancouver, has hired armed guards to patrol the district’s three campuses for the rest of this school year, according to an article in The Columbian.
The decision was prompted by the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in December, as well as the nearby shooting at a Portland mall.
Click here to read more.
What do you think of the district’s decision?
In case you missed it, we just posted a story about a second suspicious incident Tuesday, Jan. 15, the day an elementary school student reported an attempted abduction.
Police don’t believe the two incidents are related.
You can read the story here.
The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has released a handy summary of the State Supreme Court’s McCleary v. Washington ruling.
The Jan. 5 2012 ruling found the state wasn’t doing its constitutional duty to amply fund basic education.
Here’s a breakdown of the ruling in the court’s own words:
The Paramount duty of the state is to provide “ample” support for basic education:
Article IX, section 1 confers on children in Washington a positive constitutional right to an amply funded education (page 2).
Ample means more than just adequate:
The word “ample” in article IX, section 1 provides a broad constitutional guideline meaning fully, sufficient, and considerably more than just adequate (p 3).
Lack of revenue does not justify failing to meet the paramount duty:
To ensure that the legislature exercises its authority within constitutionally prescribed bounds, any reduction of programs or offerings from the basic education program must be accompanied by an educational policy rationale. That is, the legislature may not eliminate an
offering from the basic education program for reasons unrelated to educational policy, such as fiscal crisis or mere expediency (p. 54).
At a minimum, the State must fully fund NERCs (overhead costs), transportation, and staff salaries and benefits without relying on local levies or federal funds:
If the State’s funding formulas provide only a portion of what it actually costs a school to pay its teachers, get kids to school, and keep the lights on, then the legislature cannot maintain that it is fully funding basic education through its funding formulas (p. 60).
The presidents of Washington’s public universities have offered to freeze tuition for the next two years if the Legislature will restore $225 million in state funding to higher ed, according to The Seattle Times.
Tuition has skyrocketed at state universities over the past few years; in-state tuition at the University of Washington is nearly twice what it was five years ago, according to the article. But the state is predicting a $900 million shortfall for the next biennium, so that $225 million may be difficult to find.
Read the full article here.
Do you think it’s a valid proposal?