Quote of the day

"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. "

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SVSD Board Member Kathryn Lerner decides to send her daughter to Mercer Island High

From the Snoqualmie Valley Record

More than 100 Valley families choose to send their children to public schools outside the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

This fall, Snoqualmie Valley School District board director Kathryn Lerner's family will be among them.

Lerner's daughter, who graduated from Chief Kanim Middle School in June, will enter Mercer Island High School this fall.

Lerner said her family's decision was not an easy one to make, but was based on programming options. Her daughter plans to participate in marching band and study Mandarin Chinese, and neither program is available at Mount Si High School.

Lerner said that while the district needs improvement in budgeting, facility planning and long-range planning, her family's decision was based solely on her daughter's needs.

Read the story here


Anonymous said...

If as a MSHS junior, Ms. Lerner had decided to enroll in Running Start at BCC, would THAT be news?

I tend to think not. Likewise, if marching band and Chinese are classes Ms. Lerner wants to enroll in as a freshman, it also seems like non-news.

I voted for Kathryn Lerner and find her to be an intellegent, well-spoken woman, passionate about quality education in our local schools. She still has my vote.

Janna Treisman
Fall City

MtSiParents said...

I don't decide what is and is not news.

We are just here to share, don't shoot the messenger.


Anonymous said...

MSP - My comment was in response to the article being in the paper, not your posting it here! I appreciate your posting all the stuff you do... and am thinking I might contact the paper about the "news". It's just so much easier to send a response here! JT

Anonymous said...

I disagree ... I think it is news. But I wish it wasn't just about our school board member who sends her child out of district. What are the reasons for the other parents who choose to do so? And, could MSHS use this to better itself, update it's curriculum offerings to better suit the community .... That's where I think the story should be ... Lerner's decision just puts a face to the many families who have made similar decisions. Why doesn't MSHS care too?

Anonymous said...

Bingo!! For a district that is so data driven when it comes to test results, where is the data on why parents and students who have been satisfied and supported the district through elementary and middle school choose a high school other than Mt Si? What are the WASL scores of these kids? High, I would suspect. What percentage of college bound students at MSHS move to Running Start, in comparison with schools that offer more AP and IB classes?

What combination of factors motivate these students to transfer to other high schools or Running Start?

You are totally spot on, Anonymous above! Answers to these quesetions would be extremely useful for a site improvement plan for MSHS.

There is so much talent at MSHS!! Kit McCormick, just for starters...

How could we focus on supporting the type of programs that would stem the tide of transfers? This seems so relevant.

Anonymous said...

She is leaving for the same reasons anyone who values education is leaving. This district is sub par. From teacher pay to leadership. They keep putting up a bond that will not pass. They hire from too small of a pool. The handful of good teachers have one foot out the door.

Smaller high schools with better teachers and leadership and educational tracks such as technology or the arts are needed.

More foreign language is a must too.

We need to get creative to make it happen in this district and it seems like few here can think outside of the box.

We overcrowded schools, high gas prices and some parents who live really far away wanting to leave the district and the superintendent is hemming and hawing about it. Let them go.

Start a homeschool center to support parents who may want to homeschool.

Go to 4 days a week.

Do something other than the exact same things you have always done.

Anonymous said...

Such a shame that there is some sort of group of Parents (a coalition if you will) that sought to improve education in the district.

Anonymous said...

Dang! I just don't get the above post from Anonymous.

I sure haven't heard of a group or coalition that was trying to IMPROVE education in the district...

Not since Citizens for Better Schools, back when Kristy Sullivan and then Dave Reed were president, in the late '80's and early '90's... for you newbies, Citizens morphed into the Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation, largely a fundraising and grant dispensing vehicle, which is great in itself, though different from what Citizens for Better Schools was doing in the early days.

And as far as the bond, it is not such a bad thing that we are not building another huge high school.

A number of parents, community members, teachers and board members were interested in something different... a couple of smaller high schools, theme based.... like some of the successful things that are happening in creative approaches to HS education.

And we wouldn't be so seriously overcrowded at MSHS if we were using Snoqualmie Middle School's facilities as a ninth grade campus, inasmuch as we are opening a new middle school this fall. Sure CKMS and Twin Falls would be full, but it sure would have taken some of the pressure off MSHS.

There are plenty of bright folks thinking outside the box. And asking powerful questions. By and large they are told - can't be done, too expensive.

There a many pro-education folks who voted against that bond because it wasn't the right way to spend a quarter billion dollars.

btw, I read in the paper a while back that teachers voted to strike if there wasn't a tentative agreement by the time school opened. Any update on progress??

Anonymous said...

A Coalition (if you will) that seeks to improve education?

Are you kidding me????????????

CoDE is at the epi-center of the dysfunction in this district. Members have spent the past 7 months bombarding our school board with their rants and demands to suit their extreme radical agenda at the expense of any real discussion regarding how to fix the many problems in our district.

I think the only solution at this point would be to dump the apple cart and start fresh with new leadership, new ideas and new energy. Start with the principal at the high school, then clear out the deadwood at the district office too.

As far as building a new high school .... if more people start following Ms. Lerner's lead, there really won't be any need now will there?

Signed ... oh, wait a minute ... I bashed the CoDE here and don't want to wake up to 1,000 warriors circling my house. So, I'll stay in my anonymous voice for now thank you!

Mark Joselyn said...

Jon Pulsipher, on a different thread on this blog (kudos for posting your name and owning your input):
"Before anyone posts regarding my ignorance, yes, I know there is a requirement on the contact hours set by the state, etc. I'm just making the point that a lot of time seems to be wasted on this listening to teachers rant about their views to their captive audience, or show a movie, or in some other way avoid simply teaching and getting on with things."

I believe this is a false accusation against some of the finest teachers at Mount Si, particularly Ms. McCormick. Some have very overtly suggested that she, and others, be fired for asking a reasonable question in a public forum or challenging their students to think. The speaker at the school wide assembly in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a baptist preacher, had a captive audience of the entire student body that he preached to, in clear violation of the separation of church and state. The WASL scores in Reading and Writing are well over 90%, so my question: What do you hope for? What agenda are you pursuing? What will it take to get a web site that states "Education or Indoctrination in Snoqualmie Valley School District" taken down? How does this help recruit good teachers? How does this help improve education (ie critical thinking of young adults)? What is your agenda if not to enforce/ impose / demand some litmus test for who is or who is not a suitable teacher for our kids?
I wish my kids to be able to speak for themselves, to be clear in their beliefs and yet at the same time be aware and appreciative of the fact that others may hold opinions different than their own. How about you? Where is the common ground such that we can work together to demand accountability of the administration and quality teaching and respect of our children such that they are prepared and ready to move forward into adult life? I do not think the answer rests in limiting the issues or questions or controversies that our children have the opportunity to experience.

Mark Joselyn

May said...

This post was on an earlier thread on this blog and I think it bears re-posting.

I had some teachers in high school and college who had very different views than my family. It did not lessen my education but improved it because it allowed me a chance to share my beliefs and look at things from different perspectives.

I am troubled that CODE and Hutcherson and others feel the need to shut down teachers with opposing views. If you have raised strong thoughtful children in a loving and healthy environment then they should be able to think for themselves. If your viewpoint is correct your children will know it.

All this need to silence people and shut down the Day of Silence etc makes me wonder if these parents are afraid that if their children are exposed to opposing views they may jump ship.

I am confident enough in our faith and the values I have raised my children with to allow them to be exposed to others. I trust my children have good enough judgment to do the right thing without me their to control their thoughts and puppet strings.

July 18, 2008 11:21 PM


Good teaching provokes thoughtful inquiry. It does not bully, allow itself to be bullied. It speaks up when questions are begged.. and seeks to point out new questions. It can be brave yet gentle in the face of ignorance.

And in this district it is damn hard and UNDERPAID!!

Anonymous said...

I don't decide what is and is not news.

We are just here to share, don't shoot the messenger.


Well of course you do MSP! That is the definition of what you are doing! You choose some stories over others and the large amount of homo-centric content versus discussion on the finer points of the Japanese or Calculus classes at the high school indicate not only your penchant for "news" but your biases as well.

Don't try to stand and say you are just the messenger. Heralds and criers of old told all the stories, You are only telling one or two.

May said...

"told all the stories"????

Hey Anon above:
I don't think so... and also if you are so concerned about all the other stories you could certainly start your own blog.. it is really a pretty easy thing to do and then we could post with you too.

I just wanted MSP not to feel I was in any way coming down on MSP, because I am a HUGE FAN of MSP and all that has been put out for us on this blog.

Homocentri, btw, means having a common center, and I do believe we have a common center, that being providing good education in our local schools.

Last I heard AP Calculus was doing well at MSHS and the Japanese program continues to offer 4 years of credit for that language.

The Japanese teacher is a wonderfully interesting woman and has brought much to the school! and shared her talents with other schools.

So I guess I miss the point of your post above, other than you sound kind of unhappy... about something... that you are not getting across..


MtSiParents said...

"Well of course you do MSP! That is the definition of what you are doing! You choose some stories over others and the large amount of homo-centric content versus discussion on the finer points of the Japanese or Calculus classes at the high school indicate not only your penchant for "news" but your biases as well.

Don't try to stand and say you are just the messenger. Heralds and criers of old told all the stories, You are only telling one or two."

I'm sorry you feel that way.

In fact, we have posted any and all requests from parents for content they have provided or content they have shared with us.

This is NOT a FT job for me, I'm just trying to provide a forum with the few spare moments I can find.

If you don't care for the content of the forum, feel free to create your own or just stay away from this one!


Anonymous said...

More on folks leaving ... I'm saddened to learn that Kit McCormick has been recruited away from Mount Si High School.

Apparently not every school district disciplines teachers who strive for excellence.

Congratulations Ms. McCormick.

SVSD - Shame on you for sending a powerfully negative message to your few remaining quality employees.

Anonymous said...

Could we start a new thread about the ongoing mediation/negotiations between the district and the teachers union?

From what I have heard, the district is being pretty non-responsive to teachers - and there well may be a strike the first day of classes, which would be a huge impact to the community.

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