Sunday, August 31, 2014

ST - Seattle’s special-ed mess: Who’s in charge of what?

John it's not a communications issue, it's that they don't have the skills set. The teachers are NOT qualified to work with SLD students. Thats 2900 of the 6996 students on IEPs.

Here is an example of very clear communications

From Barbello, Julie A
Aug 22


I've finally been able to talk to someone in the SpEd department about
this request. Unfortunately, no records could be located. There are no records
related to programs or services specific to dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia.
Additionally, there is no data regarding the effectiveness of services or programs offered for these

I'm sorry I can't help more, but I hope you have a great weekend nonetheless!

Who would give these clowns a dime when they admit they cant do it.!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oh where, oh where is the Exectutive Special Education Director McWilliams ?

From Deputy Superintendent Charles E. Wright
Dear Seattle Public Schools principals, teachers and staff,

Wyeth Jessee, who is currently Executive Director of Leadership Development and former Broadview-Thomson K-8 principal, will be temporarily serving as Interim Executive Director of Special Education while Zakiyyah McWilliams is on leave. 

 Charlles Wright I want to thank the Special Education team for their hard work over the summer, and assure our staff and community that we are diligent about meeting the requirements and timelines outlined in our revised Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan (C-CAP) and to ensure we are meeting the needs of all of our students.

Who do they think they're fooling.  What HARD work?

To me it looks like the august 19th meeting was about McWilliams

Executive Session:
Review the Performance of a Public Employee, Potential Litigation,
and Evaluating a Complaint against a Public Employee
Tuesday August 19, 2014 6:30 PM
Board Office, John Stanford Center
1.Executive Session. Director Peaslee announced at 7:04 PM that the executive session
regarding the performance of a public employee,
potential litigation,
and evaluating a complaint against a public employee was scheduled to go until 8:00PM. The meeting immediately recessed into executive session.

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM.
All Directors were present.
Staff present was Interim Superintendent Larry Nyland,
General Counsel Ron English,
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Michael Tolley, and
Deputy General Counsel John Cerqui.
Also in attendance was outside counsel Jeff Freimund.
The meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM

Update :

Zaklyyah McWllllams Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 3:22 PM
To: deborah mcknlght
HI Deborahll
I am responding to you from my gmall account as RCW 42.56.230(3) I need your
advise on whether or not to let Seattle know that we know each other. It may give cause to question the RFP process. •
1. Burning Issues:
a). The IT Department handles all SPED data; however, data and state/federal reports are often inaccurate, which
impacts funding. IT should pro"de a seNce/tool - not dictate how departments do their work. SPED needs to
own our own data If we ever expect to be compliant and recelw all funding that we are entitled to.
b) The SPED parents are abusive, out of control and do not trust the district. I can elaborate more on the conference call.

By Leah Todd
Seattle Times staff reporters

Before a special-education consulting firm won a $150,000 contract with Seattle Public Schools earlier this year, the head of the district’s special-education department emailed the group copies of its competitors’ bids, a months-long district probe has concluded.

Zakiyyah McWilliams also used her personal email address in an attempt to skirt public-records laws and avoid co-workers she thought were untrustworthy, investigators hired by the district wrote. The investigators also said McWilliams failed to disclose a friendship with one of the lead consultants on the team that ultimately got the job.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Special education RC-CAP failed even before being passed by the board.

Sometimes you just think, "Did they even read it"? Well maybe they looked at the convoluted disorganized spread sheet now known as RC-CAP, but understand it ? -NO WAY! First the RC-CAP doesn't meet the requirements of IDEA or WAC for districts in level 4 determination. Really Dr Gill, 25 years on the job and this is the best you can come up with!

There is no possible way SPS will be in compliance, because they have already failed 3 of the major compliance requirements. What does this mean? OSPI with pressure from Federal department of Education will not approve SPS IDEA part B funding this year unless OSPI takes over direct management of SPED.
(This is one remedy told to my by the Feds and it's what OSPI is pushing for in light of the contracting issues)

OSPI could insert their hand picked choice to replace Ms McWilliams as Executive director of special education, I recommend Dr Gill be forced to take the position until SPS is truly in compliance.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Looking for SLD students to join class action lawsuit against Seattle Public Schools.

Do you have a child in Seattle Public schools with a diagnosis of SLD? If so would you be interested in joining other families in a class action lawsuit against Seattle Public Schools for not serving your child's educational needs.

 Definition- Specific Learning Disability (SLD) means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Is the lid about to be blown off SPED spending?

I'm currently working on compiling a definitive reference to NPA spending by SPS. It's very difficult to obtain the information due to poor accounting at the district , this accounting issue was mentioned in the last internal audit.    

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is the CBA helping or hurting students?

I recently talked to a group of teachers about their views of the current SPS teachers CBA and its impacts on SPED students. I was expecting the group to do the usual evangelizing how the union has pushed for progressive changes that benefit students. You know like smaller class sizes ect.

Instead of glorifying the CBA I heard this:

"I think the CBA hurts SPED students by confusing what rules I should follow, the CBA or SPEDs."

"My contract dictates my responsibility to my students, if its not in the contract I usually hesitate to do it"

"The CBA prevents me from doing what I think would be best for special education students"    

I then asked what should the new CBA include for SPED? I only got one responce.

"The new CBA will need to have language to protect us from special ed students effecting our ratings, because if my performance is going to be rated on test scores why would I want SPED students in my class. My chances for a good rating will be low."

It seems to me if all teachers are going to be rated on students test scores then they will focus on bringing up the performance of the lowest performing students SPED or not. This will naturally benefit all students because teachers will push for curriculum that works for all and class sizes that work for all, but only work if the teachers are rated on each individual students academic performance not the class average.

 I would further argue a good teacher could with the right tools make the largest gains with the least performing students. We could see teachers fighting over special education students instead of dreading them being assigned to their class rooms then ignoring their struggles.

Special ed students forced to dig in trash

From JURUPA VALLEY ( — The family of a student with special needs in Jurupa Valley is furious that his school had him and his classmates rummage through the trash for recyclables.
Officials at Patriot Valley High School announced Wednesday that they’ve suspended the program in response to the backlash.
“The shame and the embarrassment for the children, it hurts,” said Carmen Wells, who complained to the Jurupa Unified School District on Tuesday. She said her son, Marcus, came home upset from his first day back at school because he was told to put on gloves and dig through the trash, alongside other students with special needs.
She said she couldn’t believe her ears.
“It bothered my son, but he wants to be part of everyone, part of the team, so he’s going to do it,” Wells said. “I felt victimized for my child and his classmates.”
District officials confirm students with special needs were instructed to sift through trash cans for recyclables and that they’ve been having students with special needs do this for years. They said the money raised from the recycled items funds a larger training plan that teaches students with special needs about managing money, among other life skills.
“My kid should not be in the garbage can for your recycling,” Wells said.

See complete story here 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The birth of a blog

It all started with this,"It's my blog and my rules!. If you don't like it, get your own blog!"

This was the response when I ask blogger "Westbrook" why she was deleting my comments on her blog. My comments were emails exposing various activities happening in the Seattle school district special education dept., including emails showing how some members of various groups were receiving preferential treatment for their students in exchange for controlling the groups activities and stifling discontent by parents.

The goal of this blog is to provide information to other parents of students with SLDs and chronicle our activism to change the discrimination against dyslexic students.

Please keep checking back, the fight is on!    

UPDATE  13 months after starting my blog I received the below threatening email,

From: Melissa Westbrook <>
Date: Sat, Sep 5, 2015 at 12:25 AM
Subject: change that URL and blog name
To: "" <>

It is incredibly disrespectful to use my blog name and URL for your own purposes.  I will only ask once that you change it.

Melissa Westbrook

Seattle Schools Community Forum blog

Days after I received the above email, I received a phone call from Westbrook again threatening some sort a retaliation if I didn't give her the password to my blog.

The next few weeks my phone ran with responses to fake craigslist  ads and my email account filled with all sorts of spam and fake request to help with my campaign.


You would hope once the election was over that Westbrook would have stopped, but she continued to insist that I give her control of this blog.

In 2017 I attended a school meeting for RESMS where my daughter was assigned to. The meeting was at the Lincoln building. As far as I know Westbrook has no children attending RESMS or any school in the district.

 I had to leave before the meeting ended and as I walked out of the building Westbrook came running at me down the hallway screaming " Don't you ever talk to me again you %^&*%" .  It was very concerning that someone without children in SPS would be at the meeting only to harass a parent who does.