On Wednesday evening the Board willintroduce a motion to approve the Framework for a Revised Student Assignment Plan.
This is an interesting document.
Here are a couple of intriguing points in it:
Elementary school reference areas will be re-drawn to align with student population residing in each area and the building capacity.
What number will they use for student population? The current public school population or the schoolage children population? What building capacity number will they use? There are a number of building capacity numbers for every school. None of them appear reliable or credible. Let's see these numbers before they act on them.
How will school programs such as bilingual, special education and Spectrum be treated? Will each school be expected to provide these services for the students living in their reference area or will the District reserve seats for these programs that draw students from several reference areas? It isn't addressed, but it is a big deal. If Lafayette reserves five classrooms for Spectrum and two classrooms for self-contained Special Education, that will reduce the school's reference area dramatically. Will the District also reserve five classrooms for Spectrum at High Point? And if the District shrinks the clusters and creates more of them, will the District have to create a Spectrum program for each new cluster? How will that impact the reference areas and how will that impact Spectrum if the cohorts are splintered between dozens of schools?
Oddly, the Student Assignment framework makes no mention of any programs.
The District will review course offerings at comprehensive middle schools to determine where these might need to be supplemented to provide children in all parts of the city equitable access to quality programs.
What does this mean? What quality programs is this a reference to? Will every comprehensive middle school offer Spectrum? All but Meany and Madison already do (officially). Will the District provide transportation to bring together a critical mass of students? Will the District reserve seats at the middle schools for students enrolled in these quality programs?
Each comprehensive middle school would have a base attendance area consistent with their elementary cluster. What will Meany be like when it is suddenly the default comprehensive middle school for the students from Montlake (236), McGilvra (257) and Stevens (308) along with TT Minor (234)? How will TT Minor's population change when families know where they will go to middle school and with whom?
We know that the District doesn't have adequate middle school capacity in the Southeast, so how will they provide every student in the southeast with a middle school assignment?
There is no mention of a tiebreaker for programs.
The Southeast Initiative
Just one question: how did the African American Academy get to be part of the southeast initiative? This is not a neighborhood school, but an alternative school. How did it get on this list in this context. The AAA is not an element of the problem that the Southeast initiative is supposed to solve: people compelled to attend schools with limited academic opportunities. No one is compelled to attend the AAA.