I contacted Rosalind Wise by phone today and we spoke about high school credit for middle school students who take Integrated I math classes.
It turns out that, although hundreds of middle school students take advanced math classes called "Integrated I" or "Integrated II", the District regards these as high school classes and did not include them in the Spring 2006 middle school math adoption. We can question that decision, but we can't change it. These classes were based on high school courses adopted thirteen years ago, at the time of the last high school math adoption, but they have evolved from those roots in a number of different directions without re-calibration. The Integrated I class was also altered and adapted to work with the CMP2 texts. The classes are all a little different at each school. Therefore, for perfectly understandable and legitimate reasons, the District does not have confident knowledge about what is taught in those classes.
I now understand that there is a significant amount of variation in the math classes in the high schools. They use a number of different curricula (Core plus, IMP, etc.) and each school uses their curriculum in their own way. As with the Integrated I and Integrated II classes in the middle schools, the high school courses have evolved from their roots in a number of different directions without re-calibration. Therefore the District has no definitive answer as to what is being taught in those classes, either.
Consequently, it is unusually difficult for the District to determine to what extent the Integrated I class a student took last year is similar or equivalent to an Integrated I class offered in a high school.
The District is about to embark on a high school math curriculum adoption. When it is complete, within a couple years, the District will know what is taught in the high schools and what is taught in the advanced classes in the middle schools and they WILL be aligned.
During the current transition period, just at this moment, it is deceptively tricky for the District to determine whether the Integrated I class at Washington Middle School last year was similar or equivalent to a high school course taught last year. The District will soon be able to say that these courses are, in fact, equivalent, and say it with authority. For now, however, the question requires a surprising amount of research and consideration.
To their great credit, Ms Wise and Ms Santorno did not elect to pronounce the classes similar just to move the request off their desks and avoid the work the question would require. I admire that choice. Particularly when it would not be difficult to find a high school class with at least 80% overlap with the middle school class.
Since I have no wish to divert the time and attention of the District staff with an effort of such narrow interest and temporary application, I withdrew my request for high school credit for my daughter for the Integrated I class she took last year. I don't know if anyone else has requested similar credit, but I don't believe it to be the case. With my request withdrawn, I hope that the staff will be allowed to drop this task and take up efforts of broader interest and more lasting relevance.
Presuming my daughter successfully completes Mr. Pounder's Integrated II class this year, I will request credit for her for that class. I understand that Integrated II presents a clearer case. World Language and Mr. Schmitz's Washington State History courses will be additional questions for other departments. Ms Santorno may want to get those department heads started on that research now.
The Student Learning Committee did not meet last week. They are scheduled to meet again on October 23. No agenda has been posted yet. The SLC still needs to amend Policy D46.01 to strike out the language there which prohibits high school credit for middle school students. That will align the District's policies with the current state law, RCW 28A.230.090.
I am grateful to Ms Wise for the time she spent with me on the phone. She was candid and forthright. She was clear in her explanation of the difficulties posed by my request. She acknowledged the legitimacy of my request and my consternation at the delay in response. By withdrawing the request, I believe I have returned her time to her with dividends.