"I like the idea of being simple and streamlined, so that parents can understand and bring equity," one parent noted. But another disagreed with "an assumption that simpler is better" because of the complexity inherent in the process.
A parent liked the emphasis on "economic diversity at the high school level, but perhaps it should be at every level." Another called the tiebreaker "patronizing" and said that "allowing people to flee prevents people from investing in their schools."
Still another questioned the legality of using economic diversity as a tiebreaker and asked if the proposed plan would "foster diversity in schools or ... increase segregation?" Courts have shot down the use of a racial tiebreaker and the district has not used it since 2001.
Longer term, parents at the meetings wondered what would happen as neighborhood profiles shift.
"How agile will the district be to adjust as demographics change?" a parent asked, while another wanted to know if the district would have "flexibility for midcourse correction if there are problems."
The most telling comment was this one that ended the article and seems a summation of many comments here:"As a parent of two elementary school kids, I like the feeder concept as long as both middle schools and both high schools in West Seattle offer similar programs for advanced learning opportunities, foreign language and other electives," she said. "If the middle schools and high schools on each end of West Seattle do not offer similar and balanced programs, there will be trouble."
Here's dates for the upcoming meetings (sans locations except for the one at the headquarters):
Seattle Public Schools will hold community meetings on the new student assignment plan on the following dates:
May 5 -- 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., site to be determined.
May 7 -- 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., site to be determined.
May 9 -- 10 a.m. to noon, auditorium at district headquarters, 2445 Third Ave. S., Seattle.