Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Program Placement update

UPDATED 1/20/2010

There is a Program Placement page among the New Student Assignment web pages. Unfortunately, this is all it says:
One of the goals of our five-year strategic plan, Excellence for All, is to ensure excellence in every classroom. With the passage of the new student assignment plan, and the adoption of new attendance area boundaries, one of our tasks is the placement of academic and special education programs across the District.

We will be adding new information about program placement to this section as it becomes available.

That information could become available very soon.

There is a list of Program Placement proposals submitted by members of the public this year on page 11 of the Follow-up to Transition Plan Questions and Recommended Changes. Although there are 20 proposals listed, a number of them are essentially identical. There are actually only 10 different proposals.


UPDATE as of 1/20/10
Of the 11 proposals, only one was accepted - the creation of a Spectrum program at Arbor Heights. This same proposal was rejected last year without even serious consideration. What is so different this year? Nothing. This is further evidence that the program placement process is broken.

Here are the rejected proposals, the rationale provided for rejecting each of them, and the reason that the rationale is bogus.

Proposal: Elementary Spectrum for the Mercer Service Area at Kimball - Rejected
Rationale: "Locating the Spectrum program at Kimball is not consistent with the goal of locating services closest to where students live."
This is bogus because: Kimball is more central to the service area than the District's designated site, Hawthorne. If Kimball is far from where the students live then Hawthorne is even farther.


Proposal: Elementary APP for the north-end at McDonald - Rejected
Rationale: "The Board approved pathways for APP are consistent with the New Student Assignment Plan."
This is bogus because: First, it isn't a rationale at all. It's a tautologism. They are saying that the program can NEVER be relocated because the Board already decided where it should be, but the Board doesn't decide program placement, the superintendent does. Second, what happened to the idea of locating services closest to where the students live. Lowell APP is not even in the service area.


Proposal: 1-8 Spectrum for the Washington Service Area at Madrona - Rejected
Rationale: "Locating the Spectrum program at Madrona K-8 is not consistent with the goal of locating services closest to where students live."
This is bogus because: Madrona is more central to the service area than the District's designated site, Muir, which is so far south as to almost be out of the service area. If Madrona is far from where the students live then Muir is even farther. Also, the Washington service area needs an alternative Spectrum 6-8 site for when the Washington Spectrum program exceeds its capacity of 180. Eckstein and Whitman each have a K-8 Spectrum alternative; Washington doesn't.


Proposal: Expanded special education inclusion at Salmon Bay - Rejected
Rationale: "Not Applicable - Salmon Bay currently has an Autism Inclusion program for grades 6-8 and no expansion of services is recommended."
This is bogus because: Again, this is not a rationale, it is tautologism. They are saying that it isn't recommended because it isn't recommended. There's no rationale there at all.


Proposal: Special education inclusion for grades 6-8 at TOPS - Rejected
Rationale: "Based on capacity planning and projections for 2010-11, there are no recommended changes for the 6-8 inclusion programs."
This is bogus because: Again, this is not a rationale, it is tautologism. They are saying that it isn't recommended because it isn't recommended. There's no rationale there at all. They seem to be suggesting that there isn't capacity for it in the building, but it's not that clear. If that's the case, then we need to decide whether we are going to have capacity and operational preferences drive academic and programmatic decisions or if academic and programmatic priorities will drive operational functions.


Proposal: Language immersion at McDonald - Rejected
Rationale: "This does not support the expansion plan for International Schools."
This is bogus because: The Expansion plan for International schools represents arbitrary decisions made unilaterally without oversight, review, or any community engagement. It didn't even exist until today, and they are treating it like it was handed down at Sinai. Forget it. The "expansion plan for International Schools" has no standing.


Proposal: Language immersion at Sand Point - Rejected
Rationale: "This does not support the expansion plan for International Schools."
This is bogus because: The Expansion plan for International schools represents arbitrary decisions made unilaterally without oversight, review, or any community engagement. It didn't even exist until today, and they are treating it like it was handed down at Sinai. Forget it. The "expansion plan for International Schools" has no standing.

Proposal: Montessori at Roxhill - Rejected
Rationale: "There is no plan to extend Montessori programs to additional attendance area schools."
This is bogus because: Yeah, we know that you had no such plan. That's why we had to propose it. This statement could be interpreted to mean that the District only wants to place Montessori programs in Option schools as stand-alone programs - like the plan for Old Hay rather than the existing Montessori programs a Graham Hill and Bagley. That would be fine, except that the District has no plan to create any other option schools, so they are saying that there won't be any more Montessori programs, which denies students equitable access to programs.


Proposal: Alternative curriculum at McDonald - Rejected
Rationale: "There is no plan to extend alternative curriculum to attendance area schools."
This is bogus because: Yeah, we know that you had no such plan. That's why we had to propose it. This statement could be interpreted to mean that the District only wants to place alternative curriculum programs in Option schools as stand-alone programs. That would be fine, except that the District has no plan to create any other option schools, so they are saying that there won't be any more alternative programs.

11 comments:

Laura said...

Has a citizen program placement proposal ever been accepted by SPS?

KA said...

Great question, Laura. Just how does a person make these proposals? I asked similar questions about programs in West Seattle, but didn't get a response at all.

Finally, since the topic was brought up, what's with the Japanese immersion. Who cares about learning Japanese in the 21st century (other than the Japanese, of course)? Mandarin makes a lot more sense for the non-European language.

RavennaJen said...

Japanese is one of the languages being taught at John Stanford International School (JSIS). Since McDonald and JSIS will both feed into Hamilton International Middle School, it is widely assumed a second international school in that service area would have to replicate one or both of the languages currently at JSIS. This would give more stability to the international program at Hamilton.

dan dempsey said...

Check the Times for more on the SAP.

Charlie Mas said...

Laura, there is a Program Placement web page on the District web site with all of the instructions and forms for making a Program Placement proposal.

This blog actively encouraged people to make such proposals.

Charlie Mas said...

Oops! Sorry. I addressed the answer to KA's question to Laura and did not answer Laura's question.

Laura, the answer is that the District has yet to accept a program placement proposal from a citizen.

HOWEVER

Last year I proposed that the elementary Spectrum program for the West Seattle-South cluster be relocated from West Seattle elementary to Arbor Heights. The Program Placement Committee never even discussed the proposal. It made for one of those little internal scandals that are never aired publicly when it became clear - even to the Board - that the proposal wasn't discussed. Director Sundquist in particular found fault with that episode.

The Arbor Heights Spectrum proposal is expected to be approved this year.

While I suppose I should be happy that the proposal will finally meet with acceptance and be adopted, I'm distracted by a Question. How is it that the idea was so bad last year that it did not even merit discussion and so good this year that it is accepted and adopted?

Karrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karrie said...

Here's your answer on program placement requests - from the documents that are linked within links for tonight's board agenda.

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/09-10agendas/012010agenda/
nsaptransitionprogramplacementattachment.pdf

Hope this link comes through okay.

zb said...

"This does not support the expansion plan for International Schools."

Is there an expansion plan for International Schools (i.e. one that we can read)?

Bird said...

The only information I can find about international programs is here...

http://www.seattleschools.org
/area/internationaled/index.dxml

I find this part particularly comical...

If My Child's School Does Not Offer Language Study, what Can I Do To Help Establish a Program?

Speak to the school principal about your interest in seeing a program established. Determine what type of program best fits your needs. Join with other parents interested in starting up a program. Discuss the possibility at a PTA meeting. Write to the teachers, the school board, and the school district headquarters.

Many resources are available to help parents and teachers establish a second language program.

TechyMom said...

Maybe these are the 9 international schools KSB was talking about during the campaign?