Friday, November 05, 2010

Open Thread Friday

The end of another interesting week in SPS.

Any thoughts?

80 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Well, to steal a little of bit of MGJ's thunder at her "State of the District" address (puh-leeze), Aunty Broad may have a version of the detailed District scorecard, based on 2009 Winter MAP. This has been in development for over a year because the District must know it will cause a ruckus.

Check on later in the day or over the weekend. Save Aunty's channel in your favorites.

Sneak Peek

Steve said...

mirmac1, when you mention something specific on "Aunty's Channel," can you please provide the link to the actual thing you're referring to (instead of to the channel itself)? A couple times now, I've been interested in something referred to, but can't tell when I get there which specific document you're referencing. Thanks!

mirmac1 said...

Will do from now on.

Aunty's getting kinda old and sometimes needs a nap before posting.

Bird said...

This is the relevant link to the District Scorecard

kid not like the others said...

Check out the "Engage Stakeholders" catagory. Very limited scope of "parent engagement."

Bird said...

Actually, is that the relevant link, Aunty?

I agree with Steve. I have a hard time figuring out what's what in "Aunty's Channel".

I take it that that District Scorecard I linked to was for last year?

mirmac1 said...

Okay, for an advance look

Mathematics

and

Reading

mirmac1 said...

I'm no expert, but this shows me that schools will be ranked based on overall "growth" measures (using MAP). What happens to the schools that fall in the lower tiers? Less autonomy, more "coaches", more central office mucking about.

As an assessment tool, MAP is not intended for this purpose.

gavroche said...

mirmac1 -- Why are there only 2 sets of scores on this MAP table? Weren't the kids tested 3 times: Fall, Winter and Spring?

mirmac1 said...

gavroche,

My guess is that this was still in draft form. Don't know for certain.

Lisa said...

Is anyone else having a hard time getting past the phrase "how are evils used at SPS?"

I have often wondered, although use of evil doesn't seem to start in earnest until middle school or so.

Maureen said...

not just evils, but per evils! They're the worst kind!

Seriously, what is that? Peer Evals? Repeatedly misspelled? Or misunderstood?

seattle citizen said...

Slow navigation through 103 pages, but just putting in random pages numbers, there is some weird stuff. Not a lot of predicatability - some schools went up, some down, some nuthin'.

Is that the whole score card? Just MAP scores? As someone else pointed out, what about other things?

Oh, that's right, TFA only, it appears, trains its people to use data and these sorts of testing systems to measure growth. That is the ley factor in their curriculum and their assessments, apparently, and also the way TFA, in training, are measured and counseled: "So, prospective conditional-cert recipient, how did that summer school lesson go? Let's look at the data. Please get out your MAP-like scores, your curriculum derived from the test questions, and we'll look at ways to make those numerical indices go up up up!"

shudder

Jan said...

Freudian slip, Maureen.

Sahila said...

I personally think there is a little bit of sabotage going on within SPS... you comment on the repeated spelling issue... the use of the word "evils"...

I wondered about the elephant picture on page 15 (tansition Plan) of the PDF for the Board's Integrated Planning Workshop

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/10-11agendas/110310agenda/sappresentation.pdf

the image seems weirdly out of place per the contents and context...

seattle citizen said...

Yes, Sahila there is "an elephant in the room" on page 15! That's just strange. Just a big side view photo, full page, of an elephant!

crazy.

See it now before they pull it, people!

Seattle Parent said...

Guess what?
There's the new Transition 2011-12 link now on the Enrollment page (look for the orange circle).
Check out the 53 page "Key Facts & Data"- which has everything (by school/by grade level incl. in area/out of area) except for actual projections for next year & beyond (Tracy says they still working on it).
This will keep a lot of you busy for the weekend!

Jan said...

I have never had a child at Middle College, but I know a child who went there and had the sort of redemptive experience (hated school/didn't work at all -- but was bright -- before; worked his tail off and learned to love learning at Middle College) that I think Middle College was designed to deliver.

Does anyone know why it is on the chopping block (I can imagine any number of reasons, but don't know what the CA says is the reason)? Are there any meetings where alt loving parents can go advocate for it?

seattle citizen said...

AND it's an official part of the Board Agenda!

If they pull it, someone will complain that they've tampered with the record. It'll have to be there forever...

seattle citizen said...

Jan, my guess about Middle College, in the grand scheme, is that nationwide people are looking at education budgets and going, wow, it sure costs a lot of money to deliver a variety of services! I wonder if we can just pull it all back into the regular ed classroom? Cut all the other services, they cost too much. We need to get 35 students in front of each teacher (a cheap one, if possible)

In that view, MC is a luxury. It's unfortunate, because MC is a great school for students to pull success out of what might have seem to be hopelessness.

Ah well, if the MC students would just stay in their regular ed classrooms, where they will be fully supported by gen ed teachers in every way, we wouldn't have this problem. Those dang gen-ed teachers! Why can't they keep kids in class, or in school! Must be that lack of quality everybody is talking about.

Dora Taylor said...

And now for a commercial announcement:

I offer introductory classes in architecture to students of all ages and I am offering a class this coming Thursday for students grades 3 through 8 on monuments.

This is the class description:

Monuments: We will look at monuments around the world and discuss why we build monuments.

There will be discussion on what is important to us as individuals, as a community, as a country and as world citizens. We will also talk about what gives a monument the appearance of importance, whether it is it's size, location, it's artistic form or other factors.

The students will then have an opportunity to design and build a monument in a location that is selected by the student.

There is additional information on the classes and a special walking tour at Architecture 101 .

Dora Taylor said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that Thursday is Veteran's Day and a holiday for our students. That is why this special class is being offered next week.

G said...

Regarding the elephant...I was at the NSAP board workshop, and Tracy Libros explained that it was there on purpose. People were wondering if it was election related, and were, I think, somewhat relieved when Tracy explained that there are a lot of elephants in the room regarding the NSAP transition (pretty much every slide, I guess), from out of are K-sibs. to West Seattle, to Garfield and boundaries and APP, to geo-zones and on and on. The elephant is on purpose and maybe even a bit clever?

Vitamincee said...

Bird your link does not show 2009-2010 which shows much larger decreases in math and reading scores for students by race from last spring's scores NOT the previous year.

G said...

"Elephant in the room" is an English idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.[1]
It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, people in the room who pretend the elephant is not there have made a choice. They are choosing to concern themselves with tangential or small and irrelevant issues rather than deal with the looming big one.

from wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this should stay under the TFA thread, but I'm putting it here.

TFA's pros and cons should not be the takeaway of this week. The larger issue is the disgusting backroom dealing that went on right under our public noses and under the noses of the teacher's union while they were in negotiations.

Like MGJ, who refuses to see that her NWEA board membership was WRONG, I feel certain that most members of the board, the staff, MGJ and the Gates Foundation, as well as TFA, unfortunately see nothing wrong with deliberately excluding parents, taxpayers and teachers in a District matter for no reason other than they didn't want the hassle of the conversation. Because that's what it comes down to. And that attitude is very scary as it is the OPPOSITE of what a public, democratic institution should be. You know...the PUBLIC in public schools.

So how to effectively make all parties listed above change their ways?

Someone enterprising (Melissa) ought to pitch this story to EdWeek, to The Washington Post and New York Times (which both cover a lot of national education matters.) It should be pitched as "Seattle School District Tries to Sneak TFA into Town." It's a juicy headline that should interest the national press.

The ensuing publicity wouldn't do any harm to the kids in our classrooms. That's paramount. But the PUBLIC embarrasment would sure be a corrective slap to the reputation of our superintendent, her staff and most of her board, the Gates Foundation, and frankly TFA.

So let's get smart. What other national blogs and media sources might pick this up? Huffington Post? Daily Kos? Readers, *please add to this list*. Melissa and Charlie, write down all the possibilities and start dialing and writing prior to the next board meeting. It gives this blog more exposure and it will prove to be a very effective means of getting us to a more democratic Public School system.

-skeptical-

mirmac1 said...

Per evils are personal evaluations...? Y'know, gotta get those bad teachers that are the elephant keepers.

What's interesting is these reports are likely always intended "for internal use only". Too bad this is a public agency that has to abide by "sunshine" laws.

Maggie Hooks said...

fyi:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/11/05/seattle-schools-to-unveil-report-cards-to-flag-failing-schools

Sahila said...

elephant in the presentation...no, not clever at all... a silly stretch of the imagination...

feeble, stupid, unimaginative, unprofessional, not in keeping with the style/format...

dont know who taught Ms Libros that at such and such a point, place an unusual graphic hopefully to produce a bit of levity and to respark interest in your flagging audience....

Public speaking/presentation 101: if you cant pull something like this off well, better not to attempt it at all...

Absolutely bizarre...

Dora Taylor said...

Anonymous,

And let me say that if you are gong to be "Anonymous" please give yourself a number so I and others are clear on who we are responding to...anyway, I've been thinking about this "community engagement " that TFA had with the faux roots organizations in Seattle because either De Bell or Maier brought up the question at the board meeting whether TFA had done that.

Ferguson and the TFA rep assured the board members that yes, they had spoken to the Alliance (you know that was a walk in the park), Seattle Foundation (trying to get funding), LEV and others. There was a ripple of laughs in the audience because it was so transparent that this was just a silly formality and god forbid they should speak to anyone IN the community like parents or other REAL teachers!

What is so ironic to me is how they reached out to all of the Gates and Broad backed organizations but have not, repeat NOT, engaged with parents in the schools who would be receiving these novice teachers.

Geez, I wonder why? Do you think some of the parents on the south end of town might get more than a little upset that they are getting basically second-rate glorified teaching assistants rather than experienced, trained and certidfied real teachers?

What is making me more furious by the minute is how they are so willfully ignoring the community of parents who are truly the stakeholders in the decisions made by the board.

Case in point, I was part of an e-mail thread that a TFA rep was on with board members, I asked a couple of questions and the rep apparently decided that I did not merit a response.

Well excuuuuse me!

My questions will be in the next post because I know that I am running out of space on this one.

Dora Taylor said...

This was my question to Janis Ortega janis.ortega@teachforamerica.org
(I am providing her e-mail address because she might respond to you, or maybe she won't. I think it depends more on whether you plan to give them money or not.)

"Janis,

I don't understand the relevance of the 2/3 number that you give.

In what capacity do these TFA, Inc. grads remain in the field of education? At what level? And how does that relate to having TFA, Inc. in Seattle?

From the Great Lakes study:

"Experience has a positive effect for both TFA and non-TFA teachers. Most studies find that the relatively few TFA teachers who stay long enough to become fully credentialed (typically after two years) appear to do about as well as other similarly experienced credentialed teachers in teaching reading; they do as well as, and sometimes better than, that comparison group in teaching mathematics.

However, since more than 50% of TFA teachers leave after two years, and more than 80% leave after three years, it is impossible to know whether these more positive findings for experienced recruits result from additional training and experience
or from attrition of TFA teachers who may be less effective."

One of the concerns that our community has is that these recruits make a commitment to TFA, and interestingly enough, that is what is stated, the commitment is not to our children or Seattle, the contract and commitment is with TFA, for two years. Then another recruit comes in for another two years. Our schools and communities need teachers who commit to the long haul with our children and their families and provide continuity in the child's life.

One other question while I have you here, the $4,000 for each recruit that is to be paid for training, is that per year or over the two year period?

Also, I heard the number of $40,000 come up last night during the Q and A period. What is that number regarding?

Dora"

Well, no answer for me because I guess that I don't count.Community engagement can only go so far as far as DeBell, the supe and TFA are concerned.

Dora Taylor said...

KUBE this Sunday from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM is asking for parents to call in and talk about SPS.

Below is their promo e-mail that they sent out.

"Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell will join Tony B. Now is YOUR opportunity. If you feel as though YOUR voice has not been heard, call. If you've been waiting for the opportunity to express YOUR feelings, call. If YOU have experienced a bureaucratic nightmare in YOUR attempts to ensure that YOUR child is treated fairly and receives a safe and quality education, call. For WHATEVER your reasons, call and set the agenda for our upcoming shows examining the Seattle public school and Washington state public school systems!

This Sunday morning on StreetBeat hosted by Tony B, 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Call 206 421-9393 or toll free 1-877-933-9393

Listen at 93.3 on the FM dial!"

I would suggest calling in and letting this councilperson know what's going on. The best part is that it will get out to a larger audience this way.

Melissa Westbrook said...

That elephant is funny but why?

Lots of weird stuff here but I need a clearer head to read it (when I'm not tired).

Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Unrelated to any of the above, is it possible to get a post or FAQ that explains all the acronyms thrown about on this blog? Sometimes it takes a real insider to follow the discussions.
ALO, NSAP, VAX, LEV.... I try to keep up but as a semi-involved parent I'm often in the dark when I read these blog posts and comments. I can just imagine what a parent who's new to the blog must feel.
Thanks!
~Truly Scrumptious

Central Mom said...

Oh, "Truly Scrumptious"! A Chitty Chitty Bang Bang devotee! What a wacky, happy way to end a not-so-good week on the blog.

And your idea is a great one. Sounds like something right up Charlie's alley.

mirmac1 said...

I know some of you may find this shocking but, according to Fed data, New Jersey charter schools serve fewer disadvantaged or special needs children, and actually do worse than traditional public schools.

See the data yourself

mirmac1 said...

Looks like TFA is hiring in Delaware. S'funny there's no mention about "closing the achievement gap" or wielding the sword of social justice. Job description could pass for a low-level Wall Street hack.

I think we should all send this link to the School Board.

Their true motivation

Bird said...

mirimac1,

Yeah, that description they give for themselves is certainly one thing that makes me think that we should be in no rush to get Teach for America in our classrooms.

Teach For America is the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for at least two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. Our mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the nation's most promising future leaders in the effort.

The basic message TFA promotes over and over is that they are about building "leaders" to work for change rather than improving the quality of teachers in the districts where they serve.

If you look on their website they explain that they experience working with children is not important in a TFA applicant's history.

Experience working with children or teaching does not directly help or hurt a candidate's chances of admission

Experience leading organizations is.

The whole thing gives the impression of using kids in high poverty schools as stepping stones to leadership positions in education.

I know they mean to help kids in the long run. I'd rather we focus on doing what's best for the kids in those schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Truly, I have suggested to the district that while they are redoing the website that they ask each department to put in a glossary for their area.

wsnorth said...

Those poor folk living in Ballard. Pretty soon Ballard High School is going to physically reside inside the Ingraham zone! This is crazy.

Seattle Parent said...

FYI- Data links are now online for "Capacity Management/Student Assignment Plan" (a new 50+ page enrollment report), plus the new 79 page PowerPoint from this week's workshop. Stillpending- enrollment projections for next year & beyond, the K-bubble for ea. school (p. 23 in the PowerPoint), F&RL data, etc.- so keep checking in on the enrollment page.

"Transition Plan 2011-12" link-
http://www.seattleschools.org/area
/implementation/index.dxml

(note- to find this link you have to go to the enrollment page, then another click on "Transition '11-'12")

New- (almost) link- there's now a "placeholder" link for last week's 11/02 Budget workshop materials on the Budget page. This link was promised to be online/live on 11/03. What's the hold up?... it's the same materials already presented at the workshop.

Budget 2011-12 link-
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/budget/
index.dxml

Why don't they have links to both of these hot issues on the SPS home page, like last year? Is there something to to hide? What happened to "Community Engagement"?
Wouldn't the Regional Enrollment meetings be a lot more meaningful if families read these reports in advance & had time to study the issues? Why the resistance?
(I was told that there are too many hot issues and everyone wants their favorite to be linked from the home page, so enrollment/transition won't rate a home page link!)

emeraldkity said...

I knew there was something I wanted to post for Open Friday-
From Steve Zemke ( who is up for the chair of King County Democrats)



The NW Tree Grove of Douglas fir, western red cedar and Pacific Madrone trees at Ingraham High School is finally having its day in court after almost three years. The Hearing starts at 10:30 in King County Superior Court before Judge Doyle. Wish the trees well.

dan dempsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan dempsey said...

Bird pointed out for TfA that:

Experience working with children or teaching does not directly help or hurt a candidate's chances of admission


But the WAC for limited certification states:

(1) Conditional certificate.

(a) The purpose of the conditional certificate is to assist local school districts, approved private schools, and educational service districts in meeting the state's educational goals by giving them flexibility in hiring decisions based on shortages or the opportunity to secure the services of unusually talented individuals. The professional educator standards board encourages in all cases the hiring of fully certificated individuals and understands that districts will employ individuals with conditional certificates only after careful review of all other options. The professional educator standards board asks districts when reviewing such individuals for employment to consider, in particular, previous experience the individual has had working with children.

Yet the contract with TfA states:

C. Requesting Conditional Certificate
i. Seattle Public Schools agrees to request conditional certificates for all Teach For America corps members on the grounds that circumstances warrant the issuance of such certificates, as permitted by WAC 181.79A.231.

=================
This entire venture is just total BS.

The contract continues with:

Specifically, the circumstance which warrants the issuance of the conditional certificate is the district’s commitment to partnering with Teach For America as one of the strategies the district is employing to address the achievement gap.

======================

Are you kidding me?

That is the circumstance for conditionally certifying marginal training as adequate?

Where is the evidence that this is anything other than a "Fraud" to attempt to skirt the existing laws.

There is ZERO evidence that this is likely to positively impact the Achievement Gaps in Seattle.

Want to help close the Achievement Gaps? Then fire MGJ.

Bird said...

So the data mirmac1 has on MAP Reading and MAP Math scores is interesting.

It's only got data for fall and winter of last year, but does rank the schools based on the percentage of students meeting "typical" growth. I take it that this is going to be the measure that SPS will use to measure teacher effectiveness.

What I notice with a cursory look over the data is that schools with very low performance overall often fall in the "above average" typical growth.

My take away from this is that this performance management push isn't going to have much of an effect on reducing the achievement gap.

The problem with the schools with low achieving students isn't really that they aren't meeting expected growth. The problem is that they have low achievement overall.

Resources should best be spent addressing the low achievement, not the growth metrics.

"Ah", but I hear you say, "wouldn't the growth metrics have to go up for achievement to increase?"

I suppose that's true, but from the data that I see just using performance management measures doesn't look like it can push the growth up to the levels needed.

I think what's need is probably more instructional time for kids who are way behind - summer school, significantly extended day, additional periods in middle and high school. Twiddling around with the details of instructional delivery within the normal model just isn't going to lift these kids up enough.

It may be that all this money spent on performance management should be better spent on increased instruction for kids who are behind.

Why don't we focus on that?

Lisa said...

wsnorth, what are you talking about? I can't find any info about moving the Ballard attendance line further south. Not that it doesn't sound likely, but what facts are you pointing at? And does your source say whether current freshmen will be grandfathered?

Bird said...

I'll add the current trend is to push the responsibility and measures of student success from the schools (NCLB) down to the parents (performance management).

I'd like to see the responsibility and measures be pushed up to the district. The district holds the purse strings, as well as constrains the curriculum offered.

I think it's a change to the allocation of resources ultimately that will be what will help lift up kids who are falling behind. That's a district level responsibility.

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

Lisa, take a look at this link.

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/newassign/garfield_book.pdf

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

Go to the SPS site, enrollment and click on the big orange circle.

Maureen said...

Bird, I'll have to think about this more, but it sounds possible that this movement toward evaluating schools based on 'growth' and then devoting resources and operating restrictions to schools that are not producing above average 'growth' could actually lead to schools full of high level achievers, like Bryant and Lowell receiving the money and oversite while schools with kids who come in at low levels and so experience high 'growth' would receive fewer resources and more flexibilty. Am I missing something?

Kathy said...

Lisa,
Yes, there was mention of moving the Ballard HS line further south than 85th. This was mentioned in an attempt to alleviate Garfield crowding- Denny area would move to Ballard.

WSNorth- I am afraid you are correct. The District keeps trying to move Ballard into the Ingraham neighborhood.

Glad we're watching.

JamieC said...

wsnorth, thanks for pointing that out. I live in area "F" on the map. We can walk to Ballard High School in 20 minutes. But now my kid will have to take god knows how many metro busses to get to Ingraham. And now the Ballard zone extends south to Jefferson Street? That is completely insane.

Kathy said...

JamieC-Transportation saving costs were factored into Ballard students staying in Ballard. All of Ballard has sidewalks, thus, a walkable community. Taking a bus from Ballard to Ingraham takes over one hour. Our chilldren will be subjected to 1-2 changes along dangerous areas of Aurora. This, can not happen. The student assignment plan was sold on -predictability. I'm not seeing it. If Ingraham filled (which it probably will) within the next few years, they'd want to move us again. I hope you get involved.

JamieC said...

Kathy - I'd love to get involved. But what can we do, really? Isn't this a done deal?

Kathy said...

Jamie,
What school are your kids at?

There is time to organize your community, write board members, attend meetings, testify etc.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Kathy. People in the Ballard area might not know to look into Garfield area re-tuning -- I know it didn't occur to me to even read that link looking for info about Ballard's area! I didn't know the Garfield area is basically driving the zones for every non-West Seattle HS!

I don't get the logic of this proposed change. It displaces about 100 potential Ballard students to Ingraham, while only removing about 30 from the Garfield area. Seems to inconvenience many families while having minimal impact on the Garfield situation. Bad idea.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And the lesson is...there's a reason to keep up. When you shift in one part of this district, it ripples outward.

Anonymous said...

Change all the boundaries. Anything and everything to keep APP at Garfield! The AP classes everywhere else are inferior. Who cares if Ballard HS is actually in its own boundary, or that other kids will ride for hours to Ingraham?

Ballard Parent

Kathy said...

Lisa,
Glad to be of help. I've come to understand the workings of the district. Despite the fact that Garfield was having troubles...my instinct told me to check in with the district. My instinct was correct.

Yes, Melissa- it is always best to keep tuned! Who would of thought Garfield's overcrowding would attempt to displace Ballard residents.

The District wanted families to predictable a HS. Now while some families have predictability...others do not. don't think rigid HS boundaries will ever work.

Anonymous said...

On another note, the MAP test is being used as a barrier to Advanced Learning/CogAT testing this year. Some parents that haven't received a test date are reporting that their child's MAP scores don't meet the 85% cutoff (MAP scores obtained from the Source). These are 5 years olds...tesing on a computer...for the first time....and the only recourse is to appeal.

crow said...

Good grief -- I don't have a kid in APP or one that would attend Ballard high school, but I have to say, if the option really is to move the BHS boundary south to 80th, I would have to say it is time to move the APP kids out of Garfield.

But it really does seem the district is trying to sabotage high school APP by suggesting the Ballard boundaries be moved.

Charlie Mas said...

The APP high school cohort could be split, but were would the District put it?

The only high school north of the Ship Canal with any space is Ingraham, which would be a poor choice as a half-city draw because the school is very poorly served by METRO.

The District could do what it is doing at the elementary level and make Garfield the north-end school with Rainier Beach or West Seattle the South-end school. Does anyone think that's a good idea? Anyone?

Moving APP would confirm every paranoid delusion of the APP community. So, of course, the District will do it.

Maureen said...

Charlie, didn't we just learn that the state pays $3500 per year to transport APP students? Maybe that is reason enough to place N end APP at Ingraham. They will run yellow buses for the APP kids --other SPS kids will ride on a space available basis-- and they will fill the school. They already have to run yellow buses for Broadview kids 'cause Metro doesn't work.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"But it really does seem the district is trying to sabotage high school APP by suggesting the Ballard boundaries be moved."

"Anything and everything to keep APP at Garfield!"

Very good. This is exactly what the district wants. Parents against parents instead of putting the blame squarely where it belongs...on the district staff.

I have no idea if the APP community would prefer to be split in two or just dissolve at the end of 8th grade and each student choose which school will work for him/her. But yes, I believe the district wants APP out of Garfield (unless there are kids that live in that area).

But the district likes to just put something out there and watch as a program disintegrates, a program gets eliminated or whoops, one part of the NSAP makes life hard for more schools.

The classic line was Dr. Goodloe-Johnson saying the Montessori program at Ballard wasn't eliminated but there wasn't room for it anymore. Oh.

I am not advocating what should or should not happen. APP is not my forte. However, don't be fooled. This is exactly what the district wanted to happen.

seattle citizen said...

Right, Melissa, and another argument for a REAL parent/guardian coalition, ad alternative to the PTSA and all the astroturfers out there lately. We don't need parents/guardians dividing themselves to be conquered.

Anonymous said...

But how will we ever get to go to "gifted U" if they don't do everything possible to keep us together at Garfield? Or gifted life? It's just so unfair.

It isn't the district pitting parent against parent. The district has had the right idea about this for many years.

Ballard Parent

Anonymous said...

Central Mom: *finally* someone gets my user name! (Or admits to it!)

Melissa: I was asking for an acronym glossary here on this blog, where the acronyms are thrown about freely and without definition within the post.

Thanks,
~Truly Scrumptious

Anonymous said...

Melissa wrote:
:But the district likes to just put something out there and watch as a program disintegrates, a program gets eliminated or whoops, one part of the NSAP makes life hard for more schools."

If anyone wonders about this, take a look at what the District did to Summit, and what they're still doing to AS1.
Threaten closure and the program starts to come undone.

~Truly Scrumptious

SolvayGirl1972 said...

I agree Scrumptious: We were scared-off from choosing Center School last year because the school showed up on a closure list. I was sure the District was eager to cause its demise. I was somewhat vindicated when they took the fabulous Lisa Escobar and moved her–MID-YEAR—to RBHS. She was one of the reasons we were impressed with TCS. I know Center is still doing well, but I just didn't want to take the chance. I'd already been through fighting off one school closure and didn't have the energy for another.

Anonymous said...

The district has laid out every possible scenario for reducing the overcrowding at Garfield. The Ballard/Ingraham line move is by far the least likely. Depending on your perspective, it is either included to be thorough or to stir up the kind ofbparent on parent animosity on this thread. In order, the most likely moves are (1) moving the Garfield and Franklin lines North; (2) messing with APP (but the how is difficult); (3) leaving things alone and using alternative space, split schedules, etc to deal with the overcrowding; (4) pushing some of the Montlake and N Capitol Hill folks to Roosevelt; (5) the Ballard move.

Any of the first three fits with the district MO: crap on poor kids; crap on gifted kids; or create a problem and come up with a half-baked non-solution.

Signed, A skeptic

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would rather the district tear off the APP at Garfield bandaid than make multiple groups/school communities suffer. Doing it this way is not right but I guess the district likes seeing people point fingers and tear each other apart.

JamieC said...

Can someone who was at the meeting kindly elaborate on these Garfield maps that are on the district website that WSNorth mentioned? Are they each individual options to consider, or is the district planning on doing them all? It's confusing, especially when the slides from the presentation talking about overcrowding at Garfield only mention "redraw boundaries" as the first option. Thanks for any clarification.

dan dempsey said...

As MGJ said:
"Assessing every student and placing them according to ability sounds like tracking and discrimination…and we’ve moved light years away from that." HERE.

The dismantling of APP would surely match the MGJ agenda. Look for the demise of many of Garfield's current and past academic programs and decline in academic status in the future, under MGJ's faux leadership.

dj said...

Melissa, that is a false dichotomy. Moving APP out of Garfield doesn't just affect APP. It affects those of us who have kids who would attend Garfield who may not be APP-qualified but who would be able to access what is right now a very well-regarded, comprehensive high school. Obviously it was not always. If APP gets moved or dispersed, presumably some or many of the AP classes will follow those students as they leave. It will make the high school less attractive for the surrounding community.

So, sure, you may relieve the overcrowding. Because many people who are right now very happy to get a berth at a well-regarded public high school may decide not to use it after all.

Steve said...

On the APP Elementary Blog, an anonymous person has posted the content of a letter they received from Dr. Vaughn in Advanced Learning. It concerns proposed plans to alleviate Garfield overcrowding by moving at least portions of APP. The letter was sent to parents of 8th and 9th grade APP students. Here it is (typos are presumably from the transcription):

I am writing to you because your son or daughter is in the Accelerated Progress Program(APP) in 8th or 9th grade, and we have important, time sensitive information to consider. This fall Garfield High School is over capacity, and this has important implications for APP participants. On November 3, the School Board was briefed about the extent of the over-crowding and the likelihood that things will worsen unless changes are made. The Board plans to make a decision to resolve this issue in January. With an enrollment of 1788, there are 156 more students at Garfield than its functional capacity. APP enrollment in grades 9-12 has increased from 375 in 2005, to 455 today, and it could be 544 next fall. There are also large classes in the pipline at elementary and middle schools. Although many factors contribute to Garfield's overcrowding problem, APP will likely be a part of the solution. APP-related solutions that wre presented to the Board include creating additional APP pathway in 2011-2012:

1.For new 9th graders, based on residence, to another school
2. For 9th and upper grade level students, based on residence, to another school
3. For 9th and some 10th graders, based on choice, to a new program at another school

A new APP pathway based on residence(solutions 1&2) means redirecting students who live in one area of the city to a different high school with sufficient space and the availability of appropriately accelerated classes for these students. The pathway could affect only new 9th graders next fall, or it could be applied to upper grade students, as well.

A new program based on choice (solution 3) means establishing an alternative advanced option at a different high school. Offering a new challenging and attractive program would allow APP students to divide themselves by choice and thereby help create a new option for academically highly gifted students while preserving a strong yet manageably-sized program at Garfield. The new program being strongly considered is to off APP students the choice to enroll in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Ingraham High School at an accelerated pace.

Five years age, Bellevue School District developed a high school option for their highly gifted students. At the Gifted High School Program (GHSP) at Interlake High School, gifted students take core academic classes together and electives with other students. In 10th grade, they begin the two-year IB Dipolma program that all other students typically begin in 11th grade. Earning the IB Diploma requires completion of six college-leve courses and exams, as well as a 4000 work essay. In 12th grade, GHSP students take two college courses at Interlake as well as electives, and complete an internship with a partnering business or institution.


(continued on next post)

Steve said...

(continued from previous post)

In 2010, GHSP sent its first seniors off to many selective colleges. Interlake HS is now producing more National Merit Scholars than Garfield. GHSP has sparked a level of rigor at Interlake that has led to a higher standard of academic excellence than a neighboring Bellevue and Newport High Schools, schools recently recognized by Newsweek as among the top high schools in the US. Along the way, GHSP students have woven their way into all aspects of student life at Interlake.

Ingraham High School started its IB program seven years ago and now graduates 30 diploma candidates annually. Approximately half of their 11th and 12th grade students are enrolled in one or more IB courses. Their faculty has the training, interest, and expertise to accommodate many more. Additionally, their IB Diploma candidates have a strong record of gaining admission and scholarships to top local and national universities and being leaders in a wide variety of co-curricular activities. Recently, I joined a leadership team from Ingraham and leaders from the APP Advisory Committee on a visit to Interlake. We interviewed their principal, IB coordinator, gifted parent liaison, and a number of seniors in the GHSP. We also visited classrooms and have reviewed their student achievement data. There can be a little doubt that a similar program offered at Ingraham could become an exciting alternative to APP at Garfield.

Offering choice would allow interested students to continue to attend Garfield and also provide an opportunity for students intrigued by the challenge of the IB program to attend Ingraham. The proposal to offer students a choice, however, critically depends on a sufficient number of students interested and willing to make a commitment.

This letter is an invitation to all 8th and 9th grade students and their parents to work with the Advanced Learning Office to explore your interest and input in the development of an IB option for highly gifted high school students similar to Bellevue's GHSP at Interlake. A new program is best developed by those who are excited by the prospect. In the absence of interest, APP pathways to different high schools sites may simply be based on where students live when the School Board make assignment plan changes in January.

To learn more about the possibilites of a new program at Ingraham, please come to an APP community forum to be held from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the auditorium at the Ingraham High School, 1810 N135 ST, on Wednesday, November 17. We will discuss the option more fully, answer your questions, and work to summarize your interests and concers as we move forward.

Maureen said...

dj, you know, probably most/all of the APP-qualified GHS area kids would stay at GHS instead of taking an assignment at Ingraham or RBHS. In that case, Garfield would still be better off than Roosevelt and Ballard which have managed to sustain a collection of rigorous (enough) courses even though the neighborhood APP-identified kids have been sucked down to the Central District for years and years. Your kids may not have access to two years of AP Latin, but they'll probably get a choice of 16 other AP classes. The gorgeous building and recent history of excellence will keep on attracting all of the Montlake/Madison Park/Madrona/Capitol Hill families , and maybe there will actually be room for them to sit down for lunch!

I can see worrying if you have an APP-qualified kid and you live in the south end, but if I were one of those "who have kids who would attend Garfield who may not be APP-qualified" I think I would find something else to worry about (Your kids are young, right? There's plenty.).