Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Seattle Schools' Equity and Race Advisory Committee

The district is looking for new members via nominations.

This committee is a commitment to transforming our current practices at a systemic level to eliminate disproportionality in education and in all aspects of its administration. These efforts require a long-term commitment from our advisors that includes both making recommendations and staying engaged as our work progresses over time.

The Superintendent will appoint members to this committee. Nominations will be sought until Monday, September 15, 2014.

Download the complete information about this committee and its charge.
Download the nomination form

Term of Committee and Length of Term

The Advisory Committee is a standing committee. The initial term of membership is September 2014—September 2015. It is expected that one-year to two-year terms will apply.

Process for Soliciting Nominations and Appointing Committee Members
Nominations for the committee will be sought via public notices and program contacts. Calls for nominations will be disseminated via: in person, website, email contact lists, including key community leaders, school newsletters, and ELL staff. A slate of recommended candidates will be submitted to the Superintendent, who will be the final appointing authority.



I do think it a bit troubling that the Board has no role in this committee at all. 

9 comments:

mirmac1 said...

The Superintendent needs to get going with appointment of SEAAC. His new "acting" SpEd leadership is properly not excited about engaging with the public. I know his director doesn't want to.

Charlie Mas said...

Whatever happened to that committee to pursue academic achievement for African-American students that Mr. Banda promised the folks from Africatown.

Oh, right. Now that he's gone, that promise is void. And it's not like he intended to keep that promise anyway.

ben said...

I don't get why anyone volunteers for any of these committees. They're fairly time consuming and then they either are so constrained by the staff rules that they rubber stamp a pre-determined outcome or they labor on and are ignored after the process is done.

mirmac1 said...

Ben, SEAAC has remained member-driven. Perhaps that is why there is no hurry to consult with the council....

dan dempsey said...

"... to eliminate disproportionality in education."

Translation please.

Charlie Mas said...

"to eliminate disproportionality in education"

Low income, immigrant, and minority students are over-represented in special education, under-represented in advanced learning, under-performing on assessments, and over-represented in disciplinary actions.

That's the disproportionality.

The District has never taken a single serious step to eliminate it because that would require addressing the students' preparation, support and motivation and the District doesn't believe it has the license, the mission, nor the resources to take on that task. It does, but they just don't think of the problem or the solution in those terms.

So instead of working on causes they focus, ineffectively, on outcomes. They work to mask the problem by setting quotas.

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Totally agree with your analysis. Do you have ideas on how to address the causes? I would sincerely love to hear them. As an educator, I need new ideas on how to reach these students.

LAP

Charlie Mas said...

LAP,
Regarding preparation, the City is moving forward with universal pre-school, and that's good. The district has been successful by adding classtime for students who need it. The most common example is the Algebra Prep course that students take concurrent with Algebra in the 9th grade.
Support includes breakfast, lunch, before-school and after-school supported study, clinics in schools, counselors, and the like.
Motivation is the most important key. I would really like to see more teacher professional development around this goal. People are motivated by a number of different things, but we know that when it comes to cognitive work, people are motivated by autonomy, opportunity to achieve mastery, and a sense of purpose. Classroom instruction can be changed to provide more autonomy and students can be allowed to stay with a topic to reach mastery instead of moving on to the next learning goal after only achieving proficiency or, worse still, familiarity. It is always good to give kids the sense that they are working in service to an idea bigger than themselves. Find one that resonates.

I don't know how much that helps, but this isn't really the venue for much more detail.

Carol Simmons said...

Dan, thank you for asking for the translation of the meaning of "to eliminate disproportionality in education" and Charlie, thank you for your response.
Ben, you rightfully questioned why bother to volunteer for these committees because they are "ignored after the process is done." Some of us know that only too well having served on Disproportionality Task forces several times and made recommendations that were supported by research and experience that would eliminated disproportionality. There are teaching techniques, curriculum offerings, in service training, and policy revisions that assist in assuring equity and eliminating disproportionality.
These recommendations were made only after the District began to record achievement scores, discipline sanctions and placement in special programs between white students and certain groups of students of color. This recording of data was not popular and many of the recommendations were controversial and not only required a change in policies but procedures. These recommendations were adopted by the Board but were never implemented in the schools.