Friday, December 05, 2014

Seattle Schools Updates

School Board Retreat tomorrow - agenda.  It's open to the public and at the JSCEE from 10 am to
2 pm.

What the heck?  How many times will they discuss governance issues and communication issues?  They have been over this territory so many times and yet every retreat agenda, there it is.   And, that part is for two hours. I do note the addition of the issue of communications "how does the Board interact with the media and how is a spokesperson assigned."  It appears there is a policy but they seem to feel the need to discuss it. 


Here's the agenda for the Special Board meeting next Wednesday.  As of now, I know of two topics; approval of negotiation of a contract with Dr. Nyland to be permanent superintendent and approval of a contract for new computers.  This process for the purchase of new computers is way behind schedule and there are no vendors or prices yet available. The new computers will cost between $1.2-1.4M but they have no vendor yet.  Again, this does NOT bode well for this testing cycle that includes the brand-new Smarter Balanced assessment.

The Board seems to have made this a rather full "special session" with the addition of a couple of items:

- Intro of Capacity Management
- and looky here - the extension of the MOU with the Alliance.  Except, there is no extension document attached.  When will that come? 

I note that there is no question that there should be an MOU but it's a good question.  Oh I know, the Alliance makes money now off of managing school accounts.  (They claim it would send the wrong message.  If that's true, how come the district doesn't have MOUs with other community groups?)

End of update

The Board has decided there will be public comment.

For the 12/10 Special Meeting of the Board, public testimony will be limited to the agenda items for this meeting and will be for 2 minutes per slot, with a maximum of 20 speakers.  All public testimony rules apply, including those identified in 1430BP.

Members of the public who wish to address the Board may sign up to do so by either e-mailing or calling (206) 252-0040, beginning Monday, December 8 at 8:00am.  The public testimony list will be posted Tuesday, December 9. 

Good News

Broadview-Thomson middle school PE teacher, Shelly Ellis, was named regional middle school PE Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America. Congratulations, Ms. Ellis.

Among many accomplishments, Ellis:
  • Goes beyond basic curriculum to challenge her students, with engaging lessons on topics ranging from muscle groups to bullying to nutrition.
  • Helps fellow teachers find ways incorporate physical activity. She has led staff development on how to provide “brain boosts” – short physical activities – in regular classrooms.
  • Forms community partnerships, such as working with REI to teach her students how to snowshoe.
  • Has identified relevant Common Core principles and helped incorporate them into physical education standards through her work on committees at both the state and district levels. (Ellis’ students read articles while speedwalking, for example.)
  • Serves as Broadview’s athletic director and coaches girls basketball at nearby Ingraham High School.
 Ballard High School's student newspaper, the Talisman, has been nominated for what is called the "Pulitzer Prize" for student newspapers, the Pacemaker award.  From SPS Communications:

The award is given by the National Scholastic Press Association and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and recognizes outstanding coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art and graphics.

A team of 12 journalists from the Ballard program learned about this and other awards last month at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association convention in Washington, D.C. More than 6,000 students from around the country attended the national convention in November and more than 2,000 students competed.

The crew from Ballard got to tour one of the most storied newspapers in the country, The Washington Post. And five select students were treated to a special tour of The White House's West Wing, which they chronicled for the Talisman.

It was the first time The Talisman placed at a national level.

The Board office often has a student newspaper out on their lobby table and I agree; the Talisman is a great example of excellence in student achievement.  (Also, you can learn things from the student newspaper that you don't hear about at home.  Support your school's student newspaper with a subscription and you'll be surprised at what you learn.)


Charlie Mas said...

That agenda for the Board retreat looks pretty darn good to me. Assuming, of course, that those agenda items mean what I think they mean.

"Timing of the exchange of information between staff and the Board" This is about defining the time limits for when the staff says that they will "get back" to the Board with information, right?

"What to do when violations to the Code of Conduct occur" Holy Cow! A conversation about enforcement and accountability!! That's brilliant!!

"When delegating authority to the Superintendent, how do we align to Board policies and exercise oversight" Again, this looks like a conversation about accountability and what it will look like.

Or am I completely wrong about this?

FastTrack Nyland said...

"Timing of the exchange of information between staff and the Board" This is about defining the time limits for when the staff says that they will "get back" to the Board with information, right?"

Shall we add: Timing and exchange of information between board and public?

FastTrack Nyland said...

Three questions need to be asked of Nyland before hiring:

1. Who provided Nyland with
the Gates grant? Charles

2. Did Nyland seek legal
advice before signing Gates
contract? If Nyland did NOT
receive legal advice, I have
to question his ability.

3. The numbers regarding Garfield
student enrollment numbers
need to be reconciled. Why
are we seeing a discrepancy,
and where are the dollars
that go with the students?

Failure of the board to have these answers equals failure of
the board to oversee the superintendent.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I asked the Superintendent who gave him the contract (I said I understood he was new but surely the person who gave him the contract should have asked, right? He shrugged.)

One person who I know simply would have not just put it in front of him? Long-time superintendent office adminstrator Aleta H. (and I know I'll screw up the spelling so I won't try). She never would have done this.

mirmac1 said...

Timing of exchange of info b/w staff and board has to do with staff (Toner et all) telling board about the prospect of a Gates-sponsored giveaway of school space to a City preschool AFTER Nyland signed the deal.

mirmac1 said...

Yes Aleta Paraghamian knows how these things are handled. She often sends items to staff asking that they handle matters placed before the Supt. Your emails to Nyland go through her first. I trust her skill and judgment. So what really happened?

mirmac1 said...

First comments at retreat are about forgiveness, we all make mistakes, we don't know everything. That board members get beat up when things go wrong.

Lynn said...

Wow - Schmitz Park is getting three more portables next summer. The school has 606 students this year - and bathroom, cafeteria and gym space appropriate for the 275 student capacity of the building.

Staff at JSCEE ought to have their bathroom access limited to the equivalent of Schmitz Park's.

This is disgraceful. For the $450,000 cost of those portables, Schmitz's third, fourth and fifth graders could be transported to the building Westside is vacating.

mirmac1 said...

Usual staff comments that they get burned out yadda yadda, with a new twist: "policies and procedures get in the way of doing the job". And "signing authorities and thresholds are a structural impediment". Hmmmmmm

mirmac1 said...

Fess up time:

Wright says negotiating A4E MOU without including the board

Geotsch says not putting SAO contract before the board before work started.

Nyland said...well, we all know.

English these were one-of situations so maybe we need to figure out how to apply the riules to these huh? moments

mirmac1 said...

I'm struck that it was imperative to "respect the process" for stuff staff wants like the math adoption, and ignore the process for staff wants like A4E and COS MOU.

Anonymous said...

"there ain't no point in talking when there's nobody listening..."

In the immortal words of Rod Stewart.

What is the point of the Board having this conversation NOW, or, for that matter, at any time?

THIS Board -- except for Patu and Peters, ultimately, when push came to shove, CONDONED Dr. Nyland's "shoot first, 'apologize' later" brazen 'management style'.

Oh, wait, he never really apologized (that would involve stating how what happened happened and why it was inappropriate and why it won't be happening again - what will be different).

Yup, Nyland let himself off the hook, and, so did this Board, except for Patu and Stevens, and, this Board then REWARDED his behavior with a glowing love letter (Marty), and a fat-paycheck permanent job (Peaslee).

No performance/bad performance = glowing job offer... not much incentive here for anyone to do the right thing.

-tired reluctant-cynic

mirmac1 said...

The explanation is "it's a one-of, coulda happened to anybody"

Pro-sleep Mom said...

Check out the Capacity management plan here:

Thirty one new portables are proposed; mostly elementary/k-8 except Nathan Hale is getting two and Mercer MS is getting 4.
Ten are in the northend, 5 in West Seattle.

If I'm reading it correctly, they are also re-purposing preschool rooms (the initials are PS- what else would that be?) to regular classrooms at Montlake, Sandpoint, McDonald, and Thornton Creek. While losing preschool is not great, at least this proposal is prioritizing K-12 over other uses, as we legally must.

Anonymous said...

It's strange that, in the capacity management document, Hazel Wolf K-8 (at John Marshall) is listed under Eckstein attendance area schools, and Licton Springs K-8 is listed under JAMS' schools.

Hazel Wolf K-8 (given as an Eckstein AA school): former geozone/attendance area was Eckstein, but its former location (the Jane Addams building) is now in the JAMS AA, and Hazel Wolf will be in JAMS AA in the future (at the Pinehurst site). Interim location at John Marshall is in the Eckstein AA.

Licton Springs K-8 (given as a JAMS AA school): former geozone/attendance area was in the Eckstein AA, but the Pinehurst site is now part of JAMS AA, future attendance area will be Wilson-Pacific (but is currently part of the Whitman AA). Interim location at Lincoln is in the Hamilton attendance area.

It is kind of confusing and inconsistent. Neither school seems to be classified according to its future attendance area/assignment geozone. Maybe it doesn't matter for this document, but it seems as though it could matter for planning purposes (i.e. determining how many seats there are available by middle school attendance area).

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@ pro-sleep mom

I took a look at what you pointed out. I think those are "P5" not "PS," probably referring to specific portables that are being renovated/converted, P3, P5, P6, etc...).

Not sure though.

- North-end Mom

Shrug said...

Very likely we will see an attempt to dismantle APP. Keep your eye on PEASLEE (!).

What is Nyland's position on APP? WE don't know because the board knows Nylsnd's "plan" and we don't.

Anonymous said...

Quote of the day from the retreat: your goals for the year? "Appease the ongoing attacks and rage from the public"


Anonymous said...

Oops sorry - from Vice President Peaslee


Anonymous said...

Sorry to tell you but APP (now HCC) is already dismantled.
- LL

Shrug said...

Don't get excited, Charlie. We're seeing staff want more independence and less oversight.

With the exception of Peters and Patu, we won't see accountability, oversight or enforcement.

Concerned said...

References Mirimac's comment:

"And "signing authorities and thresholds are a structural impediment". "

I understand district staff wants to increase spending threshold to $300K.(!)

District staff should have LESS authority. The board needs to balance the budget at the end of the budget cycle. I'm tired of administrative staff acting like it is Christmans- everyday of the year.

Greenwoody said...

Agree, district staff absolutely should have less authority. They have done nothing to show they deserve more autonomy, and have instead shown there needs to be mass firings among the central staff. How many federal investigations will it take?

Jack Ash said...

Peaslee and Ron English composed the Board Action Report to Larry Nyland on Thanksgiving Eve. The BAR was buried within the district's web-site and provided 8days before the vote. Peaslee et. al. has received notice from the SCPTSA that they would like an opportunity to provide public input.

Peaslee's campaign promises can be found here:
".... has gained traction in the campaign with fiery rhetoric about what she considers the district's woefully inadequate efforts to solicit community input.

"Parents in this district are ignored," says Peaslee, who also has been active in recent disputes over math textbooks. "This is our district, this is our tax money, these are our kids. The community must be included in the conversation."

Peaslee also supported "alternative pathways to learning". What is PEaslee's position on advanced learning?

Jack said...

Peaslee on Creative Approach Schools:

"I'm pushing for a thorough and highly transparent vetting of the proposal before we vote on it."

More from Peaslee's campaign:

"We also need to flip the top-down governance of the district that ignores parents, teachers and students until bad decisions are followed by public outcry. We need to remember that public schools belong to their communities and restore local control. School communities must be genuinely involved in the entire process of making major decisions that impact their schools and children.

If elected I will address these two fundamental issues head on, and many others. I’m a proactive, creative problem solver and will do whatever it takes to be sure all students have what they need to succeed, and that communities are involved in all major decisions."

Anonymous said...

Wait - really? Someone said this? "policies and procedures get in the way of doing the job".???

Dude you work for a municipal government agency. You are sooooo in the wrong line of work if you think you can do away with pesky things like "policies and procedures" - this is just so much....whining. Wow.


Melissa Westbrook said...

I appreciate all the outrage. Please keep it up.

Because we are moving towards the era of what I called, "The Smartest Guys in the Room." Usually powerful, wealthy people, impatient for "change" and "innovation" who believe if only the little people (the public), the concerned but clueless (parents) and the annoying people (the activists) would just shut up and sit down, the SGR would be able to lead the way to greatness.

Oh, and those elected officials there to oversee and provide accountability? The fewer of them the better. The less power they have the better. The less they can oversee - the better.

Any attempts to curtail or diminish the Board's authority should be ignored by the Board and loudly shouted down by the public.

Anonymous said...

Hale has one portable this year. Does this mean they are getting 2 more or 1 more next year? Where are they going to put it? The one we have now is already a pain. I can't imagine having 1 or 2 more. It was one thing when we were going through renovation but those were temporary. How long will these new eyesores be at Hale?


Watching said...

I agree, Melissa.

Unfortunately, I think with the exception of Peters and Patu, may be on the path to a rubber stamping and back high fiving board.

Central administration needs LESS spending authority- not more.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget, Watching, we do have Peaslee, Carr, Martin-Morris, and McLaren up for election in 2015. We should all be out working to recruit challengers. I know I am.

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...

@Jack Ash,

What is Director Peaslee's position on Advanced Learning?

She hates it, and brings tonne of baggage, missinformation, ignorance and and prejudice to the subject and students and community. Not unlike a lot of folks. The things I have heard her say...

By 'law', i.e., WAC, etc., there are 'special students', who have their particular education rights ENSHRINED in statute. Those include ELL, SpEd, and Highly Capable. A District policy for Highly Capable just went through a drafting-revision cycle to get adopted.

Like any defined group, there will be some who fall just above and some who fall just below the line of what defines them as ELL/SpEd/Highly Capable. Kids whose English is just barely good enough to pass a test, but, far from strong -- they get booted from resources; kids who can manage their dyslexia or ADD/ADHD or are ASD 'well enough' to be gatekept from an IEP or 504, and bright kids who strong students but not gifted.

The ELL and SpEd Board adopted policies are restricted specifically to just those students who meet the definition of what ELL and SpEd students are; the policies are targeted and unmuddled.

Then, there are the Superintendent procedures that can meet the policy spirit and requirements and go beyond. However, Peaslee wanted the Highly Capable policy to be different from the SpEd and ELL policies, she wanted it to be a catch all for students who do not qualify. Result? Despite excellent efforts by the AL Department, it will be easy to see all kinds of families whose children are not defined as Highly Capable nevertheless demanding services -- which is outside of the WAC. Confusion will abound. In the SpEd universe, even kids who do qualify by definition as being SpEd have a hard time getting 'greenlighted' for an IEP, let alone getting the IEP respected.

Peaslee doesn't understand the needs and attributes of students who are highly capable, kids whose cognition means they only occur at most once in every 50 persons, who don't have intellectual peers in a regular classroom, and, the affect of having no peers has on such a student. Tolley and Heath don't get it or respect it either.

On this blog, anything having to do with HC seems to be a lightening rod, nevertheless, consistency in scope amongst such Board Policies dealing with exception-by-law students should have been done per best practices. If she and the others wanted a Board Policy for students who are not called out by statute, like for barely-adequate-English speaking students, or, for somewhat-impacted by a mild-learning-disability kids, etc, they could have done too -- nope, just muddled HCC. You know it will trigger lots of angst, and so it is foreseeable that services/programs to these students risk being compromised. Which goes against the WAC.

--you asked

Lynn said...


Schmitz Park is an elementary school with 16 portables - and they're getting three more next summer.

I expect North End high schools will see more portables before the capacity crisis forces us into split shifts.

Sam said...

You don't know what you talking about.The program has needed affirmative action since it started as IPP and now it's finally here. The few kids of low SES who managed to get in have been recruited to privates, which are more diverse than HCC. Hopefully this will make some of these kids want to stay in SPS.

Lynn said...


Why does the program need affirmative action? What would be the benefit to the program of using variable admissions criteria? Could you describe the characteristics of a child who needs the program - and what it should provide them?

Nobody at any level of SPS cares when a family chooses to remove their child(ren) from the district's schools. What makes you think that's a concern for advanced learning programs?

Charlie Mas said...

Affirmative action for advanced learning might make sense if advanced learning presented something "better" than general education. But advanced learning is only better for the students who need it, not for all students. Third grade isn't "better" than first grade, just better for third graders. It is not better for first graders.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like the idea of different HCC qualification criteria for different kids. If the district can come up with a good plan that identifies the top students overall, as well as the top students by race, that would allow for greater diversity in the program--a benefit to all. Criteria for underrepresented races probably wouldn't need to be much lower, just enough to help boost numbers a bit. I know there are people who would see that as "weakening" the program by allowing "less qualified" kids into it, but it's important to remember that these kids are likely to be just as smart as those who did test in by the current criteria--it's just that other circumstances negatively impacted their ability to score to their potential. Those kids likely need HCC as much as others do. If nothing else, it's certainly worthy of a multi-year pilot to see how these kids do in the program. It might also be valuable to provide some additional training to teachers on cultural competency in the classroom/curriculum if something like this moves forward.

And please, please, SPS, evaluate the actual results of any such changes, ok?

One other thing: it's hard to agree with Sam that this will likely have much impact on whether minorities stick with SPS. A little more diversity likely doesn't make up for the fact that there's not really much "meat" to the program. If you're getting offers from private schools, there's not much in HCC that would woo you to stay.


mirmac1 said...

"if advanced learning presented something 'better', or not - then explain why JSCEE was FILLED with families doing AP testing during the board retreat. Apparently some/many feel there is "something better."

What value is there in diversity? It seems clear that many posters have not read the scientific literature or have lived under a rock for a time.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, mirmac1? You're going to try to make it sound like, just because people want into the program, it must be "better"? That may support the narrative you like to promote, and it may help stoke the fires of others who hate the program without really understanding it, but unfortunately (or fortunately!) your statement isn't based on reality.

Charlie had it right--it's only "better" for the students who need it. For kids who are bored at school, are not learning anything, don't relate to their peers, and who don't have schools/teachers willing to work with them effectively, the program may in fact be "better" (but not always). However, it would likely be "worse" for those who don't "need" the program in the same way. I know kids who started in the program and were miserable, so dropped out for Spectrum or gen ed instead, where they were much happier. They would call HCC "worse", not "better."


AA said...

SES determines CogAt scores significantly.Best practice is to norm scores against peers in age as well as opportunity, so if the top 10% of northend kids are in HCC, 10% of southend kids should be also. Or go by school.

Lynn said...

HC identification isn't a prize - it's an acknowledgement that the depth and/or pace of our general ed program isn't likely to meet the needs of a particular child. Obviously we want to identify and serve all of the children to whom that applies. If you think we should identify the top 5 or 10% of students in each group in the district, you don't understand the point of identifying these kids.

Yes - CogAT, math and reading scores correlate with SES. Those scores are also indicators that a student needs something different in the classroom. Our general education program is designed to meet the needs of most children whose scores are below HC levels. Not being identified as highly capable is not a judgement of a child's worth - or an indicator of their future success in college, career and life. A child does not need an IQ of 130 to be successful.

AA said...

Best practice, Lynn. look it up.

Anonymous said...

Lynn, you said it yourself: " CogAT, math and reading scores correlate with SES."

It sounds from the rest of your post that your interpretation is that kids born into low SES families will be of lower cognitive capacity, and thus don't need HCC, so our low numbers make perfect sense. Is that an accurate interpretation?

I feel otherwise. While heredity has been shown to be an important factor in intelligence, I believe SES and environment can also influence performance on cognitive and achievement test results. Students with these additional challenges may think in the same ways as those who typically qualify for HCC, and may be just as bored/unhappy at school, but due to these outside influences and barriers they might not perform quite as well on initial testing. It's similar to how HCC kids might not perform as well on a test if they didn't eat breakfast or sleep well the night before, or if they are sick, etc. Low SES kids, ELL kids, etc. who perform at levels approaching the current HCC cut-offs are likely to be every bit as gifted as kids who qualify. Plus, they bring a lot of other valuable experiences to the program, too.


Anonymous said...

@ AA,

You said "SES determines CogAt scores significantly. Best practice is to norm scores against peers in age as well as opportunity, so if the top 10% of northend kids are in HCC, 10% of southend kids should be also. Or go by school."

Your argument assumes intelligence is equally distributed geographically, and I don't believe there are data to support that. From what I have read, heredity is a key factor in intelligence, although SES likely also plays a role (and if it doesn't play a role in intelligence itself, it does in the testing used to measure intelligence). Assuming that highly intelligent parents are (a) likely to have highly intelligent children, and (b) likely to end up in a higher SES group, then it follows that they are more likely to afford expensive neighborhoods and thus there will be a higher percentage of highly intelligent children in those neighborhoods. The gen ed program in those local schools, however, would likely still be targeted to kids of more typical intelligence, so a larger percentage of kids might need access to gifted programming. In a low SES school, the numbers would be expected to be lower--although probably not as low as what we now see.

I feel a better approach would be to use a combination of some general criteria, as well as some subgroup-specific criteria designed to address perceived biases in eligibility. That would ensure that we adequately serve all those in the top x%, as well as those who "should" have been in the top x% were it not for circumstances beyond their control.


mirmac1 said...

Wow HIMSmom dial it back. My comment is that research findings support diversity in the classroom, laboratory, and teaching. Doesn't everybody know that?

We agree on different HCC qualification criteria and expanded outreach. As an immigrant Roxhill kid with (fluke) IQ scores, I know there are a number of children in my part of town who should be evaluated for entry.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure the plan you mentioned above is exactly the one shot down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, HIMS mom. However I have long supported getting rid of the achievement portion of the test for kids from title one schools, and perhaps raising the Cogat bar to compensate for the increased numbers that might cause. Maybe to all 98+, not just two.

Anonymous said...

Oops, sleeper above.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, sleeper. I thought the plan shot down but Supreme Court used race specifically as the key factor, and used race purely for the sake of racial balancing, not to improve educational benefits. I would think you could argue that this is a very different situation, designed to address existing biases in the eligibility criteria, and with the intent of providing an appropriate educational program to those previously missed. SC decisions depend partly on how well you make your case, and I would think you could make a reasonable argument for in a case like this--much more so than just access to gen ed at various sites. But I'm not a lawyer, so I may be way off here.


really? said...

"highly intelligent parents are (a) likely to have highly intelligent children, and (b) likely to end up in a higher SES group,"

ergo, if parents are not in a "higher SES group", they are not highly intelligent.

Anonymous said...

Both cognitive and achievement scores are used because it's not just about having the potential to achieve at higher levels, but actually showing that you are already achieving at higher levels and need a more accelerated curriculum. You want students joining the program to be successful in the program, which achievement scores can help predict. If students just missed the cutoff, and don't have qualifying achievement scores, is HCC the right program for them?

Anonymous said...

The District created a task force that resulted in limited change to the identification process or entry criteria, so the debate about identification has already happened. They did add a nonverbal component to the CogAT. Maybe the question should be more about how students are served if they don't qualify. You know, Spectrum. Make Spectrum meaningful instead of turning HCC into Spectrum.

Lynn said...


I don't think that that kids born into low SES families will always or generally have lower cognitive capacity. I do think that (as you said) "highly intelligent parents are (a) likely to have highly intelligent children, and (b) likely to end up in a higher SES group."

I think IQ is largely heritable - I've seen estimates of 60-70% heritability. I think that genetic component sets an upper limit for a child's IQ. An impoverished environment reduces the likelihood a child will reach that upper limit.

The point of having different requirements for HC identification is to identify those children who, given a different SES level or background, would have met the HC thresholds using national norms. Are we assuming that HC services will provide sufficient enrichment to allow them to overcome the negative affect on IQ of their environment? I've seen some interesting references to studies that show that while the effects of pre-school interventions on IQ generally fade over time, when those children are enrolled in elementary schools with higher achievement levels, they maintain those IQ increases. On the other hand, there are studies that report that enrollment in gifted programs has no effect on the achievement test scores of children whose baseline scores barely qualified them for the program.

Of course we want to meet the needs of all children. I just want to understand the benefit we think we'd provide to children identified as highly capable under new rules.

Lynn said...


Here's some information on the heritability of IQ.

There's no assumption that people from lower SES backgrounds are not highly intelligent in HIMSmom's statement. The reality is that in general highly intelligent adults are likely to have intelligent children.

SES is based on income, education and occupation. Of course a person can be highly intelligent and have low income, little education and an occupation that requires less skill and provides less autonomy. Generally though, highly intelligent people do have higher SES levels.

Anonymous said...

The reason for asking about portables at Hale is that there are environmental issues too at Hale. Thornton Creek runs right through Hale grounds and through the Meadowbrook playfield, playground and Community Center grounds. The current portable is in the small parking lot between Hale and the shared athletic field, and Thorton Creek borders it on the south end. The 'student' parking lot on the south side is also used by the playground, the baseball fields, the tennis courts and the community garden for the ADA community. There is a teacher/staff parking lot on the west end. I just trying to figure out if Hale is getting a second portable or a second and a third. I am also trying to figure out where they are going to put it/them.

I know crowding is occurring and is likely to get worse. My kids LA class is in the 'blackbox' theater. They have already had to move to the library a couple of times so that the 'blackbox' theater can be used for what it was intended, a theater.


Anonymous said...

@ really, please note the context of my statement. My comment on the link between intelligence and income was clearly in response to lynn's earlier comments, intended to clarify some of the unsaid assumptions that I thought were behind what lynn had said earlier.

But yes, in general, income and intelligence are correlated. Does this mean that "if parents are not in a 'higher SES group', they are not highly intelligent", as you suggested? Of course not. That would be absurd.

But data matter. There are some disparities and patterns we see in society that seem unfair--and that are unpleasant to acknowledge. But we have to be honest about the facts in order to better understand them, so we can figure out and what to do about them.


Anonymous said...

No, that's the argument the school district used- that this was to address bias. It failed then, and would only be more likely to fail in the current judicial climate, especially with regard to affirmative action. You can't use race. There are a lot of other cases that make this clear. You *can* use SES, or differentiate between schools, which could help ameliorate the problem, too. This is why I like my plan. I also think the achievement portion is reasonable in most cases- except if we believe kids in title 1 schools really don't have exposure to those concepts. If they have high enough iq's, they should be able to pick up fairly quickly. I was assuming some extra support for those kids over the summer or during the year.


Anonymous said...

sleeper, I was thinking SES, not race, as well. I don't think race is the limiting factor, I think it's SES. Looking back, I see that by referring to different "subgroups" I probably wasn't clear, even though my comments were all re: SES not race. I left it more generic to include the option of other subgroups as well, such as ELL.

So I think we're actually in agreement, no?


Anonymous said...

"Personally, I like the idea of different HCC qualification criteria for different kids. If the district can come up with a good plan that identifies the top students overall, as well as the top students by race, that would allow for greater diversity in the program--a benefit to all. Criteria for underrepresented races probably wouldn't need to be much lower, just enough to help boost numbers a bit"

Was that not you, at 10:11, on 12/8? Are there two posters using the same moniker? That is what I was referring to, when I was saying race is not allowed.


Anonymous said...

@ sleeper,

Yeah, that was me. Very clumsy, I apologize. What I really meant by that "good plan" bit was one that wasn't specifically race-based, but that might help with the racial disparities. So something like SES. To me, a "good plan" has to address the root of the problem.

You'll notice that in a later comment I had also said "I feel a better approach would be to use a combination of some general criteria, as well as some subgroup-specific criteria designed to address perceived biases in eligibility. That would ensure that we adequately serve all those in the top x%, as well as those who "should" have been in the top x% were it not for circumstances beyond their control."

Thanks for pointing that out and letting me clarify. This is an awkward conversation to have online, but there's not really another forum...