Update: I realize my original headline that did contain ("no thanks to the district") and was not fair. The district DID create the IB programs at Ingraham, Chief Sealth and now Rainier Beach. It just that they don't support them in the way those programs should be supported if they expect them to thrive. Again, the district creates programs they do not support (like IB and dual-language.)
end of update
The Times owns up to something good happening in Seattle Public Schools (without charters or a state turnaround order).
Tangled in bureaucracy and tradition, public schools need years — often
the better part of a decade — for real turnaround, so skeptics may wave
off the spike in graduation rates at Rainier Beach High as a mere blip.
Or ignore its ballooning enrollment.
Or shrug at the dozens of students on track to leave with college credit for advanced studies.
No marker is more stunning than Beach’s 25-point increase in graduation
rates since 2011. Last spring, 79 percent of seniors left with a diploma
— better than the 74 percent district average.
Naturally, as we have found out at Ingraham, then Chief Sealth, and now, RBHS,
Seattle Public Schools does not consider the program part of the
district’s official Advanced Learning options, and has no plans to fund
IB beyond the startup grant that Rainier Beach will exhaust in 2017.
In other words the International Baccalaureate, despite its encouraging
results, is an extra, something that parents at other schools eventually
end up paying for.
“When we started, there wasn’t necessarily a vision at the district
level for how we would sustain this,” said Colin Pierce, who manages the
IB program at Rainier Beach. “That does raise the question of how
Seattle uses advanced learning — is it just a student-sorting mechanism?
Or can it be a way to address equity?”
To note, parents at Chief Sealth have been loudly complaining about the lack of textbooks and support materials so this is not just RB's issue.
What is really stunning in this article is that the Times does not even ask a single district official - why are you putting in IB programs at schools without district support?