Wednesday, April 01, 2015

OSPI Consolidated Program Review of Seattle Schools

Interesting notations in the March 12, 2015 update to Superintendent Nyland from OSPI on the Consolidated Program Review 2014-2015.  This report includes " commendations, technical assistance, noncompliant items and actions required."

The district has 45 calendar days which makes their follow-up date April 27th.

Among these notations:

Civil Rights -
 Based on the evidence provided, the district is to be commended for providing sexual harassment training to staff and adopting a detailed sexual harassment policy and procedure. 

Certainly it's a start but I hope there's real follow-thru.

Annual notification of discrimination complaint procedures: the annual notification in a student handbook or similar publication must include enough information for a person to know how to file a complaint: what information the complaint must include, who and where the complaint should be sent to, what happens when the district receives the complaint, and what the district's response will include. IF the entire complaint process is not included, the summary must also describe where the reader can access the full complaint process. 

***Revisions Necessary to Policies and Procedures: To comply with OSPI’s revised rules (effective Dec. 2014) and recent guidance by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the district will need to update its nondiscrimination procedures (3210P and 5010P), sexual harassment procedure (5011P), and HIB procedure (3207P) as soon as possible. OCR has recently identified compliance concerns regarding these procedures in other districts. Please ensure that the district revises each of these procedures to include the requirements listed in Chapter 392-190 WAC ( and in OCR’s guidance on Title IX and Sexual Violence (see question C-5 on page 12: title-ix.pdf) and Harassment and Bullying ( 201010.pdf). 

***Necessary Revisions to Student & Employee Handbooks: As the school district updates the above procedures, student handbooks and employee handbooks should be updated to reflect to the new policies and procedures. Revisions should be made to topics relating to sexual harassment, nondiscrimination procedures, and HIB. 

***14.4 Sexual Harassment: We recommend including more information in the student and handbooks on sexual harassment and who students, parents, and employees may contact if they have concerns or complaints. This is available in several languages at 

***14.15, Athletics: As the district is considering how to equally accommodate the interests and abilities of male and female student athletes, keep in mind that a lack of resources is not appropriate reasoning for accommodating the interests of one sex, but not the other.

Highly Capable - 
Item 11.2 - For students who enroll in the district after the summer testing opportunity in August, the district ID process must include procedures so that a new enrollee has the opportunity to be identified within 3 months of enrollment, and, if identified, be provided services during their transition year. 
Item 11.3 - Parent/Legal Guardian Permission to Place notice needs to be revised to explicitly obtain permission to place/initiate services. For questions, contact the program supervisor for the highly capable program, Kristina Johnstone. She may be reached at 360-725-4991. 

Additionally, there were noncompliant issues:

- teachers in Title One buildings who "do not appear to meet the federal Highly Qualified requirements." 
Submit the district's updated process for ensuring that parents are never asked or required to waive ELL services when they ask to attend their neighborhood school. Submit an action plan for training enrollment and building ELL staff on the guidance provided in the "Meeting the Needs of EL Students Who Opt Out of EL Programs or Particular EL Services" section of colleague-el-201501.pdf. Submit an action plan for ensuring that the Home Language section of the enrollment form is completed for each student. 
- Fiscal - Ranking and Allocation -Olympic Hills Elementary over-expended their '13-14 rank order allocations.  This resulted in Olympic Hills having per pupil expenditures that were higher than the budgeted per pupil amounts for schools with greater poverty percentages.  Submit an action plan to ensure that rank order allocations will comply with Title I ranking allocating requirements.


mirmac1 said...

Thanks for posting this Melissa. The District's failure to inform parents how to submit a civil rights complaint caused me to have to speculate WHO should receive my recent complaint regarding discrimination against preschoolers with disabilities.

As it stands, my complaint's been passed to others in the district. I will ensure that OCR will ultimately know that the District failed to have a formal process in place.

Anonymous said...

Apparently DOE OCR doesn't communicate with OSPI because there are a rash of civil rights violations concerning IDEA/504 and failure to accommodate student's assistive tech needs. Currently several schools are being investigated. I believe this will become a class action lawsuit against SPS by June 2015.

The problem for SPS is, unlike IDEA there are no limits or restrictions on awards. The jury can award one dollar or 10s of millions. It's also notable that SPS stills is in the mode of denying 99% of parents/students IDEA/OCR complaints allegations, but OSPI is finding SPS in violation 90% of the time. Really makes you wonder what is going on.

We also found evidence of teachers communicating their experiences with parents of special ed students to other buildings, akin to a advanced warning and labeling parents who advocate for the children as "trouble makers". We believe these warning emails are violations of students rights and we are filing a complaints with OSPI and OCR since it clearly has the look of an act of retaliation.

Watching Nyland

Anonymous said...

Ok, why is SPED not listed? I thought IDEA was a special program fpr which Seattle received additional Federal funds for. Does SPED not being listed mean OSPI believes the district is now meeting the requirements of IDEA? That can't be I haven't seen any improvement in services, if anything it's become worst.


Anonymous said...

Big news out of Atlanta,

Oh no

Anonymous said...

Oh no - interesting article.

Speaking of cheating scandals...what was the outcome of the Beacon Hill Elementary investigation?


Anonymous said...

Sembra meno insegnante effetti il problema negitivly allora tutto ciò che vediamo è il silenzio.


Anonymous said...

Seriously? Cheating on tests.... is now... "racketeering"? Cheat on the big bad testing empire - and you go to jail. Literally. Teachers were in handcuffs.

Ok, so cheating on tests might not be great. But, let's say you lie about IDEA compliance, fail to provide SDI, accommodations, don't provide Least Restrictive Environment. Not to mention - restrain special ed kids til the cows come home. No problem. That stuff happens every day in SPS and nobody bats an eye - literally.

You can do everything but kill a kid with a disability and there's no reaction from any governmental agency.(No, I don't count OSPI chest thumping as anything at all). But cheat on a test, and mess with the empire - and it's an actual crime. Where are our values?

Sped Parent

Anonymous said...

SPED parent, the problem is there are around 8,000 students with IEPs and only a small handful of parents and others are taking any meaningful action.

I know the risk of retaliation is real and will be too much for some to deal with, but unless there are more than a few dozen OSPI citizen complaints
SPS will just perform a few administrative documentation corrective actions and move on to business as usual.

SPS is becoming better at building the facade of compliance and building dossiers which paint students and parents as the problem.

I believe if just a few more new people will step up and bring more pressure on SPS it will force them to concede in public the failure to provide FAPE to thousands which is necessary to get true compliance and restitution of services.

I know the parents are out there, we all know others who are frustrated and don't have funds for a lawyer or outside services, so they hide hoping others break thru the wall of bureaucracy.

It's truly unfair when people are willing to organize student walkouts over other issues, but not one person has rallied around SPED organizing any form of student involvement!

If I had the time and connections I would, but I don't. Do you?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Crickets, certo.

SpedParent, you'd have to ask the testing industry which seems to have more pull than parents.

Anonymous said...

For a way more humanistic look at the Atlanta Test scandal the New Yorker. New York Times and others mainstream media portray the Golly-Gee-Whiz Atlanta must be filled with criminals (actually minorities).

But this bit hits the nail on the head. And is much more even handed. Infatuation with absurd "data".

John Ewing, who served as the executive director of the American Mathematical Society for fifteen years, told me that he is perplexed by educators’ ”infatuation with data,” their faith that it is more authoritative than using their own judgment. He explains the problem in terms of Campbell’s law, a principle that describes the risks of using a single indicator to measure complex social phenomena: the greater the value placed on a quantitative measure, like test scores, the more likely it is that the people using it and the process it measures will be corrupted. “The end goal of education isn’t to get students to answer the right number of questions,” he said. “The goal is to have curious and creative students who can function in life.” In a 2011 paper in Notices of the American Mathematical Society, he warned that policymakers were using mathematics “to intimidate—to preëmpt debate about the goals of education and measures of success.”

And also:

He told me that he was offended by the idea that he would cheat in order to get what amounted to five thousand dollars in bonuses. He and other teachers at Parks spent their own money to buy groceries, H.I.V. medications, furniture, and clothes for students and their mothers, and this continued even after he was fired. “It wasn’t because of the money—I can promise you that,”

Right on. System brought this corruption on, and protects the tests - at all costs!

Sped Parent

Anonymous said...

Sped Parent -

That article was great - thanks! I shared it with my department.