Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Who Has Highest and Lowest F/RL Students?

I got asked this question by someone who wanted a list of the 20 highest and 20 lowest schools for free and reduced lunch students.  (I couldn't just find this information at the district's website so I compiled the list from OSPI data for 2012-2013.)

I wasn't especially surprised at who made the list nor where these schools are located.

I was surprised at who is number one overall  (meaning all schools) for highest numbers - bet you can't guess (no peeking first).

There was a three-way tie for lowest.  Again, without looking, take a guess.

111 comments:

Po3 said...

My bets on a northend school-Viewlands or Broadview Thompson?

Melissa Westbrook said...

For lowest or highest?

Anonymous said...

Both those schools are less than a half a mile from million dollar homes.

Only in Seattle.

One percent

Po3 said...

Highest.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Not either of those are even close to the highest.

Anonymous said...

Lowest: APP@Lincoln
Highest: Northgate Elementary

my guess

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll give it till the end of the day and then put up the answers. (But APP at Lincoln doesn't even make the top twenty for lowest. Northgate does make the top 20 list for highest but not number one.)

Anonymous said...

That's because Northgate Elementary
is fed by the Pinehurst neighborhood, low income housing behind home depot and the trailer park on 125th, but still there are million dollar houses only 1000 feet away.

One percent

Anonymous said...

Lowest: Bryant
Highest: Dearborn park

just guessing

Anonymous said...

Lowest: LOYAL HEIGHTS
Highest: DEARBORN PARK

Another guess

Melissa Westbrook said...

Uh, One Percent, you did see that Northgate IS in the top 20 for most free and reduced lunch? Apparently those $1M houses are not making a difference for the students at that school.

Bryant and Loyal Heights are in the top twenty for lowest but not number one.

And yes, Dearborn Park is in the highest but also not number one.

David said...

Highest - West Seattle Elementary
Lowest - Laurelhurst

Anonymous said...

Bailey-Gatzert for highest?

yet another guess

Anonymous said...

Lowest: Coe
Highest: Hawthorne

--- swk

Anonymous said...

My guesses were for elementary only. Are we guessing among all schools?

--- swk

Anonymous said...

Lowest: Montlake

Highest: West Seattle Elementary or Bailey Gatzert

- WS Parent

Anonymous said...

For lowest I guess Wedgwood or maybe North beach? Highest: Roxhill or Wing Luke.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

We are the only family on our block that sends their children to Seattle public schools. This was not the case 20 years ago.

20 years ago all the kids went to Ingraham High School, now the new crop goes to Bush, Lakeside or SAS.

Parents who can, avoid Viewlands,Broadview-Thompson and Ingraham. If you subtract Ingraham's IB students the FRL % numbers are significantly higher.

I'm really surprised the low income status of the 3 schools have not had a bigger negative impact on home prices in the area. Another person commented, there are million dollar homes in ear shot of these school. That's true, yet they are very poor schools. This should be very embarrassing to Seattle.

I'm not sure of the solution, but know I can not take on anymore property taxation. How about a luxury tax on private schools?

SPS Parent.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I did a list of the 20 highest and lowest elementaries but I also did a separate shorter list for secondaries.

But I mean the highest and lowest from ALL schools in the district for number ones.

I note that for middle and high school, the numbers drop a lot. That's not because there are really that many fewer F/RL but far fewer kids sign up.

Anonymous said...

Bailey Gatzert had 92.2% FRL in 2012-13, compared with 84.6% at Northgate. Northgate has a high transitional bilingual population (28.3%).

Elementary schools generally have a smaller draw area than middle or high schools, so I'd expect to see the extremes, high and low, at the elementary level. APP has also been placed in schools that would otherwise be relatively high FRL.

Anonymous said...

Based on anecdotal experience, Seattle world school for lowest. I add MLK in there too.

reader

Anonymous said...

Bailey Gatzert highest, View Ridge lowest?

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Can we play who has the most And least HC kids and look for correlations? And then SPED? How about a racial breakdown, say, most whites and least whites, and again correlate.

Offended

Anonymous said...

How about a luxury tax on private schools?

Parents of private school students are the most likely to be paying property taxes, which support all public school students. Without private schools, there would be even more capacity problems in SPS. If you want to harp on something, try focusing the lack of an income tax in Washington State. Parents choosing private schools are not the problem.

irked

Anonymous said...

Highest: Aki Kurose, Roxhill, MLK Jr.

Lowest: Laurelhurst, Montlake, Bryant

Momof2

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to know what our richest and poorest schools are, how far apart they are, and what sort of support they get or should get. I expect to see a 92% FRL school funded much differently than a 9% one, and to the extent it is not I want to agitate to change that. I know I was surprised when I learned which schools' PTAs raise the most money, especially per capita. It's not who you'd think!

I would support a luxury tax on private school, but at this point inequality is so out of control I would support a luxury tax on many things.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Are you looking at just raw numbers or figuring percentages? Because if you go by sheer numbers, one of the schools already mentioned as having the lowest number of FRL students you're saying does NOT, though the OSPI chart shows otherwise.

I'm not naming the school so the game can continue, though I'm not sure why you can't just list them. The inequities I'm seeing aren't funny.

Confused

Anonymous said...

Oh I see. I'll try again. Seattle World school for the highest. And it's only Tuesday.

reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

Offended, why are you offended? I'm only offering numbers, not judgment and this is data districts use all the time.

I'm confused, Confused. Sure, I can put up the whole thing but I just thought I'd ask what people thought it might be. It's not a game; just a question.

Reader, you're right. It's only Tuesday (and I'll hate to see what Friday is like).

seattle citizen said...

Such a simple question, yet I think it is leading to lots of thought and discussion. Yay!
Lowest (number of f/rl) in secondary: Roosevelt
Highest: Cleveland
Lowest k-5 or k-8: TOPS
Highest: Orca

Anonymous said...

Highest FRL - Sandpoint ES.

Lowest - View Ridge, TOPS.

NE/Hale Parent

Anonymous said...

Aki and Gatzert as lowest? For those voting for View Ridge as a low FRL school remember there is some UW housing there with FRL kids of grad students who are low income but highly educated - an unusual demographic that adds to their FRL numbers.
- south end parent
--

Anonymous said...

I meant Aki and Gatzert as highest FRL
- south end parent

Anonymous said...

Does Interagency count? That would be very high FRL as well
- south end parent

Anonymous said...

@ south end parent
I'm pretty sure the UW housing kids are assigned to Sand Point, not View Ridge.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

A lot used to attend view ridge and raise their FRL numbers. Maybe that has changed under the NSAP.
-- South End Parent

Anonymous said...

Or Bryant. Sand Point also includes Hawthorne Hills. I remember when it went on the free all day K list- it definitely wasn't anywhere near first in line.

I would think an option school for secondary would have the lowest FRL. Center School maybe. It is amazing how much just the filling out of that form is a barrier- almost all the options schools have far lower FRL than the areas they draw from. I have wondered for a long time how to really help with this.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

@irked

I pay $6,800 a year in property taxes. I spend around 2-3 k a year maintaining my property so I can keep the assessed value up resulting in keeping my taxes high! I don't need a lecture on taxes.

Having a large percentage of students not attending public schools does hurt the common good.

We lose the common experience of education, we lose economy of scale and we create nu-needed competition for resources.

Do we have multiple water systems? Multiple sewer systems? Power systems?

There are reasons to share the real experience and cost of these systems.

I bet you would care if sewage started flooding your house, or you water turned black?

People get involved when they are directly effected by a problem. So, if the people with lots of money placed their children in their local public school I'm willing to bet many of the funding problems would be solved or at least greatly diminished.

All I hear from private schools parents is, "I'm so glad we don't have to deal with public school".

--Michael

Anonymous said...

Highest: West Seattle Elem or Roxhill

Lowest: Lawton or Bryant

-West Seattle Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

So the school with the highest F/RL - at 97% - is the World School. That's the highest in the entire district.

For elementary schools, the highest is Bailey Gatzert at 93%. Only two north-end schools are in the top 20 highest - Northgate (82%) and Olympic Hills (77%).

For secondary schools (after World School), it's Aki Kurose at 84% and Rainier Beach at 81%.

The lowest percentage of F/RL in the district is a three-way tie at 6.8% for View Ridge, Montlake and Thornton Creek. (Yes, it is Sand Point that has taken in more F/RL - I think they are at something like 40%+).

The lowest secondary is HIMS at 10% with Roosevelt at 14%.

Anonymous said...

TOPS has 32% FRL and is 48% caucasian, 20% Asian, 21% Pacific Islander, 17% Black/African American. Don't know how some of the guesses included TOPS. It has always been pretty diverse. Strong social justice curriculum and word of mouth among different communities encourages parents to "fill out that form".

Former Falcon

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, people make assumptions about different schools and since I was asked for this information by someone in the City, I thought it worthy of discussion.

seattle citizen said...

Yeah, Falcon, I don't know why I guessed TOPS. A brain far or something. I know TOPS to be pretty diverse in a number of ways. Great school.

seattle citizen said...

So, discuss I will: I made an off the cuff assumption about TOPS - I think I was thinking they were a) option, b) located in a fairly affluent pocket, and c) had organized and savvy parent/guardisns. So my assumption made an ass of me, and now I'm wondering:
1) What intuitive, gut, or fact-based rationales are people here relying on to make their guesses? How many are subconsciously biased? and
2) How does TOPS, an option school, maintain such a diverse population (and what other option schools are diverse?)

seattle citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I did some research on this fairly recently--but I used the School Reports from the SPS website. And when I read your post, Melissa, I thought I remembered some differences. So...I went to check it out. These are the numbers I found from the 2012-13 SPS School Reports (I put the numbers you found from OSPI in parentheses):

Seattle World School--no data available (97%)

Bailey Gatzert--89% (93%)

Aki--82% (84%)

RBHS--73% (81%)

View Ridge--6% (6.8%)

Montlake--7% (6.8%)

Thornton Creek--8% (6.8%)

Hamilton--11% (10%)

Roosevelt--16%(14%)

I'm wondering a couple things: 1) Why do the state and district data not match? 2) Why is there not data available from 2013-14??

Would love to hear folks' thoughts about these questions...

Curious

seattle citizen said...

Why no data 2013-14? Well, they're now using a Pearson data product and.......
just kidding. : )

Anonymous said...

It could be something like May vs October numbers. They do change, a little.

I don't know much about TOPS' geozone. I know Thornton Creek had higher frl numbers when it had a larger geozone, but the district shrunk the geozone to help with crowding at view ridge and Wedgwood, so now it looks more like those communities.

-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

The numbers are not that far off (from district to state) except for RBHS. I'm thinking the difference may be when the numbers are reported.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

off topic, but...pretty sure water and sewer are funded through billed accounts, not levied property taxes. Levied taxes go toward local and state schools, fire depts, libraries, roads, parks, hospitals...but not water and sewer.

nitpicker

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it insane that we live in a district in which there are schools that have 6% FRL and schools with 93%? What if we drew boundaries a different way? What if no school were allowed to be over 50%?

-two cents

Patrick said...

What if each kid got the support they need whether they're one of the 6% in their school, or one of the 97% in their school?

seattle citizen said...

I like two cents idea. Bussing to achieve diverse socio-economic mix. Yay! Let's do it.

Anonymous said...

"...of the 8.8 million families with children in grades K-12 with annual incomes of $75,000 or more (the highest income bracket measured), 83 percent have children only in public schools and 13 percent have children only in private schools."

"...Most private school students (80 percent) attend religiously-affiliated schools," according to a Council for Private Education Report.

http://www.capenet.org/facts.html

Private schools include those like Hamlin Robinson, which serves students with dyslexia. Are they hurting the "common good?"

irked

seattle citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

:)
-two cents

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

OSPI has APP@Lincoln at 0.8% for 2012-2013 and 1.5% for 2013-2014. Unless I am missing something, that makes APP@Lincoln by far the lowest.

KMG-365

Anonymous said...

Patrick- when PTAs start sharing their funds, you let me know. PTA groups at high poverty schools struggle to have a $15,000 budget. That's a far cry from auctions that raise hundreds of thousands. That $ makes a HUGE difference in support and opportunities.

Two cents

Anonymous said...

Didn't the "Seattle Plan," or mandatory busing, result in the loss of about a third of district enrollment?

wondering

Anonymous said...

Wondering if Melissa looked at Lowell rather than APP at Lincoln, which is how it is listed at OSPI? APP at Lincoln is by far the lowest FRL with 1.5% for 2013/24.

Former Falcon

Melissa Westbrook said...

Two Cents, most studies would agree with you. Once you get over 50% F/RL at a school, it is a different kind of challenge. I've read at least three studies that say if districts could change one thing, that would be it.

That said, I would not support busing students around.

KMG, as I said, I got my stats from OSPI. Double-checked and you are right. Not sure how I missed that. (I didn't look at Lowell.)

So the school with the least amount of F/RL IS APP at Lincoln.

Lynn said...

The thing I noticed is that in the Aki, Denny and Mercer attendance areas, the schools with the lowest FRL percentages are the option schools. I expect this is what will happen with charter schools. If they're any good, families with the time and information to search them out will be the ones to enroll.

An immersion charter school in West Seattle would have a wait list - just like Pathfinder and K-5 STEM.

Anonymous said...

Except TOPS is an option school in the middle of the Montlake geozone and has a FRL rate far greater than the neighborhood school. As has been said for years, TOPS II - how does that happen? A little bit organic, and little bit luck and timing? How can we make schools recreate a greater than 30% FRL, and lower than 50%? That is the million dollar question.

Former Falcon

Anonymous said...

Hamlin Robinson students that come from SPS should be receiving identical services in SPS. We know that's currently impossible, but ideally that's what should be happening. I wish SPS would by default allow qualifying students to attend Hamlin Robinson until SPS can prove it can serve dyslexic students. BTW it's a vastly different comparison between specialized schools serving special education and other private schools, but nice try.

It's a vicious circle, but SPS will never attrack private school students back under the current state of the district. Sure many might like a STEM or IB program, but why would they risk it.

--Michael

Anonymous said...

It looks like tops pulls from the surrounding, much poorer schools. Bailey gatzert, Lowell, john Muir. Some from montlake, obviously, too, but I winder what the overall frl percentage is in that service area (not just montlake- the other schools feeding into the same middle school).

-sleeper

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Former Falcon -- Before the 1st Lowell split, Thurgood Marshall was about 90% FRL. As a result, the low income kids in the school benefitted from Tiltle one funds. With the addition of APP students moved from Lowell, Thurgood Marshall's FRL numbers dropped to just below 45% tthe following year. This looks like the sweet spot you were talking about. Yet the new FRL numbers for the school were just below whatever the magic number was that year for Title 1 funds. Thurgood Marshall got a year or two of grandfathered title 1 funds, but then lost it because the school no longer looked on paper like a high FRL school. The same kids in the school who needed title funds prior to the APP program placement lost the benefit of that $200,000 even though they remained in classrooms that were heavily (over 80%) FRL. So yes, it's great to have our schools more socioeconomically balanced, but doing that sometimes comes at a price to the kids who can least afford it. This is particularly true if individual classrooms are not socioeconomically balanced.
-- south end parent

Anonymous said...


Putting APP at TM was no accident by the district. I believe it was intentional, and MGJ essentially said as much when she said she wanted to move APP into high FRL schools so that the more wealthy APP parents could pay for "extra" things like art and music. She said this at a board meeting after her initial idea which was to put 50% APP at TM and 50% at Hawthorne.

And, APP parents pointed out to many in the district that the FRL kids at TM would likely be hurt by losing their designation as a high FRL school. Not only do they lose things like Title 1, they also lose the counselors that are so important to a high FRL child. Some of those kids desperately need the help of someone who can get them things clothes and food on the weekend.

I agree that considering income levels is a good idea when creating boundaries, but each option should be considered carefully to make sure another, potentially worse, problem isn't being created.

-pasty

Anonymous said...

The FRL needed to qualify for Title 1 funds was raised to 55 percent by MGJ. It was recently lowered back to 40 percent.

In a few years, Cedar Park Elementary may rival Bailey Gatzert. Cedar Park opens as an assignment school in 2017. SPS has drawn the attendance area so that it takes the poorest neighborhoods from both the current John Rogers and Olympic Hills attendance areas (the highest poverty areas in North Seattle) and reassigns them to Cedar Park.

-North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

South End, in doing my research, I did notice that drop for TM. They went from 87% F/RL in 2004-2005 to 32% in 2013-2014.

And Pasty is right about those unintended consequences. TM is great example of what can happen if a superintendent and staff push something, the consequences get explained to the Board (usually by school staff or parents) and the Board sides with staff.

NE Mom, is also right on MGJ raising that F/RL rate. Why did the Board allow that much of a jump (again, with consequences).

Anonymous said...

Seattle world school and Dunlap. These schools serve BOC students so I would think they're on top of the list.

KT

Anonymous said...

Some people scrimp by on less so that their kids can go to private school because the public schools don't offer that type of program or you don't live in the right neighborhood to get it. If there had been a Waldorf public school available, I would have considered it. Instead I worked to pay for tuition.

HP

Anonymous said...

The main difference between a TOPS and Thurgood Marshall is that the kids at TOPS are not segregated. The socioeconomic groups are all together in the classroom. And on field trips, camping trips, sports, drama, art, ski bus - no exclusion based on ability to pay for the extras. It's a culture that has developed since the beginning of the school in the late 80's (I believe that's about right). It's not enforced diversity to manipulate Title I funding, but an actual diverse community that people choose to send their kids to.

Former Falcon

Lynn said...

When the boundaries were redrawn in West Seattle, staff suggested pulling some of the High Point homes out of West Seattle Elementary and into Fairmount Park. This would have put those children into elementary, middle and high schools with lower FRL percentages than WSE/Denny/Sealth. The plan was changed because those families didn't want their kids moved. They were looking for schools that knew their kids and were prepared to meet their needs - not schools with less poverty.

The population in the Northgate attendance area is 49% FRL but the school is 80% FRL. Redrawing boundaries will only change school demographics if we give up option schools and don't allow any school choice. At that point, parents will move to private, move to another neighborhood (or city) or move to charter schools.

Building low income housing in Magnolia, Queen Anne, Montlake, Ballard, Fremont and Laurelhurst would make a difference. Or maybe we need new economic policies so that so many of our families are not poor.

Anonymous said...

When you look at the raw numbers, the gulf between schools is just ugly -

APP at Lincoln - 598 students gr 1-5

9 FRL students
2 African American
450 Causasian

Bailey Gatzert - 390 students gr K-5

364 FRL students
206 African American
16 Caucasian

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a private school in Seattle with as much socioeconomic and racial imbalance as APP at Lincoln.

Sign me -

Sad

seattle citizen said...

So if I am to understand: Maria Goodloe-Johnson a) stated that wealthier PTA of APP kids moved to would pay for things for poor children at TM, while knowing (she was supt...) that the number of poor students would fall far enough that they would lose Title One money....
Potential gain for PTA: $200,000
Potential loss of Title 1: $200,000
So MGJ cynically shifted costs which should be borne by city, state, federal budgets onto the shoulders of citizens trying desperately to supply ALL their students, rich or poor, with counselors and art?
What are we becoming?
How do we permit this in a wealthy economy like that of the United States?
When shall we meet at JSCEE and Olympia with our petitions, signs, threats of boycotts and voting blocs?
When?

Anonymous said...

@Lynn
Where did you find the FRL percentage for the Northgate neighborhood? I'm not disputing it, just curious where you found the 49 percent figure.

Thanks.

North-end Mom

Patrick said...

Two Cents, the problem is using PTAs to pay for essentials in the first place. That burden should be born by every taxpayer, not by donations.

Anonymous said...

Busing in Seattle: A Well-Intentioned Failure
by HistoryLink.org

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3939

-more reading

Anonymous said...

Sad, almost any private school is exactly that racially and socioeconomically imbalanced. Especially since only black kids "count" for you. There are a few extremely wealthy ones which very heavily recruit and pay for minority "stars" who would otherwise be in a highly capable program, but you'd be hard pressed to convince me that the existence of Lakeside and Bush actually lowers inequality in our world.

This whole thread has me thinking again about whether SPS can our should try to attract private school students. The whole of SPS is about 40% FRL, but the whole of seattle students including private school students is more like 30%. As we have learned with capacity, you can't run programs on the rasor's edge. If the whole system is right on the edge of being too impoverished (and I have read 40% is that number- not 50%.), there are obviously going to be hotspots, and no amount of tweaking at the edges can actually change that.

I know there is an impulse to just say "to heck with you" to private school parents and then focus on the middle class families who can't afford private school but are not doing "enough" of what we want them to, but cynically this is what the GOP has been doing for years to distract people from agitating for policies that would actually help (don't trouble yourself over boring sounding capital gains taxes that would actually redistribute wealth- look over there at those obnoxious Whole Foods shoppers whining about the 1%! Aren't they awful?!). I think the school district has taken advantage of this human impulse when ignoring data driven ideas from unpopular committees (FACMAC). There are things we could do to probably lower the frl rate overall, and many of those programs do not require self containment like app to work. STEM, Montessori, and IB are all attractive programs and aren't as expensive as immersion. Advanced learning programs for kids who just come in more prepared, recognizing that some will, might help- just along the lines of walk to math and formal reading groups.

My dad, who integrated schools in the south, would never have accepted this line of thinking. My town started bussing at basically his Herculean insistence on the early 80's. The slightly poorer town next door was given federal money for social infrastructure (community health clinic, community centers), and the one big private school happened to shut down in a scandal. 30 years later that town is thriving and somewhat diverse, and my town is much more segregated, with all the white kids going to (awful, extremely religious) private schools. the public schools are over 90% minority and impoverished. I know there are lots of possible reasons for this, but it convinces me that when it comes to convincing parents to do things related to their kids' educations, you have to use carrots, not sticks. You can get a "jump" on people, and make the numbers look good for a year or two, but unless you are actually trying to meet their needs, they'll leave, one way or the other.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

According to a recent Seattle Schools enrollment planning report, 15,994 K-12 students were enrolled in Seattle private schools in 2014. Total SPS enrollment was 51,918. Based on those numbers, for every 13 students in SPS, there are 4 students in Seattle private schools (out of district transfers and homeschooled are not included in those numbers).

-more numbers

Anonymous said...

@FormerFalcon re TOPS: "It's not enforced diversity to manipulate Title I funding, but an actual diverse community that people choose to send their kids to."

For years families have petitioned Seattle Schools AND TOPS to adopt inclusion programming for students with disabilities who have high needs in general education. For years, students with these needs have not been allowed to attend TOPS. TOPS should be an option available to ALL.

reader

Anonymous said...

Funny, people always claim to love diversity - until it is difficult. With diversity, comes a diversity in values, and a diversity in talents, and a diversity in everything. When we talk about a diversity in ability - suddenly, people don't like diversity anymore. They want segregation. That's what APP/HCC, and all segregated programs are really about.

If our private schools were closed, the APP program would become the top 20% program. That's what it would take to retain the current students. Look at Lakeside. Alone, it gets more National Merit Semifinalists than all of APP combined, about the same number as all of SPS. Then there's a quite a significant number of National Merit Semifinalists from the other privates too. The total far exceeds the total in public schools. We can talk about how advanced our public school kids are, how deserving of top notch educations, how deserving of special segregation - but when it really comes down to it, they don't retain the same "academically talented" students by any measure. Seriously. If APP is really taking the top 2% nationally, then half of APP students should be National Merit Semifinalists - which is the top 0.5%. The fact that this doesn't happen - demonstrates this point.

Realist

Anonymous said...

That is, 25% of APP students should be National Merit Semifinalists if it was the top 2%. But, APP supposed to be the top 1% cognitively - in which case, you'd expect half to be Semifinalists. Unless of course, the program isn't really benefiting them.

Realist

Lynn said...

North-end Mom,

I found the demographic information in this document. (page 74)

There's lots more information available on the Enrollment Data page.

Anonymous said...

Not all HCC kids test well. I was gifted and went to a gifted middle school. Desegregation dismantled the program, though we were probably the most diverse school in the system. My parents sent me to a college prep private high school. I scored well on the PSAT and SAT but did a lot better on the ACT. I was no national merit scholar though there were quite a few from my high school. I would have never gotten as far in as life as I have if I hadn't gone to gifted school. I was bored and not motivated to do well in general ed.

HP

Anonymous said...

Right. Diversity isn't for everyone! Especially in a public school.

Realist

Anonymous said...

Just a note - a large number of the National Merit Finalists at Lakeside did attend APP, either through Elementary or Middle School. So if those same kids would have stayed in SPS/HCC through high school, would they still have been National Merit Finalists? That's hard to know; however, a large portion of their education was through SPS.

-HCC High School Parent

Anonymous said...

The FRL and racial numbers of APP@Lincoln are eye-popping. If APP/HCC is to serve the top 2% in cognitive ability then I have to wonder what is really going on the demographic profile of the program...

-Shocked

Anonymous said...

"a large portion of their education was through SPS." That's speculation. It would be more accurate to say they attended SPS, because you will find that most of these students are self taught and or tutored, They have a uniquely different experience than most students.

SPS Tutor

Anonymous said...

A couple of comments about TOPs:
1) one of the reasons it remains diverse is that if every child in the geozone chose to go to TOPs, the school would still only be about half full. The geozone is small compared to the size of the school, so there is there space for kids from outside the geozone. I would have expected the FRL number to decline in the last 4 years or so, since the district has cut way back on transportation, but that does not seem to be the case.

2) Reader, I agree with you about the need for TOPs to embrace children with disabilities. You'd think that with a social justice focus, they'd be all over that, but historically it has been only certain kinds of social justice that they want to pursue. I'd really like if my youngest child, who is disabled, were able to attend school there with her siblings, but as things are now it would not be a good fit for her. They should at a minimum have an ACCESS program. I will say they are improving slowly - there is a middle school SM4 class, and the kids from that class take elective classes with the other students (about 2 hours per day), but it would be nice to see more inclusion, especially in the younger grades.
Mom of 4

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Just want to note that there are National Merit Semifinalists at both Garfield and Lakeside (and every other school) every year who were never in the APP program. Smart kids, just never joined the program.

Sad

Melissa Westbrook said...

"...most of these students are self taught and or tutored.."

And you know this how?

Lynn said...

HCC is a program for students who are in the 98th percentile or above cognitively and the 95th percentile in math and reading achievement.

Are you actually shocked that kids who qualify for free meals rarely meet both of these requirements? Because I'm pretty sure we're all aware of how kids living in poverty do in school. Moving bodies around to hide the problem isn't going to help actual children.

The four schools that send the most students to APP@Lincoln have populations that are 1 to 2% Black and have FRL rates between 5 and 15%. These families are not enrolling their children in HCC to escape poor black classmates.

As for NMSF rates, you'd expect any student's performance to be better when they have small classrooms, better curriculum, less time wasted on testing and stability in their school environment.

Anonymous said...

About 10-20% of Lakeside upper school students went to public school. About half of that, from SPS. About half from the Eastside. So, 5-10% from SPS. And of that, don't know how many attended APP, but by no means all of them. So clearly, not that many students at Lakeside ever were in APP. And many APP students are rejected. From my sample - more than half are rejected who apply. Just trying to keep it accurate.

Lakeside Parent (and public)

Anonymous said...

If you review NMSF resumes you find they are over achievers with much support. For god sakes they are in the top 2%, they could teach the classes.

Why is this even being discussed in the context of FRL? BTW FRL doesn't mean stupid!

Pixie

Anonymous said...

Yes, poverty affects learning. But how does that justify only having 2 African American students out of nearly 600 students at APP at Lincoln?

Perhaps, as sleeper suggested, the "minority stars" (really, she called academically high achieving African Americans that?) are recruited and paid for at private schools. But I think it speaks more to African American families making different choices for their children than choosing to be the 3rd black kid out of 600 at APP at Lincoln. Not exactly a welcoming place, even if you are a "minority star".

Sad

Anonymous said...

Oh, Pixie,

I know you know that people posting here don't equate FRL with "stupid." That's not a helpful thing to say.

It is clear from study after study that poverty greatly increases the chances that kids are not going to be able to work to their ability in school. They tend to start school behind and tend to never catch up. That is not the same as saying kids are "stupid."

This is why we need to quit blaming teachers for low test scores and start doing things that actually helps these kids.

-pasty

Anonymous said...

There is a strong correlation between the %FRL and the pass rates on state tests. One Seattle school that didn't fit the trend was Mercer. Mercer focused on providing better instruction, as the late Superintendent Stanford suggested (see HistoryLink article above).

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/how-mercer-middle-school-soared-after-struggling/

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2011/12/seattles-math-secret-revealed.html

-more reading

Anonymous said...

No, Sad, you are the one for whom diversity equals only black students. When I said minority stars, I meant racially diverse (black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, bi or multi) high achievers in one or many areas (sports, music, academics). I would think if what i meant was academically high achieving black students, that's what I would have said. Certainly they are included in that group. Of course private schools recruit them, heavily. I know a family personally this happened to, and yes they felt their child would be better served in the private system than the public one, because of the way all public schools (not just app) treat black boys.

That document Lynn posted about who stays and who goes in elementary enrollment areas is very illuminating.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

So 15% of the 2014 National Merit Semi-Finalists at Lakeside are former APPers - which represent a much larger % compared to the total SPS students at the school per Lakeside parent.

Not too shabby.

None of whom are anywhere close to FRL.

-HCC High School Parent

Anonymous said...

No HCC. 10-15% of Lakeside students went to public schools in SPS. Mostly, not APP. Lakeside likes to mix it up and doesn't recruit from 1 school. Don't know how many are NMSF. Probably a couple each year. Just keeping the numbers right.

LP

Anonymous said...

@ Realist, selective private schools are...selective. They pick and choose who they want, often taking into account how well applicants do on standardized tests. The fact that they have higher NMSF rates than SPS schools doesn't say much, other than they do a good job of recruiting top students (from SPS and beyond).

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Not really right HIMsMom. The HCC crowd never tires of siting their "needs" for a special segregated education - complete with great music programs, great language programs, great science, extra field trips and enrichment. In short an education for the wealthy, because well, there isn't any FRL amongst them. But, they don't want to produce evidence of this "need", or at least, any evidence of a need that is greater than the same need that anybody in the general population's would have for such a thing. If we truly have the top TIER talent in HCC, less than the top 2% (nationally) - that truly needs a segregated program to "maximize their potential" (another benefit not bestowed on anybody else), THEN we ought to be getting our money's worth. We need evidence that the program is working for them. That evidence would be that these students in HCC perform academically in the top 2% when they finish the program in high school, as they should. NMSF status/rate is an indication of that. Of course there could be other objective measures - but none so available. Doesn't appear that the program is producing that evidence of efficacy. Without this production of academic achievement - then we just have segregation because we(or you) like it.

Realist

Anonymous said...

The only money hcc gets is to bus to a central location and test for entry. The program gets less money than any other school in the city, because we divide money demographically, not by program. There are no extra field trips or enrichment. To the extent the music programs are great, it is because those kids have often had private lessons, and so being altogether they can accomplish something great. The school brings nothing extra to it. The language programs are exactly the same as anywhere else, although one app middle school program is housed with an international middle school so can access an extra language I think. This is not to "maximize potential." The program we have is basic education. It is exactly, precisely the same content as gen Ed, but faster and earlier.

IQ=\academic achievement. It is a correlated, but the last time I checked the SAT was a more biased test than IQ tests so is primarily correlated with parental wealth. Not shocking, then, that private schools do quite well on that metric, as well as wealthier public school students. There are reams and reams of papers on why students with this iq do best in self contained programs (not necessarily acceleration, but that is free, so that is what we do in sps!), and why this is the standard of practice.

I wish there were more FRL students in the program. I know it is harder to score well if you live in an unstable situation and are not well supported at home. And I know some FRL families come and look at the program and don't see how it's worth it with the logistical challenges and instability, so they stay in their home schools. That's a fair point, but to fix that would be to "help" evil app families, which obviously does not go over well.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

LP is right. Be careful with using Lakeside as a proxy for SPS and HCC. Students are from all over. I remember seeing a map several years ago, and many students (like 1/2 or more) are from the Eastside school districts. Others are from Country Day, Evergreen, Catholic schools, Mercer SD, Yakima SD, Bainbridge SD, Everett SD, Shoreline SD and Renton SD for example. Include homeschoolers in that mix too.

I don't know how the idea HCC kids predominates at Lakeside. They don't.

AR

juicygoofy said...

I must comment on Realist's supposition that SPS HCC/APP should have more National Merit Semifinalists. Please remember that high cognitive abilities do not (always) indicate high academic achievement and/or extraordinary community service. One of the major challenges to many gifted students is simply motivation. This is specifically the point of Carol Dweck that is so popular nowadays.

cmj said...

FRL kids are less likely to get into HCC because
- their parents are less likely to know about the program
- the application progress isn't the easiest thing to navigate
- instability in HCC locations
- HCC is mostly white and middle class, so they're leaving all their friends behind
- they're less likely to get the sort of early academic enrichment (e.g. being read to every day as an infant) prior to kindergarten that helps kids pass tests.

If we're going to compare Lakeside and SPS HCC, let's remember that Lakeside is incredibly expensive for a Seattle private school. Not many families in SPS, HCC or not, can afford that kind of tuition for private high school. At Lakeside, tuition is $30K/hr. There are some scholarships, but not too much. For comparison, the annual tuition at Seattle Prep is $17K. At Holy Names, it's $14K. There's also some financial aid at these schools. (I'm not saying that $17K/year is cheap, but it's less than Lakeside. There are probably plenty of families at Prep who were priced out of Lakeside.)

Anonymous said...

I think no one speculating on National Merit scholars on here actually understands the program.

The PSAT score is the gatekeeper. Not the SAT.

Let me repeat that: National Merit Finalist status is based off PSAT scores! The early test! (so why the F*&* would anyone with a chance boycott the PSAT? You should take it a year ahead for practice and then take it for real - that's the type of advice they get in private schools).

If a student passes the PSAT threshold score for NMS qualification, THEN they get to fill out a long application form. With essays, activities, transcripts, etc.

Guess what????

Schools with only a few students for each counselor (private schools) help shepherd kids through the system better than schools with only a few counselors who are far more focused on getting older kids into college.

So don't turn every single freaking thing into an anti-APP rant. National Merit status is only a very small part based on the PSAT score. It's useless to argue about the validity of any program based on # of finalists - it's much more correlated to guidance/college counseling available to high scorers than to anything else.

Signed: fact checker

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how this got to be a debate about National Merit but the fact is that Semifinalists are identified solely by junior year PSAT score. Finalists are further qualified by an application (like a college app with essays) and by supporting SAT scores. This year there were about 16,000 semifinalists in the country, about 15,000 became finalists. About half of those actually won a national merit award, which is often based on which college you choose.

The lists in the newspapers are semifinalists' names. Finalists & merit award winners are not reported to the press in the same way. (Usually they are reported through press releases from the award sponsoring agencies.)


-NM Parent