It's been a long day so I can only be brief here (but I'll write more another day).
Two fairly interesting things happened at the School Board meeting tonight.
One, there is considerable support for the Middle College High School program, both from community and some Board members. Speaker after speaker rose to support the program and ask that the Middle College High School at the High Point Neighborhood Center not be closed. Especially moving was testimony from a former student, Paul Campiche, who said that these were not "throwaway" students and "people who are the most disenfranchised need the most help." He had been thru the Middle College program, then went to Evergreen and is now in the Master's program at Antioch for counseling.
Peaslee, Peters and Patu (the Peter, Paul and Mary of the Board), in their Board comments, all said they want a second look at this decision (or at least more discussion). The other Board members were fairly silent on this issue. Oh wait, Director McLaren couldn't say enough about how good the program is but then said that she had been part of many discussions and it seemed like two different conversations but "that's all I can say." Very helpful.
One last oddity to this story is that it was noted that the Middle College program in West Seattle was no longer on the South Seattle CC campus and the program was started to align with community college. And yet, the Middle College at Northgate is in the Northgate Mall, not on the campus of North Seattle CC. Hmm.
Two, the Board voted, 5-1-1 (with Peters a "no" and Patu abstaining) to approve the agreement with the City of School for their preschool program.
Again, I'll go into more detail because the vote was baffling given what was said by nearly every single director about this agreement (namely, either just a "broad outline" or "too vague").
When this Board meeting is online, I urge you to go and listen. It was truly bizarre what was said and yet the majority of the Board said yes.
(Or not said, given that not a single Board member, despite misgivings, asked Legal counsel John Cerqui about the agreement). I checked with him before I left - the agreement, once agreed to by the Board and signed by the Superintendent, is a legally binding document.
The juxtaposition of the reality and need for a program like Middle College that saves lives today versus the City/District's unclear road forward for its preschool program was jarring.