Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

New section of Burke-Gilman at UW is open - there's a great view of Mt. Rainier from Rainier Vista.   If you want a shady spot to rest, come visit my husband's memorial bench in Sylvan Grove (right next to the Computer Science and Engineering building). 

From Rooted in Rights, a story about disability activists who marched on Princeton University in June over controversial remarks by an ethics professor. 

The most recent backlash against Singer was triggered by comments he made on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, which aired April 16. Singer stated that it would be “reasonable” for government and private health insurance companies to deny life-saving treatment for infants with disabilities.

Most known for his animal rights activism, Singer argues that individual rights stem not from a person’s existence, but from his or her intellectual capacity, ability to use the senses, and other characteristics. Therefore, Singer argues it is more ethical in certain circumstances to kill infants with severe disabilities than animals, and is a proponent of overt rationing in health care policy making.

Gee Professor, what about disabilities that don't show themselves until well after birth?  How old is too old to let a child die (or kill them)?

The Times has a story on the Seattle Preschool Program - apparently only five providers applied.   I think that makes it all the more important for the City to get SPS to become a provider.  The Times also reports:
The city has a backup plan for additional classrooms if the school district doesn't participate, Murray said, addition that he expect the School Board to play ball.  

"We feel really good about the conversations we're having with them," Murray said.
And there you have it  - "play ball."  FYI Mr. Mayor, the District does not have to be a provider for this to be a good thing for Seattle Schools.

What's on your mind? 

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Check out Crosscuts:

Legislature starts new week in same old mode

by John Stang

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Interesting article on discipline:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/schools-behavior-discipline-collaborative-proactive-solutions-ross-greene

-Sharing

Joe Wolf said...

Thank you for the heads-up on the Burke-Gilman expansion, and your husband's memorial bench; will plan time at both.

Anonymous said...

In light of McCleary funding try this from Eric A. Hanushek =>

Does Money Matter After All?

There is in fact great demand for results linking funding with favorable outcomes.

Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico offer a new study suggesting that a clear money-performance relationship exists if you just look in the right place. Their overarching conclusion is that “methods matter.” Their discovery of a money-performance relationship is attributed to analyzing the effects of spending that emanates from court decisions (exogenous variation in spending), tracing the effect of this spending to long run outcomes (completed schooling and wages), and focusing on the right subgroup (disadvantaged students).


So have Washington's large class sizes, lack of effective instructional programs, failure to provide appropriate interventions to struggling students, failure to hold students accountable for performance throughout the grades k-8 produced the following MSP results for students:

MSP Pass rates in Reading at Grade 8

87% White
84% Asian
86.8% Non Low Income
62.8% Low Income

51% Black
65% Hispanic
75.7% American Indian
33.3% Pacific Islander

MSP Pass rates in Math at Grade 8

80.8% White
84.8% Asian
81.8% Non Low Income
55.9% Low Income

40.4% Black
57.9% Hispanic
48.4% American Indian
61.9% Pacific Islander

So if focusing on "focusing on the right subgroup (disadvantaged students)"

How will McCleary spending effect the above results?
Remember methods matter.

Does WA state's current obsession with college and career readiness deprive many students of high school diplomas? If so, was the state responsible for many failures because of failing to fund an adequate education or rather responsible because of ill thought out graduation standards?

After violating the constitutional rights of educationally disadvantaged students for years ... Lets be sure which students are not graduating from high school and why.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Sharing,

That was an awesome article on discipline.

The children at risk of falling into the school-to-prison pipeline, Greene says, include not only the 5.2 million with ADHD, the 5 million with a learning disability, and the 2.2 million with anxiety disorders, but also the 16 million who have experienced repeated trauma or abuse, the 1.4 million with depression, the 1.2 million on the autism spectrum, and the 1.2 million who are homeless. "Behaviorally challenging kids are still poorly understood and are still being treated in ways that are adversarial, reactive, punitive, unilateral, ineffective, counterproductive," he told the audience. "Not only are we not helping, we are going about doing things in ways that make things worse. Then what you have to show for it is a whole lot of alienated, hopeless, sometimes aggressive, sometimes violent kids."

USA has an incredibly high rate of incarceration. Why?

Spend on Prisons? Spend on Schools?

Hope Greene's methods work and spread.

-- Dan Dempsey

Ann D said...

Why are American schools slowing down so many bright children?

"The authors list 20 forms of acceleration, including early kindergarten admission, grade skipping, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate and early graduation from high school or college. The research shows that many biases against acceleration, such as the fear that children will feel awkward with older classmates, are unfounded. But resistance to grade skipping still rules many schools."

Anonymous said...

Dan,

There is a confirmed link between students with specific learning disabilities SLD)and incarceration. SLDs have been basically ignored is SPS. When I started fighting for SLD students 6 years ago, SPS wouldn't even acknowledge dyslexia was real. They labeled dyslexic students as lazy, unmotivated or having ADHD.

On June 18th SPS was presented a proposal from UW professor Dr. Berninger in creating professional development programs and service models for teachers working with SLD students. If you're not familiar with Dr. Berninger's work please Google her.

It would be helpful for people to email Dr. Nyland asking him to accept Dr. Berninger's offer of FREE PD. This is a time sensitive offer due to the NHI grant running out in 2017.

Michael Christophersen

Anonymous said...

Another factor which has been demonstrated to show a high impact on student achievement is teacher experience/ effectiveness. It would be interesting to see statistics from SPS regarding the average current experience (in years) of its teachers. I know that five years ago SPS had the highest number of experienced teachers in the state. However, SPS (and many other districts across the nation) has rapidly exited a significant number of matured and seasoned teachers.

I do not believe that experience = effectiveness. However, as with any profession skills(in most cases) do build over time. When I watch the evening news I notice that it is veteran journalists who investigate and report on the most critical stories. Examples of the value of maturity abound in all professions.

As this nation excellerates the deprofessionalism of the teaching cadre I wonder at the effect this has on students. Witness the youth initiative of TFA.

I have heard so many non-educators armchair quarterback what should be happening in schools. I don't hear many teachers doing the same for other professions.

A rant to those of you who believe that teacher pay is too high.This is the primary factor that has led to the elimination of hundreds of experienced AND effective teachers in this state and across the nation. I am curious to hear a salary amount that you believe is fair. Seriously, the next person who complains about teacher wages and benefits should be required to put themselves on the line and tell the public what IS reasonable.

Salander

PreK said...

Five preschools applied for city funding and there are 86 open slots. What does that say?

PreK said...

Reposting from another thread:

Of the 10 locations announced, 7 of them are IN Seattle Public school buildings.

And they don't currently pay any rent for the space, I believe. These are "Community Alignment Initiative" partners that fall under this:

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/Migration/Departments/Early%20Learning/CAI_overview.pdf

What is interesting is that there is a requirement for signed agreements etc: "An updated Alignment Partnership Plan is completed every year and submitted for review and approval in every April for the following school year. Any changes in planned activities or use of common spaces or resources should be carefully considered and documented at this time."

Has anyone heard of or seen the plan? That doc references the 2011-12 school year...

CDSA's Hawthorn classroom is located IN SPS Hawthorn school: http://communitydayschool.org/locations/hawthorne/

CDSA's Maple classroom is located IN SPS Maple elementary school:
http://communitydayschool.org/locations/maple/

CDSA's Beacon Hill classroom is located IN SPS Beacon Hill International school:
http://communitydayschool.org/locations/beacon-hill/

CDSA's Highland Park classroom is located IN SPS Highland Park elementary school
http://communitydayschool.org/locations/highland-park/

CDSA's Lechi classroom is located IN SPS Leschi Elementary
http://communitydayschool.org/locations/leschi/

Causey's "Orcas" classroom is located IN SPS Dearborn Park Elementary
http://causeys.org/

Creative Kids at Viewlands is located AT SPS Viewland Elementary
http://www.creativekidsseattle.com/#!programs/c21kz

Are these providers paying rent? If viewlands and other schools are are maxed out, how can the District give SPS builidng space away for free when these programs are now fully funded through the Seattle Preschool Program Levy?

Noroomintheinn

PreK said...

If the above is true, what are the implications for SPS?

The city also intends on partnering with Head Start. What is the status of the city partnering with Head Start? There are Head Start pre-k classrooms in SPS.

Will SPS's prek and city start spinning out of control?

Anonymous said...

Driving today in Ballard, I noticed a Recreational Marijuana outlet, 6 blocks from Ballard High School. And, right across the street a vapor bar. I thought these things were supposed to be far from schools.

Concerned

Anonymous said...

Hey .. just wait a minute

An argument against reducing K-3 classroom size limits was that additional classrooms would be needed.

Is the SPS really committing classrooms for use other than k-12 education classrooms?

If so, then administrative decision makers need to be held accountable.
Who is responsible?

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

Noroomintheinn, according to Cashel Toner, no, the City does not have to pay rent. Works out nicely for them, no?

But if you have people in Seattle Schools who are working to help the City fulfill its great plan, well, this is what happens.

Anonymous said...

WHAT WHAT !!!

" according to Cashel Toner, no, the City does not have to pay rent. Works out nicely for them, no?"

Really the SPS is so flush that it can provide services outside k-12 education.

How can the SPS ever run another bond issue looking for money?

So this is what "playing ball" with Ed Murray is like.

Is the Board responsible for this nonsense?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

"Concerned",

Legal cannabis stores (yes, let's call it by its appropriate name) must be located 1000 feet from schools. I notice in your post that you don't cite the locations of the numerous liquor outlets around Ballard High School.

“Marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure—to individuals, communities, and the entire country,” says Tamar Todd, Director of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Washington should be praised for developing a smarter, more responsible approach to marijuana.”

The report’s key findings include:

Filings for low-level marijuana offenses are down 98% for adults 21 and older. All categories of marijuana law violations are down 63% and marijuana-related convictions are down 81%.
The state is now saving millions of dollars in law enforcement resources that were previously used to enforce marijuana laws.
Violent crime has decreased in Washington and other crime rates have remained stable since the passage of I-502.
Washington has collected nearly $83 million in marijuana tax revenues. These revenues are funding substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, youth and adult drug education, community health care services, and academic research and evaluation on the effects of marijuana legalization in the state.
The number of traffic fatalities remained stable in the first year that adult possession was legalized.
Youth marijuana use has not increased since the passage of I-502.

Kaneh

TechyMom said...

Since we're off to private school next year, I recently unenrolled my child from SPS. You do this with a web form. Guess what is not on that form? Any questions about why.

It would be very easy to add some checkboxes for private, moving to a nearby district, moving out of the area, homeschooling, do you plan to return at a later grade, and a text field for comments. A similar set of questions to families enrolling in SPS: why did you choose SPS? Where did your child go to school last year? Do you plan to stay with SPS through high school? If this district wants to be data-driven, this seems like useful and easy to gather data.

Patrick said...

Never collect data you're not gonna like.

Anonymous said...

If enacted, I wonder what impact this would have on our already crowded schools? No mention of impact fees to support new schools.

And related to Pre-K...If a school is/does become over-enrolled who gets pushed out - the K-5 kids, or the Pre-K kids? Who will make the decision of who will stay and who will go?

-StepJ

mirmac1 said...

StepJ

I'd lay my bets on the special education kids. The odds are in my favor.

Charlie Mas said...

If any of those schools are crowded, then those pre-schools have got to go.

Right away.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would point out the candidates like Catherine Weatbrook are among those who ARE thinking about joint City-District issues when, apparently, those elected are not.

Lynn said...

School Capacity 2015-16 Expected Enrollment

Hawthorne 300 405
Maple 475 481
Beacon Hill 475 463
Highland Park 425 385
Leschi 400 378
Dearborn Park 350 382
Viewlands 275 374

The board just authorized purchase and set up of 12 portable classrooms at $75,000 each. If there is a portable at any of these buildings (whether preschool or K-5 is using it) it should be pulled and moved to one of the schools that needs another classroom.

If any of these schools is eligible for smaller K-3 class size funding under the recently signed budget and doesn't have enough space for those new classrooms, that school's preschool space has to go.

Pre-K said...

Lynn,

Where did those 12 portables land? In April, the board approved portables, but documents are not available.

The city just partnered with prek at Hawthorne, Maple, Beacon Hill, Highland Park, Leschi, Dearborn and Viewlands. If portables were purchased to accommodate growth/prek in these schools....the city should be funding those portables.

Melissa Westbrook said...

What I think I'm seeing is the City is working with Sound Child Care Solutions which has several locations and a couple are in schools. One is in Stevens, Interlaken Preschool, and I would suppose the City would want to take over that one as well. (They say they are "in partnership with:
Seattle Public School
DSHS
The City of Seattle
Child Care Resourses" (sic)

I very much think there is much going on behind the scenes that the Board is not being told and it will all come as a great surprise.

TechyMom said...

Michael,
Do you have a campaign website up yet? I'd like to learn more about your positions. Thanks!

Lynn said...

On the new portables - here's the board action report: http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=133702

The locations are listed on the final page of the contract: http://www.seattleschools.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=100662

Mercer - 6 classrooms
Nathan Hale - 2
Sand Point - 2
Thurgood Marshall - 2

(They're purchasing a combination of single and double portables.)

Lynn said...

Here's the list of afterschool and private preschool programs operating in district schools.

http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/Migration/Departments/Early%20Learning/sbostlocations.pdf

Anonymous said...

Is this two additional portables at Nathan Hale? They have one portable that has 2 classrooms. From what I have been told, any new portables will go behind the bleachers next to the football field and track.

HP

Anonymous said...

Oh, looks like one more portable at Hale but it will have two classrooms like the other. Interesting Hale is getting more portables when they were worried about the freshman class being small.

HP

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Hale...did all the students on the wait list get in? We haven't received
any assignment information for Ingraham or Hale. I guess we should look at shoreline High schools. Can students in North Seattle attend Shoreline High Schools? For us it's about the same distance. The two shoreline high schools look incredible.

Northend parent

Anonymous said...

I found the transfer form, I think we are going to try. I don't see any portables at Shorecrest or Shorewood High schools. We are so far north it just make more sense to attend one of those shinny new schools.


Northend parent

NW mom said...

Northend parent - good luck. I heard a rumor that Shoreline high schools are not letting half as many SPS kids in as in the past. But that was just something I heard - no actual evidence. I hope you get in if that's what you're looking for.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with the shoreline enrollment office. They instructed me to bring in the transfer form on August 10th to either high school. The enrollment office person said ,"It's more than likely they will get in". We can't stomach having our student attend Ingraham High School, what a crap shoot. Ingraham looks so worn-out and outdated. The enrollment person said they still have 100s of open seats even with already absorbing 100s of Seattle students. What a relief to have another option if we don't get into Hale. I'm thinking Hale just might be second to one of the shoreline schools.

I will spend sometime researching which Shoreline high school is the best fit. Anyone have any ideas of the pros and cons of Shorecrest VS Shorewood?

Northend parent

NW mom said...

FWIW I have heard wonderful things about the IB program at Ingraham - my kid has quite a few friends up there. There are several parents who comment here with kids there as well. I never really hear about the non IB classes.

Anonymous said...

What is going on at Thurgood Marshall? That school was ALREADY bursting at the seams and now more portables. Kids cannot get in/out of the lunchroom in time to eat, the traffic is so bad. Is this even safe having so many students enrolled, does it actually have that fire safety capacity?

TMer

Anonymous said...

I don't think my kid wants to do the IB program, they would like to do STEM, but that is not an option for us in Seattle. The main problem with Ingraham is its location and lack of upkeep. They can't even remove blackberry bushes and weeds from the landscaping. Take a look around where the school is located? Really, I didn't know they still had trailer parks in Seattle. They also have to cross Aurora around 130th, with all the misfits loitering around. Do the police do anything about prostitution or drug dealing these days? I hope I don't sound like a snob, but my kid deserves better than Ingraham.

Northend parent

Eric B said...

Yes, the cover at Ingraham isn't beautiful, but the book is pretty dang good. There's no reason why you can't do STEM as part of an IB curriculum. My daughter will graduate there next year with 5 years of science (2 chem, 2 bio, 1 physics) and 4 years of math (including IB Math SL and Further Math plus AP Calc AB). On the engineering side, there is a very active robotics club, and the rocketry club took third at nationals last year. There are also good programming classes on the tech end of things, including AP/IB Java.

I don't have experience on the non-IB side, but in general IB classes are open to anyone who wants to register, whether they are part of the diploma program or not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information Eric. I get that they have to deal with the budget and the building they have, but really how hard is it to clean out the beds around the auditorium? We went to see the student production of le miserables and I was shocked at the condition of the school. Our group uses the auditorium at Shorecrest high school and comparing Ingraham to Shorecrest is like comparing Seaside Oregon (Ingraham) to Santa Barbara California(Shorecrest). Being in the arts, I believe in the power of aesthetics. Take what you have and make it as inspiring as you can...this is not what's happening at Ingraham.


Northend parent

Watching said...

Lots of drama in Olympia. Here are the results:


The agreement reached Wednesday morning suspends the state’s high school biology graduation requirement for two years, according to a press release.



The Senate also agreed to delay Initiative 1351, a class size reduction measure passed by voters last year that is estimated to cost $2 billion in the current budget cycle. The budget signed on June 30 by Gov. Jay Inslee does not include funding for the measure

TechyMom said...

Gah. How many times do we have to vote for smaller class sizes?

Anonymous said...

Students cross Aurora and 130th en masse. Safety in number if you are worry. There's an overpass too. It's a busy intersection and the concern is watching for cars and buses. As for trailer park, many living there are old. Suggest you walk around when the kids are coming and going to get a better feel. Quite a number of the students get on/off buses together along 130th and on Aurora. Some walk to Greenwood and catch the bus there too.

parent

Benjamin Leis said...

School size measures will probably be trumped by the legislature until we vote an actual funding mechanism. Honestly, there should be a requirement that any multi-billion dollar referendum specify a funding source given they are outside the regular budget process.

Anonymous said...

Hale's waitlist went from 42 to 12 at the end of June so either 30 kids got in or 30 left the list. Northend parent, do you have any idea of where your kid is on Hale's list?

We looked at Shorecrest before we decided on Hale. It seemed to us at the time that much of what was at Shorecrest was available at Hale and Hale was closer. Hale's grounds are a bit nicer than Ingraham's but there are still a lot of weeds, etc. I don't think we have enough groundskeepers, etc for the maintenance of the schools and unlike the lower grades, there doesn't seem to be a group of parents willing to help with the upkeep of the grounds.

HP

Anonymous said...

We gave up a bright shiny new sps neighborhood high school for the terrific culture & academics at Ingraham a couple of years ago. No regrets. The athletic director is always organizing parent/staff work parties for the groundskeeping. I am sure she would welcome someone who wants to battle blackberries, with open arms.

Hale did move their freshman waitlist a couple of weeks ago. The enrollment office made phone calls offering spots. I'm surprised you did not receive a call.

Good luck.


-IHS Happy

Patrick said...

Techymom, we have to continue to vote for lower class sizes until we vote for a funding source to fund them. Because the Leg isn't going to do it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Parent, you have to check with the other district but you do have the ability to go outside your district.

"Ingraham looks so worn-out and outdated." It doesn't to me and it's had millions of dollars of capital dollars poured into it. (That said, like Sealth and RBHS, it never had and won't have a total renovation like all the other comprehensives.) I'm sorry you don't like trailer parks. I suspect Ingraham was there before they were.

As for the groundskeeping, I,with others,kept the drumbeat up and the district hired a few more people this summer for groundskeeping. But as long as senior management wants to have their data warehouses and consultants and take money from maintenance, that will not change.

I will likely vote against BTA IV because of the multitude of capital/maintenance issues that the District routinely ignores.

Chris S. said...

You have to go inside Ingraham to appreciate it. Yes, the auditorium is old. But the halls are clean and bright and the environment I found more welcoming than some other secondary schools I have been in. We have been happy there for 3 years. Kids can to over to Aurora in groups for Bubble tea, etc and nothing terrible has happened.

Maureen said...

Like IHS Happy, we chose Ingraham over our shiny new HS (Roosevelt with its drop dead beautiful theater). We did it in part because Ingraham was the only HS we found that would let a kid with a strong science background skip the very basic 9th grade science class. Another plus was that our drama oriented kid was actually able to get substantial parts in productions, which would never have happened at Roosevelt. The main reasons though, are that it is a warm welcoming community--not too big or too small -- with the option of a rigorous college prep curriculum and it actually has some diversity in socioeconomics as well as race.

To each their own though. I hope your kid is happy wherever he lands.

lendlees said...

Just read this article about school lunch changes. Amazing what happens when districts get together to solve a problem that they are all facing:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3047909/the-unlikely-alliance-that-is-fixing-school-lunches

Anonymous said...

Looking at second engrossed HB 2214 .... Reality Check for Dan

WOW I may be wrong about HB 2214. In looking at seniors who could not pass the SBAC, I sure hope a "locally determined course in content area" is acceptable and that a "locally chosen high school transition course" for seniors is not the only offering in many districts.

Here I was thinking of a suitable course for low performing students to enhance their skills (locally determined course in content area) rather than an unsuitable course (locally chosen high school transition course) that would frustrate many students.

Is this bill is attempting to eliminate the need for remedial courses in community college rather than serve low performing students? I hope not.

I was hopeful when I read the following on page 7 beginning at line 30 =>

(e)(i)(A) Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, students who have not earned a certificate of academic achievement under section 101 or 201 of this act before the beginning of grade twelve must take and pass a locally determined course in the content area in which the student was not successful. The course shall be rigorous and consistent with the student's educational and career goals identified in his or her high school and beyond plan, and may include career and technical education equivalencies in English language arts or mathematics adopted pursuant to RCW 28A.230.097.38
(B) A course shall be deemed rigorous if it is at a higher course level than the student's most recent coursework in the content area in which the student received a passing grade of C or higher, or its equivalent.

== Hooray for the above.

BUT THEN on page 8 3c 1e at line 10 came this =>


(1)(e), "high school transition course" means an English language arts, mathematics, or science course offered in high school whose successful completion by a high school student will ensure the student college-level placement at participating institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016.

28B.10.016 Definitions. For the purposes of this title:
(1) "State universities" means the University of Washington and Washington State University.
(2) "Regional universities" means Western Washington University at Bellingham, Central Washington University at Ellensburg, and Eastern Washington University at Cheney.
(3) "State college" means The Evergreen State College in Thurston county.
(4) "Institutions of higher education" or "post secondary institutions" means the state universities, the regional universities, The Evergreen State College, the community colleges, and the technical colleges.
(5) "Governing board" means the board of regents or the board of trustees of the institutions of higher education.

So hopefully students can elect to take "locally determined courses in content area" and not forced into "locally chosen high school transition courses" against their will.

Note: OSPI is expending resources on "high school transition courses" not "locally determined courses in content area".

-- Dan Dempsey

Lynn said...

Preliminary SBAC opt-out numbers are available here: http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2015/StateTestParticipationRate.aspx

Lynn said...

Sorry for the split post..

“I’m proud of the students who participated in the new tests this year,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Trying something new isn’t easy. My hope is that now that we’ve seen the new tests in action, more students will participate next year, especially in 11th grade. Eleventh graders who score a 3 or 4 on the tests are considered ready for credit-bearing coursework, and may avoid placement tests once they get into college.”

Because taking the 8.5 hour SBAC to avoid the 2 hour Compass test is a great deal?

Anonymous said...

Lynn -- you sure hit nail on head with =>

"Because taking the 8.5 hour SBAC to avoid the 2 hour Compass test is a great deal?"

For Math the fact is that Compass is a reliable placement test. Whereas the SBAC is an unproven, likely invalid measuring device still under development.

Is the goal to have more kids skipping remedial math in College by placement test modification or the use of "Transition courses during the senior year"?

OSPI and the system have been unsuccessful in raising the skill level in math and reading of 8th grade students from the following ethnic groups to acceptable levels as shown by MSP pass rates.

In WA State Black students in grade 8 average about a 55% reading pass rate and a 34% math pass rate on State testing.

WA State Hispanic students in grade 8 average about a 60% reading pass rate and a 40% math pass rate on State testing.

WA State American Indian/Alaska Native students in grade 8 average about a 50% reading pass rate and a 26% math pass rate on State testing.

Rarely does substantial improvement take place during the high school years.

So where are the effective interventions? Where are effective instructional materials and practices? Instead OSPI produces yet another smokescreen likely lowering standards for "college courses" while still wedded to Reform Math Ideology (over promotion of the Standards for Mathematical Practice).... OSPI politically correct dumb down wins again, while students lose.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Good to hear people like Ingraham. We have decided to go for the out a district transfer which will work out for the distinct by relieving some overcrowding. We are still supporting public education, just not in Seattle. It will be weird not being in Seattle public schools after 9 years, but we are just more comfortable with the new school buildings in Shoreline and the surrounding environment. Maybe some day Seattle will decide to clean-up Aurora like Shoreline has done.


Northend parent

dw said...

Northend parent,

I hope your kid is successful in Shoreline and has a great next 4 years, but much of what you wrote above was troubling to me.

The vast majority of what schools are about is what happens on the inside. Most of what you wrote about was peripheral, tangential, and frankly, other than the weeds, not even within the control of the school or district.

The main problem with Ingraham is its location and lack of upkeep. They can't even remove blackberry bushes and weeds from the landscaping.

There are so many important things to care about when choosing a school for your children. Teachers, programs, proximity, transportation, academics, community, clubs, administrative support, other students. You could have talked about any of these things, but you chose to pick on the landscaping?! Seriously?

As for the location, you get what you get. If you think Ingraham is in a bad location, look at Garfield. And yet, you don't hear very many parents complaining about it because, guess what? The academics are strong, the music program is strong, most of the teachers range from good to great, it's on a major bus line, (most) kids tend to look out for each other, etc.

I hope I don't sound like a snob, but my kid deserves better than Ingraham.

What you wrote doesn't necessarily make you look like a "snob", but it does make it seem like you're really not seeing what high school is all about. Others have already written about the great things at IHS, so I won't belabor that (except maybe the robotics and rocketry clubs!), but while the building isn't top shelf, a lot of other stuff is. Your decision is clearly your own, but I hope your kid doesn't miss out on important/fun/academic things so they can have weed-free courtyards.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying Ingraham's inside is better than Shorewood's or Shorecrest's? Also, no one has said anything about Hale. Like I said, I believe in making the most out of what you have, yes even the planting areas. Believe me, there are more than just few weeds.

If you don't care about the school's exterior and don't want to maintain the planters then fill them with rocks. Not maintaining the planters makes me think the schools administration is lazy, it's a tell tale. I think it's fair for me to judge the school this way. The problem is in their eyes it doesn't matter, because they are going to get there quota of students regardless of the schools appearance. I also got a peek at the hideous cafeteria, yikes.

We are lucky to be so close the shoreline in the 32nd district to have the option to attend Shoreline schools. I will look a bit more into Ingraham, I bet all is not as well for everyone as you think.

Northend parent

Anonymous said...

Northend Parent

I guess we all look for different things in schools. What I see in the Ingraham cafeteria is that is it full of light with floor to ceiling windows. But few students eat in the cafeteria. Ingraham staff has committed to a single lunch period for all students. That is when they have club meetings, myriads of clubs. Teachers give up their lunch periods to supervise clubs in their classrooms, so that students have a place to go where there is a group of other kids with a similar interest facilitated by an adult. For my kid, coming from out of the neighborhood, it was a boon to have this opportunity for finding a place in the school community, feeling known.

But I do think that you should be guided by your own preferences. If you think you will be unhappy at Ingraham, you should not feel bad about going somewhere else. Shorecrest is a good school & many students have a great experience there. Starting in a school your family is excited about is a good way to start.

Good Luck.

-IHS Happy

Anonymous said...

We have been very happy Hale. The community is wonderful and the academics are good but also inclusive. The grounds are perhaps better than IHS but Hale has weed issues also. I think the principals at Ingraham and at Hale are spending the money they have on things that directly benefit students rather than on pulling weeds. The district is who should be maintaining the buildings and grounds and as MW has said, the district doesn't seem to want to spend the money on that. Shoreline being a different district, chooses to spend their money differently.

Shorecrest has good academics and a great theater program. I don't know that much about Shorewood other than that they have a good video program.

HP

Anonymous said...

Sad story from Ingraham High School today:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Thieves-steal-four-cars-from-high-school-body-shop-313128471.html

HP

Anonymous said...

I live just north of Ingraham and IMO the natural aesthetic of a few weeds is preferable to the death throes of the weeds I am witnessing because the district has recently sprayed herbicide on them.

Also,sometime around 2009 I believe, the northwest corner was set aside as some sort of natural reserve as a concession to local outcry about trees being cut down in order to make room for additions.

Under Bus

Maureen said...

Under Bus, Is there some sort of neighborhood group that might be available to help clean up that "natural reserve?" It seem like it should be underplanted with salal and other native plants instead of letting the grass grow up like it does. That seems like a great project for the group that put so much value on keeping the trees. As was pointed out above, the school admin and parent volunteers have to apply their limited resources in ways that directly support students. The District supplies very little in the way of building (let alone landscape) maintenance funding. This would be a great way for the community to have an impact, especially given their very vocal support for the trees.

dw said...

Are you saying Ingraham's inside is better than Shorewood's or Shorecrest's?

NO! I guess I need to be more blunt. What I'm saying is: Why do you care so much about inconsequential stuff?

If a physical building is safe (and not all buildings in SPS are up to modern safety codes), then all of the things mentioned above are 10 times as important as what the building looks like. If I felt good about:

- safety
- academics
- teachers
- programs
- proximity
- transportation
- welcoming community
- clubs
- administrative support

then honestly, I'd be okay with a crappy building completely covered with weeds (except windows, we need natural light). Old-time APP parents made the effort to put their elementary age kids on a bus for up to an hour each way, to a horrible building, because the important stuff more than made up for the condition of the building and grounds. Hell, the location was so sketchy that staff had to search the playgrounds for hypodermic needles in the morning. In the weeds. Now that's important stuff.

You said: Not maintaining the planters makes me think the schools administration is lazy, it's a tell tale. I think it's fair for me to judge the school this way.

Let me give you another (realistic) view on this. If the already-overworked staff in the building is concerned about maintaining planters instead of

- staffing issues
- program issues (IHS has one of the only advanced IB programs in the world)
- student safety
- graduation requirements / counseling
- building *safety* issues
-- fire codes
-- earthquake codes
-- cameras
- construction projects
- academics
- testing
- more testing
- compliance issues
- field trip issues
- coordinating PD for teachers
- event planning and safety

This is just off the top of my head, I'm sure it's only scratching the surface.

We can't drag teaching staff into this, because they're busy

- creating lesson plans
- teaching / working directly with students in class
- grading papers
- maintaining order in the classroom
- keeping up with advances in their field of study
- grading more papers
- keeping up with changes in required use of technology (like online grading systems that change every few years)
- fighting against over-testing
- collaborating with peers
- reporting upstream to department heads and principals
- managing clubs and activities
- tutoring/helping kids before and after school

Grounds maintenance, for the most part, should be handled by downtown, not the individual buildings, and frankly, if staff was doing more on this than a quick phone call downtown, I'd be angry that they're wasting time on inconsequential stuff.

We clearly have different priorities, which is okay, and Shoreline may be a great match for your kid, I don't know. But no, I really do not think it's fair of you, or anyone, to judge a school based on something like planter maintenance. It's silly.

dw said...

Maureen has the right idea.

Northend Parent, if plants and weeds are your thing, organize a parent or neighborhood group to do a once/month clean up. Those are great activities that help bring communities together. You won't get me to help because clearly I don't give a rip, but if enough people do care, then you'll get help and "many hands make light work".

Or you could leave the district and whatever school friends your kid has made over the years. Just a thought.


Lynn said...

I'm sure there are plenty of well-groomed kids in Shoreline for his kids to make friends with. Because obviously that is a fair measure of a person's worth.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I could organize a parent or neighborhood group to do a once/month clean up, but why hasn't someone already done that? Would you go to a job interview looking unprofessional? First impressions are important to me and should be to the school.

Most school friends are scattering, some to Hale, some to Roosevelt and many to private schools. Kids are so connected these days, so it wont be a big deal. It's really disappointing to work you're way thru 9 years and end up with Ingraham. I guess dropping in the IB program has helped if that's your thing.

It's sad about the car theft, but not surprising all things considered.


Northend parent

Anonymous said...

So you're saying Ingraham has better,

- safety
- academics
- teachers
- programs
- proximity
- transportation
- welcoming community
- clubs
- administrative support

Northend parent

and Shoreline's staff is not,

- creating lesson plans
- teaching / working directly with students in class
- grading papers
- maintaining order in the classroom
- keeping up with advances in their field of study
- grading more papers
- keeping up with changes in required use of technology (like online grading systems that change every few years)
- fighting against over-testing
- collaborating with peers
- reporting upstream to department heads and principals
- managing clubs and activities
- tutoring/helping kids before and after school

Interesting I will need to look into that a bit more.

dw said...

you're saying Ingraham has better,
...
and Shoreline's staff is not,


Clearly sarcasm, but I hope the point was not lost on you that all those things are orders of magnitude more important than what the school planters look like. You might as well complain that teachers don't wear suits and ties or formal business attire. Sure, it might look nice, but it's irrelevant to getting a good education and high school experience. Not to mention, anything that draws time/energy away from the important stuff is actually detrimental.

I guess it's not worth commenting anymore. I really do hope your kid lands at a high school that's a good fit for them (not just for your tastes).

Anonymous said...

Personally I do think that aesthetics matter. Kids notice and respond accordingly. A well maintained facility indicates that people care about them and are professional. My kid raves about going to Bainbridge High School, Lakeside, Eastside Catholic and how nice everything is. My kid found Hale's atmosphere acceptable but has never liked Ingraham's building and grounds.

My kid went to Waldorf for K-8 where aesthetics are very important and clutter is kept to a minimum. Walls are carefully painted specific colors to facilitate learning in that classroom. I have to say that every time I walked in Bryant elementary it was like sensory overload (noise, visuals, etc) and I wondered how the kids learned anything. Hale is okay but needs to be better maintained.

HP

Anonymous said...

DW, I guess it works both ways, I will never convince you of the importance of aesthetics.

HP, it's good to know there still some civility remaining out there. Oh yes, Waldorf where kids are NOT looking at screens 80% of the time. Really I don't know how the public school teachers tolerate all the distractions.


Northend parent

Anonymous said...

Maureen,
Native plant starts such as salal and oregon grape have been planted/volunteered. Sorry, but I am kind of a Taoist when it comes to letting nature rebuild itself, and grass does grow to full height in the wild.

Northend parent,
The broken window (read weed-ridden) crime escalation theory?
I personally don't equate weeds with broken windows even if the theory were correct.

Under Bus

Anonymous said...

It's interesting you bring up Bryant, though, which is beautifully restored and maintained inside and out. The culture of the building meant much more (or less, as it were) to our family, however. The quality of our student experiences had pretty much nothing to do with the building or the grounds and yet when we were there we spoke to parents all the time who lauded it.

CCE

Anonymous said...

Once you let blackberry establish itself, it's then very tedious to eradicate it.

I can see the point in cleaning up the area around the theater where art is preformed.

It also seems like a very minimal effort resulting in a very positive result. There are probably other parents or students choosing another school base on the appearance of the grounds and building.

2 cents

Maureen said...

Of course aesthetics matter. I guess the people who choose Ingraham think other things matter more. I'm fine with that (like dw, I guess). I hope Northend son is a huge fan of aesthetics, cause it sounds like that's what he's going to get.

Anonymous said...

Of all the high schools in north Seattle, I would rank Ingraham as the worst in appearance, location, athletics, music, academics. That's why the IB program was placed in Ingraham. I think it's the only thing the school has going for it.

Ingraham is the Franklin of the north.

Reality bites

Anonymous said...

From great schools

Posted May 08, 2014
- a student
I am no longer proud to be a part of the "Ingraham Family". Ingraham has changed soooo much in just a couple of years. It used to be a school were kids of all different ethnicities and backgrounds could connect and build relations with others. Being Asian American i felt so welcomed and accented by my peers; i was proud to be a Ram. But in just a few years IHS has lost its culture and the diverse student body that made it a great and fun high school. The school has now been polarized between two different groups, the IB(mainly white and Asian kids) and non IB students. Before, it didn't matter if you were in IB or not, everyone knew and could easily connect with each other; The school actually felt somewhat like a family. Despite all this, i must acknowledge that the IB program is excellent. The teachers are knowledgeable and truly prepare kids for college.

Most of the good reviews are about the IB program. This is just one review, but it's telling.

If your student is not going to do IB, then it's probably better to attend Hale.

Goto Hale

Anonymous said...

I wasn't saying that Bryant wasn't a great building or a great community it was just loud from poor acoustics and the walls were covered in crap. Very distracting and tiring. I think people get used to it and don't realize how bad it is. It is like having the TV on all the time. You become numb to the background.

HP

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Richmond Beach. Shoreline is a lot like a giant Homeowners Association. They have rules and ordinances on how your property can look, i.e. how high your grass can be, the percentage of weeds allowed in your yard, what kinds of signs you can post on your property, how long your lost pet signs are allowed to stay posted on poles, how many cars allowed on your drive way etc.They have fines for enforcing these rules and the manpower to go around the city and cite you. I think they probably have rules on what colors you can't paint your house too. Innis Arden still has the only whites allowed covenant. Friend of my mom's came home one time and her whole front yard was ripped out. She had planted a Monet garden and some government dullard thought the poppies plants were opium plants (Monet's red poppies were a different species). Like anyone was stupid enough to plant drugs in their front yard!
I loved that area near Woodway where we lived, so beautiful with all the big trees. However, I thought all those rules were creepy, so now we live in Seattle, where we don't have to wonder why some civil servant is being paid a government salary with full benefits to drive around measuring the height of the grass on people's yards.

CCA

Anonymous said...

"Take a look around where the school is located? Really, I didn't know they still had trailer parks in Seattle. They also have to cross Aurora around 130th, with all the misfits loitering around. Do the police do anything about prostitution or drug dealing these days? I hope I don't sound like a snob, but my kid deserves better than Ingraham. "

That trailer park is the home of some Ingraham students. And some of those misfits loitering are Ingraham students. And some of those prostitutes and drug dealers are the parents or guardians of Ingraham students. And those Aurora hotels house Ingraham students. And Ingraham does right by those kids. Almost every teacher of the "only thing going for the school IB program" also teaches non IB during the day. Ingraham is successful for more than just IB.

And yes, by the way, you do sound like a snob.


SchoolsAre SocialJusticeInstitutions


Anonymous said...

SchoolsAre SocialJusticeInstitutions

Thank you, you just sealed the deal for Shoreline.

Northend parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

A well maintained facility indicates that people care about them .."

It could also indicate a wealthier area where facilities are kept up. That's a form of "caring" but, to me, the caring comes from teachers and staff, not a building.

Reality, I think you just tried to slam Franklin. Franklin has had a waitlist for a long time. It's the quiet high school that is very popular with those who attend and has a great principal.

I honestly don't think there is a "bad" high school in SPS. I think RBHS struggles but is slowly making its way up. If any high school needs a fix-up, it's RBHS.

Anonymous said...

CCS, seriously? Shoreline is not an HOA. I know because I have friends who live there who are the ultimate packrats and do not maintain any semblance of a nice yard. No one has ever said a thing to them. Maybe some areas of Shoreline are like that but there are other areas that are not. My friends kids went to Shorecrest.

HP

Anonymous said...

North End Parent

My purpose was to point out that a school serving a student body you don't care to associate with does not make the school "bad'. The wonder of Ingraham is that it serves such a range of students yet academically focused, affluent parents drive their kids there and rave about the safety and community. I think their perception is true.

It might be interesting to check in with the intervention specialist at each Shoreline school to get a reality check of how many students there are high in class, coming from homes with not great parents, or similar things. That the lawns are nice doesn't guarantee much of anything. I think there are student climate surveys given by the state or the district (not sure who does it) that you can access. It might be enlightening to actually compare Shoreline to some of the schools perceived as "bad" in Seattle for things like drug use, alcohol use, bullying, or sexual assault for students. I do know Ingraham had pretty positive results compared to other schools for these issues on the climate survey years past.

I hope you find a situation where your child is happy. Best of luck in your search.


SchoolsAre SocialJusticeInstitutions