Friday, December 04, 2015

Baffling News from OSPI on Charter School Students

State Superintendent Randy Dorn issued guidelines for districts that want to take in charter school students under ALEs (Alternative Learning Education.)

He says:
As a result of the Washington State Supreme Court announcing that it will not reconsider its September decision declaring the state's voter-approved law establishing charter schools unconstitutional, OSPI no longer has legal authority to allocate apportionment to charter schools.  OSPI plans to take steps to ensure that students continue to get a quality public education during a transition period.
Okay, first, there IS something that students and their parents can do - enroll in public schools.  I'm sorry that the Superintendent doesn't suggest this and seems to imply that a "quality public education" is found elsewhere.

Next, what "transition period?" Does the Superintendent know something we don't because I'm unclear on what that means.

He continues on sayings that some of the charters are intending to contract with "public school districts" to allow them to continue "providing education services" for their students.   That may just be covering the bases but is there more than one district considering this?

What will OSPI be doing:

- helping the transfer process from their "resident districts" to a "school district's ALE program via the Standard Choice Transfer System."  
- those WSLPs (Written Student learning Plans)?   OSPI is allowing the districts that enroll these students until the February 2016 count day to provide these.  I'll have to go check the RCW but that seems like a long time.  And, of course, gives a lot of breathing room if/when the Legislature gets money to them.

My biggest question is - aren't ALE students getting money from basic ed funding?  Isn't that what the Court said can't happen?

The memo says districts "may claim the student on the December monthly enrollment count for state funding, even in the absence of a WSLP."  

Students enrolled in ALE programs will generate an allocation based on the non-vocational Running Start rate for the 2015-2016 school year, which is $6,308.69.


Anonymous said...

"Okay, first, there IS something that students and their parents can do - enroll in public schools. I'm sorry that the Superintendent doesn't suggest this and seems to imply that a "quality public education" is found elsewhere."

According to public testimonials, many of these families have already endured the public school system's inability to serve them. Furthermore, as correctly pointed out on this blog, public schools are not effectively educating the under served or disenfranchised, so how long should parents stick with a public school system?

There are literally hundred of comments posted here chastising public school for its failures to serve students of color and special education students.
Why shouldn't these groups seek some possible relief via the charter route.

I have always leaned towards not having charters, but after reading about the decades of problems chronicled on this blog, I now think it's worth trying charters here in Seattle.

I don't believe just because you can find charter failures you should disregard that Seattle could make them work. The double standards expressed on this blog are very irritating.

Been waiting

Melissa Westbrook said...

Been waiting, it's the Superintendent's job to support all public schools, no matter what parents say. To imply that public schools are not "quality" is not a great thing from an elected official.

I don't have a double standard; maybe you can explain that.

Charlie Mas said...

No. The schools will not get money from basic ed funding. The Districts will get money from basic ed funding and they will use that money to contract services from the schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

But isn't the end result that charters get basic ed funds?

Eric B said...

I think the nuance is that the charter does get basic ed funds, but are being overseen by an elected school board. It's a [presumably] legal thing that already existed in the law. The district taking them in probably gets a reasonable cut of the basic ed money, so everybody wins, I guess.

Anonymous said...

SPS should take over Summit and start filling that place up.

That's a win-win.

Maple Valley

Anonymous said...

Won't Mary Walker have to enter into agreements with Seattle, Tacoma! And Highline to locate "thier" schools within the boundaries of other schools districts? Like Highline has done with Seattle for Aviation High School? I get that people have done releases to attend online programs run by other districts, but if the six schools are staying open as ALEs belonging to MW, that isn't the same thing. Sounds like Dorn is doug some shady deals in his last year. Anyone call the SAO yet? Email the Board to see if they are going to support this happening?


Melissa Westbrook said...

SWWS, yes, they will. It's not exactly the same as Aviation High but similar.

As far as I know, no one has come to SPS (and you could see why given their stance as well as Tacoma's stance.) That the Seattle region charters had to go all the way across the state AND find safe harbor in a tiny district run by a just-resigned Charter Commissioner tells you something.

With this document from the Superintendent, which I compared with regs at OSPI, I see the fix is in. Because some of what today's memo says does not line up. I think the long lag for the student learning plans is a gift from Dorn (as is the dates for counting the students.)

I can't do a lot but I'm sending the Supreme Court a letter outlining all that is happening. I'm sure they keep up but as I seem to be the only media person in Seattle outing these actions, I'm not sure who knows what.

Dora Taylor said...

OSPI and Dorn have to work for the millions paid to them by Gates. First the CCS and now trying like heck to keep charter schools hanging on in our state. See for all the grants OSPI has received from Gates.

Dora Taylor

By the way, is it legal for a private non-profit to be giving money to a government agency?

No 1240 said...

First, I need to thank Melissa for uncovering this story and for investing a great deal of time on this issue.

Mary Walker school district has an annual budget of $4.7M per year- not a lot. Seattle's levy dollars must stay in Seattle. Under no circumstance, should levy dollars be transferred out of Seattle.

No I 1240 said...

Been waiting,

Recently, a charter school parent publicly stated she was glad to get her child out of crowded classrooms and into a charter school. Wonderful, but what about all the students in crowded schools and large classrooms. We're not looking at equity. Charter schools cap enrollment and our public schools are busting at the seams. We need funding for all.

No I240 said...

"My biggest question is - aren't ALE students getting money from basic ed funding? Isn't that what the Court said can't happen?"

As I see it, we may see public schools contracting with charter school operators. What the heck?

Melissa Westbrook said...

No on 1240 and you nailed it - there is a lot of murkiness to this and apparently, no one seems to think they need to explain it (except after the fact.)

Right now we are at Dec. 4th. The state shuts off the funding on/before December 14th. School ends, what? Dec. 23rd? Comes back on Jan. 4th with the legislature in session on the 11th. So that's two weeks with no funding. From the memo it looks like they want to try to fund thru Feb. (not sure when this Feb. "count date" is; OSPI never got back to me today.) So that's about 6 weeks of funding that they need.

I don't really have a problem with the situation IF this was the sole way they wanted to continue these kids' education. But I suspect it's just a placeholder until the charters get funding. I don't understand the mechanism that puts the charter schools themselves in a holding pattern until they get funding.

Personally, I think OSPI is making up a lot and hoping no one will challenge it.

They would be wrong.

Teacher Greg said...

Melissa, do you think a false advertising lawsuit against the charter schools in general, and summit in particular, would have merit? When they are making claims that 100 percent of summit students will be admitted to college that sounds like false advertising to me.

No 1240 said...

"But isn't the end result that charters get basic ed funds?"

Melissa makes a good point. Washington taxpayer dollars wouldn't go to charter school operators because lack of local control via an elected school board. Yet, those dollars can get distributed to out of state charter school long as charter school operators are under local school board control. Wow. I'd love to see that contract, especially since school boards are responsible for curriculum and state laws governing education.

Why would a small school district want to take on this project? Seems like a lot of work and an expensive adventure.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Teacher Greg, that's their claim and they say they can back it up. I never saw the evidence. They also say their attrition rate is very low (from who starts in the freshman class to graduation.) Again, no proof to back it up.

Summit is considered a good charter chain but I think every school should have the evidence to prove their claims. Summit doesn't even have the minutes or agenda of their board meetings.

Why would a small district take this on? Well, if the superintendent is a charter support and on the Charter Commission and he gets asked to do this and the consultants are paid for by outside people (because I'm pretty sure no small district can afford that kind of expense), well, someone got asked by someone up the food chain.

But again, when all this is done in a closed-door, hush-hush manner, sure, it provokes curiosity and concern.

Anonymous said...

Teacher Greg said "When they are making claims that 100 percent of summit students will be admitted to college that sounds like false advertising to me."

Where did they say that? Or did they say that was their goal?

I know people with kids in two Summit schools in San Jose. Last year, 100% of the kids at those two schools were admitted to four year colleges (and 90 something percent accepted). Over half were the first person in their family to go to college.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, Summit has a board meeting coming up. Here's the agenda:


seattle citizen said...

LisaG, because of my deep...deep distrust of the charter industry, I would have to see
a) what colleges were accepting Summit students;
b) if they were, say, Phoenix-type colleges, themselves making money admitting every Comer and saddling them with student loan debt;
c) ALL communications between Summit, the colleges, and all the various Charter school pushers, such as the Gates Foundation, Walton, et al.

I smell collusion between Summit (and other charters), "colleges", and the well-heeled charter booster club to ensure that charters look successful.

No 1240 said...

I 1240 was determined unconstitutional due to lack of local control. If Mary Walker school district provides an alternative learning experience for children in Seattle, voters would not have an opportunity to vote for their school board. How does this fit into the equation. In my mind, this is no different from charter schools being unconstitutional. We need a legal analysis of this situation.

Charlie Mas said...

No agreement with SPS would be necessary for Mary Walker SD to have ALE programs for students in Seattle. That's because *officially* the students are doing independent study. The charter schools would not be schools but education support services providers, like Kumon or Sylvan, contracted to provide support to students who are doing independent study.
That way the charter school staff would not be school district staff and the charter schools would not be schools. All of the usual regulatory and administrative overhead is evaded. Absolutely zero laws would apply to the charters - just as there are none for tutoring services. There would actually be LESS oversight and accountability than they have now. They wouldn't have to meet the requirements of their charter. They would not even have to be non-profit. And, of course, the teachers would not have to join the union.

The Mary Walker School District would have to meet the state's requirements for ALEs. but they could do that very cheaply and they would be well compensated for the work.

Anonymous said...

To seattle citizen at 9:22

One of my friends sends his daughter to Summit Tahoma because in middle school she was saying things like "I don't want to go to college; there isn't really any point." That wasn't OK with him, but he had the impression that the district school wouldn't work very hard to convince a Latina student she should go to college. Now she's interested in school and wants to go to college to study experimental psychology.

Last year's graduating seniors at Tahoma all signed a poster with the college they were attending. I have a picture (I got it in an email and haven't been able to find it online anywhere), but I guess you can't paste pictures in the comments. Anyway, most of them seem to be going to various Cal State and U. of California schools.


Po3 said...

LisaG -

The poster says where they are attending or where they are accepted?

I ask because Summit Charter promotes that 90% of students are accepted into college, not attend college, which is a big difference. Personally, I suspect that one of the requirements of graduation is to apply to a college. And staff ensures that students apply to at least one school that will result in an acceptance letter, which then gives Summitt their 90% stat.

TechyMom said...

PO3 says:
"I suspect that one of the requirements of graduation is to apply to a college. And staff ensures that students apply to at least one school that will result in an acceptance letter"

This sounds like a great idea. Why don't public high schools do this?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lisa G, they said at the Charter Commission meetings and at their website.

GarfieldMom said...

In the interest of offering anecdotes as data, my kid didn't see the point of going to college either, all the way up to fall semester of his senior year. He (with our support) was at the very least going to take a gap year, with the acknowledged possibility that he still might not end up deciding on college after that.

He graduated from SPS in June. He's a freshman in college now.

seattle citizen said...

LisaG, you write about the Tahoma student's father that he didn't think the Tacoma District school she had been in would work very hard to convince a Latina student to go to college.
Can you name that racist school, then, so we might all avoid it? Who could believe that the teachers, counselors, and admins at a public school in this day and age wouldn't care about a Latina student....
I'm so glad she landed in a school where the staff cares about its Latina students.
In fact, you don't even have to tell us which school: as we've heard from so many charter parents, most every public school is simply filled with educators who don't care whether students of color go to college or not. We should avoid them all, because charters obviously have no racist, apathetic educators in them, and because they're not racist, and care, ALL students go to college!
Thank you! I KNEW the experimental nature of charters 40 years ago, as experimental classrooms within public schools, would finally pay off. They've done it! Public schools merely have to stop being racist and start caring.
We're saved!
: )

Po3 said...

"Why don't public high schools do this?"

Because Summit Charter schools only have about 90-100 students in a senior class. They also staff resources as well as parent volunteers, which makes it easy to manage college apps for 100 students. For 400-500 students, no resources...not so much.

We do have test coordinators in our high schools, so yeah us.

seattle citizen said...

They certainly have test coordinators at Summit, as well - the charter law only holds them accountable to state test scores. Hmmm.....I wonder how much test prep they get....hmmm....hmmm....

Anonymous said...

seattle citizen @ 4:06

My friend chose to send his daughter to Tahoma instead of this school

The teachers in that school have been working-to-rule for a while. Encouraging students to go to college isn't in their contract, so they're not doing it.

Because most of the parents have not been to college, Summit also has a lot of parent sessions explaining about college applications.

GarfieldMom @2:50

The anecdote wasn't meant to be data. The anecdote was to explain how I knew that 100% of Tahoma's 2015 seniors had been accepted at four year colleges.

Po3 @ 12:55

The students signed their names and wrote the college where they had been accepted and planned to attend.


Anonymous said...

Melissa @ 2:37

Do you have a link to where they said it on their website?

I've found places where they say things like "our mission - to prepare a diverse student population for success in a four-year college or university, and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society" and "We have a rigorous, college-prep curriculum where 100% of our students meet and exceed 4-year college entrance requirements."



Anonymous said...

Po3 @ 4:30 and seattle citizen @ 4:35

I'm not sure what test coordinators are. I think that Po3 is right that it is probably easier to do with fewer students.

Summit seems to do it by assigning every student a "mentor". The mentor's are regular teachers that get a group of 20-25 students. So as class teachers change from year to year, the mentor stays constant to make sure the students stay on track. Every week the mentors meet 1:1 with each student and also with their mentor group as a whole.

I think having mentors was point 2 on Charlie's Closing Opportunity Gaps post, and I think mentors are probably one of the most significant ways to increase graduation rates and college acceptance rates.


seattle citizen said...

It's easy for charters to have small class sizes, SpEd support, admin, facilities etc because they have a sugar daddy: the Gates Foundation. Summit was given eight million dollars by Gates; that buys a lot of FTE (not facilities; those are covered by other grants. In the last few years, Gates has spent over $50,000,000 on charters in WA, a large percentage of that on facilities and support, with a huge chunk going to Summit and an even bigger on to the Washington State Charter Association, which doubtless pays out of that for charter teachers. Small class sizes, indeed....
PLUS they got per-student from our tax dollars. Must be nice to be rolling in foundation money (also Walton's, see bottom of list.)
I spent some time on the Gates grant site, looking for grants that would go to WA charters. These stand out, but obviously we know that money Gates gives to other orgs is likely also used in WA. Add 25% - $64,000,000 into WA, plus Walton and other players. Divide by nine schools.... ; )

Ah, to have a sugar daddy for the million other students....

Summit Schools - to provide support to Summit Schools, CREATE [caps mine] Summit Washington and LAUNCH two charter 9-12s and one charter 6-12 - $8,000,000

Pacific Charter School Development, Inc - to support facility needs of WA charters - $4,000,000

Washington State Charter Assoc.- to support charters in WA - $6,350,000 (2014)

WSCSA - to build capacity for charters $4,200,000 (2013)

Puget Sound Educational Service District - consult on SpEd in charters - $250,000

PSESD - to support the development and implementation of and to provide back office support and operations support services for WA charters - $200,000

Craft3, Ilwaco WA (?!) - to support charter school facility development for low income children - $2,000,000

Washington Charter School Development, Inc, Seattle - to support the facility needs of charters in WA - $19,813,088

Spokane School District - build capacity to serve charters - $525,000

UW Foundation - to provide support for district/charter compacts - $1,900,000

Seneca Family of Agencies WA - to provide SpEd services to charters - $750,000

Seneca Family of Agencies WA - to develop integrated systems of support for at-risk students in WA charter schools - $200,000

Charter Board Partners - support expansion of their work in WA - $750,000

Charter Board Partners - to expand into WA - $500,000

League of Education Voters - to support the formation of an independent [cough] WA charter school organization (2013) - $800,000

LEV - To support a public awareness campaign and create support for WA charters (2011) - $1,800,000

UW Center for Reinventing Public Education - to provide oversight of district/charter collaboration compacts (2011) $600,000

Washington State Charter Assoc. 2014 - $850,000

League of Education Voters 2013 - $250,000

UW Center for Reinventing Public Education 2012 - $750,000

seattle citizen said...

LisaG, I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that all the educators in that school have been working-to-rule. Proof?
And to say they don't encourage kids to go to college is just a massive, unfounded slam on those educators.
Generalizations like that make my blood boil. Prove it.
Anecdotes about a school you haven't even been too, in another state, are just the kind of teacher-bashing we hear all the time. You might be doing your best to sell charter schools in WA, but stop bashing teachers with unfounded slanders.
I don't know that school, but I know their are educators in it who care very much; who work hard; who struggle mightily without sugar daddy Gates paying millions to support them. Please stop bashing teachers with tired, lame, inaccurate generalizations.

Anonymous said...

seattle citizen @6:14 said "Anecdotes about a school you haven't even been to"

I didn't attend the school, but I've certainly been to it, and know parents who send their kids there.

I suspect you won't accept anything as proof. But here's a newspaper article:

And a letter sent to parents by the school district:

And I'm sure that some teachers continued to provide support to students that went beyond their contract. And I suspect that the teachers who did work to rule also care very much about their students.

But I also understand how parents might feel discouraged about sending their children to school under these circumstances.

I guess it seems to you like I'm trying to sell charter schools in WA, but I'm really just trying to figure out why some people in WA think that they are evil incarnate, and everyone involved with them is only concerned with profit. If charter schools do something that helps students to succeed, do you consider that action to be "poisoned", so that a school district should not even consider doing the same thing?


seattle citizen said...

Read the article, teachers there in very similar dire straights to teachers in Seattle last summer. They chose not to strike, but to work-to-rule (I thought you meant they ALWAYS worked to rule....) This is a valid bargaining tactic - would you have them strike, instead? And let's put aside the complaint that they refuse to work 2...3...4 more hours than they're contracted to work - this isn't the place to discuss why it's okay for employers, including schools, to just assume employees will work 20-30% more hours than their regular work day, forsaking family, life, all we do outside our jobs...But really? Are you complaining that teachers won't work past their contracted day? Should they complain that you expect them to worK beyond their contract routinely?

Anyhoo, it sounds like the students were supportive of their educators; the students evidently saw that teachers had little or no raises, had been forced onto three-week unpaid furloughs....larger class sizes...
Yes, students miss out, but maybe dostrict, city, and state can reduce class sizes down to, oh, I don't know, charter school size? so teachers can give students what they need without working to 7:00 for free.
Oh, but wait, that's a selling point of charters: "our teachers work 'til 11:00pm for your student! They have no families! No lives!"

Of charters do things that help students succeed, then replicate that in publuc schools. THAT was the purpose of charters in the first place. Charters aren't publuc as the court has rightfully determined. Charters aren't "evil"; they're just not publuc schools. Furthermore, their history amply demonstrates that there are many who DO see them as profitable - financial advisors are on record extolling the profitability of charters, the vast billions of public money that can be tapped into. I won't bother with examples of ways to profit; too many to list.
Charters represent a neo-liberal privatization of public schools, a separation from the commons. Using the argument that competing is always good, charters pull families out of our commonwealth, our public schools, and into little enclaves, separating from the common good. Each to their own. And really, using Seattle as an example, who needs charters? Even though many district alternative schools were closed to clear the way for charters, many still exist. Charters can't do anything publics can't, not one thing.
Lastly, it's apparent that charters, among other intentions, intend to break unions. Unions are good: they allow labor to get an honest wage, to not be fired at will, to be able to go home to the family...

Watching said...

It is quite interesting reading minutes from the Charter Commission. I understood that public officers, at least elected, should not use their office to campaign. Yet, Charter Commission minutes show the Charter Commission worked to support and elect those that supported charter schools.

Mr. Halsey reported that Chair Sundquist and he had travelled to Ellensburg on July 14, 2014 to meet with Sunnyside School District Superintendent, Dr. Rick Cole. The meeting had been in regards to 2014 RFP applicant Charter Schools of Sunnyside. Dr. Cole expressed curiosity at the need for such a school in Sunnyside in light of the programming already available through the school district."

We know that choices exist within public schools.

I heard Tacoma's school board complain that charter schools resulted in higher class sizes. The board did not feel this was "equitable". Tacoma's school board wanted to draft an amendment to the Charter School Act to limit the amount of charters in a district. Here was the Charter Commission's response : "The Commission discussed passing a preemptive motion to oppose such an amendment."

Liv Finne has called to protect and expand charter schools, which is the real agenda.

Anonymous said...

seattle citizen @ 7:33 pm

I'll accept that as your recognition that I am not engaging in "unfounded slanders" and "inaccurate generalizations".


seattle citizen said...

I'm making generalizations about tenets of the charter business. You called out a specific school and said their teachers don't care to encourage kids to go to college. There's a difference between talking in broad sweeps about systems and focusing in on individuals and accusing them of not caring about Latino children.

Anonymous said...

I'm not interested in anecdotes, but I'd be interested in seeing data about the percentage of Summit grads who attended (or even just got accepted to) 4-year schools with any type of competitive admission. Given there are 4-year universities with 100% admission rates (e.g. University of Phoenix), I don't see how the claim that nearly 100% of 2015 Summit grads got accepted to 4-year colleges is at all meaningful.


Anonymous said...

Charter schools are notorious for poor results with special education students.
Sped atty

Anonymous said...

JvA @ 8:16
Since you commented so politely (and I already finished laundry for today), I looked at my picture and wrote out the colleges they are going to with acceptance rates (from US News & World Report). There is one student going to a 100% acceptance college. And there were parts of four signatures that I couldn't tell what the college was, but there are 59 students I could tell their college. I don't know how many graduated, so I don't know how many are missing

UC Santa Barbara 36% acceptance rate
UC Santa Barbara
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 31% acceptance rate
Seattle University 73% acceptance rate
Santa Clara Univeristy 49% acceptance rate
University of Nevada, Reno 84% acceptance rate
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Pitzer College 13% acceptance rate
Cal State Northridge 53% acceptance rate
UC Davis 41% acceptance rate
Fashion Institute of Design 57% acceptance rate
University of Nevada, Reno
Oregon State University 78% acceptance rate
UC San Diego 34% acceptance rate
San Jose State 60% acceptance rate
University of Southern Ca 18% acceptance rate
Saint Mary's 75% acceptance rate
Boston College 34% acceptance rate
Point Loma Nazarene University 70% acceptance rate
San Francisco State 66% acceptance rate
Notre Dame de Namur University 78% acceptance rate
Cal State East Bay 70% acceptance rate
UC Berkeley 16% acceptance rate
UC Santa Cruz 57% acceptance rate
San Jose State
UC Davis
Cal State East Bay
San Francisco State
Boston University 35% acceptance rate
Westmont College 79% acceptance rate
University of Portland 63% acceptance rate
Academy of Art University 100% acceptance rate < - - !!!
UC Riverside 58% acceptance rate
San Francisco State
Pacific Lutheran University 75% acceptance rate
Sonoma State 93% acceptance rate
UC Santa Cruz
Sonoma State
San Francisco State
San Francisco State
Boise State University 77% acceptance rate
San Jose State
Cal State East Bay
Cal State Monterey Bay 45% acceptance rate
San Francisco State
Cal State Monterey Bay
San Jose State
San Francisco State
Santa Clara University
Soka University of America 44% acceptance rate
San Jose State
San Francisco State
San Jose State
San Jose State
Cal State East Bay
Cal State Stanislaus 73% acceptance rate
San Francisco State
San Jose State
Cal State Stanislaus

seattle citizen said...

I'm wondering:
Given the tens of millions of dollars spent on supporting charters in WA, in addition to the approximately ten million dollars in state per-student funding (1000 students x $10,000 each), charters would continue to offer the supposedly low class sizes, mentorships, SpEd support, etc, when the extra funding goes away?
It is readily apparent that Gates, particularly, is feeding the charters huge wads of cash in order to make it appear that these "public" schools are able to do oh, so much more than actual public schools; what happens when that's gone? When charters have to get by on the same budgets as everyone else?

Anonymous said...

the 9:35 post was mine


Melissa Westbrook said...

For future reference, we do not like long lists of data text. Please put links next time.

seattle citizen said...

Oops, sorry. Here, I'll sum it up and you can delete my post: Gates Foundation, in last three years, has given over 50,000,000 to WA charters. That's over five million per school in SpEd, admin, advertising/propaganda, facilities, boards (?!), and, through WSCSA, 20 million for...FTE, I believe. This is all in addition to the ten million the school's got from the state.

No I 1240 said...

Charter school operators and the Charter Commission acted irresponsible and wanted to open schools before the Supreme Court decision. Now, charter operators want school districts to accommodate them, which takes dollars and administrative support. This from Spokane:

"Steven Gering, Spokane Public Schools’ chief academic officer, said the the larger district simply didn’t have time to bring the charter schools under district control."

Lisa MacFarlane and others are partially responsible for this mess and all they can do is cry "not fair".

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, I suspect they be crying that louder fairly soon.

But, no matter what, no one on the charter side - save the innocent parents and students - is going to come out of this looking heroic.

Anonymous said...

So Hale has a system much like Summit Charter School. The kids are in mentorship classes all 4 years. The mentorship teacher has around 30 students. In mentorship, the kids plan their next semester at school and ensure that they are meeting all requirements to graduate. They also work on their college essays, college applications and their plans for after graduation. They have to have a plan for after high school. There is a college fair at the school that all students are required to attend. They have to talk to at least one college rep Sophomore year, 2 Junior year and 3 Senior year.

I can't speak to what CA public schools have but Seattle schools already have what charters say they offer. We don't need them in Seattle.


Anonymous said...

Don't look now, HP, but your privilege is showing. Please provide some evidence that what you describe happening at Hale is also happening at Rainier Beach, Cleveland, Chief Sealth, and Franklin.

I'll look forward to it.

--- aka

Melissa Westbrook said...

AKA, first, that is probably Hale driving its dollars a certain way. What other high schools choose to drive their dollars to may be different. That's not necessarily privilege but what each community decides is most important.

RBHS is driving their dollars to IB, Cleveland to STEM. I can't speak for CSIHS nor Franklin.

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

Hale is diverse and yes, that is how Hale chooses to drive its dollars. The Hale foundation provides funds for lots of homework help in different subjects. There is also lots of help and tutoring for the EOCs in math and biology. There is tutoring and help before final exams.

Hale diversity from what I could find:
This school State average
White 56% 60%
Black 15% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 14% 7%
Hispanic 8% 20%
Two or more races 5% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%

It may not be as diverse as some of the schools on the south end but it is very diverse for the north end.


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

Your comments were probably removed because you did not sign them.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, your comments were removed for not following the simple blog rules listed above the Comments box. Calm down.

Anonymous said...

Melissa @ 11:47 wrote:
"that is probably Hale driving its dollars a certain way. What other high schools choose to drive their dollars to may be different. ... RBHS is driving their dollars to IB, Cleveland to STEM."

Is there anyone at the district level that looks at the different schools and says Hale is graduating 92% of its students, and the district is graduating 76% of its students (79% at RBHS and Cleveland), so maybe more schools should be doing what Hale does?


Anonymous said...

HP, race isn't the story here. Poverty is. Do you think Rainier Beach, Cleveland, etc. have a foundation to support their schools like Hale?

Here's how Free and Reduced Lunch percentages break down by these schools:

Nathan Hale --- 28.9%
Rainier Beach --- 76.3%
Franklin --- 70.1%
Cleveland --- 68.2%
Chief Sealth --- 61.6%

Each of these schools have at least twice as many poor kids on average as Hale.

Please drive on down to the neighborhoods around these high schools and tell these families they don't need what charters have to offer. They just don't need them.

--- aka

Anonymous said...

Chief Sealth - IB
Cleveland - STEM

Those are all college prep programs. Cleveland is allowed to suppress their enrollment.

Yes, Hale is a northend school and is better off financially but they are no Roosevelt or Ballard. Hale has a large population of immigrants and subsidized housing in the Lake City area.


Anonymous said...

Plus, anyone can go the Center School or NOVA.


Anonymous said...

What is the Hale foundation? Is it any different than the PTA raising money for a school?


Melissa Westbrook said...

It's a private foundation run by alum. Several high schools have them and many for a long time. It is different from PTA just as booster groups (sports, arts, etc) are different from PTA.

seattle citizen said...

aka - what, exactly, is it that charters offer? And what will WA charters offer after the Gates spigot is closed $50,000,000 in three years, paying for advertising, SpEd, admin, boards, facilities, FTE....)
What, exactly, do charters offer that public schools can't?

Anonymous said...

Hale no longer has a PTA. It was decided that too much time and money was being spent on PTA administrative activities and with Hale having a foundation doing the fundraising, it really didn't make sense for a PTA to try and do the same. Hale now has a Community Organization that provides parent education, volunteer coordination and Hale Mail.

The foundation now raises money through an auction and an annual fundraiser. It raises around $100,000 a year to pay for homework help and other things the principal identifies as needs.

Hale tries to ensure that all students can participate in all activities - sports, plays, college counseling, etc, regardless of ability to pay. This is done by funds provided by the Hale foundation, Music boosters, Drama boosters, Science boosters, Sports boosters, and the Dumlao Fund for athletics.

A lot of stuff funded should be funded by the state or district. At the last auction, I donated funds for copy paper. Paper.


Anonymous said...

seattle citizen, I dunno. Why don't you go ask the families that chose them?

I'll look forward to hearing what you find out.

--- aka

seattle citizen said...

aka - You infer, above, that parents want what charters have to offer. Surely you know what these things are that the parents would want? You are evidently a...supporter of charters, trying to make their case. So make the case: what pedagogies, curricula, classroom management techniques, support services etc do charters offer and publics don't.
Or is it that they are simply not publuc schools?
Or is it, that for the short term, they have been infused with millions of dollars of Gates grants (and other monies) so they can crow about smaller class sizes, individualized attention, support services, etc? Of course, that funding stream will end, sooo....
What will charters do better when they are working with the same budgets public schools do, when they can't advertise them as oh, so much better due to their inflated budgets, when they are held transparently accountable to the taxpayers for metrics beyond mere test scores?
What do charters do better, aka?

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? I'm not inferring anything. I'm flat out stating that these parents CHOSE these public charter schools. So, yes, they want what charters offer.

Again, instead of asking me your questions, go ask them.

I'll look forward to hearing what you find out.

--- aka

seattle citizen said...

Parents can be sold a bill of goods, aka. I've talked to some, and I hear anything that can't be found in SPS. You seem to be a strong supporter of charters, so I was asking you what you thought they could offer that public schools can't or don't (except, of course, charters in WA have benefited from $50,000,000 in Gates grants in the last three years, which, in addition to the $10,000,000 they received in tax dollars certainly bought them things publuc schools might not be able to afford.)