Thursday, July 14, 2016

Answers Back from District on Garfield Honors for All

Update:  a new document from Garfield about the "Honors for All" plan.  They cite research:
Our main goal is to create a richer honors curriculum that engages and benefits all ability levels. Studies over the past thirty years that note the detrimental effects of ability­level tracking are an indicator of the institutionalized racism that plagues our school system and adds to the opportunity gap. 
It's interesting because the district doesn't say that ability-level tracking is wrong or bad. They say that it is an "indicator" of institutional racism that "plagues" the school system.

Well, to that I say - who has kept this institutional racism going for all these years?  Is the current administration and Board pointing the finger at past administrations and Boards?  Because yes, there were people who were large and in-charge and could have - at any time - made changes.

As well, the question has been raised by readers, Charlie and me: if this is good for Garfield, why are they not doing it at every single school?  Isn't that keeping institutional racism going in the system?

The survey was sent to current families by the PTSA on behalf of the school. Ted is outreaching to in-coming 9th grade families. 
But that answer raises more questions.  What good is a survey after the fact?

I have requested an interview with Principal Howard and the Superintendent (not necessarily together.)

end of update

I had written to district communications (and cc'ed the Board) about this issue.  Here are my initial questions and what they replied:

Does the Superintendent or district have any statement about the issues raised by Principal Howard and the Times' article?  As well, does the Superintendent or district have any statement about the news that LA/History at Garfield are going to "Honors for All" with all kids in the same class?

Garfield’s Humanities Honors for All proposal is consistent with SPS Board Policy 0030. Board policies guide decisions made at the central office and at the school level. Board Policy 0030 requires the district to examine the impact of our practices and charges us to ensure educational equity and excellence for each student in our care. In creating an all-honors social studies and language arts curriculum, GHS staff is ensuring that every student will be prepared for advanced classes in 10th, 11th and 12th grade and for college and career. The district supports and commends the Garfield staff for making these changes and their commitment to eliminating institutional barriers to rigorous learning. We look forward to supporting and celebrating their success and the success of our students.

Is there to be a district announcement about this?
No, it is a school level decision. A FAQ and overview of the implementation plan were developed by the school staff and have been distributed to families.

Is this a district idea? A pilot program?

Schools have the authority to determine the type of courses provided and course levels. School level decisions are governed by the Building Leadership Team (BLT) per our collective bargaining agreement and are made on the basis of student need, high school graduation requirements, and available staff and facility resources. The decision to develop Humanities Honors for All was approved through the GHS staff. In addition to the BLT, Garfield has an Instructional Council and over 50 committees that vetted the changes and helped shape decisions.

Principal Howard and GHS staff have also distributed a survey to families to gather input and feedback on the Humanities Honors for All plan and will meet with impacted families in the next two weeks.

It is not a pilot program. The staff is working with Dr. Sheila Valencia, a literacy specialist and researcher at the UW School of Education to support differentiation and teachers’ development of reading support strategies. Teachers will also be attending a three-day training on complex instruction and they will continue to research best practices in developing meaningful curriculum for all learners.

I wrote back:

About this statement:
In addition to the BLT, Garfield has an Instructional Council and over 50 committees that vetted the changes and helped shape decisions.

Could you ask Garfield for the list of these committees and the date they discussed this change? 

As well, Principal Howard said the majority of kids want this change.  Could you ask him what vehicle was used to make this statement (student survey, student newspaper, etc.)?

Principal Howard and GHS staff have also distributed a survey to families to gather input and feedback on the Humanities Honors for All plan and will meet with impacted families in the next two weeks.

This statement is unclear to me.  The survey is done or is being done?  Also, how will notification of the meeting with "impacted families" happen?  And, if it's "Honors for All" wouldn't that mean nearly all families at GHS?

end of questions

I'll let you know what they say.


Lynn said...

I've asked for copies of the BLT meeting minutes and received this answer: I'm in receipt of your below request. It sounds like a student keeps these minutes. Staff have reached out to her and I hope to hear back by Friday, July 29th. I will check in with you then.

The responses you received from the district are crafted to give the appearance of a highly functional group of professionals whose decisions should be respected. The information I received contradicts that message.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also to note, this from the district:

"This is being done only at the 9th grade level which will better set-up those younger students for success in 10th, 11th, and 12th."

Charlie Mas said...

"In creating an all-honors social studies and language arts curriculum, GHS staff is ensuring that every student will be prepared for advanced classes in 10th, 11th and 12th grade and for college and career. The district supports and commends the Garfield staff for making these changes and their commitment to eliminating institutional barriers to rigorous learning."

And what, exactly, was the institutional barrier to rigorous learning that was eliminated? The option to choose a regular English class instead of an Honors English class and the option to choose a regular history class instead of an honors history class. That was the barrier.

" We look forward to supporting and celebrating their success and the success of our students."

I can imagine them celebrating the success, but I can't see how they intend to support it.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's the thing. Once the District is on record as recognizing that the option of a non-Honors class constitutes an institutional barrier to rigorous learning, how can they countenance that barrier in other schools? Will not every school be directed to remove that barrier?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, you're good. Funny... but good.

Since Garfield given specific answers on how rigorous the curriculum will be, it will be easier to evaluate whether they are living up to their promises. Should be interesting.

And I agree with others who say that the real hardship will be on grade-level students and below-grade-level students who find themselves in an honors class that is too difficult, and therefore too stressful, for them. It doesn't seem fair to suddenly force kids to do above-level work when they are not ready or willing to do it - for whatever reason. And then their GPA will reflect their struggles with the material.


Anonymous said...

Agree with points pointed our by Charlie & Momof2. I also am confused how choosing between honors and general ed classes present an "institutional barrier". How is choice a barrier? If a student does not want an accelerated class they cannot choose a general ed class. This seems more like a barrier. This statement seems inserted to intimidate people up who may question the change.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Charlie, that point was made elsewhere - if this is wrong for Garfield, why will it be okay for other schools?

NESeattleMom said...

I think the truth of the survey happening or not will be hard to find out. I think it is: either they informally talked to people or, at the cultural relations retreats--is that called a survey, where people can't respond without the surveyor and classmates hearing the answer?

Lynn said...

They will prove that every student is prepared for advanced classes in 10th grade by offering only "advanced" classes.

Watching said...

"The survey was sent to current families by the PTSA on behalf of the school. Ted is outreaching to in-coming 9th grade families.
But that answer raises more questions. What good is a survey after the fact?"

I agree. The school had an obligation to inform parents during Open House. As well, the district has a responsibility to inform incoming parents and they should have done so before enrollment.

Watching said...

The designation of Honors must be meaningful.

If Garfield provided honors classes and students signed-up for general ed- where is the barrier? What would prevent the school from offering more honor classes and providing incentives for students to sign-up for Honors classes? What prevented Garfield from increasing the rigor of gen. ed. classes?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, the claim is that the teachers have been working on this all year - why wasn't the survey done during the year?

Anonymous said...

Are they still going to be offering AP classes?

I am not encouraged by the idea of the UW supporting the teachers or teachers learning how to support students in constructivist learning. Constructivist learning and the UW math support helped land us in the mess we now have in math.

There already is a need for differentiation in current honors classes, do the teachers really think they can meet everyone's needs by increasing the spectrum of learners? Sounds like to me that there will be less of the teacher for everyone since the teacher will need to spread themselves across a very wide range of learners.

I really feel sorry for kids in the neighborhood, who can't leave, who could really benefit from true honors classes. Kids with means or different addresses will either leave SPS or go to a different high school where they can get more of what they need. Kids in the neighborhood will be left behind. I don't understand why the teachers didn't just work on supporting more individual children taking honors classes, as opposed to forcing it on everyone.

Anonymous said...

(reposting from the previous Garfield thread with close to 300 comments)

I asked a friend in college admissions about that last scenario, and he said without different designations, colleges would quickly come to view all honors classes at the school as regular, an attempt by the school to "Lake Woebegone" itself. Frowned upon. Colleges want to know that a course description has an approximate meaning, that getting an A means a particular standard of work completed.


7/14/16, 6:03 PM

All honors classes. Expect changes in Garfield enrollment patterns next year.

Lori said...

I hope it succeeds, I really do, for the sake of all the 9th grade students.

The person who wrote "All honors classes. Expect changes in Garfield enrollment patterns next year" probably means expect less enrollment, to which my initial reaction was that Garfield would probably be happy with less enrollment given that they are overcapacity, and it's only getting worse each year.

Of course, if the humanities "Honors for All" goes really well, it could ironically increase enrollment by attracting HCC kids away from Ingraham! I do believe many HCC families value diversity, and if they hear good things about this change, they may chose Garfield in larger numbers.

It's an interesting conundrum. If it goes poorly, enrollment goes down, but it went poorly, so that's not good. If it goes well, enrollment goes up, and that's not good either. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

What about an "opt-out" honors? Everyone would automatically enrolled in honors - but then, they could "opt-out" if it didn't work out - or if families really didn't want honors for whatever reasons. We wouldn't object to that would we?


Sneak Attack said...

I've been posting on the HCC blog. My oldest has been caught in the net of "Honors for All" at Garfield. We are scrambling best we can to get out and will certainly not be sending younger kids there, no matter how the program does, after the way we've been treated by teachers and admin. They've lost our trust and there's no going back. I know several other families who feel the same.

Jet City mom said...

All students at Roosevelt have been taking AP Human Geography for several years, I believe.
Are there any other high schools doing the same?

"---------Consider your level of commitment if you want to take an AP class other than what is required for all students *All students take AP Human Geography All students choose either AP Language and Composition or the advanced College in the High School :CIHS; course sequence for the --th or -+th grade year / AP and CIHS classes use college level textbooks and can be academically rewarding but are also academically challenging Transferring out of an AP class at a later date is very difficult because of the district deadline for changing schedules and because seats are often unavailable in the non AP equivalent classes ------"

Anonymous said...

If HC enrollment goes down, will they use it as evidence that the default pathway to Garfield is no longer needed? Will access to AP and Running Start classes be the extent of HC services in high school? Seems to be headed in that direction.

-what's next?

Charlie Mas said...

I don't understand why the HCC families, such as Sneak Attack, above, have a problem with this. Their kids signed up for Honors and will be getting Honors. What does Sneak Attack have to complain about? Unless all of those outrageous charges of racism, fragile snowflake children, and elitism are true. I hadn't believed them before, but now I'm less sure.

The people who should be upset are those incoming 9th graders who did not want Honors, did not sign up for Honors, but will find themselves enrolled in an Honors class anyway. They are the ones getting something other than what they chose.

Anonymous said...

HCC people are upset because their kids will not be getting Honors. The class will say Honors and Honors will be on their report card, but the content will not be Honors. Teachers will teach to the middle, as they always do. I'm not blaming teachers, they are doing the best they can, but I don't think for a minute that the Honors for All classes will be as rigorous as Honors classes have been in the past.

Jet City mom said...

What are they leaving out that you want included?

Sneak Attack said...

For me, the deal breaker is not pretending this is real honors. The lack of honesty, respect and common decency in the timing and manner this was communicated to families is the real deal-breaker. These actions have created a lack of trust in teachers and administration as a whole that cannot be regained. If they had done the right thing and told us when there was enough time to make an informed decision then I would be fine with it. They would have made their choice, and we could have made ours, and that would be fair. Instead, they took our choice away. It's nothing to do with race, fragility and elitism, it's about the way you treat the people.

Melissa Westbrook said...

What Sneak Attack is saying is very much the basis for the existence of this blog - we have always advocated transparency, communication and accountability. What is happening at Garfield does not appear to be any of those.

Anonymous said...

What I want included is a rigorous curriculum at a rigorous pace. I do not want a watered down Honors class that is Honors in name only. I do not believe that it is possible to have the same level of rigor in an Honors for All class as in a regular Honors class. The spread of ability level and student motivation is too broad. I think Honors classes should be opt-in. I think it is great for any student to decide that they want to try the challenge of an Honors class. It's amazing what students can do when they are motivated and supported. I think the focus should be on encouraging students and supporting students in taking Honors classes and less on making everyone take one.

Lynn said...


I can't tell if you're being facetious or serious. Every parent of a highly capable student has tried the heterogenous general education classroom setting for their child - and it didn't work. Differentiation doesn't work because it doesn't happen. Garfield staff have clearly expressed that these project-based classrooms are being created for the benefit of struggling students. Parents do not believe the classes will provide accelerated or enhanced or rigorous instruction.

Anonymous said...

Charlie you're absolutely right. Why haven't those gen-Ed, non-honors, garden variety families complained? More than 300 posts here, and more than 500 if you count the other blog, and only HCC families complaining. How can we get them to join us? And why haven't they? How can we make them see that we need honors, and need them to be in gen-Ed like they're supposed to be.


Anonymous said...


I am assuming you think that EVERY kid - 100% of them - can do the work of a true honors class? We are being told by GHS that this will be a real honors class and not watered down.

What about the kids who can't do honors level work because this is the real world and not some fantasy land? There is no school anywhere in the country (aside from selective schools) where 100% of kids can do honors level work.

What is the goal here? I understand - and support - pushing kids to stretch themselves, but what about the kids who aren't there?

We want kids to succeed in school and to not feel like they are inadequate. We are taking a huge risk with this experiment.

What is wrong with gen ed, btw? The majority of students do fine in gen ed. If the gen ed classes aren't working for kids, fix them. Train teachers how to find kids with potential and how to push those kids into honors classes.

Forcing honors on every kid is a terrible idea.


Anonymous said...

No unicorn, I really don't understand why gen Ed parents of kids who need gen Ed aren't upset? Why is everyone else posting on their behalf? Do YOU understand THAT? The damage to HCC has been posted over and over, but not the overall damage.


ne dad said...

Here’s what we know:

* The teachers have every right to make create the “Honors for All” classes at Garfield in the way they have according to their union contract. And the teachers’ decision has the support of the principal and the district administration.

* It’s possible other departments at Garfield may make similar changes in the future, over the summer, with similar communications, with the support of the principal and district administration. According to the teachers, such changes would also have the broad support of the students and staff.

* The district will be opening Lincoln high school in the north end in the next few years alleviating the need to send HCC kids south. If attendance drops at Garfield in the future, the number of full-time FTEs will be cut. Those teachers at Garfield who don’t agree with the changes (or are cut) can apply for a transfer.

If my HCC kids were slated to start at Garfield this year and I knew of these changes in advance would I have made a different decision? Probably not. But over the next few years that decision would likely change.

Anonymous said...

Methinks "curious" is not an actual parent of a HCC kid, but someone who is creating & fanning noxious flames. The royal "we" is another clue. No one else is pretending to speak for the whole community.

Check Under the Bridge

Anonymous said...

folks it was honor for none before it was honors for all. everything else is window dressing. why honors for none same reason as ss for all at tm as it looks bad; principal there had the gall to call it segregation. ms. taylor called the honors choice "apartheid." howard call to chip away at hcc and al does nothing. that is why curious the outrage. the teachers, principles and the district is effectively calling the hcc community racist because we want best practices to teach our kids; just like we would want for your kids curious.

-no caps

Sneak Attack said...

Gen Ed parents don't usually read the HCC blog. No one at the school has officially contacted us incoming 9th grade families yet so many might not know. The only official word has been an article in the Seattle Times saying Garfield was going to "cut honors." If they read that, it wouldn't apply to them. We got a couple of emails from the PTSA but if you aren't on their mailing list you wouldn't have heard anything else. Not one word. Agree, it's a shame the school has told NONE of us and think it's going to be a big unpleasant surprise for them too. Charlie is right, it affects every incoming 9th grader, not just kids in HCC.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is right, parents and/or students who want honors LA and History are getting it. The difference is the addition of students who did not request honors, but those kids are taking remedial classes in LA.

Since La skills are one of the best predictors of college success, this is a very positive step. How it hurts the HCC kids I fail to see.

The fears of colleges and universities somehow downgrading the classes value seems opposite of what may happen. Here's why.

All liberal arts schools are looking for a diverse student body, so what they look for in white and asian(2nd generation or more) is a record of working with students of color from backgrounds that are different. Kids(white and asian) who have a "school within a school" experience are less desirable.

So HCC parents, and for the record I am an HC parent who is gaming the system by NOT being in the cohort for the reasons I just mentioned, should be thanking Garfield administrators and teachers, the HCC kids are getting a favorable annotation to their transcripts.

The HCC kids could even highlight the whole experience in their essay.

Underwater Fish

Anonymous said...

Why not honors courses for all? Washington Post, 2011

Similar discussion and concerns (see reader comments). According to the current Fairfax County Public Schools website, "standard and advanced academic course options are offered for each of the four core subjects: English, mathematics, socials studies, and science." So they haven't eliminated standard (non-honors) core courses.


Anonymous said...

These must have been amazing honors classes. According to posters here, there was no differentiation and yet they were rigorous for all students who opted in. Meeting needs from those average students who were optimistic about their abilities to the profoundly gifted students at the top range of HCC, which would be at least a 4-6 year spread in academic ability. If Garfield LA teachers were doing that well without differentiating, I have high hopes for their efforts to meet the needs of a larger range of students when they are planning differentiation so deliberately. Especially since the students who are below grade level will be getting an hour a day of extra support.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

And a follow up article, Should everyone take honors classes?


Anonymous said...

@ Underwater Fish, your argument doesn't make any sense. The HC cohort program didn't exist at Garfield, so students weren't getting a "school within a school" experience in the first place. And nothing on their transcript would have suggested they were.

If you instead meant that to mean simply taking honors and AP classes gets you that non-diverse experience, are you saying colleges prefer students NOT take the most challenging classes available? Sure, ok.

As for a diverse student body, a student is more likely to get that by attending Garfield via the HC pathway than they would be avoiding the pathway and staying at their north end neighborhood high school.

What the heck is this "favorable annotation" Garfield HC (it's not "HCC" in high school) students will get on their transcripts as a result of this change? I think you're imagining things (just as you're imagining that you're somehow gaming the system with your choices.


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

@ High School Parent, who ever said the old honors classes were rigorous for all? I remember a lot of past threads that discussed how they were NOT sufficiently challenging, e.g., threads discussing the elimination of the AP World History options for incoming HCC 9th graders. The general feeling was that forcing those kids into honors SS was not appropriate for some kids, who needed more.

And you're joking that you think profoundly gifted kids get their needs met in SPS, right?


Anonymous said...

@ pot, Ok, how's this? All Garfield students have the same abilities and potential (well, in academics, that is--not sports!), and all are equally smart and equally able to do the same work and learn at the same pace. All are equally able to grasp new concepts and apply them to novel situations. All are equally well prepared for the next academic challenge, and they will all equally thrive. Go Garfield!


Melissa Westbrook said...

"How can we make them see that we need honors, and need them to be in gen-Ed like they're supposed to be."

What? How did you make that judgment?

Sneak Attack:

"The only official word has been an article in the Seattle Times saying Garfield was going to "cut honors."

No, I have the official word which is parents are to be notified soon (at least 9th grade parents.)

I do agree; it will be interesting to see if the enrollment patterns change in the next couple of years. Of course, because Lincoln and Meany are coming online, it will be difficult to see if that's enrollment realignment or unhappiness over this move.

"Especially since the students who are below grade level will be getting an hour a day of extra support."

That point is unclear to me. That's a required class? I think someone else pointed out if it is, those kids will get no electives. Another equity issue.

Pot, we don't allow multi-word names; try again.

Anonymous said...

I know I shouldn't respond to Pot, especially since the comment was deleted, but I am so very tired of being called a racist and elitist HCC parent.

If anyone believes HCC resistance to this plan stems from racism or elitism, it's because they don't understand what the HC designation is. The HC designation is essentially a clinical diagnosis of a learning "different-ability."

HC parents are concerned because this is happening at the HC pathway school. They would be equally concerned if Garfield had the same demographics as Roosevelt.

stop it

Anonymous said...

How about: All children have a valid point of view and opinion arising from diverse life experiences. I welcome the opportunity for my child to learn about the world outside of our home as a better understanding of the world and its varied people only comes through experience. I look forward to the multitude of learning experiences and fantastic conversations that a diverse social studies and language arts class will present my child.

Yes, my own experiences are coloring my opinion. Yes, I was lucky enough to attend a diverse high school. And yes, I still managed to get my PhD in the sciences.


Anonymous said...

Stop it,
I thought the HC designation came from passing a test. Is there more to it than that? A diagnosis of "different learning ability" seems to be more along the lines of what a psychologist would designate, rather than pass a test--a test that kids can take multiple times until they pass. Let me know if my understanding is incorrect.


Anonymous said...

if you don't think college admissions officers are aware of Garfield's reputation as having a "school within a school", you need to read some posts on College Confidential.

Schools like Garfield are flagged and it's easy to tell the former HCC kids by the classes they take by graduation. If an obvious HC kid does some outside activities that demonstrate an understanding of the greater world, like extensive tutoring at a low-income school or working with SpEd kids or non-affluent and non-white neighborhood groups, then it's not a problem to be at a self-segregating(according to Mr Howard) school, but absent some remedial social awareness activity, white and 2nd gen asian kids are at a disadvantage coming from Garfield compared to other Seattle high schools.

Also, DisAPP, colleges will note that Garfield offers only honors courses in 9th grade LA and History and is therefore integrating all students for those classes.

Unerwater Fish

Sneak Attack said...

Sorry Melissa, I only meant so far the only official word 9th grade families have had has been the Times article. So there could easily be a lot right now who don't know. Thanks for posting that they plan to send something but we haven't gotten it yet.

Anonymous said...

@ Underwater Fish, are you seriously saying kids coming from Garfield are at a disadvantage compared to those from other high schools like Ingraham, Ballard or Roosevelt in terms of their social awareness of the greater world? How about Lakeside or Bellevue high schools? Are they at a disadvantage compared to those kids too? These are their typical alternatives.

Be Real

Lynn said...

Peace - What about those of us who send our children to school for academics and value preparation for college and the opportunity to struggle a bit with difficult material over learning from other students's diverse points of view?

Questioning - Do you understand how norm-referenced tests work? You can't pass or fail them.

Underwater - You are out of your mind if you think a transcript full of AP classes is a negative or that participation in an honors-for-all class is an advantage in the college application process.

Next year they'll phase out regular 10th grade English and history classes and by the time Lincoln opens will offer only blended classes for all grades - with AP exam preparation optional for interested students. When two years of a world language becomes a graduation requirement, they'll phase out the difficult ones like Japanese and Latin and offer only Spanish for all. If that's what the remaining community wants I guess it's fine. It's not right to trap kids who need something different there now.

Sneak Attack said...

My point being, families who signed up for Gen Ed, or Remedial, might not have been complaining because they literally don't know it's happening yet.

Anonymous said...

Much cited article about highly educated white parents seeking segregated schools for their children. Included is the draft so that the full article can be accessed:

Reminder: This discussion about HCC/Gen.Ed student designation is moot since the HCC scores are invalid because the district doesn't use the discrepancy model required by test's author. Many designated HCC students should not have been qualified into the program because their scores would not have been considered significant when compared to their demographic peers, as the correct scoring of the test requires.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Peace and Love, yes, that is exactly a good way to look at this. I would really support that view especially in elementary school which is where it should start.

But high school is a pretty big deal and, of course, has a tremendous effect on getting into college especially competitive ones. I cannot fault parents for their concern.

"...but absent some remedial social awareness activity, white and 2nd gen asian kids are at a disadvantage coming from Garfield compared to other Seattle high schools."

I don't believe this, sorry. I don't think colleges meaningfully track the integration levels and associated activities of each student who applies.

I, too, don't believe for a minute it will only be 9th grade Honors for All.

Gotta say, this just makes charters look good (if only for the smaller class sizes.) Not because academic integration isn't something to consider (and many charters claim they have more diversity than regular public schools) but because parents don't like having the rug pulled out from under them. The district trips itself up every single time when they pull a switch like this.

Wait until the charter group, Basis, comes to town. They are a very high-achieving group of charters that is really for the academically motivated.

Sneak Attack, I think you are absolutely right on parents having no idea this is happening.

Anonymous said...


What about giving your child opportunities to struggle philosophically and socially as well? What about allowing his/her beliefs, good and bad, to be challenged. What about learning to listen to people he/she disagrees with and learning to stand up for his/her point of view even when in the minority. I think you would be doing your child a disservice denying him/her this opportunity.

And yes, overall, I do support some tracking. If they attempt to dismantle the whole program and eliminate all AP/IB programs, yes I promise to fight that with you. But I truly believe that two diverse classes during their ninth grade year could be a huge benefit to the entire population. And by fighting this, you are reinforcing the stereotypes of the other side as well.

-PeaceAndLove, PhD

Anonymous said...

I thought that a student had to get a certain score on a test to get into the HCC program. And that the student could take the test multiple times until that score was achieved. I'm sorry about the use of "pass/fail," but it's kind of the same basic idea.

Am I wrong that the test score is the sole designation for entrance into HCC?


Anonymous said...

One more thing and then I will bow out.

As a woman in the sciences, I would not have gotten as far as I have without some sense of perspective, self confidence, and ability to listen to other people but arrive at my own conclusion. And while yes, I thank my AP Calculus and AP Chemistry teachers for my strong base in academics, I also thank my diverse life experiences to give me the grit to continue on and not allow the men who felt the need to explain to my how Excel works, even after I finished my PhD, to influence the path I continue to choose for myself.

-Peaces and Love, PhD

Anonymous said...

College Confidential is fantastic but fantastical as well.


Should Half-Asian Applicant Disclose Ethnicity on Applications?
Do I Have Too Many Extracurricular Activities?
Can Asian Applicant Use DNA Results to Declare Mixed-Race Ethnicity
Top Student Receives Denials: Are Need-Blind Colleges REALLY Need-Blind?

and the ever popular stuff like

Unique Summer Activities That Can Strengthen Your College Application
Myths and Truths About Applying to Ivy League Schools

all under

The site is like classical music, they've used up all the notes, I'm sure there's something on the site about diverse yet segregated schools.

New Yorker

Anonymous said...


you seem to not understand this repeatedly under all your various monikers but here goes for anyone who is concerned about your incorrect assertions. there is a committee of experts that review test scores, recommendations from parents and teachers, ell/frl status and any other life situations before deciding on hcc placement so no one test score gets you in. in fact said committee gives special consideration for 2e/ell/frl to join the cohort. also, for hs you have to write an essay to get into the hcc whatever that means now.

they do not give special consideration on race like other groups do like rainier scholars.

honors for all is great but it was to be honors for none because of the self selection of some to want to not take honors. my kid did not take 100% honors/ap when they went to ghs. glad they had the choice.

-no caps

Charlie Mas said...

@Better?, how's this?
All Garfield students have the ability and potential to learn and that potential extends to the content of the 9th grade Honors English and 9th grade Honors Social Studies. Given equitable support they can all do the work and learn the material in these classes. Given equitable support they can all grasp the concepts in these classes. When they have completed the class they will all be prepared for the next academic challenge. Go Garfield!

Your straw man has a bitter tinge. No one is overstating or over-promising, but to suggest that a large group of students are incapable of success with 9th grade Honors English and Social Studies is not only unkind and unduly pessimistic, it is caustic to society.

Lynn said...


You seem to assume that every student who chooses to take honors and AP/IB classes is identical in background, beliefs and experiences. They're not. It's not necessary to give up academic challenge to access diversity in the classroom.

Fighting this next year when AP classes begin to disappear will be no more effective and you'll have fewer parents on your side. I predict a mass return to north end high schools from Garfield.


Anonymous said...

Many schools ask about experience with diversity, I believe they're called diversity essays. Being in these new honors-for-all classes, learning about and explaining the impact on Garfield and in particular on the student themself who is writing the essay, could be a big boost.

I could see a student writing about how these classes changed their perception of kids they would have otherwise never been in class with. How these classes challenged them about dealing with their family and friends after having the experience of the blended classes. Could be some great essay fodder for all kids in those two classes.

As for all honors, AP and IB classes disappearing from SPS high schools, that's baseless speculation, actually contradicted by the facts.

This will foster an explosion in high-performing charter schools? Maybe.

Will Mr. Howard and the Garfield staff also deflect an asteroid into Seattle? Sounds like the scary predictions are getting a bit whimsical.

going outside

Lynn said...

My child wrote her diversity essay on neurodiversity. It seems to have been effective, possibly because she took several summer writing courses for advanced students.

Anonymous said...

Why does this change signal the reduction of AP courses in the future at Garfield? Earlier someone noted that there were 12 honors LA classes and 5 regular LA classes last year. Those opting into honors are by far the majority. I imagine there were kids of color in the honors classes, but perhaps very few white/Asian students in the regular LA classes. Breaking up that stark segregation and distributing those kids among what will be 17 honors LA 9 classes will not sink all ships. The teachers must see potential in the kids who choose not to opt in to honors and this opportunity could very well open doors to more honors and AP classes for the rest of their high school experience. It will not be the case for everyone, but there are many college bound students who choose a non honors/AP class at Garfield to balance their schedules and play to their strengths.

It has been handled badly, but welcome to Garfield. Given that we're talking about 120 or so freshman who can be easily absorbed into 17 honors LA 9 classes and given opportunity perhaps instead of a segregated non honors high school experience, can't we all dial it back a bit? What if some of those kids are able to continue on the college track throughout high school and become that first gen college student? Honors and AP classes at GHS are not going away with this change, but hopefully there will be some of those kids who took honors in 9th grade and are taking AP LA Lit in 12th grade beyond their wildest dreams.

So instead of fleeing to Interlake (are you able to qualify for their gifted program - that bar is much higher.) or proclaiming the death knell at Garfield because they are going to try something new, why don't we give it a chance? There have been some phenomenally bad teachers at GHS in the past (gone now, but not too long ago) that "taught" AP and honors classes. My kids had them and literally, nothing was taught or learned. It was awful - but an easy A. These LA teachers seem highly motivated and a talented lot. The Facebook rant was awful, but not representative of the teachers on the team.

Hopeful Bulldog

Jet City mom said...

There are more important lessons to be learned in high school (& life), than the ones intended to be transmitted by taking only and always the most " rigourous" coursework.

The kids that took multiple AP courses along with my daughter and her classmates who needed more support and who generally took only one or two APs at a time, were not hindered by their classmates who hadnt been in the gifted track since preschool.
Assuming that you all are concerned about college acceptance and career choice.
They are doing just fine.
So are most of the rest.
Some kids may be later bloomers than others, it just means we give them a bit more attention.

Anonymous said...

"Garfield High School: Where All The Kids Are Above Average"



Melissa Westbrook said...

Going Outside, charter schools are not whimsical. If you think that, you are clearly not paying attention. But when money gets diverted from Garfield and SPS in general because of charter schools, you might.

So the reasons I am hearing for "Honors for All:"

- so white kids will have something to write about for their college essays?
- "The teachers must see potential in the kids who choose not to opt in to honors and this opportunity could very well open doors to more honors and AP classes for the rest of their high school experience." Okay, but they did have that option without doing this? Is the idea to put kids who wouldn't ordinarily consider honors more comfortable?
- to allow more understanding with more kinds of kids. I agree; that's great but it also assume that all white students and all Asian students have the same backgrounds just because they are in honors or AP. I'd like to know how anyone knows that. (And I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me how Asian students don't add racial diversity to AP and honors classes.)

I think Jet City Mom states the obvious - is there one reason to do this that overrides any other? Is it for better academic outcomes for more students? Is it to better integrate Garfield classes for the good of the kids and their socialization? Is one more important than the other?

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard anyone say that Asians are not part of racial diversity.

Just as the current news is focused on disproportionate police profiling
and force toward African Americans and Hispanics (and likely Native
Americans), so these same groups are systematically excluded in representation
in advanced programs, higher education, employment and may other measures of full inclusion in this society.

Historically excluded groups is the issue here. Diversity seems to often be
shorthand for this reality.


Melissa Westbrook said...

FWIW, you're right, no one "said" that but when I ask how come people believe that HCC has no diversity when there are many Asians, I get crickets. This is consistent with what the Times said in their article on Garfield as well.

I do not believe - at least over the last 10 years - that any group has been "systemically excluded in representation" from Advanced Learning. Do I think the district needs a different/better test? Yes, I do. Do I think they need other ways of outreach? Yes.

But to make it sound like the district did not want to include these groups in Advanced Learning is just not true.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the way the teachers see it is that without encouraging (forcing) that subset of kids who would not sign up for honors they doom them to a mediocre high school experience from day one of ninth grade. And then lose them, as I have heard one of the teachers on the team say, to 23rd and nowhere (a reference to 23rd and Cherry, Garfield's cross streets, for those not familiar with the CD). These teachers see it everyday. Those kids are not necessarily going to be fine like the kids in honors and AP. This is their shot, what they as teachers can do to encourage academic success. It may not work. Maybe things will revert to honors/reg after the first semester. Honors and regular will continue to be choices for 10th grade, I hope. And it has been handled badly.

But if you are a teacher and watch talented kids slip through your grasp in 9th grade and you think this can help, without destroying the academic experience for everyone else in honors, you would want to try it. Because without trying it, you're turning them out to 23rd and nowhere.

Hopeful Bulldog

Anonymous said...

Really - with all the racism that is driving the news cycle these days - with all the innocent people being shot by cops because of fear and misunderstanding - with Trump resonating with so many people who worry about what "immigrants" and "Muslims" are doing to our country - and you think the only thing white kids will get out of two integrated classes is an essay for college?

I fully expect this comment to be deleted. And it is your blog - you have every right to dictate the terms of the conversation. For the most part I very much respect what you do and often agree with your conclusions. But I deeply disagree here.


Anonymous said...

Also: If you look you look at subgroups, some Asians are vastly underrepresented
in the "success" factors. Pacific Islanders needs are often overlooked:


Anonymous said...

Melissa, I did not say anyone "wanted" to exclude anyone.

Unless one adheres to a eugenics model, the lack of representation in advanced learning is systematic bias (or worse). "Needs better outreach" could be an explanation if the privileged folk were not the ones benefitting.

Systematic exclusion can be understood in terms of the implicit bias on a large scale:

Of course, preserving privilege can also be willful and political, as history repeatedly proves.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Those kids are not necessarily going to be fine like the kids in honors and AP."

Boy, that irritates me. Neither you nor anyone else can know that those kids will be "fine." Are they more likely to be okay? Probably but you make a lot of assumptions in that statement.

"..mediocre high school experience from day one of ninth grade.." So any kid not in an honors class, this is their fate?

So I'm puzzled. If you are a teacher in any class, isn't it your job to have rigor? Why is there this assumption that honors means more? It doesn't. It's just a class that goes faster and deeper but that doesn't mean real learning can't happen in any other class.

Peace, you obviously don't know this blog. We allow nearly any comment - whether you agree or don't disagree. We just don't allow anonymous comments, threatening ones or name-calling. So you'd be wrong.

And I didn't say this change would help white kids with their essays - others did. I was summarizing.

FWIW, that's right. There is this tendency to lump all Asian-Americans under "Asian" when, of course, everyone is different. But whether it is a high-achieving Asian group or one that is underachieving, they are still minority groups.

Crow Magnon said...

"I could see a student writing about how these classes changed their perception of kids they would have otherwise never been in class with."

Does that say white kids? The kids who signed up for non-honors are in with kids whom they would never share a classroom, same as the honors kids.

"How these classes challenged them about dealing with their family and friends after having the experience of the blended classes."

There could be some prejudices from both directions about this blending. Some kids hear mean stuff said at home(about the rich, about the the poor, etc.) and this will challenge those stereotypes.

"Could be some great essay fodder for all kids in those two classes."

College essays are best written about personal experiences and in particular transformative and inspirational ones. They are also about writing skills and this change at Garfield is intended to help all kids write better.

Lynn said...

Where did you get the idea this change is intended to help all kids write better? Seriously, that hasn't been suggested by the teachers. Maybe I'm unimaginative but I can't see group project-based learning providing effective writing instruction.

Anonymous said...

You're far from unimaginative Lynn, but the meritocratic world you promote is inherently unfair to those without a head start.

Melissa, can you forbid the use of capitalization, or the lack thereof. It is not like you want everybody writing in all caps? eh?

some decorum

Anonymous said...

this thread is about two things but it not about hcc inclusion and means. it has evolved into that because imho one troll who does this every time. those are not comments following the thread topic. yes race is truly a factor but nothing about cogat or false claims about a single test or multiple test dependent on if you are in our not. these are credible topics especially if they weren't reviewed by several folks annually downtown. but sure their own thread would be great. i trust there will be few posters talking about building decisions and the transparency that they lack.

this is too big of an issue to let a single poster with several monikers (don't deny it either dude - i just wish ghs and sps were as transparent as your post are) dilute the issue at hand for hcc which is the lack of consistency building to building and the true distrust we have with our educators to do as they say especially when the process is so flawed. as a reminder howard said he was doing this not to raise kids up but to chip kids down. what would have happened if floe had said that? also this is magically a south of the ship canal problem?

-no caps

Melissa Westbrook said...

Some Decorum, I think it goes without saying, "don't write in all caps for your entire post." For those of us who are lazy, I don't mind one word for emphasis.

I have to agree - the thread is going circular so I will likely end comments soon.

Anonymous said...

as for all the race baiting comments they should also not included in this post as the district never said there was institutionalized racism it just said basically there is a historical correlation therefore there might be causation. (when the simple truth is that this is a much harder problem to solve as the deficit is clearly based on ell/2e/frl and not race. and al wisely lowers the test levels for these groups for greater inclusion. just a response to all of the off topic post above )

BUT ANY RACE COULD HAVE TAKEN either CLASS. THERE WERE NO RACIAL BARRIERS. and should we fall for the districts white wash of the facts when in reality it is an attempt to chip away at a program many of the kids have been in for 8 years.

and as cm has said any class could have been taught to any rigor regardless of name.

-no caps

Anonymous said...

as for all the race baiting comments they should also not included in this post as the district never said there was institutionalized racism it just said basically there is a historical correlation therefore there might be causation. (when the simple truth is that this is a much harder problem to solve as the deficit is clearly based on ell/2e/frl and not race. and al wisely lowers the test levels for these groups for greater inclusion. just a response to all of the off topic post above )

any race could take EITHER class. therefore NO racial barriers. and should we fall for the districts white wash of the facts when in reality it is an attempt to chip away at a program many of the kids have been in for 8 years.

and as cm has said any class could have been taught to any rigor regardless of name.

-no caps

Outsider said...

One thing that I wonder about is the never-challenged assumption that forced integration creates warm feelings and understanding among communities. There is some empirical evidence that could be brought to bear. What about the whites who endured forced busing in the 1970s? Are they now paragons of progress and right thinking as a result? Or are they all voting for Trump?

If today's students see their education being limited in service of integration, what will they really learn from that? Don't ask them. They know enough never to tell you what they really think.

If warming a seat in an inclusive classroom will help get you into college, because you have experience of diversity, students would happily do it. I wouldn't assume HCC students at Garfield all dislike the new honors-for-none approach. It could actually work out well for them, if they get PC cred with admissions officers while not burning out on difficult coursework. But it must be stressful for the kids and their parents, because no one knows what the rules are anymore. Do you get ahead by learning complex stuff, or memorizing a PC catechism, or performing PC rituals, or some combination of all that? What combination? People have a general sense lately that the social contract has been cut in strips and mounted in the restroom, and nothing is fair anymore. Everything is a game with unknown and ever changing rules, and everyone is grumpy and stressed out as a result.

Think back to the time in the old Soviet Union when the state exercised maximum control over the life of citizens. Doesn't matter when exactly that was. One thing you know for sure: at that moment, citizens were not developing deep respect for the Soviet system as a result. Somewhat the opposite. Systems where there is a mandatory public truth very different from what your lying eyes tell you; and where the game seems to have no rules and outcomes are arbitrary -- it's caustic to the soul and breeds hatred for the system. No one tells you that at the time, of course, but it becomes very clear later.

People have a presentist bias, ignoring the furious pace at which seeds of change are planted. They rarely think (based on historical experience) what the change is likely to be, or how huge it will be. America is not exceptional. (Just trying to bust out of the circle.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Outsider, John Stanford said it was bad and doesn't work. We all thought the district would have learned from that lesson but no. What I wonder (but never sought out answers about ) is if there are more kids from the neighborhood where Thurgood Marshall sits who have now gone into HCC. It would seem if you had that program right in your school, that the principal would seek to get more kids in.

Does anyone know?

"People have a general sense lately that the social contract has been cut in strips and mounted in the restroom, and nothing is fair anymore. Everything is a game with unknown and ever changing rules, and everyone is grumpy and stressed out as a result."

I think there is indeed confusion about what to do, what to say and so forth. It's great that the ground under many people in this country is shaking and we are coming to grips with our issues. But flipping a table is not the only way to clear it.

Anonymous said...

Pretty bad advice there outsider. A hollow essay full of PC jargon and a transcript with seatwarming in any classes will get you nowhere these days.

The reason Lakeside kids go everywhere is they engage with each other, do a lot of group projects together and learn about the lives of each other.

Now this change at Garfield is leading to totalitarian communism?

Holy Guacamole

seattle citizen said...

Sneak Attack, you wrote, My oldest has been caught in the net of "Honors for All" at Garfield. We are scrambling best we can to get out and will certainly not be sending younger kids there."
Are all three of your kids in HCC?

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

I copied this commentary on the Seattle Times article from a Facebook post written by a 2015 Garfield grad:

Mr. Howard, by all accounts has been under a microscope as a black man running Garfield, but this apologetic tone was far from present while I was there. This whole “I don’t know who to please,” thing is ridiculous. Y’all white AP parents need to get a fuckin grip. I understand it’s hard to realize that a public school system has to cater to every child not just yours, but guess what? Public schools weren’t even made with us (black students) in mind to begin with so your pathetic cries are bullshit because this system was crafted with your child in mind HENCE the reason why all those statistics about our gap in AP classes is stated. Now, back to Howard and the sincerity he claims. Asking the question, “Who do I please?” is so pitiful. Pleasing a white parent versus a black parent means what? From what I’ve read, black parents are asking for a faculty that treats their children with common decency, aren’t criminalized, and are actually guided by counselors instead of being discouraged, which seems to be the only thing they’re actually good at. Garfield successfully drives multiple black students from their school every year due to all of these things (21 out of 24 students banned from campus being black) then wonders why people have so many complaints.
I want to applaud Howard and multiple other faculty members for acting like they actually give a shit about our education. When was the faculty looking out for students? I’ve come across only a handful of teachers who seemed to genuinely care about my future at that school. From Woodward constantly calling security on black kids hanging out in the library as opposed to doing the same for the pack of white kids who were also there, to Mr. Courtney telling every black student I’ve come across, and probably that he's come across, that they’d be better off not applying to any colleges and going to community college instead, to in class embarrassment and disrespect by COUNTLESS teachers. Garfield has happily fostered systemic racism met by teachers who harass you with microaggressions on the daily. There have been a multitude of incidences where black students have attempted to voice their concerns and have been shut down by administrators and staff that mock their concerns.
Garfield is nothing but a safe haven for white students to reach their full potential and be told by faculty and the whole goddamn world that they are good enough, that they are special. Why else would you guys be chipping away at the Y-Scholars, formerly known as Urban League Scholars, funding? You think because you reside in the Central District with a lengthy history in social justice that you can use that to hide your disservice to us. Your language is hallow, and if it were to be filled with anything, it’d be lies. Miss me with your pounds of bullshit Garfield.
Side note: If these crybaby ass white parents are in the way of an immersion program for black boys, the most targeted demographic at that school (in my eyes, besides black girls), you need to shut the e n t i r e fuck up and let it happen. But good lord, if you let Mr. Willis, the WORST counselor (tied with Courtney), counsel them, then you’re going to undo whatever progress is made during the program.

Charlie Mas said...

All of this upset is predicated on the assumption that the 9th grade Honors English and 9th grade Honors Social Studies classes will be less rigorous academically in 2016-2017 than they were in previous years. That's it. That's the concern.

And what is the basis of this concern? The presence in the class of students - about a third of the students - who didn't choose Honors. There is a presumption among some that these students are incapable of the work and that they will drag the whole class down to their pace and scope.

And what has the school offered to counter that concern? They have committed, in clear and sincere language, to maintain the academic expectations in the class. They have committed to providing the struggling students with an unprecedented amount of support. They have committed to intense professional development around working with heterogeneous classes. They have committed to assessing the effectiveness of their efforts. They have offered every possible assurance - more than anyone ever had before - that the academic expectations of the classes will be sustained.

Given the extraordinary effort by the teachers to address the concern and to help every student be successful in the class, I think people should be willing to give them the chance. There are now more guarantees of academic rigor in the classes than there have ever been. The families that have that concern should have been even more concerned before when there were so assurances of rigor in the instruction and no assessment of the rigor offered. You were flying blind before, trusting entirely in the teachers - the same teachers you now refuse to trust when they offer assurances. Moreover, people don't really have a choice. It's the teachers' decision.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone what rigor really is. It's not about "one grade level ahead" or "two grade levels ahead". HCC, as we know, is just a grade-skipping program with a cohort to ameliorate some of the social consequences of grade-skipping. That's not rigor. Rigor is the goal of helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging. I think that's more likely to happen with a wider circle of students in the room, not a smaller circle.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Thank you for the thoughtful, reflective, and kind post above.

Lynn, Sneak Attack, Melissa, no caps, DisAPP, and others - Detailed information is listed on the GHS website about Honors for All, resources, curriculum, support, and the 9th grade parent survey. I understand that you do not agree with this decision to integrate LA and SS, but please realize that many, many people are working very hard to provide a quality education to ALL students at GHS. Please help us do that.

Thank you, CapitolHill Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Now this change at Garfield is leading to totalitarian communism?"

Oh, for Pete's sake, no one is saying that. Geez.

As for Lynn's post from a Facebook post,just to state, we generally do not allow cursing here but for this instance, I'm okay with it:

"I want to applaud Howard and multiple other faculty members for acting like they actually give a shit about our education."

"There have been a multitude of incidences where black students have attempted to voice their concerns and have been shut down by administrators and staff that mock their concerns."

Wait a minute. If there institutional racism at Garfield, who has headed Garfield for years and years and yes, has the majority of the power? You can't say Howard is helpless against this and then credit him for change.

Charlie, I'm not sure I'm as clear on these promises as you are given the district's long, long record of NOT backing up such initiatives with resources and support (verbal support doesn't count as many have found.) I have my doubts because of class size as well.

And again, you don't have to remaster any schedule if the commitment was there for every - single - core class at Garfield to have rigor. That's could have happened any time and yet...?

CapitolHill Parent, do not ever doubt my commitment to public education. I like to think my record stands for itself.

But won't stop me from asking hard questions especially as this district says they have a family engagement tool. Parents, especially of those 9th grade students directly affected, should have been told much sooner.

And again, the only reason this came out is because of a newspaper article, not because the district announced it.

The statement that I got from the district does not acknowledge the other policies involved in this change and that, too, is suspicious.

I have expressed my concerns and I do wish all involved good luck.

Anonymous said...

From the Garfield info: "A recent study found Seattle Public Schools has the fifth widest achievement gap of all school districts in the country."

Nitpicking, but the above statement as written is false. The Stanford study, from which the statement is taken, places Seattle 5th "among the 200 largest districts in the US." Not all districts, but the 200 largest. Oakland, ranked fourth, is similar to Seattle in that you have wide disparities in income depending on neighborhood, from the more affluent Oakland hills area (median income around $120,000) to West Oakland (median income around $35,000). If you live in the hills, you might send your child to public school, but if you live in the flatlands (and are higher income), you might go private or make plans for moving elsewhere.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Details, good catch. I have to wonder why Communications did check before they made that statement. I predict you'll see that "fact" written like that from here on out by others who get it from the district.

Anonymous said... follow up comment disappeared (maybe too long?), but it's not clear from where the #5 ranking number came - did the Seattle Times Data Guy crunch the Stanford study numbers, or was it taken from another's analysis of the Stanford data? A commenter on the Times article (former graduate student in Stanford economics department) was also unable to find the source for the number.

In a summary of the study, it finds "significant black-white gaps in a number of smaller school districts that are home to major universities: Berkeley, California; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Charlottesville, Virginia; Evanston, Illinois; and University City, Missouri."


Anonymous said...

exactly mw on two points: this was stated as a plan to chip away, not add more rigor to ghs. with that paired with miss taylor's inflammatory scree (which she was so comfortable posting) i find little hope that they will be honest in any execution or assessment of tully's ruse.

also mw, as you said if this was an issue throughout his career at ghs why not fix it before? i am sure he would probably admit privately that he understands that this will fix nothing as how can you fix poverty with a change in scheduling. and the divide is just that, one of income not skin color. i would guess nearly all if not all of those expelled came from difficult home situations irrespective of their skin color.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Did you all don your hoods and white robes this morning to protest your children from the blasphemies against the HCC? I hope so. HCC should not be corrupted.


Anonymous said...

thanks details for posting; imho this is the problem with tracked hc programs in more diverse communities what is ses disparity is seen as segregation or apartheid like some teachers and principals would lead you to believe.

but imho the defense/rebuttal of hcc should be a separate thread but mc and all his monikers always swings around to their perceived in equity in the program (even though there are accommodations to get more ell/ses/2e kids into it).

this is why i believe they will ignore the facts and support anything that de-tracks schools. for whatever reason they don't support it so anything - like this plan to chip away at it- they will get behind.

so no cap hill parent you are wrong that i as a parent with hc kids am not working for the best education for ALL kids and i surely know that mc is certainly not supporting me in the quest to get the best practices for my kids. knowing that this statement "provide a quality education to ALL students at GHS. Please help us do that." rings as hollow as all your other post. And to include Lynn and MW in that plea is downright incredulous...

no caps

Anonymous said...

reader do you actually read the post? i find great offense in your post... i have lived a way to diverse life to be called a racist. let alone a klan member.

delete thehate

Anonymous said...

So far, looking at the references GHS teachers are using to support the change, we have 1) a statistic with no verifiable source, and 2) a model school for detracking, South Side in in Rockville Centre, NY, which a reader familiar with the area compares to Lakeside demographics.

The resources seem to leave out effects on highly capable students, though there has always been the issue of ceiling effects on grade level assessments used to compare student outcomes (the Stanford ranking number is based only on data from Grades 3-8, by the way). The district released some data on HCC-qualified/not enrolled vs HCC-qualified/enrolled, but it was based on grade level assessments, and was aggregated in a way that made it questionable (it was not broken down by grade level, elementary vs middle school). If I remember correctly, the disparity was in LA, and I wonder if students are more likely to opt-in to HCC to access accelerated math/science, which is more clearly accelerated, than to access advanced LA (which in SPS doesn't have a defined curriculum or clear means of advancement).

The details probably don't matter to those making the change, as it's clear from the GHS info they are moving forward. The info has enough references to fuzzy pedagogy, however, to make one leery - constructivist, mindset, multiple intelligences, project based learning, etc.


Anonymous said...

Link to Complex Instruction: Equity in Cooperative Learning Environments by Cohen, et al., another cited resource from the Garfield info. Note that the examples are based on elementary and middle school social studies classrooms.


Anonymous said...

Melissa & FWIW-- I agree with Melissa's post. Lumping all "Asians" together assumes a shared history, class & identity. Same goes for lumping "Caucasian" students together as "white" in the same class etc. North African, Middle Eastern, Maltese, Sicilian etc. etc people are all Caucasian but they don't share a similar history with White Anglo Saxon Protestants or Northern Europeans. In addition, there are many working class & low socio N Europeans as well.

Anonymous said...


I just read Danny Westneat's Seattle Times article, "Ron Sims column met with avalanche of white delusion", and I think you might enjoy it, too. You can read the full article here:

CapitolHill Parent

Anonymous said...

that is exactly NOT what this thread is about cap hill parent... but as long as you can smear to dismantle hcc i guess it doesn't matter. it's about ALL the children unless they are in the hcc program. you are just tully's little soldier.

when you try to fix something and you don't even know what the real issues are then you are probably aren't going to be that successful.

no caps

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader, unpleasant and uncalled for. I believe I have warned you in the past about your tone.

Anonymous said...

A relevant story from another Garfield School long ago in another place. What these teachers are trying to do deserves our support not cynicism. Change is hard but it is necessary though probably not sufficient. Sustaining change is even harder. Status quo won't cut it.


Lynn said...

That Garfield had little in common with our Garfield and he was a math teacher not an English or history teacher. What lesson are we supposed to take from his experience and apply to this experiment? I will note that he produced those AP results without pulling a bunch of gifted students into his classroom. Instead, he relied on hard work by teacher and students.

The comment I posted above doesn't indicate that this particular student thinks the troubles black students experience at Garfield arise from offering regular and honors level classes. Why do the teachers?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Observer, what would support look like? Honestly, I'd like to know.

And the dreaded "status quo" that Principal Howard apparently has been okay with for years and years? I'd take that up with him.

Charlie Mas said...

The arguments against this proposal just keep getting weaker and weaker.

* Doubts about the promises. The promises are not from the District; they are from the teachers who will be teaching the classes. They are actually more specific than the promises that families had before.

Here is the promise, right off the Garfield High School web site:
"We will be preparing all students for advanced classes in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. The curriculum will not be “watered down” or modified in such a way that students are at a disadvantage in later years.

The curriculum will focus on developing a safe and highly engaging collaborative classroom climate, one that fosters critical thinking and academic growth. We will deepen and increase the rigor of the curriculum, challenging students to develop, practice, and master a wide range of skills.

If you doubt the promise, then you're saying you don't trust the teachers to maintain the academic rigor in the class. Since before this change you were relying entirely on the teacher to sustain the academic rigor in the class, this is no change.

* Why not just increase the rigor of the regular class to match the rigor of the Honors class? Seriously? Is someone seriously suggesting that the school should trick the students into doing Honors level work but not give them the reward of an Honors designation on their transcript? Why? To preserve the separation between the students who chose Honors and those who did not? Is this even a serious suggestion?

* Why didn't they announce it? Why was it revealed in a newspaper article?" So now the problem isn't that it is happening, but that they bungled the public relations? That's not an argument against the change; that's a criticism of the school's public relations practices.

"* But the article said this was part of a plan to chip away at rigor No. Mr. Howard said that he was going to chip away at tracking, not rigor. Why you gotta tell lies? Doesn't the truth support your argument?

"* A Garfield teacher wrote impolitic things in a Facebook post" Yeah? Really? How is a Facebook post by a teacher who is not part of this effort more authoritative than the statements by the teachers who are making this change on the school web site? Why are you giving it any credence at all, let alone more than the school web page?

"* This is a trick by Assistant Superintendent Michael Tolley Mr. Tolley had nothing to do with this. This was a decision made by the teachers at Garfield to address the de facto racial segregation at their school. And let's be clear that "de facto" racial segregation is about how things turn out, not about how they are intended. Racial segregation is not the intent of two tracks, but it is the undeniable effect.

* Why not fix this before? Since when has that ever been a legitimate reason not to fix something now?

* This won't fix poverty and this is an economic divide, not a racial divide." No one is trying to overcome poverty or every single thing that creates inequity in these children's lives. This is an effort to fix this one small inequity - some children are well supported and motivated to reach for the academic rigor in Honors classes and some children are not. With this change all children will be supported and motivated to reach for that level of academic achievement. With the necessary support and motivation, even the kids from low income homes can do it because that's how the kids from affluent homes do it.


Charlie Mas said...

... Continued

* This change is supported solely by flimsy or irrelevant evidence from only two sources. That's just denial. The teachers have a lot of data and studies that support their effort. More than that, they have a belief that with the necessary support and motivation, all children can reach the concepts taught in a 9th grade Honors English and Social Studies class. I shudder at hearing people say that this work is somehow beyond the reach of their young minds. It ain't brain surgery, folks. It's high school freshman history and English.

* The data doesn't speak to out-of-grade level results Let's go back to the first point: the rigor of the classroom will not be compromised. The students who selected Honors will still be getting Honors. You have more assurance of that than anyone has ever had before. There is no data on how advanced students were affected because advanced students were not affected. You keep talking about this as if it were a change for the advanced students - it's not. They are not the ones affected by this. The students affected by this change are those who declined to take Honors but have been thrust into it anyway.

"* The proposal includes a lot of buzzwords I don't like such as: constructivist, mindset, multiple intelligences, project based learning, etc." I can't believe I even have to respond to this ad hominen. Guess what? There are people who have different ideas about education than the ideas you have. Guess what? That's okay.

"* This is part of an effort to dismantle HCC HCC is a 1-8 program. There is no HCC in high school. At the high school level, all of the classes are open to all of the students. There is no HCC to dismantle at Garfield so this couldn't possibly be part of any such effort. Also, only one-quarter of Garfield students came from HCC but two-thirds of the students take 9th grade Honors English or Social Studies, so the former HCC students are already mixing with a lot of non-HCC students in these classes.

"* When you try to fix something and you don't even know what the real issues are then you are probably aren't going to be that successful." Good thing the teachers know what the real issue is. It's the de facto racial segregation caused by self-selected tracking in their school. Do YOU know what the real issue is?

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt they will maintain rigor when these instructors are citing pseudo-science like Gardner. Clearly they have been educated in the most popular fashion in their teaching schools, but were not taught critical thinking skills. There is good reason for APP parents to be wary.

1. Empirical research does not support the theory of multiple intelligences.
2. Multiple intelegence is a direct rebuttal to the theory of g factor. (...which has it's problems, not least of which has been its use in defending racial prejudice.)
3. G factor has been a selection criteria for advanced tracking for a long time. So, defacto this is an attack on gifted education. Also, read Gardner. He is very much against gifted education.
4. Telling everyone they are "Smart" turns out is just as or more harmful to learning than telling folks they are "not smart"... Check the research on this one... (One of the reasons to have your child in gifted education is so that they are not always told they are smart, but find themselves falling behind others... this is a much better place to be when learning to learn.)
5. Those granted a high g factor tend to have better abilities across multiple types of intelligences... plenty of research on this one.
6. Multiple intelligence theory has been destroying classrooms for over 20 years, replacing actual teaching with sensory experiences and slow moving projects.
7. Although advanced classes are not just for those who test into APP in high school, there should be some options for advanced learning K-12. Isn't that the regulation K-12? I don't think any parent would defend keeping truly advanced students out of advanced classes based on an IQ score, so long as there are truly advanced options for advanced students, whatever they are called, K-12.

Multiple Intelligences, the Mozart Effect, and Emotional Intelligence: A Critical Review
Waterhouse... Abstract... This article reviews evidence for multiple intelligences theory, the Mozart effect theory, and emotional intelligence theory and argues that despite their wide currency in education these theories lack adequate empirical support and should not be the basis for educational practice. Each theory is compared to theory counterparts in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience that have better empirical support. The article considers possible reasons for the appeal of these 3 theories and concludes with a brief rationale for examining theories of cognition in the light of cognitive neuroscience research findings.

Long History

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

Reposting for anonymous at 11:11

"Well, Charlie, one can only hope the skeptics are proven wrong...only time will tell. Anecdotally, our children's experiences with some of these group work methods have not been positive. I sure wish I had your optimism."

I totally agree. I don't have any optimism that this will end well.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, ever heard the phrase "actions speak louder than words"?

They talk a good game, but we'll see if they can walk the walk. Their past actions have already spoken plenty loud and clear to most of us.

Be Real

Anonymous said...

Look at their sources. Their actions AND words speak. The goal is not honors curricula for all, it is social engineering. Good intentions, but it will be at the expense of academic advancement for many.

Long History

Anonymous said...

The classic Schools of Education bandwagon approach is alive and well with Gardner's MI. Teachers have been indoctrinated to use this approach with ALL of their students. The neuroscientific repudiation is clear. Question: Does applying the theory to teaching have any research basis for positive effects? No. But that would be the case whether or not there were tracked Honors/Regular. Therefore, raising this issue doesn't contribute to predicting the potential efficacy/harm of Honors for All since the teachers use this approach anyway, no matter the class composition.

On the other hand, the teachers are indicating many promising indicators that correlate to the largest effect sizes of teaching, including clear planning and high expectations, positive learning environment, etc. (I've included John Hattie's summary).

Your focus on the g factor is interesting. First, the district doesn't use IQ tests.
Second, the CogAT scoring by the district doesn't use Best Practices (discrepancy model) to identify the most talented students. Third, Lohman himself bemoans the lack of validity that has resulted from test prep (he calls it the "internet effect"). Four, the district allows multiple re-tests which invalidate scores. In other words, the district's HCC program is based on invalidity. As an aside, CogAT, when applied fairly, measures talent, not giftedness.

Finally, this is a public school, not a Charles Murray lab test. I mentioned eugenics earlier in the thread. You alluded to how proponets of the g factor have used it to defend racial prejudices, but we already knew that. It's actually been used for far worse than prejudice, but we already knew that, too.

Putting all this energy into getting the district to start properly identifying their HC students would be a good start. Moreover, after the students "test" in, they are not academically accountable beyond identification. That not only goes against all Best Practices, but is non-compliant with the state's HC law.

"There can be few crafts more necessary. Many factors shape a child’s success, but in schools nothing matters as much as the quality of teaching. In a study updated last year, John Hattie of the University of Melbourne crunched the results of more than 65,000 research papers on the effects of hundreds of interventions on the learning of 250m pupils. He found that aspects of schools that parents care about a lot, such as class sizes, uniforms and streaming by ability, make little or no difference to whether children learn (see chart). What matters is “teacher expertise”. All of the 20 most powerful ways to improve school-time learning identified by the study depended on what a teacher did in the classroom." (from the Economist article)


Anonymous said...

The Hattie list is great but it is not targeted to the advanced learner. Ability grouping has very mild positive effects on average but seems to have negative effects for remedial learners, slightly positive for advanced learners and fairly strong effects for very advanced or "gifted" learners. Take a look at the very strong positive effects for acceleration. To achieve acceleration for the already advanced students grouping is required otherwise the teaching is advanced to the average of the class.

Also take a look at the success of direct instruction. This is why so many other nations do so much better with so much less money and larger classrooms. Quality direct instruction, teacher clarity, strong classroom behavioral controls, spaced practice, teaching of problem solving.

I hate that the education system always seems to belittle quality direct instruction, when that clearly is what is effective.

Long History

Anonymous said...

No one is going to defend the history of IQ. I did not want to mention the eugenics history as it is terrible fuel for a fire, but our system for providing access to advanced learning, at least in early years is access controlled by a flawed, non-normed, derivative of a g factor test. "Talent" can easily be substituted for the term IQ without all the rigor and dogma associated, and that is the point. The best benefit of this crappy Cogat gate keeper is the authors right assertion that an ability to learn is not completely constant or static. (That said there are differences in processing speed that have an effect on learning, and certainly even mild brain damage can effect learning ability with varying degrees of permanence. Brain injury is poorly diagnosed and understood in many cases. Low birthweight and depression are on Hattie's list, but not concussion, hypoxia, or heavy metal exposure)

Our laws and standards protect advanced learning for the academically advanced based on IQ terminology and theory. This has a long history and some validity. To remove the g factor as a gate keeper removes the only protection for appropriate basic instruction for our brightest students. It would remove all protection for accelerated instruction, which is statistically clearly effective, see your Hattie if you like.

We have to remember that Garfield is the pathway school for HCC kids so there will be large numbers of advanced students who will suffer the most from, insufficiently advdvanced instruction at this school.
Long History

Anonymous said...

I wish we could have improved instruction for all but these teachers clearly are not working in that direction, look at their Gardner references. The project based approach will be at the expense of direct instruction and behavior control. Bit by bit we are getting further and further away from teaching and learning throughout the district.

The article about group projects above warns specifically about achievement gaps increasing in group projects if a unique talent for low status students cannot be sold to other group members. It also warns do the difficulty of doing this for middle and high schoolers. It also assumes that each group member possesses a unique componency needed for completion of the group project. (Which in reality is not the case. Often students have multiple talents or deficits that effect multiple domains) It also assumes that the teacher knows each student well and knows each students position and rank in every grouping and has the ability to convincingly change the social dynamic with a few choice words. This cannot happen in a class period with such large sizes... And does not happen in reality. In reality the advanced learner looks over the slow reader's shoulder and interprets the cartoon for them, then provides the schematic of the diagram for the other students to scale up and color in so they can look like they are contributing, and the sets about writing the answers to the assigned questions, and passing them out for the group presentation.... And only if they have learned to work with their group and have developed some time management skills.

I get so frustrated with our education system!

Long History

Anonymous said...

Since you mentioned Hattie, here's a sampling of effect sizes of various influences from Appendix C, "List of Influences on Achievement", from Visible Learning:

(Rank, effect size)

Acceleration (15, 0.68)
Classroom, behavioral (16, 0.68)
Prior achievement (20, 0.65)
Direct Instruction (29, 0.59)
Home environment (44, 0.52)
Quality of teaching (57, 0.48)
Enquiry-based teaching (91, 0.31)
Matching style of learning (125, 0.17)
Student control over learning (144, 0.04)

"For any particular intervention to be considered worthwhile, it needs to show an improvement in student learning of at least an average gain - that is an effect size of at least 0.40." The d=0.40 is considered a "hinge-point for identifying what is and is not effective." Of course I'm being selective in what's listed, but it's the effect size, not just the ranking, that's important.

-more numbers

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Lakeside discussions are used as a defense for project based learning. I've sat in at Lakeside. Classes are small and students are highly selected and accelerated. All students have completed the readings before discussion, and discussions are dual purpose as impromptu oral examinations. Students are provided with quality direct instruction as well. Students are expelled for disruptive behavioral issues. No comparison to public classes. You pay more tuition there than you will for college. Seems like you get some quality for all that dough.

Thanks for the list more numbers.

Long History

Melissa Westbrook said...

I actually thought I had said my peace on this issue but Charlie's lengthy explanation of the issue caused me to rethink. I'm not going to rebut every point but just point out a few things.

1) Charlie is the one who has consistently asked the question, "What was stopping Gen Ed classrooms from having better teaching/curriculum to the standards of an Honors class?" I repeat that question. So you overhaul two core classes in order to get to where you could have been years ago?

2) I have some doubts that the teachers themselves will be able to carry this off. Again, the district offers a lot of words but where are the resources to back this up? Well, just like dual language, IB and other programs, probably not coming. After all, Director Harris and the Superintendent had a somewhat sharp exchange recently where he said there were no promises made to IB and she opined that he wasn't there at that time and there were.

I'm not doubting the teachers' ability but I think reality will soon stare them down.

3) Sorry Charlie, but the district is now waving these "tools" in our faces and one of them is family engagement. The very people who should know about this are going to probably be the last to know - the parents of the 9th graders. Can't just pass that off to communications.

4) Again Charlie, Michael Tolley really is the guiding hand behind this. Trust me. This may have started at the school level but I doubt it would have gone anywhere without Tolley.

4) I'm glad Charlie did admit the real issue was the segregation of classes and not necessarily academics. Honesty is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

charlie, i agree with you that there is room for hope with this plan as it is defined, will be assessed to it's merits and has some sort of funding to allow for smaller class sizes and extra support. and howard did say chipping away at the pathway that tends to send most app kids to ap classes not rigor. but what does that mean exactly? less kids taking less ap classes is how i read it. and that wasn't what they were going to do... it was honors for none before it was honors for all. so de facto less rigor (and not a lie).

your thoughtful post forced me to reread the article several times and i found howard to be all over the place and the claims in the article are laughable. because he is black he is held to a "higher standard" yet he unilaterally sent all one sex/race of kids to one counselor. that isn't de facto segregation it was segregation. and for the amount of scandal that has come out of his building and remember martin floe was fired for what? the legal action from the rape on a poorly supervised field trip and then the choir teacher incident, too. those dollars could surely have been used somewhere else. I see no higher standard.

finally the issue is these kids who have the poor judgement to bring bb guns to school, steal cell phones and fight (items mentioned in the story) are not doing it because they are african american, right? can we all agree on that? why are they doing it I don't know but most of what i have read it has to do with what is happening at home.

opps, and yeah it may be tin foil hat paranoia to think that tully has something to do with no more hcc (and the last c = cohort is all they have in hs, sorry you are just wrong on that one) but it solves so many curriculum problems especially in hs. pair that with marshal ss and wms' moves and it seems awfully coordinated coming from the top and truly a tully type of move.

i have appreciated howard's candor throughout the years and hope he is able to achieve what he aims to do unless that includes chipping away at hcc's rigor and cohort. and thanks for your continued analysis.

no caps

Anonymous said...

well had a read your post before mw i guess i could got a bit more gardening done. spot on in my book. and thank you for your continued analysis too.

no caps

Outsider said...

There seem to be two Charlies who run this blog -- one who often complains that SPS plays games with words and never follows through, and another who will rap your knuckles if you predict that Garfield staff are playing games with words and won't follow through. I am more sympathetic with the first Charlie, though even he isn't cynical enough.

We're long past a point where truth has any role in public life. Everything is spin and bullshit. What people say means nothing. If you want to predict what people will do, look at their ideological commitments. If they are ideologically committed to leveling, that is what they will do. And then, there are lies, damned lies, and university experts. If they resort to university experts, not only are they bullshitting you, they are getting desperate.

But on the bright side, I would say this to cheer up Garfield students: I took general ed English in ninth grade and it wasn't so bad. I was an honors nerd, but new in town and the honors classes were full. After a couple of months, the teacher just gave me different books to read, and independent projects. I sat in the back and read "To Kill A Mockingbird" by myself, and spent a couple of weeks inventing an 8-page newspaper covering every aspect of life in Maycomb, Alabamba. It was fine. True, I didn't have to do group projects with kids who wanted to stuff me head first into a trash can. (Have 9th graders changed that much? I doubt it.)

Bright high schoolers do possibly work too hard nowdays, so maybe it's not bad to have a couple of easy courses, and you can learn a ton about life from the de-tracked experience. Some independent initiative will be required. Read the university experts cited by your teachers, and compare that to what you see with your own eyes. You will learn valuable lessons about university experts which will serve you well in life (but keep it to yourself). You can learn to work smarter, not harder -- there really is such a thing. You can develop the inner courage to see with your own eyes, even when your eyes contradict the PC catechism you are required to recite. That part might not serve you well in life, but it will make you feel more like a human being.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear Outsider! Hit the nail right on the head. Beautiful.

Be Real

Charlie Mas said...

As I said when I first heard about this proposal: it would be wrong to accept it without question and it would be wrong to reject it without question. What we needed to do was question.

Well, people have questioned and, uncharacteristically, the teachers have answered. The answers are pretty good. I recognize that some people disparage some pedagogical theories, so they may not like the answers, but there were answers. And, more than anything else, there was a commitment to assess the effectiveness of the change.

Those who made a kneejerk rejection of the idea and have since been holding their fingers in their ears and singing the Stars and Stripes Forever have not changed their minds, but they were never going to change their minds anyway. Their minds are not open to change. There was nothing that the teachers could have said or done to change their minds, so their views can be discounted.

I have, on many occasions, distrusted the District and their promises, but I have always given them a fair opportunity to fulfill them. These teachers have a very different track record. These are the teachers who have been teaching 9th grade Honors English and have been delivering an advanced curriculum for years. Their promise to do it in 2016 - 2017 is no different from their promise to do it in any previous year. If anything, their promise is stronger for the coming year because they will be assessing themselves and how well they achieve that goal. I expect there will be some lessons learned. I don't expect it will be perfect on the first try. But I think it is within reach.

More than anything else, I trust the teachers to assess the outcomes and to be honest about them. If this effort is the spectacular failure that people fear it will be, then the data will be there to show it.

I have little faith in the District, but I have much more faith in teachers. Let's not confuse them.

Sneak Attack said...

You know, you're right Charlie. These teachers pretty much blew it for me when they purposely didn't tell anyone in March. The news in the Times that they were going to "cut honors" and the ugly apartheid Facebook post confirmed my impression (obviously that teacher isn't on the team, do you think she could be after what she said??). Apparently, the teacher Melissa spoke to even misled her about why the information wasn't presented at spring PTSA meetings. And we have this first-hand account from a former GHS PTSA board member about a (private) meeting with these teachers. They're doing damage control as fast as they can, but do you really think that means we should have so much faith in them?:

"It is kind of amazing to me that the school made this decision and has already built their master schedule around it without apparently having a written plan of implementation or a community engagement plan ready to share. And it's not like any of these people just wandered into SPS - everyone pushing this knows precisely how controversial and how big this change actually is (one of the teachers described it to me as "enormous").

My conclusion after seeing this from pretty close range is that the principal and teachers are just making this up as they go. None of the teachers knew that remedial LA students would be taking a "double dose" of LA for example - they had to ask for more information on this in the meeting last week.

I believe that a decision to implement this for all 9th graders wasn't made on the basis of a plan, with real details on implementation and outcomes, but based on personal feelings and convictions.

I don't think the lack of information is accidental, I think there's a real desire by the teachers to do this without disclosure or engagement because they don't have a plan yet and worry about getting derailed.

If this hadn't come out in the Times story, when would it have come out? When people showed up for class?

.... The rich irony to me is that these are our civics teachers not wanting a public discussion..."

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

Reposting for Anonymous 8:42

~ You are probably right that those skeptical of the "Honors for All" are unlikely to change their minds at this point in time. Perhaps not because they are not open to change, but because they have experienced so much poorly implemented change after a decade plus in this district. Fool me once...and all that. Would there have been more support had the information been released earlier? We'll never know, but the teacher Facebook comment has certainly changed the conversation (and not for the better). ~

I for one would have felt a heck of a lot better if the information had been released earlier, before we committed to a high school during open enrollment.

Anonymous said...

Part of a similar trend? The city moving to dictate to neighborhoods, opinion piece in yesterday's Seattle Times,

But there has been a paradigm shift. What once was a citywide dialogue and community discussion about strategy, planning, performance, values and the inclusive advancement of alternative ideas has now been turned upside-down. Now we are simply informed of what is best for us, with no need for citizen outreach, community-council and other group input, and only a few very limited public meetings that most closely resemble a slick marketing program. In fact, last week Mayor Ed Murray chose to unilaterally eliminate city support of the neighborhood councils, effectively replacing them with a body whose members he will appoint and then be tasked with making recommendations back to the mayor and council.

The suppression of public discussion, lack of City Hall disclosure and inclusive study is unprecedented, and it has degraded the political process in Seattle.

Now we are being told to “embrace change” without any involvement in the process, with no seat at the table, and no real studies to predict the impacts and consequences of city policies.

Times Reader

Charlie Mas said...

There's a lot of conjecture masquerading as conclusion.

Anonymous said...

"How racially diverse is your school?" There's a useful tool in this article that shows the "Diversity Index" - Garfield rates a 72.7, compared to 45.4 for Ballard, 51.5 for Roosevelt and 63.5 for Ingraham.

Times Reader

Anonymous said...

I told my incoming HCC Garfield freshman about the "honors for all" and he said, "that's a good idea. I'll meet new people."

end of story for us.

-GHS Frosh

Anonymous said...

@ Charlie, can you clarify why you are so convinced the teachers will thoroughly evaluate the impact of this change? Is it based on this from the FAQs?

How will you measure the success of this change?

- Teachers will collaborate to develop assessments that measure student growth over time. They will use data from these assessments to guide their decision making.

- Students will also have the chance to give anonymous feedback at the end of each semester which will be reviewed by the team.

Collaborating to develop joint assessment for use throughout the school year (as I read that) is not the same as measuring outcomes and analyzing them by subgroups to see if this experiment works for all groups, some or none. They talk about using data to guide their decision making, but it seems to be in-class decision making (e.g., areas that need further review). Those in-class assessments aren't going to tell you that this is working (because the quality and level of rigor of the new curriculum is TBD), although they may tell teachers that it isn't (e.g., if scores routinely show large discrepancies between students). Whatever the case, though, the results of these new assessments are likely to be for internal use only.

An anonymous survey at the then of the year is likely to produce exactly the results they want it to produce if they construct the survey the way SPS typically does--and the way the constructed the new 9th grade survey. If they really want buy-in, they'll need to design the survey to respond to some of the concerns of various stakeholder groups, with questions designed to specifically get at the level of challenge for students forced into honors, as well as HC students. That means they'll also need to collect basic demographic data on these anonymous students.

To really measure the impact of this change, they'll also need to do some longitudinal analysis, such as comparing AP class uptake rates next year to those for current 10th graders (again, all analyses by subgroups--not just racial, but student "track"). They'll also want to look at AP score results, to see if those who were forced into honors end up doing as well on later AP exams if they take AP classes, and to see if AP scores for high achieving students are impacted. Not just pass rates, but scores.

Am I missing the teachers' commitment to this type of assessment? So far, I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe we'll have a great understanding of the academic impact of this change.

It also raises some red flags when they say things like "we will deepen and increase the rigor of the curriculum." If they are making the honors curriculum available to all, why do they need to to increase and deepen its rigor? Isn't it challenging enough already? Or are they really planning to modify the GE curriculum, and make it more honors-like?

See NoEval

Anonymous said...

Are you also asking for a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the self-contained model of HCC?

Are you asking for every student in HCC to be regularly evaluated for growth and academic progress, which will then determine whether or not they will continue to be in the program or be exited (as required by HC state law)?

Are you asking the district to start scoring CogAT scores by using Lohman's local norms Best Practices, which would measure the student's scores by school/region norms in order to determine who is likely to be actually talented?

BTW, the AP scores will be easy assess. You can probably ask for the numbers yourself. No one will be able to disguise the results, which makes this change all the more transparent.


Anonymous said...

many monikers, what we are talking about is honors for all, that was announced as honors for none until someone cleverly renamed it (tully?) at ghs, a hcc pathway school. please stick on topic: perceived lack of rigor and ghs' response to it.

look to ghs frosh (probably also you) to their fine example of sticking to the topic.

no caps

Anonymous said...

ad hominem


Anonymous said...

The parents of some kids tested in kindergarten don't want their child's ninth grade English class impacted by students from within the community in which the school resides? Because then suddenly these kindergarten-tested kids may not reach their full potential or may not get into an Ivy League School?

All parents have fears about their kids, some solid some not. This is a hot air balloon of a fear. Move on y'all. Jerry Large spoke some truth today. Oh, that's just a black man's view? Uh huh. It is. And when the northeast Seattle student crowd overrepresented in HCC come from schools like Bryant at 77 percent white and one of the least diverse schools in town parents damn well might think about hearing from folks that aren't looking at educational success for more, don't get me started about approaching all, through the lens of white economic privilege.


Anonymous said...

if you want to talk about all you hate about hcc ask mw to start a thread about that but this is not your blog; and to continually hijack it with your hate for hcc is transparent and disrespectful to all especially mw and cm who constantly fight for clear and open debate of ideas. the facts here are clear. and you clearly don't want to speak to them.

although i have no objection to honors for all. i agree with see noeval, how do you add rigor to an honors class. that seems to be an echo to honors for none which i really think they want as it will free up the tightening master schedule and unify c&i across the district (like killing 9th grade AP classes)

no caps

Anonymous said...

Southie, the honors classes were already about 50% kids not in the HCC program, so neighborhood kids. It was open enrollment, always. No self contained classes. There were never any self contained HC classes at Garfield.

It's also English and social studies- both had honors options before, now neither do.

Charlie, I think I just do not trust these teachers as much as you do. It is true for me too that I trust teachers much more than I trust the district. But after what I have heard I do not trust that they are being forthright in answering these questions. There are things they could say to change my mind, but I doubt they will, because I doubt they believe many of the same things about advanced students' needs(or whether they exist) that I do. No, i am not sure that they were teaching a rigorous enough class before, but at least the children in the class before had chosen to be there and so might work together to provide rigor for each other. Now that is gone, and though i didn't know much about the teachers before, now i know more, and i don't trust them to provide an engaging and rigorous education for any of the students. I hope I am wrong. I may well be.


Anonymous said...

straw man


Anonymous said...

this thread is not about "white economic privilege," or kindergarten it is about the ability to choose honors or having all 9th graders take an honors class, as well as the continued watering down of hcc c&i scope and sequence. only the district and hcc detractors are talking about "racial privilege." and not just white privilege because if your asian you are privileged too it turns out. all the while turning their backs to the real issue ses. get with the facts, stop the hate speech and stop being a tool for tully.

oh it is not my goal to get my kid into any prestigious 4 year college, it is to get them into a great post graduate program that they love pursing. but if they end their academic career after hs and have the tools necessary to follow their bliss i would be happy with that too. i just know, as i know them, that barriers to that are waste of time classes which sps has too many already and to think howard wants to chip away at rigor to solve a problem he hasn't identified correctly. i am very concerned.

no caps

Anonymous said...

What about the black and hispanic and poor asian families who want their kids in these honors classes with the HCC kids but without the non-honors kids?

HCC parents seem to be the ones here on the blog who are unhappy, but what about the reference area parents?

They may have some particular kids in mind they were counting on avoiding for their own kids by taking honors, as they know the local middle schoolers.

Aren't they too going to be concerned about the dilution of rigor?

The HCC community needs to reach out to the reference non-HCC community that signed up for honors and probably doesn't even know what's coming. Those groups need to work with the school, show up and show support on curriculum night, let the teachers know they are supportive and want to make it work.

Face it, the kids are going to pick up on the parents' enthusiasm or disdain. If you're enthusiastic and it works out or it doesn't, you look good; if you show disdain and the kids like it, you look bad.

Act the way you want your kid to act.


Anonymous said...

tully's tool, sorry you make no sense. every parent should be concerned about lack of rigor and preparation for college regardless of class or color of their skin. i would include ell and iep students as well as a group not well represented in honors programs, but all kids deserve rigor. why does howard want to have honor for none... imho because tully told him to.

no caps

Anonymous said...

oops "honors" for none.

no caps

Anonymous said...

+1 to sleepers's comment.

I only speak from experience with an ALO school that uses similar assurances/language in its ALO plan (which Charlie has called one of the better composed plans), but where classrooms are extremely ineffective places for HC kids.


Anonymous said...

@ FWIW, I welcome a thoughtful evaluation of the HCC program and HC services. But it would need to be a thoughtful evaluation, nothing like the type of data thrown around before that don't allow for a meaningful interpretation of the results because they haven't bothered to look below the surface. Poor evaluation is worse than no evaluation.

No, I'm not asking for regional norms, because most schools don't differentiate sufficiently whether there's one HC student in the classroom or five. A full 1/3 of my child's 5th grade class was HC qualified (and moved to HCC for middle school), but they didn't receive any differentiated instruction in the classroom. Using regional norms is only a best practices if teachers adjust the curriculum and their instructional methods to also address the needs of the academically gifted. Which they usually don't. Instead we send the kids off to regional programs that are supposed to address their needs in a few specific locations, under the presumption that everyone is at approximately the same level. Not everyone will be, of course, and the inclusion of special consideration and flexibility in the eligibility criteria for underrepresented groups contributes to that, but it's the right thing to do.

And no, I don't expect the AP scores likely won't be easy to access or assess, because it's not likely the district will provide them by student demographics. Do you think they'll give me the data by deidentified student ID, including linked info on whether the student was HC-qualified and what their prior HSPE (or whatever ) scores were and whether they are also in the reading support class? If so, that would be awesome. Do you know who I should contact?

See NoEval

Anonymous said...

why do you allow the name calling on your blog, Melissa? and the aggressive no capitalizing
this poster is super obnoxious
please delete
it ruins it for everybody else


Anonymous said...

dad who called who called whom names? i've been called a racist in this blog. I've been called segregationist on this blog or worse a klan member. i've been called white privileged on this blog. probably by you as you chose to not stick to a single moniker. i am mostly native american and eastern european non-ell but you would think i am brownish and i deal with that daily. so suck it.


no big as i obviously know i am not any of the unkind racist. do you not know you are not tully's tool? which should be an honor badge but considering how ardently you defend his initiatives to attack hcc and sped i believe you understand you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. does your face hurt?

nothing left to say so let's run to the moderator to enforce rules that aren't there. but let you post post time and time again with different monikers. and let you say i am working for ALL but let me degrade hcc with every post. contradictory at best pathological at worst.

no caps

Lynn said...

From the FAQ on Garfield's website: Will the classroom makeup be a full range of student abilities or will there be grouping of a range of students and the class size set accordingly?
● All 9th grade social studies and language arts classrooms will be heterogeneous classrooms. The socio-economic, racial, and ability differences of GHS will be reflected in every classroom.

What does this mean? Will they be assigning student to classes based on their race or do they expect it to happen by coincidence?

z said...

Nice catch Lynn.

Are kids going to be denied the ability to adjust their class schedules because there are already too many white or black or asian kids in a particular section?! How is this going to work??

Answer: Who knows? No one has thought that far ahead, and because the entire process was done in secret, the public hasn't had time to flesh out these kinds of details.

Anonymous said...

@ See NoEval, don't worry. According to GHS Frosh they're going to meet new people, so it'll be fine.

@ Friday, thanks for the advice. I want my kids to stand up for themselves and be able to speak truth to power.

new people

Anonymous said...

racism sucks.

attempts to degrade hcc are hateful. new people seem olde; they are too

no caps

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

Reposting for anonymous:

Anonymous said...

Why do they keep saying it is tracking? These students aren't tracked into these classes, they choose their classes - honors or general.


Anonymous said...

no caps, you keep going on about tully. Do you mean Michael Tolley?

Anonymous said...

Funny, Lynn, I had reposted it from your post....

A year? Seems like ample time to inform students/parents. HP, tracking has been redefined by some to include any ability grouping (see Detracking by Burris). Students weren't tracked in the traditional sense, since students could opt in to honors, but no matter.


Anonymous said...

It's too bad we have paid shills on this blog who obscure the issues with annoying writing styles and name-calling, I guess people have to earn a living, but paid posting on a school blog? That's pretty low.

Do I have proof? Yes, I've contacted several "commenters" who will follow this blog and comment with a list of talking points for a mere $5 a post.

The ultimate in gaming the system.

shill spill

Melissa Westbrook said...

Charlie and I let some things slide but try to catch name-calling, give a warning and then delete. I didn't think we had to write a list of rules but generally, be civil, be on the topic, don't name-call, don't curse and, for me, if you have to say things like "it sucks" or "haters," I'll presume you're just out of middle school.

Also, when you write from your own head, it is sometimes quite difficult to know what you are trying to convey.

Lynn, excellent catch and I'll put that on my list of questions for the Superintendent and Mr. Howard. Assigning classes to students using race is probably a big no-no.

I think we will end the discussion here as it seems to be naturally winding down. I'm certain more is to come.

Also, if any GHS parent of an incoming 9th grader gets this letter Principal Howard is to send out, please send it to me (I'm at Thanks.

Anonymous said...

off topic ss, i am not paid, have a kid in hcc. what an absurd comment. when the facts don't sit with you, you continually create problems? odd.

no caps

Anonymous said...

If you're really an HCC parent, no caps, you're disgracing the rest of us with your scurrilous and grammatically painful posts. Do you want your child to communicate in such a fashion? You don't even know the names of district employees whom you assign blame. What is going on? Your belief in "multiple monikers" borders paranoia.

Who cares your ethnic identity? Can only white people be racist? No.


Anonymous said...

off topic: madness = multiple moniker = we all know who

no caps

Charlie Mas said...

@See NoEval, I read the FAQ differently from you. I read it in the context of the question.

@FWIW, Yes. I am also asking for a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the self-contained model of HCC. I have been for some time now.

@no caps. The Honors for All at Garfield was never announced as anything else first. It was reported in the Seattle Times as part of an effort to reduce tracking, not rigor. It was never named, and therefore never renamed. Your recounting of the history is simply objectively wrong. Also, if you are going to rant about someone you should know them well enough to get their name right. I don't care if you're using voice recognition to write your comments, edit the transcription. The topic is, in fact, perceived lack of rigor, with the emphasis on "perceived". A better choice of words might be "projected" or "supposed".

Anonymous said...

I don't think you have a "smoking gun" regarding the teachers' stated goals of attempting to reflect the student composition in the classes, given that this is the wording from the recent Supreme Court case:

"The record here reveals that the university articulated concrete and precise goals -- e.g., ending stereotypes, promoting ‘cross-racial understanding,’ preparing students for ‘an increasingly diverse workforce and society,’ and cultivating leaders with ‘legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry’ -- that mirror the compelling interest this court has approved in prior cases,” said the decision.


Anonymous said...

i agree charlie this thread is about perceived lack of rigor and what brought that about not the ignorance of some of the posters including my own is not.

back on topic from the st: "chipping away at a system that traditionally tracks gifted middle-schoolers — mostly white — into Garfield’s Advanced Placement curriculum."

less kids going into less ap classes is less rigor.
less kids going into less ap classes is tolley's dream.

why do you see that as acceptable?

see the light man... you normally do. but still appreciate your thoughtfulness.

no caps

Anonymous said...

If students were being assigned to classes based on race, it would most likely go against US Department of Education guidance for elementary and secondary schools (based on ruling from Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District 1), because they'd be using individualized racial classifications.

Wouldn't students simply be assigned to 9th grade LA/SS classes according to what fits with their schedule of selected courses?

(it's awfully hard to read sentences with no caps)


Anonymous said...

The teachers did not state that they would be using quotas. Admission that used race as a "tie breaker" was ruled unconstitional. The stated goal of allowing race as one of the many factors in achieving diversity was recently upheld for admissions.

Lousville uses SES for assignment, which creates diversity since SES and race overlap in this country. If a lawyer chooses to get involved in trying to pick apart the teachers' goals, the staff could use SES and acheive the same results (and this is clearly constitutional and encouraged by the Court in your cited case, where they encouraged the used of "creativity" for achieving diversity without quotas or tie-breakers).

It seems that some people are overthinking and attributing specificity (where none exists) to the stated goals of the teachers, which mirror very clearly the language in the recent case.


Anonymous said...

FWIW, the recent Supreme Court ruling relates to university admissions.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer. They can use SES at Garfield if some lawyers get involved and will have no problems achieving diversity.


Charlie Mas said...

"chipping away at a system that traditionally tracks gifted middle-schoolers — mostly white — into Garfield’s Advanced Placement curriculum."

You have interpreted that exactly backwards. The opposition to tracking is not because it allows some students to pursue advanced classes; the opposition to tracking is because it prevents other students from doing the same. The people opposed to tracking want to open up access to advanced classes, not close it down.

It's not about routing gifted kids out of AP classes. That's an absurd contortion. It's about eliminating the tracking that keeps other kids out of AP classes.

More, not less, kids going into more AP classes is more rigor, not less, rigor.
More, not less, kids going into more AP classes is every educator's dream, even Michael Tolley's.

Charlie Mas said...

@no caps wrote: "dad who called who called whom names?"

You did, no caps, when you called another commenter "tully's tool".

Also, all of the talk about some secret plan by Assistant Superintendent Tolley to eliminate HCC - which has expanded enormously under his authority - or to reduce AP classes is both absurd and baseless. What evidence, if any, do you have to support such accusations?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, you may be right about the intended outcomes, but if the HC cohort at GHS shrinks, the unintended outcome could be fewer available advanced courses. The cohort in part drives the number of honors and AP courses available.

From the GHS course catalog:

"Once HCP students enter Garfield, they are still in HCP but are no longer in self-contained classes by design. It is important, however, that the students remain as a cohort with the critical mass to drive a master schedule with many honors and Advanced Placement (AP) offerings.

Garfield is able to offer the most Advanced Placement (AP) classes and class sections because there are so many students, coming from a variety of middle schools and educational experiences who seek the challenge AP courses offer. The classes are open to all students..."

-unintended consequences

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

HCC has tripled since 2010. The cohort at Garfield could be cut in half and still be bigger than it was in 2010, when it still offered AP Calc BC, AP Latin, etc. and still sent kids to Ivys, top LACs and successful futures.

Old Bulldog

Anonymous said...

charlie calling someone a "tool" would have calling names. but calling someone someone's tool is not. it is an apt description in this case as he is playing right into tolly's hands. but that is off track and i will concede how you could have seen that i was calling that poster a tool, but i wasn't.

destruction of hcc due to 'racial' inequity is a pr bonanza for tolly.

first there is no racial inequity getting into hcc. but the principals and teachers have no problem calling the parents segregationist and obnoxious racist. sorry what kind of racist isn't a obnoxious? seems very redundate use of language for a language arts teacher. perhaps she knows racist that aren't obnoxious.

it is really only about frl/ell/2e inequity. but al gives accommodations for those groups and rightly so! and yeah some of those groups get in by private testing an there is ranier scholars that include only aa students. great!

so proof is thin because the hcc community has fought many of tolly's great "ideas" like no outside test for appeals. but one major one is using map and now even worse the sbac as qualifying test. look at enrollment numbers as a percent going forward charlie and there is your smoking gun. imagine if no appeals were allowed as calculated.

but seriously the death of spectrum has come at the hands of mt. those were potentially hcc especially if 2e. why kill a program that is working? because it is inconvenient. same for hcc... if it wasn't for that stupid legislator.

i have to say it again, i do believe you are wrong charlie, but you are making a honest case and i believe i am too.

no caps

Anonymous said...

oh gosh how about this start a thread of the ways Tolly the district has chipped away at hcc and rigor.

first would include building based decisions being trumping all. that is bogus and yet the results include.
-leading to 9th grade loss of rigor of ap classes
-having teachers anti tracking teaching hc ms classes at hims

the closing of lowell and putting it into hawthorne in the south and tm on top of i90 as the north elementary school which was quashed. (tolley was around then right?) but against recommendations from the paid consultant and beloved sup js it was put in a title 1 school. (some may remember the principal complaining that the kids wouldn't even listen to her and she was shocked/intimidated by them.)

the housing of lowell at a HS with no playground and disaster of a physical plant. t

I will argue hcc has grown despite tolly's moves. so sorry charlie start the new thread as this is really off topic.

Anonymous said...

that was me above no caps

Charlie Mas said...

I think there is already enough written about animosity towards advanced learning within Seattle Public Schools. It always positions the families of Advanced Learners as whiners, which is neither attractive nor persuasive.

Also, the idea of trying to cultivate some sort of conspiracy theory that traces all of the anti-Spectrum, anti-ALO, or anti-HCC decisions to one person is both misinformed and misguided. As has been explained any number of times, the decision to eliminate Spectrum was driven primarily by capacity management rather than any pedagogical or political belief. As has been noted any number of times, HCC has seen explosive growth. A number of high schools have made AP or IB classes required for every student - that's an expansion of advanced learning. Likewise, the requiring all students to take Honors classes at Garfield - which a lot of people continue to erroneously describe as the end of Honors classes - represents an expansion of advanced learning.

The truth is that advanced learning has grown. While this growth is attributable to a lot of building-based decisions, there were a number of district-level decisions that contributed as well including supporting decisions from the District leadership - such as the requirement that all schools include their plan for serving advanced learners in their CSIP.

All of the evidence indicates that the claims by a single commenter, that the Assistant Superintendent has somehow worked to diminish or eliminate Advanced Learning, are completely false. Consequently I have no interest in creating a thread to entertain those delusions.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the response. and yeah sure would hate to look like a bunch of whiners. sometimes you have to connect the dots when there is no true line. imho mt has his hands in a lot more than you attribute to him; none the less it is off topic.

i did speak to ghs alums who said they thought honors for all would aid school climate though. here is to some great results and an increase of kids taking ap classes in 10th grade.

no caps

Lynn said...

If this is going to be beneficial both socially and academically in the ninth grade, why wouldn't it be in the eighth or the fifth? This is one more step toward advanced learning for all in every classroom and every subject. As most of us realize, that's actually advanced learning for no one.

Charlie wrote No one is overstating or over-promising, but to suggest that a large group of students are incapable of success with 9th grade Honors English and Social Studies is not only unkind and unduly pessimistic, it is caustic to society. Ted Howard states at curriculum night that 20% of Garfield's incoming ninth grade class are working far below grade level and need intensive reading instruction. What has convinced the staff that they can overcome the obstacles to bringing these students up to grade level that stymied teachers in elementary and middle school - let alone provide the magically transformative instruction that will enable them to be successful with honors level work? Is it unduly pessimistic to take into consideration their past willingness or ability to differentiate instruction when evaluating these claims? Is it unkind to note that their first move was to redefine Honors English and Honors History as project-based learning classes rather than classes that require reading challenging texts and academic writing?

The truth is that the number of kids in seats in classes that are labeled advanced learning has grown while the number of kids who are working above grade level has not. The truth is that no one can require teachers to actually provide accelerated or enhanced instruction in the classroom. The truth is that teachers either aim for the middle of the class or see focusing on kids who need remedial instruction as a moral imperative.

Anonymous said...

Different school, different district, but same type of social studies "projects" that my children have experienced in SPS these past few years:

The Poverty of Political Discussion Explained

Drawing in place of writing? Check. Putting historical figures on trial? Check. Creative writing with a dearth of historical facts? Check. "Learning" from the googled research of fellow students? Check. Perhaps this is the basis of my skepticism for project-based high school classes. I naively thought high school might be the beginning of the end for such projects. Maybe, finally, some actual history would be learned. Maybe, finally, well crafted essays would be required. Maybe my gut reaction is wrong. Let's hope so.


Anonymous said...

The truth is that a huge increase in HCC identified students has occurred in the last five years in SPS, without the use the CogAT author's recommended local norms scoring or detailed analysis of student growth (for exit purposes) or program efficacy (as both are required by state law).

This has resulted in high numbers of over-identified students in HCC and many under-identified students (resulting in the demographic segregation in the program). The use of basic best practices have been ignored for years.

Until the posters who are clamoring for fairness and accountability in Honors for All put the same (or even ounce) of energy into addressing the sh** show that is called HCC, it will be very hard to take your complaints against Garfield seriously.

skeptic--Sounds like this was an issue before Honors for All, just as an earlier person complained about 9th grade classes at Garfield. Conflating them makes so sense, especially since it appears that these issues were not addressed at the time.


Anonymous said...

wrong wrong so wrong fwiw. first, this thread has nothing to do with identifying as ANYONE could have signed up honors and many kids did. right so there is no "sh** show" other than your repeated off topic post.

second, you make the same repeated pleas for racial inclusion; this is not a racial matter it is ses/ell/2e issue. the research supports this why do you deny the facts? not going to solve your leaking drains by painting your front porch. so can you just shut the front door on your repeated false claims and support ALL the kids interest.

no caps