Sunday, August 14, 2016

100 Black Parents Announces Event

What's Next for Black Students at GHS?

A Talk With Ted Howard.
Parents of African American students at Garfield High School will be meeting with Principal Ted Howard to present a proactive platform of goals and expectations for the 2016-17 school year.
This platform will be a living, guiding document that will be a tool to enhance the Black Student Experience at Garfield.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18TH 6PM
MT. ZION BAPTIST CHURCH 1634 19th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
SHARE THIS EMAIL TO OTHER GHS PARENTS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS
INVITE OTHER PARENTS ON FACEBOOK HERE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/543164659224000/

This meeting is specific to GARFIELD HS PARENTS, However, if you're a parent of an African American Student at another Seattle Public High School you are welcome to attend as the platform that we are asking for at Garfield will be something that we can replicate at other schools.
PLEASE SHARE.

23 comments:

Lynn said...

I'd like to see the response if Ted Howard were invited to meet with parents of his highly capable students to hear their proactive platform of goals and expectations for Garfield during the 2016-17 school year.

Church/State said...

So, Ted Howard is holding a public hearing- related to education- in a church and excluding certain groups?

"We are asking for at Garfield will be something that we can replicate at other schools."

The intention of this meeting is intended to create systemic changes regarding public education. Let's see if this meeting results in a systemic attempt to dismantle advanced learning.

Would Howard be willing to meet with parents of advanced learners in a church and exclude others?

Bizarre

Church/State said...

Public meetings related to education must be transparent and held in public spaces.

Anonymous said...

I think there is value in focusing on the unique challenges of black high school students, and I admire efforts to address them. Sounds like the church is functioning as a community meeting space.

"Honors for All" at Garfield does also feel like part of this effort.

I do wonder if it's at the expense of the HCC students. Not sure, but I wonder.

Are black students at Garfield actually worse off because of the HCC program? Because it takes too many school resources, or other reasons? Do they also benefit from having it there?

Is the school trying to put a ceiling on HCC kids, or open doors for black kids?

I would like insights from current school parents.

Open Ears

Cap hill said...

I think this is great. I seriously doubt that the dismantling of HCC programs is the goal of black parents. Note that Honors for All didn't come from black parents, it came from the white PC Police teachers. In all of the PTSA meetings I attended at Garfield, the only person bringing up HCC programs has been Larry Gossett and he is clearly just grandstanding.

Nor in my experience do black parents bring up the two schools in one issue. The school discipline issue stats are probably a hot issue. Academic support programs. I would not be surprised to see parents suggest that the school faculty better represent the composition of the school.

Garfield parents should totally welcome this as there are so many issues that unite us as parents. Need to have combined voice to push back on the insanity of SPS and the PC Police teachers.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mr. Howard is not holding the event; the 100 Black Parents group is.

Of course, if Mr. Howard can meet with parents outside of school who want to present a plan for something pertaining to the school, I'd hope he would accommodate any and all parents.

Beyond that, I think we should defer any judgment until after the meeting. (I was invited to attend and I will be there.)

Anonymous said...

Open Ears at 11:40 - please change your moniker! I have been using this one for YEARS, and I don't want to be associated with your uninformed questions. You appear not to know much about GHS, the laws and finances around HCC, Mr. Howard's history or the challenges black kids face.

open ears (OG)

Anonymous said...

Sorry! I thought questions were supposed to help the uninformed? How else do we get better informed?

I would truly appreciate more background on the topics you raise as they relate to this meeting: GHS, the laws and finances around HCC, Mr. Howard's history and the challenges black kids face

All Ears

Anonymous said...

I freely admit to not knowing much about the abovementioned things, but an educational forum seemed to be a good place to get more educated. :)

All Ears

Anonymous said...

Nice way to establish parent unity...by throwing your child's teachers under the bus.
"PC Police Teachers"

A real class act.

FWIW

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

We did not hear about the "white liberal crusaders" (are all Garfield teachers white?) until the Honors for All classes were established. It is very clear that this vitriolic reaction is a result of parents not getting their way, and the spewing of insults towards your child's teachers is very disgraceful.

Did you bring up the testing or POST or anything else when it happened? Were you feeling this venom prior to Honors for All?

The great news is that parents of Black students of Garfield have decided to take a collective approach. The posting of the Seattle Times photo on their Facebook page suggests that the article was painful and highly disturbing. Their children are disciplined more and excluded from advanced learning. The balcony is called "The Black Balcony" (history, anyone?).

Imagine how they feel.

FWIW

Anonymous said...

Reposting Anonymous 10:47 AM

FWIW, I don't think I am the only Garfield parent who thinks the teachers are more than a little off the rails. A few of them have self-appointed as the adjudicators of all things equity and social justice - testing, the POST program, and now honors classes. And it has become increasingly obvious that they do not see families as their customers in any way, shape or form, nor do they feel accountable at all to parents. We will find out if the agenda of these self appointed white liberal crusaders really matches up with the families they think they are making all of these decisions on behalf of.

Reposter

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Their children are disciplined more and excluded from advanced learning. "

FWIW, you are saying this repeatedly and it is not true. You can say that there are fewer kids of color in the program or classes but you cannot say they are excluded. Even the teachers don't give that as a reason. You need to rephrase or you will find these comments deleted. We operate as much as we can on fact here and the fact of the matter is that HCC and advanced classes are open to every single student.

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

Reposted for Anonymous 8/16/16, 6:55 PM Please use a name (any name) when you post

Hey FWIW - I'm pretty sure you may be a teacher at Garfield. You kind of made my point for me (and Melissa reinforced it). The climate score from parents that Garfield cares about my input is 10 pts lower than the average in a district that is generally considered to be pretty abysmal about taking parent feedback.

You can either take what I am saying as feedback to be considered (that many parents feel like the teachers are off the rails on their causes and don't prioritize overall academic quality or parent feedback) or dismiss it as vitriol. But when you dismiss it, you kind of make my point again.

Many times in the dialogue the PTSA has tried to have with the school and teachers, the pushback has been: the PTSA is all white, therefore you don't speak for all parents, therefore we can ignore. While it would be much better if parents of all colors could make up the PTSA, the next best alternative would be a strong, cohesive black parent organization.

I agree with you that the discipline issue is probably high on the list. It certainly was what parents wanted to discuss in the Times article. I'll be interested to see the rest of their platform.

Anonymous said...

"ex·clude
ikĖˆsklo͞od/
verb
past tense: excluded; past participle: excluded

deny (someone) access to or bar (someone) from a place, group, or privilege.
"women had been excluded from many scientific societies""

from Google

You ' seem to understand exclusion Melissa. Your response denies the reality of a rigged testing protocol and the head start many families provide their children, not even mentioning the private testing, which is expensive and can be done repeatedly.

Your comments and attitude are inherently prejudiced, inaccurate and derogatory.

How can you be oblivious to the unfairness of using the CogAT to select "highly capable"? Have you really never read anything on test bias or test protocols?

All public institutions of higher learning understand that poverty and other factors affect test scores and these universities all use comprehensive admissions policies to find the students who have the potential despite it being hard to find and conversely these schools discount to some degree the inflated scores of well-heeled and well-prepped affluent students.

Your defense of the privileged is no numbingly monotonous one wonders if you are compensated.

Basil

Cap hill said...

Basil, I'm going to break down your comments into two parts. First, Melissa is correct about honors classes at Garfield. Your example about women being excluded from science is not analogous. Garfield honors classes were open to all and there are many black students taking AP classes for example.

I think that the broader point you are making is that the test itself and all of the resources that wealthier families can expend on their children's education creates an uneven playing field. I'm not an expert on the test, but I would agree with the macro point: kids are starting at different places on the track.

I think where people differ is what to do about this. You can try to subtract resources or opportunities from the advantaged families - many (including myself) perceive the honors for all approach this way. Some issues with this are a) those wealthier families have many other options so they can simply opt out of SPS or even Seattle and that b) this drains support from public education and c) you get collateral damage to the disadvantaged kids that actually were in the accelerated classes. >25% of students are opting out today from SPS, and many more opt out by moving to Mercer Island or Bellevue. I would suggest you consider realistically whether we would have this McCleary issue if a larger proportion of wealthy families in the largest city in the state felt like they had a stake in the public education system. The biggest issue with this is that while it may increase equity, it does so by trying to limit the opportunities of a group. Said another way, equity is a false goal by itself: we can all be equal if none of us have anything.

The approach most parents respond to is the additive one. How can we add more resources to the groups starting behind on the track. This is where the honors for all missed it. If the school had started a conversation with parents (and presented a plan) to get more kids into honors and AP, parents would have opened their checkbooks immediately. This is the positive approach. Ideally, that should be institutional support and not funded by individual parents but you get my point.

While there an undoubtedly some parents who prefer approach a, in my experience they are a minority. What I pointed out about Garfield is they continue to prefer approach a), partially as their ability to add net new resources to the system is nil. What I think they are missing is by the constructive approach, more can sustainably get done - it is just harder. Which is actually a huge issue for SPS as a whole: the management has been so bad that Gates and corporates have just walked away.

Basil and FWIW - your approach may feel good to you because you can control certain things and see outcomes (eg racially integrated classrooms) which make you personally feel good. But I think if you step back you can see that you are also alienating people unnecessarily. Calling them racist may help you justify it but it also just makes you look immature and incompetent. Our problem as parents is while the the approach is immature an incompetent, there is actually very little we can do about it, since there is no accountability built into the system.

Anonymous said...

I have never called anyone a racist on this blog.

The poster, Basil, also did not call anyone racist.

FWIW

Anonymous said...

If getting away from poor kids is so important, go ahead and move or go private. You won't be missed. Au contraire, more room for my kids.

Adios amigo,

Basil

Melissa Westbrook said...

Basil, any child who wants to be in honors or AP can enroll in the class (with the exception of ones like Spanish AP which you have to have a background in.). There is NO test to get in those classes; sorry you didn't know that. The only test is for HCC. But anyone can be in honors or AP.

No, I do what I do as a labor of love. No compensation at all.

Again, I see the same people using different disguises, trying to stir the pot. No one is going anywhere.

I attended the meeting at Mt. Zion tonight and will do a write-up but I am deeply troubled about Garfield and I'm going to tell the Board about it.

Charlie Mas said...

Basil,

I'm not sure what you're trying to say or hoping to accomplish.

You write that children are excluded. It appears that you believe that they are excluded from HCC, but this thread is about Garfield, and there is no HCC at Garfield. All of the Honors and AP classes at Garfield are open to all students; none are excluded.

You wrote: "Your response denies the reality of a rigged testing protocol and the head start many families provide their children, not even mentioning the private testing, which is expensive and can be done repeatedly."

A rigged testing protocol? Do you mean for students to be identified as Highly Capable? You wrote that it is unfair to use the CogAT due to test bias. Tell us about the test bias in the CogAT. Surely it has been subjected to a great deal of scrutiny to remove bias. I had no trouble finding studies that attest to the absence of bias in this test. Many say that the non-verbal test is unbiased. You also claimed bias in the testing protocol. Can you elaborate on that?

What test and testing protocol, if any, would you prefer and how would it avoid exclusionary practices?

You write that "the head start many families provide their children" is part of the system of exclusion. What would you suggest? Are you suggesting that families should NOT take steps to develop and promote their children's minds? Surely not. So how could this source of unfairness be addressed? Some have suggested individualized eligibility criteria for children with adjustments for race, family education level, and family wealth. Child A might require a score of X to be found eligible for HC services while Child B would be eligible with a score of Y. Should the District be open and transparent about these adjustments? How would it be if the family of Child B knew that their child demonstrated greater need for the service but was denied based on their race?

You clearly find private testing part of the system of exclusion. State law requires districts to offer an appeal process for the decisions by the eligibility committee. A private test result seems like a relevant data point to bring up in an appeal. Why isn't it? As for the cost, the District will re-test any FRL-eligible child at no cost if the family appeals; how is this inadequate? I don't know anyone who has subjected their child to repeated testing nor do I know how common it is. Do you? Is this really something we should be concerned about, or is it like voter fraud - more a fear than a reality.

Help us to come over to your point of view on these questions by providing us with a fuller version of the alternative to the current system.

You know, when asked about the eligibility criteria in the past, the District has been clear in its answer. They use verbal and quantitative measures of ability and achievement because they have a program that provides an advanced language arts and math curriculum. They don't assess for extraordinary leadership or creative ability (both qualities allowed under the state law) because they don't have a program for those. They have an academic program, so eligibility is determined by academic and reasoning ability - some of which is innate but, as everyone knows, it requires fostering.

So here's the real problem: can we ask the District to find children who may have innate reasoning ability whether it has been fostered or not? How would they do that? And how would they be able to distinguish those children from the ones who have had the benefit of nuturing?

Also, does it matter if the child's ability is innate or fostered? Either way the child has the ability and is therefore suitable for the advanced curriculum, right? And how is the child suitable for the program without the ability, based on a belief that, if nutured, the child would develop the ability? Is the District equipped to provide that nuturing?

I look forward to your response and I'm grateful to you for your participation in this discussion.

Charlie Mas said...

Just as an historical touchpoint, I have, for the entirety of my public school activism, supported self-selection for Spectrum/ALO. I am opposed to all barriers to entry in this program. I believe that any student who wants to try it should have the opportunity.

The need for Highly Capable services is predicated on studies which show that children with cognitive abilities in excess of 1.7 standard deviations above the mean not only learn faster, but learn differently than others. Their instruction should align with their learning methods.

I don't believe that HCC does this, but I do think that these children should be identified and served.

I do believe that the CogAT is a valid tool for assessing cognitive ability. I don't have expertise in these matters so I have to rely on the opinions of those who do and that's what they tell me.

Finally, I don't care how a child got their abilities - born with them, trained to develop them, bit by a radioactive spider - if the kid has the abilities, then the kid should be served.