Sunday, October 16, 2016

FAQs On Upcoming Black Lives Matter Event

On October 19th, 2016 hundreds of Seattle teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, nurses, instructional assistants, librarians, and other educators will be wearing Black Lives Matter shirts to school in an unprecedented action, “Black Lives Matter At School.” 
That's how the Seattle Equality Educators' FAQ document starts.  I have previously only seen the day called "day of solidarity" but now it seems it is officially "Black Lives Matter at School."

There are a couple of confusing things. 
- The group that has put forth this day - SEE - has no information available, at all, at their website. Why that is if they are the organizing group, I don't know.  Instead, the FAQs are at the website for Garfield teacher and public education advocate, Jesse Hagopian.  

- Then there is this statement:
In support of this focus, members are choosing to wear Black Lives Matter t- shirts, stickers or other symbols of their commitment to students in a coordinated effort. SEA is leading this effort and working to promote transformational conversations with staff, families and students on this issue.
I'm a little confused because I'm not sure when the conversations with families would happen. I have only heard that some parents will be wearing a BLM t-shirt/sticker/button on that day.

FAQs (partial):

Q: Who has endorsed this Black Lives Matter At School event?

A: This event been endorsed by the Seattle Education Association, Seattle PTSA Council board, The Seattle NAACP, Diane Ravitch (former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education), Dr. Wayne Au (editor at Rethinking Schools and professor at UW Bothell) Carol Burris (Executive Director of the Network for Public Education), and a growing list of academics, organizers and activists from around the country.


Q: Why are school teachers and staff participating?

A: When people know that something is wrong, they often try to change it through social movements. Black Lives Matter is a social movement for racial justice in 21st century United States. Every individual chooses how they show their support of the movement. Some teachers want to be publicly supportive, others would rather be private.

Remember that last sentence because it would appear to support teachers showing support in their own way. There's another FAQ that seems to weaken that stance later on.

Q: Isn’t this a political action and do political actions belong at school?

A: This is a consciousness-raising event. School is part of society, students and staff are part of society, and so what is happening within our society deserves and demands our attention. This is a “teachable moment” for the Seattle Public School community.


In this case, with the choice of using Black Lives Matter to convey the message, it would appear that the event is both a consciousness-raising AND political event. I also find it interesting that the SEA/SEE is very much in the driver's seat of how this "teachable" moment" is carried out.

Q: How can I show my support?

A: Students and families are welcome to participate at school on racial equity activities in these ways:

1) Wear a Black Lives Matter t-shirt or sticker on Oct. 19th. Contact your school to find out what is happening there on the 19th.

2) Parents and educators, here is list of age appropriate resources you can use to teach about racial justice: http://socialequalityeducators.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/TeachingRacialJustice.pdf

3) Attend the Black Lives Matter At School rally/forum/show organized by Social Equality Educators on the evening of Oct. 19 at Washington Hall at 6:00 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.

I find it interesting that between the district and the SEA/SEE, they leave it up to parents to learn what is happening at their school. I'll have to ask if this information will be available for parents at every participating school by Wednesday.



Q: Why call attention to Black Lives when all lives matter and when there are other groups treated unjustly in our schools and country?

A: Over 50% of the Seattle Public Schools’ student population are non-white students. The call of All Lives Matter is often used to brush aside the concerns which led to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement over the last two years. In some cases, it reflects the universal consciousness and awareness that many members of the younger generations have come to embrace. However, until the lives of people of color are treated with equal value by the society, the call for all lives to matter rings hollow. By all measures, African-Americans, Native Americans and Latinos, are treated unequally by our society fifty years after the passage of major civil rights laws. This inequality can be found in incidences of police brutality and killings, imprisonment rates, repeated studies of job and housing bias, health care, and access to quality education resulting in the school to prison pipeline. Black students in the Seattle Public Schools are suspended at four times the rate of their white peers. Until we are treated equally, we must all raise our voices or be complicit in the racism.


That red is mine.  So first they say that some teachers will be working in more quiet ways ("private") but this sentence seems to indicate that if teachers don't raise their voices that day, well, they are "complicit in the racism." 

I can tell you from my years of experience that, for some people, there are many reasons they cannot publicly raise their voices.  People have told me that it's great that I can put myself out there but that it is just not for everyone.  Many people don't want to be in the fray or it's not in their nature.   People have told me that and yet they do work behind the scenes, quietly and drawing no attention to themselves.

So if it is not readily apparent that you are acting against racism in our schools that day, then you are complicit?   

There is to be a Twitter chat  #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool 5:30pm PST to discuss what the movement is about.




I'm a little surprised that the SCPTSA Board would vote to be part of this day and not be sending out information to units about what parents might do/expect from the day. 


Let us know what you hear from your school or PTA.

177 comments:

Anonymous said...

What we heard from our PTA (Hamilton) is that the event includes a rally, and one of the three main goals is to dismantle tracking.

DisAPPointed

Syd said...

Hmmm...well I do not support dismantling services for learners identified as highly capable, but I do think that not raising your voice against injustice is being complicit in a clearly unfair culture that minimizes the rights and basic humanity of African American and othe non-European peoples.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again Syd, you cannot always be certain that people aren't working behind the scenes. I agree that it's important to raise your voice - I certainly do - but I know that some people cannot do it in the same way as others.

So what's the answer?

Anonymous said...

We don't have a BLM t-shirt or any buttons. I'm not sure we will be able to get one before the 19th. If we do not have one then will my child be identified as racist and possibly subject to bullying? How can I talk to my children so that they may be prepared to defend themselves against accusations of racism for not having the right shirt on?

-?

Melissa Westbrook said...

? - I don't think any of the children are expected to have anything on - this is more the adults showing the kids they care.

I would hope it does not matter for parents, either.

Lynn said...

Students at Washington Middle School will be invited to bring in t-shirts to be screen printed on site. I would expect those children will be feeling the pressure to participate.

Anonymous said...

There is the public face and then reality. There are some very vocal, public people/schools and then there is everyone else. I really don't know who is and isn't going to be doing a lot about it. Many teachers didn't even find out about it until recently. I'll be really curious as to who wears t-shirts.

I have also read different people's interpretations about what the day means or doesn't mean. I really think they are just speaking for themselves. SEE speaks for SEE, not SEA. No one I know thinks that Wed is about dismantling advanced learning. For sure, there has always been some teachers who have wanted to dismantle advanced learning. I also know that some teachers think HCC is racist because there aren't more kids of color who aren't Asian. But so what... that isn't what Wed is about. Those are just tired arguments against advanced learners.

What a mess! Could have been a great day to support black children and address what's getting in the way of academic achievement, but instead it's all about litmus tests as to who is wearing a t-shirt.
Elementary Teacher

Anonymous said...

1) There is a good reason that teachers and other school staff are not allowed to promote any political cause at school - there is a power imbalance that is intimidating to the students who may disagree or who know that their parents disagree.

It's just wrong to promote Black Lives Matter in school without consideration for students whose relatives and loved ones are in law enforcement. These students may feel fearful for their loved ones' safety because of Black Lives' Matter protests - which have injured many police officers. They also would know that the killings of police officers has sharply increased in the last year.

2) Re: "being complicit in a clearly unfair culture that minimizes the rights and basic humanity of African American and other non-European peoples ... First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist."

There is racism in our society, as there is in all societies, and there is always improvement that should be made. But this is a rather untrue statement in a country where both the President and the Attorney General, as well as many other elected leaders, are African American.

Momof2



North End Elementary Teacher said...

I have found NOTHING on any site about dismantling APP and I wish that narrative would be put to rest.

Our school ordered BLM shirts late because we heard about the event late and I hope they arrive in time. If not, we will be wearing black shirts instead. We will spend Wednesday doing many of the activities and curriculum the SPS district has posted on the Schoology teacher pages in regards to this event. I will probably read a Dr. Seuss book, Sneetches, read Maya Angelou's poem "Human Race"', probably show a Civil Rights, themed movie. I will take a look at the various curriculum the district has posted and see if it will work with my class.

What are you fellow teachers planning?

Mom in Black and Blue said...

My husband is a white cop and he plans to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt when he drops my son off at school on Wednesday. I'm proud of my husband and our teachers!

Rufus X said...

Re: “but this sentence seems to indicate that if teachers don't raise their voices that day, well, they are "complicit in the racism." & “So if it is not readily apparent that you are acting against racism in our schools that day, then you are complicit?”

No. “Raising (their) voice” can happen in many different ways: Speaking up when a friend, family member, or colleague makes a racially insenstitive joke; pointing out to a FB friend in a PM that their meme is offensive; spending some introspective time when one reads the words “white supremacy” to see if the denotation means something more than the connotation of a guy in a pointy hood & white robe.

Raising our voices doesn’t necessarily mean at a rally or to exclaim it publicly – It means not staying silent when there’s an opportunity to speak up.

Mom of 2 said: “It's just wrong to promote Black Lives Matter in school without consideration for students whose relatives and loved ones are in law enforcement. These students may feel fearful for their loved ones' safety because of Black Lives' Matter protests - which have injured many police officers. They also would know that the killings of police officers has sharply increased in the last year.”

Can you point us to legitimate news reports of Black Lives’ Matter protests causing the injury of many police officers? PS - Dallas doesn’t count – By all accounts, the protesters were peaceful, the police were doing their jobs, and the assassin was not affiliated with BLM. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You are all fools that are being played! I will be teaching my students how to recognize they are being used by a certain political group. Here is what I will be teaching my students on the 19th.

The rules[1]

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.


4.“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

5.“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

6.“A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

7.“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.

8.“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

9.“The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

10."The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition." It is this unceasing pressure
that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.

11.“If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

12.“The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

13.“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

BLMS

Anonymous said...

@Mom in Black and Blue

Mom in Black and Blue said...

"My husband is a white cop and he plans to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt when he drops my son off at school on Wednesday. I'm proud of my husband and our teachers!"

Nice try , but this is false information. The guild and SPD has made it very clear any officer wearing BLM propaganda apparel will be suspended without pay.

Go ahead and give them a call and you will find out the rules.

PGM

Mom in Black and Blue said...

He doesn't care if he is suspended without pay. He is standing up for what is right and I am very proud of him for that. There are many officers who want to do the same but don't have as much courage as he does. Don't think all cops can be bullied by our union.

Anonymous said...

@Mom in Black and Blue said...

Good luck to you and your husband, I hope you get your priorities straightened out.

BLMS

Rufus X said...

@PGM says
“Nice try , but this is false information.”

What is false information – that a police officer will wear a BLM shirt?

“The guild and SPD has made it very clear any officer wearing BLM propaganda apparel will be suspended without pay.”

The SPOG does not have the ability to suspend anyone Something like that would go through HR or OPA or ultimately the city, but not the guild.

“Go ahead and give them a call and you will find out the rules.”

Yeah, you do that.

Dad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Outsider said...

A couple of months ago, this blog mentioned a Seattle Times article about how when Highline dialed back discipline, the result was heavy turnover among teachers. A quarter of the staff reportedly left the middle and high schools in just the last year. The T-shirt-based loyalty test probably needs to be seen in that light. Behind the facade of unanimity, there are perhaps a lot of nervous people and hard feelings. One purpose of the event might actually be to take names and create rifts among the teaching staff, making it easier to say goodbye.

Anonymous said...

This is classic Seattle, if this is one time I am glad to be in the South where you have to LIVE to actually FEEL what racism and oppression is like, the schools that are one step military academies or prison pipelines with charters thrown in for good measure (and they are a whole new breed) and yet with every day I enter a school and hate myself for even being a part of this busted up system, I try to offer the alternative by actually teaching, (well trying to it is that bad here) this is utterly absurd.

So implied is that if you don't cheer lead for the team you are a racist.

There just better be an LGBT day, Latino Day, Samoan Day, Asian Day, Native American Day, Non Christian Religion Day, Women Day as all are marginalized in society and in turn deserve a T-shirt too!

- Former SPS'er

Anonymous said...

North End Elementary Teacher, do you not see how the pressure to wear a BLM t-shirt is like the pressure felt by those having "no stars on thars?" The star bellied sneetches (with t-shirts) would look down on the plain bellied sort (no t-shirts). A parent even remarked that they would make note of those not wearing BLM shirts. By all means, read The Sneetches!! It will facilitate our conversation at home. And do you really not make any association between "eliminating academic tracking" and ending the HCC pathways?

-plain bellied

Anonymous said...

Portions of this seem like "Political Correctness" run a muck. I am most uncomfortable when politics are pushed at school in this way. I've worked regularly in LA preparing food once or twice a week for homeless. I've taught on several "Indian" Reservations.

I am also a big believer that the intelligent application of relevant data is needed to improve a system. Dismantling ability grouping in some cases is not a great idea.

Schools are big on pushing prevention of bullying. In some ways this day's modus smacks of bullying.

-- Dan Dempsey

Teacher said...

And this is exactly why we are wearing these shirts--to have this conversation and raise awareness. You see how you scratch the surface and really get at what people think? Now I want you to really ask yourselves, why does it bother you so much that we are wearing a shirt that supports an oppressed part of our community? And, yes, teachers wore rainbow colored shirts last year to support our lgbtq community but it got very little press or sentiment at all. When you are asking for real change, people are going to get uncomfortable. Btw, we voted unanimously as a building to wear these shirts. And if you had been privy to the passion and excitement among our staff when we talked about this, you would understand that this is very much supported by parents, district, and staff. And, no, there is no where except on this blog where it says this day has anything to do with ending tracking that I can find. And, Highline always has huge turnover and the turnover is over teacher evaluations not the students. I worked there and the district treats teachers poorly.

What's really curious is that it's all folks over 50 who seem to be objecting to this. Are you the same folks who objected to creating an MLK day, too?

Anonymous said...

Teacher, thank you for slamming over 50... you are now an AGEIST.

Add that to the T-Shirt brigade.

And Dan is right.. PC run amok.

- Former SPS'er

Anonymous said...

That you don't distinguish between wearing a rainbow shirt and one that promotes a group whose members have shouted "Pigs in a blanket! Fry 'em like bacon!" is concerning. Please understand that your one school's experience is not reflective of all teachers and parents in the district. As far as your previous actions getting little press, that's a large part of the discussion - a group of activist teachers are purposely taking actions to increase press activity, knowing there will be objections to BLM in the classroom.

-under 50!

ForTheRecord said...

BLMS gives a perfect reason as to why the board needed to adopt curriculum. I plan on holding the district responsible for the activities of 10/19.

Teachers don't wear politically charged t-shirts on MLK day.

Organizers are not working within the spirit of SEA's resolution.

SCPTSA's vice president is pushing a politically charged t-shirt. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Hamilton Middle School published the same FAQs as are available on IAmanEducator, with the exception of one additional bullet point in the Hamilton weekly news:

Q. What are the goals of the Black Lives Matter to Seattle Educators rally at
Washington Hall on the evening of October 19?
1. Social Equality Educators organizers are calling for three changes with Seattle
schools: Restorative Justice in every school;
2. Ethnic Studies for every student; and
3. An end to academic tracking within Seattle Public Schools.


Can Principal Blish explain whether and how the school admin supports "ending academic tracking?"

HIMS

seattle citizen said...

ForTheRecord said that teachers "don't wear politically charged t-shirts on MLK day."

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King wasn't political at ALL.

; )

I wonder what he would say about all this October 19th uproar....

Anonymous said...

He would say "white people problems"

_ Former SPS'er

ForTheRecord said...

Yea...a few of activist teachers relish in national attention and upset Blue Lives Matter. National attention has capacity to bring out the crazies. I fully expect threats to our schools and children. Take your politics to the street.

Anonymous said...

@Teacher, you said: "Now I want you to really ask yourselves, why does it bother you so much that we are wearing a shirt that supports an oppressed part of our community?"

Ok, I reflected. It bothers me so much because my child is also academically highly gifted and needs academic tracking. It's the only thing getting us through, and the people behind this day of action now want to take that away. I support BLM, but your teacher leaders have taken it a step too far and I can't support this effort.

It's easy for teachers who aren't familiar with all aspects of this local activism to jump in and support the efforts, seeing the day as a simple show of solidarity, a way to promote more dialogue, etc. But the fact is, there's more to it than meets the eye. There is a somewhat hidden agenda. It's not all the warm fuzzy thing you think it is--it's a show of support for black students, while also a sneak attack on academically gifted students. Is that really how our teachers should be behaving, and is that really the type of activism we should support?

rb

Anonymous said...

As far as the effort to end academic tracking, there is certainly a contingent of SPS that is on that mission. Spectrum has all but disappeared. The accelerated middle school APP LA/SS curriculum was eliminated and aligned to grade level. Garfield instituted the Honors for All LA classes. Just recently, parents interested in IBX (the accelerated option for HCC students not choosing Garfield), were told that IBX will no longer be a default pathway for HCC students. HC students at IHS will take IB diploma classes on the typical 11th/12th grade schedule unless they formally opt to take it earlier (with criteria yet to be decided on and told to parents). The supporters listed for Wednesday's actions include the anti-tracking teacher who was referenced in the Honors for All changes.

tinfoil hat

Anonymous said...

"Can Principal Blish explain whether and how the school admin supports "ending academic tracking?"

You may want to contact him for clarification. I heard from another parent he said "he believes people are reading this statement the correct way as to assume staff is referring to HCC." Many staff feel a program that primarily serves Asian & White and middle & upper class students are problematic. However, although some teachers may not fully support the agenda of SEE, they want to make a statement in regards to supporting African American students." I have personally heard him mention that HCC is state law.
-KT

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Btw, we voted unanimously as a building to wear these shirts."

What school is this? As well, what does someone's age have to do with this (and I'm over 50 so I'm curious?) Because the older people ARE the ones who stood up for MLK,Jr. day.

Anonymous said...

So strange to twist the message. It's almost as if a contingent are trying to force HCC families to say black lives matter as long as you don't take away the education my child needs. That isn't a fair tactic. HCC should have increased diversity and programs to cultivate this diversity should begin in pre-k, not 6th grade. SPS is going to get sued if they don't meet the needs of HCC, and one could argue this is happening already.

Why such friction at Hamilton? Is there a diverse subset there that can't get access to the classes they want because the classes are full with HCC students? Why don't they just let students take the HCC classes if they want them?

This is a bunch of white people attacking each other out of spite. Find the real source of the problem and put it out.

Gollum

Cap hill said...

For those folks who are super passionate about this event and are trying (genuinely) to understand why people in Seattle may have an issue, let me share my view.

If you want to have a day of solidarity - try to make it as uncomplicated as possible so that as many people as possible can join in. I believe that the vast majority of Seattlites accept that we have a history as a nation that has led to African Americans being disadvantaged in many, many ways. While we have made a lot of progress - I certainly would not have guessed even in my 20's that we would have a two term African-American President - there is still a long way to go, as the shootings have showed us.

So many people could get behind a basic day of solidarity around these issues - like so many Americans can see MLK day as a recognition of one of our greatest citizens. But you've made it way more complicated than it needs to be, without adding any additional benefit to your cause.

Why tack on things that are major issues of contention like detracking to a day of solidarity? Why allow teachers like Ian Golash to make racially disparaging statements like white people are fragile? And finally, BLM is a political organization. You don't need a to have teachers endorsing a political organization to raise consciousness that all kids need to have opportunities.

Whoever organized this and tacked those things on did a fundamental disservice to the community. It would be great if we could just focus on pulling together and having a conversation on what we can do together.

Anonymous said...

"there is still a long way to go, as the shootings have showed us."

Wow, you mean the killing of hundreds of blacks by blacks each month? Or maybe the killing of 18 police officers by blacks in the last 90 days. No, you must mean the killing of Americans my terrorist. Perhaps you should be a bit clearer?

End PC

Melissa Westbrook said...

Gollum, I think you are conflating the issues at Hamilton with the larger effort for this day. I believe they are separate things.

Anonymous said...

Cap hill, thanks for your comments. I find you are consistently expressing my feelings about this better than I can! I wish you or someone would add this comment to the discussion on Soup for Teachers. There doesn't seem to be much room for honest questioning and I'm not in a position to voice this opinion on there or at school.

P/T

Anonymous said...

The phrase "Black Lives Matter" implies that Black lives are seen as not mattering, at least not as much as other lives.

No question that historically that has been true. American slaves didn't matter as much in the US Constitution, wasn't it three fifths for census purposes? And being bought, sold, worked to death, raped and murdered at the will of whites certainly show that Black lives did not matter, except maybe as a piece of property.

Nowadays it's the remnants of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. No wonder people find HCC offensive. Full of the same race of people who have oppressed Blacks for centuries, but now they segregate out Blacks because Blacks are not "gifted".

So the BLM protest and HCC are intertwined like trees in the forest. The Black trees have been clearcut and the soil washed away and the white trees are virgin, tall and living in a healthy ecosystem.

I guess it's too hard for some whites to imagine being Black,having Black children who go about town worried about interacting with racist cops or other racists from tourists to drivers to clerks in stores. Not too many white people are willing to sit down and watch the way kids of color are treated differently in our city, but so quick to believe the worst about them, they are violent, on drugs, poor, uneducated, headed for prison, hopeless.

America has written off the sons and daughters of slaves, used them as scapegoats, cannon fodder.. the hatred towards Black people in this country is unimaginable to most whites here in Seattle.

Of course all lives matter, except the ones we eat(mmm, yummy bacon) but Black lives have been undervalued in America for 4 1/2 centuries and some of us think it's time to treat all humans equally and fairly, not shoot men in the back as they run from a traffic stop for a cracked light cover or choke a man to death for selling ciggies.

Yah, HCC is the epitome of white privilege. Segregation to keep the "other" out, pure and simple.

Unfortunately, there are millions of people easily ramped up into a fury about BLM and race.

Qick suggestion for those who don't see race as an issue worth demonstrating about.
Go to Google and search for:
n***** forums. Read some posts. Then decide if everything is OK.

red maple

Anonymous said...

But Melissa, this is listed as one of the focuses of the rally at WMS. I don't think it's Gollum that's conflating it. "Academic tracking" is equivalent to the systemic racism in schools according to the organizers.

I hope people understand what is being pursued specific to SPS.

P/T

Anonymous said...

Yep I'm shocked that everywhere I look in Seattle I see "the remnants of slavery and Jim Crow segregation".

End PC

Anonymous said...

"Gollum, I think you are conflating the issues at Hamilton with the larger effort for this day. I believe they are separate things."

Melissa-- My understanding after reading about it is the third "ask" of the district (eliminating tracking)is part of what the SEE as a group group is asking SPS at the Wed evening part of the event. This is why some parents (who also support BLM) feel upset. A HIMS teacher may have been a spokesperson, as she was a catalyst for the event. However, I don't think this ask is coming from her alone but the group. There are many teachers at HIMS (Mr. Moriarity for example) who support HCC.
-KT

Anonymous said...

Remember, the BLM organizers are "alinsky-ites" They have 13 rules they are using to control the conversation.

Read the rules and you will understand their tactics. Read Clinton's Thesis and be very worried!

BLMS

Anonymous said...

Everything is not ok. Ending hcc will not help anything that is not ok get better, and it will make some more things not ok. Believing hcc is a necessary part of a basic educational system is not correlated in any way with an increase in racism or a lack of understanding that black people are and have been marginalized in our country and that people should be treated fairly. Certainly not with a belief that police brutality is ok.

Race is an issue worth protesting about. Requiring participants to also believe hcc should be dismantled to protest about race is hogwash, and just makes the protest about hcc.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Red Maple- There are plenty of Asian kids in HCC. Low income whites are also not as represented in the program. This is about poverty, not race. It is about universal access to free high quality pre-school so all children come to school prepared. Family attitudes that prioritize education and a myriad of other things. In addition to HCC that serves kids who are outliers on IQ tests, there should be flexible opt in honors classes for all as an option for elementary & middle school.Honors classes are open to all at the high school level, but HCC kids need enough of those classes & sections at a school to make their schedules work.
-KT

Anonymous said...

HCC is too dangerous for public schools. HCC creates students who can think for themselves, students who are not constantly manipulated by groups like BLM.

End PC

Anonymous said...

I hope someone can give voice to the meaningful concerns of Cap Hill and sleeper without being lumped in with comments like End PC.

P/T

Anonymous said...

Exactly what part of my comment do you disagree with?

It takes a brilliant teacher to teach brilliant minds. Reciting various political action groups rhetoric as curriculum doesn't work for HCC students because they are smart enough to know what the truth is and they rightfully question everything.

End PC

Mike said...

Step back from the conversation here and consider we're applying our adult ideas to children whose brains are not yet able to see the ethical/structural nuances related to BLM. (Is it a slogan? A movement? Decentralized to morph into any form a charismatic speaker decides to promote? All of these things -as Wikipedia currently describes BLM?) Racism per se is addressed in SPS curricula over the course of years with more nuanced issues examined according to age/ability. The curricula is adjusted over time and is certain to include the study of BLM. So there's no need or particular value in students being forced into a BLM Day. SPS exists for the gradual development of children's education, doesn't it? Yet, what I see being promoted in this Wed, event is , at best, a momentary intensification of what is already being taught or a promotion of one race over others - as if we haven't had enough of that from the white race.

Another Name said...

It is important to remember that Jessie Hagopian and Wayne Au set this event in retaliation to threats made at the John Muir event. They are playing with fire and using our children to do so.

Another Name said...

As a measure of support, Wayne Au is collecting signatures from people around the country. These people do not have children in the district and their children won't be subjected to threats.

This is nothing more than an act of irresponsible individuals.

Anonymous said...

"as if we haven't had enough of that from the white race" you were good until then.

Next time just start your comment with your racist antidote and save us from further reading.

End PC

z said...

Teacher said: "Btw, we voted unanimously as a building to wear these shirts."

Teacher, can you tell us the method of this vote? I'm quite serious. Was it a show of hands? Email? One-on-ones with the principal? How was this done?

Anonymous said...

For those interested in Clinton's thesis on Alinsky (author of Rules for Radicals) referenced above:

http://www.hillaryclintonquarterly.com/documents/HillaryClintonThesis.pdf

Very interesting read.

Anonymous said...

Red Maple- "Nowadays it's the remnants of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. No wonder people find HCC offensive. Full of the same race of people who have oppressed Blacks for centuries, but now they segregate out Blacks because Blacks are not "gifted"."

HMMM- Sicilian immigrants were treated the same as blacks under Jim Crow law. The largest mass lynching ever in the US was of 11 sicilians in New Orleans in the late 1800's. I am sicilian, first generation college and first generation middle class.My child is in HCC. Please stop generalizing about race and HCC. I also know Jewish parents with children in HCC who don't fit your definition as well.
-KT

Anonymous said...

And I am a woman, who believes in the United State of Women. I love watching and listening to all of the brilliant girls in HCC who as we banter are growing into future leaders who will blow through any glass ceiling.

Rise Together

Anonymous said...

KT,

There are lynchings and there are lynchings.

The case you site was more of an execution that mainly took place in the prison.

"Inside the prison, as the mob was breaking down the door with a battering ram, prison warden Lemuel Davis let the 19 Italian prisoners out of their cells and told them to hide themselves as best they could.[37]

Although the thousands of demonstrators outside gave the sense that the lynching was a spontaneous outburst, the killings were in fact carried out by a relatively small, disciplined "execution squad" led by Parkerson and three other city leaders: Walter Denegre, lawyer; James D. Houston, politician and businessman; and John C. Wickliffe, editor of the New Delta newspaper.[21][38]

The mentally ill Polizzi was hauled outside, hanged from a lamppost, and shot. Antonio Bagnetto, a fruit peddler, was hanged from a tree and shot. Nine others were shot or clubbed to death inside the prison.[9] The bullet-riddled bodies of Polizzi and Bagnetto were left hanging for hours."

wikipedia

Black lynchings were quite different and meant to terrorize.

"Large crowds of white people, often numbering in the thousands and including elected officials and prominent citizens, gathered to witness pre-planned, heinous killings that featured prolonged torture, mutilation, dismemberment, and/or burning of the victim. White press justified and promoted these carnival like events, with vendors selling food, printers producing postcards featuring photographs of the lynching and corpse, and the victim’s body parts collected as souvenirs"

Washington Post February 10, 2015


Fact-checker

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Seattle for over half a century and have never seen a lynching here nor any of the other events some here claim as fact.

Burned out

Anonymous said...

We may not have had lynchings within Seattle but we did have redlining. Many neighborhoods were off limits to blacks. Racism exists in Seattle to this day. You only have to go on Nextdoor to see evidence of it.

HP

Anonymous said...

Fact Checker- Sicilians were discriminated against in the Jim Crow south, were subject to Jim Crown laws & they also were not considered white (Anglo) in the US. I also urge you to read about the complex history of sicily, and its many rulers prior to 1860 Italy, and why there was such mass emmigration from Sicily to the US.

But my main point is that Red Maple states that "HCC is filled with the same Race oppressed blacks for centuries...." this is not true. Jews don't fit this definition as well as many other ethnic groups with children in HCC.
-KT

Anonymous said...

this thread makes me... sad, i guess is the best word. i value the information on this blog but feel alienated by this kind of post/thread. the next post is a call to action around the urgency of capacity issues. i do not argue with the urgency of that issue. for some families, living with the fear and ongoing stress of racism and the de-valuing of Black lives is a, if not the, urgent issue. you don't have to understand or agree with that, just acknowledge that that is the lived experience of some members of our community. the gaps cannot be closed without addressing this fact head on. the level of scrutiny and oversight leveled at this grassroots effort seems misplaced. if this day/event helps to broaden that acknowledgement and build bridges among us, then it is worthwhile in my view, plan and simple.

southend mama

Melissa Westbrook said...

Red Maple, I caution you that for this blog if you say something like this:

"The phrase "Black Lives Matter" implies that Black lives are seen as not mattering, at least not as much as other lives."

You need to add "in my opinion" because many people don't see it that way. It's interesting how three little words can be interpreted so many ways.

As for:

"Full of the same race of people who have oppressed Blacks for centuries, but now they segregate out Blacks because Blacks are not "gifted"."

Anyone who does not think there is racism in Seattle is not looking. Of course there is.


Just to be clear on American history:

"...but Black lives have been undervalued in America for 4 1/2 centuries.."

The U.S. is only 240 years old, not 400 years old.

One, the parents in HCC don't have much to do with who gets in. And parents have consistently said they want more diversity. It is absolutely not the case that people believe there are no gifted students of color. But I will point out that we have/have had multiple senior leadership who are black and yet the program has not changed a bit.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will note that the district does not seem to know what to call this day.

In their website post, they called it a "day of solidarity."

When I wrote to ask about the name that SEE has given it, the answer I got was "day of unity #SPSUnited."

I get the feeling the district wants to keep its distance from BLM.

I asked to go see Bagley, HMIS and Hale but the district is going to get back to me on that.

Anonymous said...

"One, the parents in HCC don't have much to do with who gets in. And parents have consistently said they want more diversity. It is absolutely not the case that people believe there are no gifted students of color. "

And I personally would like to see more children of any race (including asian and white) who are working class as well as low income. Anecdotally there seems to be alot of kids in HCC with two working professional parents (as opposed to our elementary school), which leads me to believe they are not as many kids from working class or single parent families either. However, the school district does not have any way to measure socio status beyond F & R lunch status.
-KT

knaves suck said...

first hcc is not racist unless the sps wanted it to be. parents are just trying to follow what al and their teachers are telling them.

for sps to say hcc is racist would admit that mgj was a racist as she is the first to make changes to it since the revered js tried to protect it (both aa).

tracking saves money and serves kids you have to serve. no more worksheets said the state.

oh and some of the anti tracking folks are old posters who anyone can see even if they try to mix up their aliases are still knaves. sad so sad.

mt should answer for this?

nc

Anonymous said...

Seattlecitizen “The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King wasn't political at ALL.”

Are you being ironic…?

For starters:
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

“Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be -- are -- are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.”

https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/memphis-v-mlk

The Montgomery bus boycott, the freedom rides, the Birmingham campaign, the March on Washington, the Selma march, the Chicago campaign, and the Memphis boycott are some of the more noteworthy battlefields where King and his followers--numerous in numbers, humble and great in name-- fought for the equal rights and equal justice The Montgomery bus boycott, the freedom rides, the Birmingham campaign, the March on Washington, the Selma march, the Chicago campaign, and the Memphis boycott are some of the more noteworthy battlefields where King and his followers--numerous in numbers, humble and great in name-- fought for the equal rights and equal justice

-dearwhitepeople

Anonymous said...

As the white parent of a gifted, mixed race student, I'm in a pickle.

If I support the efforts of SEE (the group of teachers that had the idea for the day of solidarity and brought it to SEA, which then brought it to SPS), I am effectively supporting the elimination of tracking, which my student desperately needs.

If I don't support the effort, I'm seen as a racist. And not just a racist, but also a prime example of "white fragility."

The teachers behind this effort sure made a mess of things...

Lose Lose

Anonymous said...

"...just acknowledge that that is the lived experience of some members of our community."


That's a hard one to do for some people who are very invested emotionally in denying their own racism, in my opinion.


"Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco." http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery

The Americas, also collectively called America,[4][5][6] encompass the totality of the continents of North America and South America.[7][8][9] Together they make up most of Earth's western hemisphere[10] and comprise the New World. -wikipedia

cuckoo

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I am SURE seattle citizen was being sarcastic.

I absolutely acknowledge the lived experience and urgency of racism for black Americans. In what should be an unrelated statement, I also support a self contained accelerated program in SPS.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

"For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal, group or international conflict. Instead he recognized that conflict was an inevitable part of human experience. But he believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through a mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence. No conflict, he believed, need erupt in violence. And all conflicts in The Beloved Community should end with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill."

http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy#sub4

Both sides are guilty of failing to act in accordance with MLK's philosophy. Where is the "reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill?" I see some teachers using this protest as a vehicle to achieve their personal goals of silencing dissent against ending advanced learning in SPS. I see some using it to silence white parents who oppose a corporate ed reform agenda. I see some parents throwing a fit about the protest itself rather than recognizing its purposes and goals.

If people approach this action as a way to score points against your presumed rivals, you're approaching it the wrong way. If you want to wear a shirt, awesome! If you don't, that's cool too. Racism isn't dismantled by wearing a shirt, it's dismantled through political actions, through systemic changes, and through government action. No matter what you do on Wednesday, make sure that every day you're fighting to ensure every child in this district gets the education they need, rather than trying to deny that right to others.

King's County

Anonymous said...

Ditto what sleeper said:

I absolutely acknowledge the lived experience and urgency of racism for black Americans. In what should be an unrelated statement, I also support a self contained accelerated program in SPS.

rb

Anonymous said...

It's really a shame that SPS continues the false narrative that somehow black students are flawed and will only make it if they are given special attention.

If the adults (used very loosely) don't realize that all races of students know what's going on and they want you to STOP! They want you to stop using them, to stop talking like they can't hear your callous hurtful labels. These children are smart and seem to be working things out, so stop stereotyping blacks as inferior.

Truth

Po3 said...

The problem I see is that 1)there is not an aligned curriculum for K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 for teachers to use in the classroom for this day. 2)Teachers didn't receive any PD in advance of this day. Heck SPS doesn't even know what to call this day.

The topic of race is hard. Hard to talk about, hard to teach, hard to understand. We now have this day coming that is making some teachers (and some families) feel unprepared, fearful and in some cases spiteful.

I think some training, coupled with a curriculum, could have gone a long way to start us on a meaningful pathway. But I fear, that this will just be a day that won't result in change, it has to be more than a t-shirt.

Leaderless said...

Wayne Au has publicly admitted that, after the press conference, the district received threats. When a parent expresses concerns regarding threats, Au calls the parent a racist and goes on a rant.

This is the leader of the movement?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Calling concerned parents and educators racist is not the way to move forward. It is clear SPS is not in charge. Activist teachers are running the show. It's unfortunate, as this day seems positioned to be polarizing rather than unifying, largely because of SEE and their many agendas and seeming thirst for conflict.

saddened

Anonymous said...

I think it's best to call in sick on the 19th and for concerned parents to keep thier students home. The district needs to hit the reset button and have this "event" (?) re-calibrated after whomever is in charge figures out what the hell it is they are trying to accomplish.

Spoon Man

Anonymous said...

Why is the UW allowing it's teacher to associate with radicals hell bent on causing chaos?

“We have a right to self defense. That is why we have to shut them down,” Yvette Felarca, a counter-protester wearing a white bandage on her head, told reporters after the clash.

"We also talk with Yvette Felarca, an English and history teacher at Martin Luther King elementary along with Wayne Au, assistant professor of education at University of Washington ...


BAMN is not a fringe group, however; it has union connections and a penchant for “direct actions.” In an article from 2012 entitled “BAMN Pushes Teachers Unions Toward Radicalism,” the leftist site In These Times talked about the group:

A student-teacher alliance that operates as a joint caucus within the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and National Education Association (NEA), BAMN uses litigation and direct action to combat racial inequality throughout the public education system. Its work ranges from organizing against school closings to fighting for greater black and Hispanic representation at public universities.

BLMS

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

October 19th is PSAT day for sophomores and juniors. Students can't just stay home that day. SPS better make darn sure testing is not interrupted for students. While Hagopian is on record as being against standardized tests, I sincerely hope the day was not purposely planned to coincide with testing as a means of adding to the disruption. At this point, anything seems possible.

tinfoil hat

Anonymous said...

Southend mama, I agree. The thread is honest though. What I read here is far nicer than what I've read on personal FB page and heard at some social gatherings. It tells me Seattle has problems and has many very scared, intelligent people.

Mayberry

Anonymous said...

Good Thing I am not a parent of a current SPS student.

I would be outraged that the SPS has somehow permitted a blatantly political group to be endorsed on October 19.

"Day of Solidarity" endorsement is hardly the same as "Black Lives Matter" endorsement.

Who next can get the district to permit blatant political groups to gain permission for their special day?

The District has failed to exhibit any responsible leadership. Is this "a coup"?

The District resembles a third world country in this matter.

BLM advocating for ending HCC. This is hardly a solidarity builder.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

"Wow, you mean the killing of hundreds of blacks by blacks each month? Or maybe the killing of 18 police officers by blacks in the last 90 days. No, you must mean the killing of Americans my terrorist. Perhaps you should be a bit clearer"

This is the most bullshit argument out there.

When blacks kill blacks or whites kill whites or blacks kill whites or whites kill blacks, when anyone kills a police officer, or whatever permutation you can come up with, that is CRIME. The JUSTICE SYSTEM is there to address that.

When a POLICE OFFICER kills an unarmed person then lies about it, the SYSTEM is corrupt. Do you seriously not see the difference between a criminal who kills and a cop who kills unjustifiably? Do you not understand then importance of honesty in our justice system???????

I'm not sure about this whole SPS effort but I do support BLM. End PC, if you felt you were being treated unjustly, I suspect you'd be the first person out there venting outrage. And I am white and well over 50, so let's end the age bias too.

End Idiocy

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm with End Idiocy - not sure about this day of unity but I do support BLM. The video is out there for all to see on WAY too many killings of black people. Enough.

I'm still waiting for Teacher to tell us what school's teachers voted unanimously on the day of unity. (And was it the entire teaching corps or whoever was at that meeting?)

Anonymous said...

If parents stayed out of the way, this would be a quiet, peaceful and educational day. It the hysterical parents wanting to rally and make this a freak show for the kids that just need to relax and back off.

Relax People

Anonymous said...

@ Relax People, it's the advocate-teachers who are holding the rally, not parents. And if parents stayed out of the way, they'd see that as tacit approval to eliminate tracking for students who very much need it.

Can't Snooze

Leaderless said...

Wayne Au one of the organizers. Au has admitted that, after the press conference, threats were made upon our schools.

Let's see what happens on October 19th.

There is no reason to relax, Relax People.

Anonymous said...

@cap hill. You said it so well. It's almost as if the organizers didn't want us to come together.
" So many people could get behind a basic day of solidarity around these issues - like so many Americans can see MLK day as a recognition of one of our greatest citizens. But you've made it way more complicated than it needs to be, without adding any additional benefit to your cause.

Why tack on things that are major issues of contention like detracking to a day of solidarity? Why allow teachers like Ian Golash to make racially disparaging statements like white people are fragile? And finally, BLM is a political organization. You don't need a to have teachers endorsing a political organization to raise consciousness that all kids need to have opportunities.

Whoever organized this and tacked those things on did a fundamental disservice to the community. It would be great if we could just focus on pulling together and having a conversation on what we can do together."
Elementary Teacher

Melissa Westbrook said...

Relax People, I totally disagree. It's public school with members of the public - parents - sending their kids there. In no way should parents "back off." They have a right to know what is happening in their child's school when both the district and the teachers are making a very big, public deal about an event.

Anonymous said...

Relax, please tell me you are not an educator. If this is your attitude toward parents, you've picked the wrong profession. It takes a lot of gall to shame parents, when SEE is running the show. Is the plan to educate or indoctrinate?

pesky parent

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/08/09/black_lives_matter_protesters_disrupt_bernie_sanders_event_in_seattle_sanders_gives_up_mic_to_them.html

Watch this video...BLM in action in Seattle. Is this what you want your children to learn in SPS classrooms? Shall your teachers advocate for this level of divisive dialogue?

Here is the quote of the day: "If you do not listen to her, your event will be shut down right now." (Screamed at Brenie Sanders during a Social Security rally in Seattle). BLM shut the rally down and Sanders had to leave the podium. Shall Seattle teachers play this video in classrooms on the 19th?

Why is SEA promoting this organization?

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a level of hysteria on this blog about this issue that, from my perspective, seems misplaced and overdone. I'm a parent and my experience with SPS teachers is that they work hard and care deeply about the kids under their care during the school day. It makes me sad to read many of these comments. - NP

seattle citizen said...

I'm with NP.
Martin Luther King was a political revolutionary demanding justice, yet no one utters a peep when that (assassinated) man is honored every year with readings of his revolutionary speeches...The uproar is odd.

Maybe because King is history, he's back in a comfortable past, a thing we can reminisce about fondly from our easy chairs?
Trouble in the present, black lives not mattering as much STILL, is a bit more difficult to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

Trolls have posted on the SEA facebook page and clearly above there are comments by trolls who live nowhere nearby and have no students in SPS-- and probably zero experience with being on the receiving end of systemic racism....

Close the thread

Anonymous said...

I support BLM. I think that some poorly trained trigger-happy cops are out there in some cities killing people, especially black people, at rates that cannot be tolerated. Note that there is no correlation between the number of killings and the level of violent crime on a per city basis. Some cities' police forces just appear to be out of control.
http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/2015/

Importantly, however, I do not support the SPSs "take" on BLM. I do not support the elimination of tracking and the "one size fits all" educational model the district seems to be promoting. I think a small cohort of teachers are using the movement to forward their own educational philosophy but it has little to do with the BLM movement and, more importantly, it undermines academics in the district. That is my opinion.

-SPSParent

Sanders said...

I think people still are angry those 2 women wearing BLM shirts shut down the Bernie Sanders rally. Maybe having Seattle's teachers wearing shirts and joining the BLM movement will help to make people forget the anger over not getting to see Sanders after all that waiting.

Tchr said...

Get the discussion of tracking off the table. It's not at all what this is about and it is irresponsible Hamilton just throw that in really diluting this day of solidarity.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to ignore the tracking issue. It is part, perhaps most, of the motivation for the SPS entering this dog fight, In my opinion - based on empirical experience.

-SPSParent

Melissa Westbrook said...

NP, I don't see "hysteria" but I hear concern. No one is saying the teachers don't care; this event is surely evidence they do and are willing to go out on a limb.

But there are things that seem vague and I think parents have a right to ask questions.

Tchr, it is not just Hamilton - that's in the FAQs for this event. I agree that I don't think it's really the point but I can't blame people for their concern.

SPS Parent, you may have hit on something.

Anonymous said...

I checked in with the organizer of the event to make sure that I wasn't misrepresenting the tracking issue. I asked if getting rid of Spectrum and HCC were part of the goals tacked onto the event and the long answer when distilled was that yes the group the organizer is part of has added that to their platform. However, that anti-gited services part is not part of the approved event which is simply to support BLM. So there appears to be some mission creep or at least some after the fact additions that were not voted upon by SEA or approved by SPS.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Anonymous said...

Should the thread be shut down because - gasp - there is disagreement? The discussion has been pretty civil by all accounts. Support for the BLM movement varies, even among those identifying as black. According to a 2016 Pew research poll (in spring, so the needle may have moved some since), 43% of adults support the movement, with support at 65% among blacks (not exactly unanimous support). And not surprisingly, "among whites, Democrats and those younger than 30 are particularly supportive of [the movement] Black Lives Matter." You will note Asians were not part of the poll.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/08/how-americans-view-the-black-lives-matter-movement/

Another suggested those with concerns were just trolls, and maybe not even parents of SPS students. Why is it so hard to accept that there is disagreement, some of it coming from current parents and teachers? Just because the people in your bubble agree with you does not mean there is unanimous support.

Suggesting that lack of support was the result of bitterness among Bernie supporters was the most amusing of all. Thanks for the laugh.

pesky parent

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Moriarty, for speaking up on this blog and trying to clarify the detracking language. As a parent of 2 SPS children, I feel extremely disheartened by the direction Wednesday's action is headed. If I or my children wear a black shirt in solidarity, does that mean we're supporting the dismantling of the very programs that have made school "work" for them? Are we racist because we are in advanced learning? I would say we are part of a clearly imperfect system. I suspect many in the advanced learning community would work to make the system better and more equitable (test everyone for AL versus making people opt-in, for example; make sure all curricula regardless of gen ed or Spectrum or HCC is rich and that all teachers are excellent), but being branded racist by trying to have our childrens' learning needs met is abhorrent.

Our school (Hamilton) and neighborhood (Wallingford) is predominantly white. That's due to many decades of segregated housing patterns and myriad socioeconomic factors. Dismantling "tracking" won't fix that.

Watching said...

Thanks, Mr. Moriarty.

I had a sense that organizers had eye towards advanced learning, which, for some is an intervention, and I fully agree that we're in the midst of watching mission creep.

The organizers seem to want national attention. If they waited to hold a press conference- after the event, we wouldn't be seeing hate from around the country.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr Moriarity. " However, that anti-gited services part is not part of the approved event which is simply to support BLM. So there appears to be some mission creep or at least some after the fact additions that were not voted upon by SEA or approved by SPS."

Although the organizer is a teacher at HIMS, I feel the HIMS principal should step in to clarify the goals of SPS and the school event with the parents. Otherwise it is very controversial & confusing for HCC parents who feel their program is being threatened by supporting this event.

-NW

Anonymous said...

The message is clear...

Dirty deeds

Anonymous said...

Going back to the district's press release on the Day of Solidarity:

During our #CloseTheGaps kick-off week, Seattle Education Association is promoting October 19 as a day of solidarity to bring focus to racial equity and affirming the lives of our students – specifically our students of color.

In support of this focus, members are choosing to wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts, stickers or other symbols of their commitment to students in a coordinated effort. SEA is leading this effort and working to promote transformational conversations with staff, families and students on this issue.


Very carefully worded on the part of SPS. They are not outright stating SPS supports BLM (it's a political movement after all), but "members are choosing to wear BLM t-shirts."

Anonymous said...

Studies show tracking hurts kids.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108013/chapters/What-Tracking-Is-and-How-to-Start-Dismantling-It.aspx

from the paper:

"When coauthor Carol Corbett Burris (2003) studied the effects of detracking mathematics in the middle school as the focus of her doctoral dissertation, she was shocked to discover how many high-achieving minority students did not study accelerated math prior to detracking, and how many majority students with far lower achievement test scores did so successfully. Again, these findings are not unique. The inequity and inefficiency associated with track placement are well documented in both national and international studies."

"Begin Where Tracking Starts

Detracking should begin where tracking begins. If your elementary school tracks, that is the place to start. If tracking is delayed until the middle school years, begin there."

"Begin with Teachers Who Are Interested

It is not an accident that our detracking began in both the district's middle and high school with the English and social studies departments. In both cases, these departments were the most open to the idea of heterogeneous grouping and the most able to envision all students learning the high-track curriculum."

jim

Lynn said...

There are two components to advanced learning testing - achievement and cognitive. Achievement testing is already universal. Looking at those results gives us an idea of whether universal cognitive testing is likely to increase participation in advanced learning programs.
On last year's 8th grade ELA SBAC, the minimum level four score was 2,668 (79th percentile), Spectrum qualifying score was 2,692 (87th percentile) and HCC qualifying score was 2,734 (95th percentile).

995 students received level four scores. Who were they?
American Indian/Alaskan Native students: 3 (of 32 total)
Asian students: 191 (of 602)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0 (of 19)
Black: 33 (of 586)
Hispanic/Latino: 67 (of 459)
White: 625 (of 1,541)
Two or more races: 76 (of 258)
Limited English Speakers 0 (of 315)
Migrant 0 (of 13)
Special Education: 13 (of 455)
Low Income 156 (of 1,381)
Section 504: 28 (of 110)

Based on the results of last year's achievement test, we could expect advanced learning students to be:

.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native (actual percentage .2%)
19% Asian students (actual 12%)
0% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (actual .05%)
3% Black (actual 3%)
7% Hispanic/Latino (actual 5%)
63% White (actual 69%)
8% Two or more races (actual 11%)

Anonymous said...

"Figure 2.1. Nationwide Detracking: The Schools of Finland Close the Gap

In 2000, the 15-year-olds of Finland proved themselves to be among the best readers in the world, as measured by their performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an internationally standardized assessment of the learning of 15-year-old students jointly developed by participating countries. In 2003, Finnish teenagers were first not only in reading, but also in mathematical literacy, problem solving, and science when compared with the students of 29 participating industrialized nations, including the United States, Hong Kong, and Korea (BBC News, 2004). In addition, Finland's gap between high and low achievers was the second smallest among the participating industrialized nations in 2000, and the smallest in 2003 (Cavanagh, 2005; Linnakyla & Valijarvi, 2005). Finally, the socioeconomic status (SES) of Finnish families has little impact on the achievement of Finnish students, when compared with the SES impact in other nations (Linnakyla & Valijarvi, 2005). While there are many possible factors that may contribute to the success of Finnish students, one of the most remarkable features of the national school system is its commitment to a unified school system with no tracking until students reach age 16 (Coughlan, 2004).

Other features of Finland's schools include the following:

All students are entitled to the same high-quality education regardless of their prior achievement, gender, ethnicity, or social class (Finnish National Board of Education, 2004).
"Ability grouping" in grades 1–9 was abolished in 1985 so that all could be eligible for higher education (Finnish National Board of Education, 2004).
Special education students are included in regular classrooms (Linnakyla & Valijarvi, 2005).
The Finnish system of basic education has a philosophy of teaching that "school is for every child, and that the school must adjust to the needs of every child, not the other way around" (Linnakyla & Valijarvi, 2005, p. 35).
There is a national curriculum with school and teacher flexibility. Instruction is student-centered, and there is ample support for struggling students (Linnakyla & Valijarvi, 2005)."


jim

Anonymous said...

"Eliminate the Lowest Track First

There is little doubt that tracking does the most harm to students who are consigned to the lowest track. According to the National Research Council (NRC), low-track classes have an especially deleterious effect on learning, since such classes are "typically characterized by an exclusive focus on basic skills, low expectations, and the least qualified teachers" (Heubert & Hauser, 1999, p. 282). Placement in a low-track class is often used as a solution for student misbehavior or inattentiveness. The preponderance of research regarding low-track classes was so overwhelmingly negative that the NRC concluded that students should not be educated in low-track classes as they are currently designed (Heubert & Hauser, 1999). It makes sense, therefore, to begin by eliminating the classes that do the most harm to students. When our high school began the first phase of detracking, the low-track classes were the first to go.

You should be prepared for opposition to phasing out low-track classes. Many have argued that these classes should not be eliminated but reformed instead: provided with better curriculum, better strategies, and additional time. In our opinion, successful reform of low-track classes is highly unlikely. By way of illustration, we share the following anecdote.

During our first year of middle school math acceleration, it was discovered that some of the special education inclusion students had not been adequately prepared for the Regents exam in the middle school because their teacher felt that the course was "too difficult" for them. These students would need to take the course over again in high school. Rather than fold them into heterogeneously grouped classes with new entrants to the school system who had not taken accelerated mathematics, as 9th graders, the special education inclusion students were assigned to a class of their own: a double-period class with extra resources. The class was small (fewer than 15 students), and three excellent, committed educators—a math teacher, a special education teacher, and a teaching assistant—were assigned to teach it. The class followed the New York State Regents curriculum. Other students, identified by counselors as "low achievers," were assigned to this class as well.

The idea was a serious mistake. The class culture was not academic, the students behaved disruptively, and the double-period schedule proved to be torture for both them and the teachers. In an effort to save the class, the most disruptive students were taken out and placed in the heterogeneously grouped class. This led to better behavior and academic performance from the previously disruptive students, but back in the special low-track class, another student would invariably take on the role as the lead disruptor. Needless to say, we never pursued a tracked solution again. Today, all special education students fully participate in the accelerated course, and teachers do not make their own decisions regarding students' capabilities.

Mary T. Fletcher, one of South Side Middle School's special education teachers, has taught in both self-contained and inclusion settings in elementary and middle school, and she has seen the positive changes heterogeneous classes bring to all students. She believes that providing differentiated instruction in a heterogeneous class enhances each student's academic, social, and emotional learning experience. She shares the story of how one student benefited from a heterogeneous classroom: "

jim

Anonymous said...

"Cathy was an 8th grade transfer student who worked diligently at earning and maintaining her "big bad bully" persona. She was so effective that peers and staff alike were frightened of her. Fortunately, Cathy joined a heterogeneous English classroom that implemented differentiated instruction.

During a unit on nonfiction, Cathy chose to create a visual of the destructive power of a forest fire in response to the literary image of a dragon's tongue of devouring flames. This became Cathy's hook. She painstakingly created a beautiful and haunting depiction of a dragon blotting out the sky and reducing a mighty forest to a collection of spindly sticks. The class and teacher were awed by her work. For the first time, Cathy was absorbed in completing an assignment. She worked on it after school, at home, and during free periods. Her peers and teachers saw a new side of Cathy, and she received positive attention for her newly revealed talents. In addition, her poster deepened the class's conversation about the piece, benefiting the high-achieving students in the class. The metaphor was closely examined, and Cathy's work became a conversation with the text, reflecting and contributing to the class's understanding of the essay.

Cathy's story provides some examples of how a heterogeneous classroom can improve the quality of education for all students. According to Mary Fletcher, there are many benefits to expect when instructional staff are conversant with and dedicated to differentiated instruction and detracking:

Teachers get to know their students better. As teachers work to differentiate the curriculum, they develop an awareness and understanding of their students as learners.
Students feel respected and cared for by teachers who make the effort to reach them by developing careful, differentiated lesson plans. Such students become assured that their classroom is a safe learning environment.
Differentiation allows more students to feel invested in the lesson, thereby decreasing behavioral problems. Students who previously opted to be viewed as "bad" rather than "stupid" will have their learning needs met and other talents explored, allowing them to drop the "bad" act and become instead a valuable member of the class.
Students who might have been considered less intelligent because they learn in a nontraditional way become invaluable contributors to the heterogeneous classroom. For example, an aural learner who struggles with textbook assignments can add in-depth perspective in a social studies class discussion by contributing what he or she has learned through documentaries or tapes.
Struggling students who are part of heterogeneous groups and classrooms observe and learn the techniques of less-inhibited learners. They begin to see that "smart kids" don't always know the answers, have to pause to think, and use questions to orient themselves. Students in low-track classes are cut off from exposure to the habits of successful learners.
Differentiated instruction encourages flexibility. Teachers thus become adept at adapting lessons to fulfill each student's individual needs.
Detracking removes the limits that come with rigid thinking about how learning should and does occur. Fair does not always mean "the same." For example, allowing a student who struggles with the physical act of writing to type his notes can benefit that student and the rest of the class. Not only does the student get access to the material, but the entire class has a reliable set of notes that can be used for those who were absent. This student now becomes an expert—and essential—note-taker who takes pride in his responsibility and sees himself as a member of the class."

jim

Anonymous said...

The US is not Finland. "....when we compare Finland and the U.S., we need to be aware of these huge differences in culture and economic discrepancies."

http://www.startribune.com/finland-not-an-apt-educational-model-for-u-s-schools/266823501/

-realist

monkeypuzzled said...

Jim, that's all very well and good, but it would be more convincing to me if anyone--anyone--could point to an example of successful differentiated instruction that has happened in an SPS classroom. This line of thinking is very appealing to me in the abstract, and it's part of why we chose Montessori, which in theory embeds differentiation into all classroom work. The reality was quite different.

Anonymous said...

People need to move on from the BLM protestors who disrupted Bernie Sanders. There was a huge disagreement within the BLM groups over this. The BLM movement is not a structured organization and there is disagreement within the groups and between the groups. What they do agree on is that Black Lives Matter and that Black Lives are not valued in our society.

HP

Lynn said...

Finland, a country that prides itself on equitable education, does a great job at getting and keeping everyone on the same playing field. Mirroring the philosophy of their society and governmental structures, education in Finland is more concerned with the collective good and making sure that every student does well instead of focusing on competition, tracking and ranking.

The result is that every student learns what they need to learn and does quite well at the basics, but not much more. There are very few high achievers. In fact on the recent PISA assessment Finland, while ranking far above the international average, Finland only had around 15% reach a top performing category, while the Asian Nations who beat Finland had between 30 to 50% of their students reach that top category. Yet, at the same time Finland had very few students on the low spectrum.

In Finland no one is pushed to become great, but no one gets left behind either. When everyone in society is doing at least “okay”, this creates a collectively high average that beats the average of a country like the U.S. or China that have gigantic educational achievement gaps that mirrors their societal and economic structures.


https://fillingmymap.com/2015/06/08/the-three-real-reasons-for-finlands-high-pisa-scores/

Anonymous said...

Jim-- You have good intentions in which I agree in principle, but in practice Finland does not have anywhere near the same economic disparity as the US. It is comparing applies and oranges. We need to focus on multiple economic strategies (free college like Finland) lift families & kids out of poverty. In addition we need to provide quality free preschool for all in this country. Eliminating AP courses at the high school level (wouldn't that also be "tracking") and other programs to support advanced learning is not the solution. More opt in honors programs are needed instead at the elementary & middle school level. I also think an opt in honors program tailored specifically (like rainier scholars) for low income and gifted students of color is greatly needed.

The middle class is already shrinking in the US and that strategy hurts America and our economy even further, it will lead to more stratification. The middle class will take their kids out of public school and instead choose to pay for private school. This will make the situation worse in Seattle and elsewhere. 1/3 of Whites as well as affluent people of multiple ethnicities (Indian, Asian etc) already send their kids to private school in Seattle.
- HT

Anonymous said...

HP, the disruption of Bernie Sanders was a minor event compared to other BLM events around the country. BLM protestors have destroyed property, incited violence and openly called for the killing of police.

The BLM movement is not a structured organization and there is disagreement within the groups and between the groups.
Exactly! Which is why promoting BLM in the classroom is problematic. It's difficult to disassociate the positive messages from the outright violent messages. It's not like a pharmaceutical ad where you see the smiley happy people and the disclaimers are buried in the fine print at the bottom. There is no fine print on BLM t-shirts.

pesky parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jim, I'll just say that there are many studies that say that detracking helps everyone but the kids at the top. I think the jury is out on whether tracking is good or not good but it is used in the U.S. and around the world.

If we do detrack, then there needs to be a real and concentrated effort on helping teachers with extensive differentiation. Not just extra worksheets or reading.

HP, and I did point out that BLM is deliberately a loose organization. That's fine but it's a little difficult then to know what will be organized and carried out in any given city/situation.

You can support what BLM stands for - the keeping down of black people in our country and the police overreaction to anything they do - but still have questions/misgiving about the organization.

Anonymous said...

FINLAND: Pop. 5.4 million
UNITED STATES: Pop. 319 million

FINLAND: Low income disparity: http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/finland-news/domestic/10727-finland-has-lowest-income-inequality-in-eu.html
UNITED STATES: High income disparity: http://inequality.org/wealth-inequality/

FINLAND: Children living in poverty: 5.3 percent
UNITED STATES: Children living in poverty: 21 percent
http://www.borgenmagazine.com/lack-of-poverty-in-finland/
http://www.nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html

FINLAND: Racial diversity: 90 percent Finnish
UNITED STATES: Racial diversity: 63 percent White; 17 percent Hispanic or Latino; 12 percent Black or African American; 5 percent Asian.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Finland
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/13/18934111-census-white-majority-in-us-gone-by-2043
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/31/10-demographic-trends-that-are-shaping-the-u-s-and-the-world/

Finland not an apt educational model for U.S. schools
Finnish educational successes may not be very instructive for U.S. schools facing poverty, diversity and language barriers.

http://www.startribune.com/finland-not-an-apt-educational-model-for-u-s-schools/266823501/
"And recent studies from researcher Sean Reardon of Stanford University indicate that over the past 50 years, the achievement gap in the U.S. has gotten larger between income groups, more so than between racial groups. The gap has increased 40 percent between rich and poor, partly because wealthier families are investing more time and money in their children. Poverty has a great impact on achievement."

--- Apples2Kumquats

Anonymous said...

Jim, are you suggesting that Wednesday's event *is* about detracking?

unclear

NESeattleMom said...

Reposting for Anonymous at 10:19 am
Thank you, Mr. Moriarty, for speaking up on this blog and trying to clarify the detracking language. As a parent of 2 SPS children, I feel extremely disheartened by the direction Wednesday's action is headed. If I or my children wear a black shirt in solidarity, does that mean we're supporting the dismantling of the very programs that have made school "work" for them? Are we racist because we are in advanced learning? I would say we are part of a clearly imperfect system. I suspect many in the advanced learning community would work to make the system better and more equitable (test everyone for AL versus making people opt-in, for example; make sure all curricula regardless of gen ed or Spectrum or HCC is rich and that all teachers are excellent), but being branded racist by trying to have our childrens' learning needs met is abhorrent.

Our school (Hamilton) and neighborhood (Wallingford) is predominantly white. That's due to many decades of segregated housing patterns and myriad socioeconomic factors. Dismantling "tracking" won't fix that.

10/18/16, 9:19 AM

Anonymous said...

"The BLM movement is not a structured organization " Nice DNC taking points,but honestly, do you even follow the news or read wikileaks? Even your typical liberal biased news outlets have reported BLM and the DNC are connected and have organized with BLM to disrupt events.

Read the rules!

Please

Anonymous said...

Wikileaks has gotten their info from the Russians. BLM is not tied to the DNC.

HP

Anonymous said...

"Our school (Hamilton) and neighborhood (Wallingford) is predominantly white. That's due to many decades of segregated housing patterns and myriad socioeconomic factors. Dismantling "tracking" won't fix that."

That's your opinion. I know many white people now and in the past 30 years who can't afford to buy a house in those neighborhoods. Sorry there's no proof of patterns of segregated housing in the north end, just urban myths and reformist history with reconstructed phony documents sprinkled on top.

In 1968 I lived in the north end we has several black families on our block and contrary to the typical liberal theology we were all friends.

The liberals just love keeping the black man down and dependent on their social programs, great for getting votes.

End PC

seattle citizen said...

Oh, come on, End PC. The "north of the ship canal" divide is STILL obvious. I've lived in North Seattle since 1979 and I can pretty much point to each of the few neighborhoods that has more than a couple people of color. Yes, yes, there are poc everywhere in the north, but they are, for the most part, few and far between, and have been since racial covenants were made illegal and redlining became LESS of a problem.

Race-based covenants are "phony documents"?!

No proof of patterns of segregated housing?! Uh, demographics?

You've really lost credibility, End PC.

seattle citizen said...


Search current Seattle demographics - layer for People of Color

Anonymous said...

Hamilton demographics as recently as year 2005:

Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 88 12.2%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 14 1.9%
Black / African American 153 21.1%
White 237 32.7%
Special Programs
Free or Reduced-Price Meals (May 2006) 53.9%

Anonymous said...

@ Seattle

Dug in again I see.

End PC

Anonymous said...

If "supporting BLM" at this event means that I don't want rogue cops unjustly shooting black people, I'm all in. If "supporting BLM" at this event means that I want HCC to go away, I'm keeping my kids home from school that day as a message that I disagree with it completely. Which is it?

Confused

Anonymous said...

The district bused kids in 2005.

"Anonymous said...

Hamilton demographics as recently as year 2005:

Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 88 12.2%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 14 1.9%
Black / African American 153 21.1%
White 237 32.7%
Special Programs
Free or Reduced-Price Meals (May 2006) 53.9%"

The kids of color didn't live in the neighborhood, they lived in the south of Seattle.

KJO

Anonymous said...

SPS demographics in 2005 vs 2015 (taken from OSPI):

2005-06
Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 5,295 11.5%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 1,044 2.3%
Black / African American 10,318 22.4%
White 18,921 41.1%
Special Programs
Free or Reduced-Price Meals (May 2006) 40.8%

2015-16
Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 6,540 12.3%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 358 0.7%
Asian 8,077 15.1%
Black / African American 8,349 15.7%
Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander 248 0.5%
White 24,781 46.5%
Two or More Races 4,990 9.4%
Special Programs
Free or Reduced-Price Meals (May 2016) 19,231 36.0%

Over the past 10 years, the percentage of white students has increased around 5%, and FRL has gone down around 5%.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Please, I was quoting the BLM website which is, I assume, the ones who should know their structure. I have no idea of what the association between the DNC and BLM is but it has little to do with this discussion.

Anonymous said...

It really means you hate police. Pick your poison.

Haters hate

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - Also, compare your statistics to the actual racial makeup of the city. Seattle is around 70% white. 30% of parents send their kids to private school! These are predominately affluent or middle class White, Asian & East Indian parents. A very large amount of kids in this city. Ridiculous.
-NW

Anonymous said...

A person of color (any color) with the financial means can buy a house in any neighborhood in Seattle. All this redlining talk is pure rubbish.

Windermere agent

Chris S. said...

I agree with what Cap Hill said so eloquently - behind the sentiment, regret the choices made in communicating and operationalizing the event. My other frustration is that we're spending all this energy reacting/ dissing each other about raising voices when we could be doing something that might make a difference. And I just came across this on FB:
http://kuow.org/post/how-tell-difference-between-these-two-great-progressives
in which Wilkinshaw describes the need for a ballot initiative to make it less difficult to prosecute out-of-line cops (not that I hate cops, I just see this as motivation to make the few bad apples behave better) which is totally do-able. (I feel the same way about homeless camping - why don't you work toward a REAL solution - but I have no ideas to offer there. That don't cost a lot of money.)

Anonymous said...

The problem with your argument is police officers involved in shootings are not bad cops. They are people who have a very difficult and dangerous job. You should view just a few of the videos of police being killed by black criminals to help you understand. They literally have .5 seconds to decided to shoot or be shot. You will not find many police with multiple shooting incidents because police shootings are statistically very rare and most police NEVER fire their weapon during their career.

These men and women put their lives on the line everyday for us and so I support them 100%, even the ones who make a mistake.

BLMS

Another Name said...

What are the BLM's organizers calling the group and where can we find the platform?

I think everyone has their own version of BLM. Tough to say where people land.

I'm still waiting to hear something about this event from our school. Has anyone received information?

Chris S. said...

REALLY? NONE of the videos I've seen in the last year qualify as police officer misconduct? Maybe getting off track here, but if people really don't think there's a problem with law enforcement/judicial inequality, we DO have a problem. I understand police have a hard job. I also understand that de-escalation is the accepted way to approach some situations (like broken taillights.)

Anonymous said...

Go and watch the videos, then come back and comment.

Police are people, people that have a wife/husband and perhaps children. They are not repeat criminal offenders. There are close to 1 million police offices in the US and as many as 12 million arrest per year with around 400 applications of deadly force. .00003% of police encounters result in the use of deadly force.

By any statistical measure white people are killed more often than black people by police.

Police do not go out each day with the intent to kill civilians regardless of what propaganda BLM slings. In fact all of BLM data used to show systematic police abuse of blacks is false.

Will this be taught tomorrow?

BLMS

Anonymous said...

I'd be happy with "Closing the Gap" shirts. Why not represent what the district is promoting? BLM clearly states they are a political group. Talking to kids about race inequality does not require the backing of a specific political group, especially if you don't acknowledge that there are, unfortunately, fringe elements of that group who advocate violence against other races and the police which may make it controversial. It is not new that Seattle Schools and the population in general are highly liberal and emotional. The fact that the hyper-liberal have been running the city and school district seemingly forever may also be a root cause of our current gap in education beyond the social aspects. We keep promoting the same policies by the same people and expect a different result. Some call that insanity.

-Change

Anonymous said...

Seattle has been run by liberals at since the 70s. If people have an issue with systemic anything in Seattle blame the liberals. You think the liberals are bad just wait and see what damage the progressives will do.

Freedom fries

Anonymous said...

I was all excited about this, and have my Black Lives Matter shirt all ready to go, but I am seriously on the verge of tears right now because I can't wear it in good conscience because this 'event' is not about supporting our Black students. It is about supporting a few people's ideas about the only way to care about our Black students, otherwise you are a racist.

My daughter, who is one of these Black students, is quite anxious about going to school tomorrow because she doesn't know what her white teachers are going to say about 'her' experience in front of her friends. I am, too, especially after seeing that so many of my colleagues have thrown something together in order to prove that they care, even when it is clear that many of them have no clue, despite the best of intentions. Make no mistake, this is a political event, and my daughter is a pawn.

She hadn't even been told by anyone at school that this was happening.

And note, nothing in this post is about APP, just as this event isn't about making my daughter comfortable at school. Sorry, she's not even a teenager-she's not "woke", she's worried. I am, too. What will she be taught tomorrow? The real messages of Black Lives Matter are important enough to me to take some time to really think about what we are doing here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, above should be from....

A Mom First

Anonymous said...

A Mom First,
I agree in so many ways. I feel as a white person that I have no right saying anything about issues of other communities. I would feel so badly if my kids was LGBTQ and they had a "support LGBTQ" day with teachers wearing t-shirts and the focus on my kid. Maybe that is not the same, but from what I have read in magazine articles or in online articles, it is the position many African American students or other ethnic or racial minority students are put into when they are in college and they are supposed to be the representative of their community when a discussion is focusing on a topic that may or may not be relevant to them. All eyes turn to that student. As I said, I can't be an expert on another person's experience, but to me this labeling with t-shirts sucks. If it is all Seattle Schools day, I haven't heard a word from my kid's middle school
NESeamom

Anonymous said...

HCC should go back to what it was when it started as IPP at Madrona and Garfield, a program for kids working at least four years beyond grade level.

Hazel Wolf, TOPS and other schools show that one, two and three year ahead kids can be served locally.

Gifted ed should not be a place for parents to escape being around FRL and minority kids. That's bad for their own kids and the ones left behind.

all the above is my opinion

Ari

Anonymous said...

At the Friends of Ingraham High School's webpage, someone posted the event created by Ian Love Golash and commented : "Tomorrow, we'd love for parents and students to join the staff members who will declare unequivocally that #BlackLivesMatter, too."

https://www.facebook.com/events/1651069751869918/

This bothers me on so many levels... And it's on the PSAT testing day as well, which affects both sophomores and juniors.

Momof2

Anonymous said...

In my email---It sounds like the school does have a plan, and is handling this as well as possible. I think our school's teachers have their hearts in the right place, and will try to teach about this topic in a sensitive way. Advisory is half an hour at the end of the day. It is a "safe space" where all sorts of issues can be discussed.


Dear Jane Addams Families,

Tomorrow, on October 19th, as a professional community we will affirm and celebrate that Black Lives Matter. Students will see educators wearing t-shirts as we hope for and work for change in ourselves and for our society.

In advisory, students and staff will discuss this topic and watch a short video that gives a brief history of this movement. It’s important that our middle school students have an age-appropriate introduction and are able to ask questions in a safe, educational environment. This day, and our advisory classes, provide us with the opportunity.

Also, on Wednesday in the front hall and at lunch there will be a chance for students to show their solidarity by wearing stickers with “Black Lives Matter.”
We are proud to participate in the district-wide recognition to embrace students through wearing “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts and are having discussions about how to eliminate the opportunity gaps that exist. For example, during each of our early release days this year, we are committed to learning about and working through the issues of inequity that impact our students. Tomorrow’s action is a way to symbolize our commitment to serving our students and to eliminate the opportunity gaps that exist, even as early as at the middle school level.

Through these events and our conversations, we will continue our important work to make Jane Addams welcoming, inclusive and safe for all of our students and their families.

Sincerely,

Paula

Paula Montgomery, Principal


Jane Addams Middle School

Posted by:
NESeamom

Anonymous said...

This thread and issue has magnified and diversified to the point of extreme... I love that we have Finland, Highline Restorative Justice issues, Housing in Seattle, Black Lives Matter, By Any Means Necessary, Blue Lives Matter, Old People, Redlining, Racism, PC gone Wild, SEA, SPS, Idiocy, the Seattle Process and once again nothing will ever come of this except hurt feelers, happy dancers and confused people.

And to think I left this all behind to live in red state where racism is open and bad education is another. Good times

-Former SPS'er

Anonymous said...

I will be wearing a very special NRA themed 2nd amendment t-shirt to school and I really want anybody to try and stop me.

It's on

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

Well, there are "mistakes" and there's incompetence. EVERY single profession has incompetent people. You find them, give them support to learn/do the job better and if not, they should be out. O-U-T, out. That's true of every single union job.

It does no profession any favors to have people who can't do the job make everyone else look bad.

Change, very good point on the shirts and I made it to two of the organizers and they had no comment. It's clear that bringing in BLM has a reason. What that is, I don't know.

Hazel Wolf and TOPS are Options schools and most programming like dual language and HCC cannot be put there. (I'll go back in my records but I don't recall IPP or APP ever being four grade levels ahead.)

Thank you for letting us know what one school - JAMS - is doing because I don't know and I don't think most parents know what will be happening at their schools.

Safe Place, you are being deleted for name-calling and name-calling of children. That is NOT allowed.

seattle citizen said...

Got nuthin' more to say, eh? That's your argument?
Pshaw.

seattle citizen said...

Windermere agent,
Keeping minorities out of housing isn't as common now as it once was, but it still happens.
11% of poc faced discrimination in a 2013 study.
Discrimination in Housing Against Nonwhites Persists Quietly, U.S. Study Finds

Anonymous said...

I have significant disagreement with Paula Montgomery's letter posted above.

#1 Spousal "Abuse" is determined by the person abused not the abuser.

#2 BLM is a political movement

#3 There are a number of persons who are not comfortable supporting the BLM political movement

#4 "We are proud to participate in the district-wide recognition to embrace students through wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts" ...... "Tomorrow's action is a way to symbolize our commitment to serving our students and to eliminate the opportunity gaps that exist."

#5 "We will continue out important work to make Jane Adams welcoming, inclusive and safe for all our students and their families."

===============================

The decision to participate by wearing "Black Lives Matter" T-shirts is the antithesis of statement #5 above.

#5, in the light of the BLM decision, smacks of if you don't think the way we think you are wrong.

I would appreciate knowing what JAMS believe are the causes of the opportunity gaps, how the gaps are measured, and what specific actions have been taken to reduce the size of these gaps. Are gap reductions measured in cohort groups for grade 6 through grade 8? If so what have been the results.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Origins of IPP:

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10022

...a comprehensive research and service program has emerged at the University of Washington...A kindergarten-through-high-school program for children and young people exhibiting extraordinary advancement in academic skills. This Individual Progress Program (IPP) is run by the Seattle Public Schools in collaboration with the Child Development Research Group. It is designed for students who are achieving at least four grade levels beyond the grade appropriate for their age...Begun in 1978, the IPP currently serves 75 children, balanced for sex and reflecting the racial makeup of the Seattle population.

googled it

Anonymous said...

I think my child will wear a flannel shirt. Just like every other day.

-plain bellied sort

Anonymous said...

@ Ari, part of your argument that HCC should go back to something like IPP for kids working 4+ years beyond grade level doesn't make sense. You said "gifted ed should not be a place for parents to escape being around FRL and minority kids. That's bad for their own kids and the ones left behind." Do you really think if it's 4 yrs ahead it will be more diverse?

Also, what's the evidence that Hazel Wolf, TOPS and other schools are effectively serving students who are one, two and three year ahead?

@ seattle citizen, another part of Ms. Montgomery's letter bugged me. She wrote: "Tomorrow’s action is a way to symbolize our commitment to serving our students and to eliminate the opportunity gaps that exist, even as early as at the middle school level." Even as early as the middle school level? Does she not realize that these gaps start at birth--or even prenatally--and does she think they are mostly created after middle school? I agree with you that we need a good understanding of the root causes of these gaps if we help to close them. My understanding is that SPS doesn't create the gaps--they exist upon arrival in K.

rb

Teacher said...

I'm a North End teacher. Our school voted by anonymous, paper ballot unanimously to wear BLM shirts. I am looking forward to joining this political movement tomorrow to attempt to stop the ability of bad cops to kill our citizens w/o consequence. As a member of the BLM movement, this is what the movement is about and has always been about. The HCC discourse is not part of our action tomorrow. This has nothing to do with why Seattle teachers are wearing shirts tomorrow.

Yes, we Seattle teachers are now part of this political movement and will teach your children tomorrow about civil rights and Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges and prejudice and racism and how a cop should not be allowed to kill a school cafeteria worker on a routine traffic stop or a child playing in the park with a toy gun or a man selling cassettes on a street corner.

And I can now go to bed knowing I am on the right side of history. Can you do the same?

Yes, it's political and we Seattle teachers are part of it and are teaching it. Because it is the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

rb,

Yup.. Ms. Montgomery's letter is deficient in a great number of ways.

Like I said what does JAMS believe are the causes of opportunity gaps?

Root causes?

It seems emotional responses rather than relevant data is the basis for decision-making to often in the SPS.

Perhaps instead of BLM, Core Knowledge could be considered.

-- Dan Dempsey

seattle citizen said...

Yes. Research indicates "the gap" starts at day one. Vocabulary acquisition, for onstsnce, between 0-5 is castle different depending on a number of factors.

Lynn said...

If my anxious eight year old comes home tomorrow concerned about children being killed in parks and fearful of police officers, I am not going to be happy and I am not going to be quiet about it.

Have you lost your mind?

Anonymous said...

It seems that what "Teacher said" describes and what Ms. Montgomery wrote are not quite the same.

I am still confused as to what the official position of the Seattle School District is on this "day of action"

Is this a "choose your own adventure" day?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that what "Teacher said" stated confirms that if you don't think the way we think you are wrong. ... so much for political discourse. School indoctrination is clearly alive and well in some quarters. Our tax dollars for education at work.

I thank "Teacher said" for the clarification.

===============
Some background from my teaching.
South Central LA at the corner of MLK and Main.
The renamed Compton Blvd. => Somerset Blvd in Bellflower, CA
4 years on the Rez in various locations in WA, NV, and AZ

===================
Sure would be nice for SPS admin to clarify what SPS thinks this day is about.

-- Dan Dempsey

Teacher said...

Yes, if you don't think all spots on the bus are open to all people regardless of the color of their skin, you are wrong. If you don't think segregation is unjust, you are wrong. If you don't think slavery, rape, and murder are bad, you are wrong. If you don't think all deserve to have equal access to education, you are wrong. Yes, school does indoctrinate. It indoctrinates children to be kind, to be polite, to treat others as you would be treated, to not judge others by the color of their skin, to be a compassionate, successful member of our community. And, no, your 8 year old will come home talking about how we do not judge others by how they look and that it is important not to bully because that is age appropriate for a second grader.

Anonymous said...

This is posted on the SPS website =>

Eliminating Opportunity Gaps in Our Schools

SPS is working to ensure educational excellence for all students

It indicates the connection to BLM.

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dan, "choose your own adventure" for the win. Ha!

Well, Teacher if you could enlighten all the parents about what WILL be discussed, that would be helpful.

Teacher said...

Melissa, please strive to be more open minded and less sarcastic and patronizing, that would be appreciated. There are lessons posted on Schology under each grade level. This should give you a better idea of our action tomorrow.

Teacher said...

Schoology.

Anonymous said...

@Lynn

You are lucky that your child does not have to face the reality of children being shot in parks or of being fearful of police officers. Other children are not so fortunate. It's great that you feel confident to make your voice heard on this matter but you seem less sensitive when other voices are being raised on behalf of those, including other anxious eight year olds, whose experiences are totally and tragically different to yours.

Optimistic

Anonymous said...

Teacher said --- you are the one being sarcastic and patronizing, not to mention self-righteous. I can only hope that you're not my child's teacher. I also hope that none of your children have loved ones who are in law enforcement.

And where on Schoology would I find these lessons? I didn't find them on my son's Schoology.

Momof2

Lynn said...

How is frightening my child going to help anyone? I reject the claim that avoiding these issues makes my child lucky. This is something every child should be provided - a childhood free of fear of the police or of being shot (by anyone) in their neighborhood. It's not insensitive to demand that teachers not discuss in the classroom every terrible thing that happens in this world. These are problems to be discussed and solved by adults. Teachers should strive to make school a place of safety and security for their students. Teachers should expect their students to succeed in school and provide them with the support they need.

Teacher I think you're mistaken. My second grader isn't going to come home talking about bullying and prejudice because his school has no activities planned for tomorrow.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Teacher, I am not being sarcastic. I'm asking a question. The general public cannot see Schoology so I have no idea. This event is not event listed on the district's website even as it is advertised as a district-wide put on by teachers. So the tax-paying public doesn't get to know anything?

Optimistic, Lynn gets to advocate for her child. There are children in Syria who are far worse off then children in this country. There's always someone worse off but every parent is allowed to express the concern they feel for their child. We need to work to do better for ALL children but I cannot fault someone for wondering exactly what will be said to their child in their classroom on a sensitive subject.

Melissa Westbrook said...

So I will end this thread now. I'm unsure whether I will have another one on this topic because, well, I may have nothing to report. I am getting conflicting reports about whether media (not me, of course) will get access to any of this.

It's certainly odd when an event is so advertised up to the day of and then, mum's the word.