From the Soup for Teachers Facebook page:
- Meg Richman I teach at Franklin. This was clumsy. It is a part of an initiative to focus on the achievement gap that hurts African American students the hardest. There was an assembly to get buy-in from the kids for an extra push on everyone's part. Lack of foresight about how it would be received, but it came from an honest and caring place.
Teachers BTW were not consulted.
Really? The district and schools don't know this is a sensitive issue and aren't clearly thinking these things out?
- reaction at Facebook
KT Jones But that's the inherent problem, right? Good intentions are great but the actions are damaging. This letter sends the message that black parents don't know how to prepare their students for college. It is beyond insulting and it is a crying shame that the teachers were not involved in the decision. There could have been outreach from the teachers to the community to ask the parents if they needed support and what they needed support with. Instead they were left with insinuations and degradation.
Odetta Owen Exactly. I can't grasp the mindset that says this is helpful or respectful. On the eve of a BLM event where families and PTSA's were not invited to collaborate with the District and SEA this is bad timing and shows lack of insight. While I believe the words that intentions were well placed I am worried about the lack of understanding possessed by the decision makers. Equally disturbing is the consistent pattern of attempting solutions without inviting parents/families to the table.
Ms. Owen is right... for so many issues, not just the opportunity gap. This district has a real habit of believing they know best and it seems to backfire a lot.
From 100 Black Parents:
So there is a letter/agreement given to African American Students at Franklin HS that is being shared tonight. After talking to some folks and getting MORE BACKGROUND and CONTEXT here is what it is: 1) The letter that is being shared is being taken out of context. 2) It is not from the PRINCIPLE (sic) but rather a part of an overall program: Keeping It 100: GET SMART that is seeking success for STUDENTS OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR and 3) It is just one of MANY Community Partners in the building (see List) 4) If you are a PARENT IN THE BUILDING have not seen this paperwork, then you need to be more involved in the building or at least call the school to see what's going on. The program CLEARLY seeks to involve BLACK PARENTS by asking them to check their child's grades in the Source. Once again we prove that we are the BEST at being #REACTIVE but have a ways to go in being #PROACTIVE
This is all fine and well but again, the principals and the district should be working together and if there are outside partnerships, everything should be vetted thru the district.
- KING 5 story
One parent, Timika Anderson, said her 17-year-old daughter brought the form home two weeks ago. Anderson said her daughter was upset that the form was passed out only to black students. A similar form was sent home for their parents to sign, but the words “African American” were left out, making the form appear to be more general.
Parents and students tell us African American families were invited to an assembly after school to explain what the staff is doing to improve graduation rates at school.
The principal, Dr. Jennifer Wiley, declined an interview with KING 5.
Seattle NAACP President Gerald Hankerson said the covenant, on its own, is particularly troubling in the way it appears to put the onus on the student, not the school.
"The problem is, if you're going to have straight talk and a conversation with these families and these kids, but you're not willing to admit your failures as an institution, that's where the problem begins," Hankerson said,
Late Tuesday, Seattle Public Schools released a statement, that read, in part, "After meeting with senior students, Franklin staff discontinued the covenant as it proved to be a distraction from their original intent which is to increase efforts and support for African American students and ensure college readiness."My question is - who's on first? How does the district allow this kind of mistaken thinking to happen?
"In addition, a parent/community advisory group is under development to increase the school’s collective wisdom, inform their practices and build capacity to reach the goal of 100% of African American students college ready."