Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Open Thread

The natural explanation for the lateness of this thread is, of course, discombobulation from too much turkey.

Spokane School District suspends more kindergarteners and first graders than high school students.  From the Spokesman-Review:

There have been more kindergarten and first-grade suspensions – 171 – than there have been high school suspensions – 160 – in the first 54 days of the current school year. Districtwide, Spokane Public Schools has reduced suspensions. 

Special education students continued to be suspended at a disproportionate rate. Although comprising only 12 percent of the district’s student population, those who are considered special education students receive 34 percent of all district suspensions.
I read the explanations for this - more kindergartners than any other grade, kids aren't socialized yet, no intervention rooms in elementary schools and not enough teacher support - but that still seems odd to me that there would be that many little kids who "had" to be suspended.

KUOW had an interesting take on an election map - show your teenagers what a difference proportions in maps can make.

I wanted to give a shout-out, via the West Seattle Herald,  to Shelby's Bistro and Ice Creamery which is hosting fundraisers over a series of nights to support schools in West Seattle including: Fairmount Park, Genesee Hill Elementary, Alki Elementary, Denny Middle School and West Seattle High School. Thanks for your support of public schools.

What's on your mind?

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday, students at Ingraham High School released the following statement:

"Ingraham High School Solidarity Statement

Dear Ingraham Community,

Our student community has always sought to uphold the Ingraham values of respect, inclusivity, and acceptance. In light of recent events, we as Ingraham students have become more aware of the necessity to preserve and promote these ideals.

There are many people within our community who have cause to feel frightened and unsafe given our current political climate. As representatives of the student body we want to emphasize that Ingraham strives to be a place in which everyone can feel safe. Education and the academic world should be a domain that is safe for all.

The Seattle Public Schools non-discrimination policy states that SPS 'does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex; race; creed; color; religion; ancestry; national origin; age; economic status; sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity; pregnancy; marital status; physical appearance; the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability; honorably discharged veteran or military status; or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal.' We want to confirm our commitment to upholding this policy within our community. Everyone at Ingraham deserves respect, regardless of any of these factors. We want to enforce our disapproval of all discriminatory acts at Ingraham, and instead create an environment that supports and accepts differences.

Especially in this time of turmoil, there is a distinction between tolerance and true acceptance of others. We Ingraham students want to strive for the latter, and encourage individuals to embrace open-mindedness towards those who are a part of oppressed groups. We encourage the community to unite in support of one another and celebrate that which makes us different. Please join us in our efforts to make Ingraham a place where love will prevail.

Sincerely,
Ingraham Clubs and Organizations

Including:

Avalanche Literary Magazine
Associated Student Body
Black Student Union
Boys Swim
Cheer
Chinese Club
Cross Country
Debate Club
Environmental Club
Feminism Club
Gender-Sexuality Alliance
Girl’s Basketball
Girl’s Soccer
Girl’s Swim
Girls Who Code
Hiking Club
Human Rights Club
Jewish Club
Junior State of America
Latino Club
Math Engineering Science Achievement Club
Native American Club
National Honor Society
Polish Club
Project Unify
Rocket Club
UNICEF Club"

HV

Josh Hayes said...

I am also told that there are a number of clubs and organizations at Ingraham who feel they WOULD have signed on to the statement if they had had club meetings in time to take a vote on it, and they intend to add themselves to it after their next meetings. Good for them.

Anonymous said...

SAP meetings next week are important to attend and voice opinions and concerns about any remaining decisions in the northend, such as Cedar Park option school ideas, capacity management plans for Cascadia, and middle school feeder plans for Hamilton/Eaglestaff/Whitman.

What other loose ends are on the table?

Big Decisions

Melissa Westbrook said...

I had received this notice from Ingraham and was going to put it up in a separate thread but thanks.

Anonymous said...

About Ingraham High - Guest essay By Richard Truax
http://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/guest-essay-end-separate-classes-for-highly-capable-students-at-ingraham-high/
-ABC

Historian said...

I saw the Guest essay by Richard Truax. I highly recommend individuals read the comment section. In my opinion, Truax's argument was destroyed.

Historian said...

Truax offered no evidence that the needs of advanced learners are being met.

Anonymous said...

@ Historian - Truax is talking about meeting the needs of all learners at Ingraham - not just "advanced learners." - Cap Hill

Historia said...

Absolutely, Cap Hill. Truax failed to identify the mechanism and data that supports the notion that advanced learners needs are being met in Honors for All. Yes, all students.

Anonymous said...

My reading of his article is that he is saying that we don't even know who the advanced learners are in the first place since many were tested at a young age and the program has no actual accountability.

FWIW

Anonymous said...

At Ingraham, any student can take IB classes. There are not separate IB classes for advanced learners. Some students coming from APP middle school programs take the earlier IBx diploma path, some take the regular IB diploma path, some take IB certificates, & some do running start instead. Students who test into HCC in 8th grade can put Ingraham as a choice for high school enrollment. That is not true for Garfield which is only available to HCC students who tested in younger.

My student came from non-HCC middle school to do the IBx path at Ingraham & had classmates from the gen ed programs at Eckstein & Whitman on that IBx path too. But at least half the group in each class was gen ed track IB students. In some cases gen ed students are ahead of HCC students like in foreign language classes when the student attended John Stanford Elementary. It is not as segregated as Mr. Truax made it sound. Evidently he has a student at Ingraham, but I am not sure he understands the program.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

The optional IBX pathway at Ingraham was created as a means of relieving overcrowding at Garfield. If all HCC qualified students chose the default pathway to Garfield there simply would not be space. By all accounts, it seems to have saved Garfield (and Ballard and Roosevelt) from hitting the breaking point sooner. As HS Parent explains, it also provides a pathway for HC qualified students who can not access Garfield. It's hard to believe the program is being derided and misrepresented by a Garfield teacher, whose school has been helped by this optional pathway.

-takes gall

kellie said...

@ Big Decisions,

There are more "loose ends" as you put it. Here are just a few.

The entire Greenlake / BF Day/ West Woodland boundaries need to be addressed. BF Day is under enrolled and the two neighboring schools are over enrolled. The language immersion schools will always cause challenges for the adjacent schools.

A timeline for boundaries for Lincoln is truly critical. Until there are boundaries, the school has no constituents and there is no way for students and families to make adequate plans for students to graduate.

A plan for Ingraham is also critical. Ingraham is getting a permanent addition in 2019. However, portables can be added before then as the campus has ample space. There needs to be a transition plan for 2017 and 2018 before Lincoln comes online and the bulk of that transition plan will need to fall on Ingraham as it will be nearly impossible for either Ballard or Roosevelt to add more students. That said, Ingraham needs a plan as it takes times to hire qualified IB teachers and IB is what will draw students away from over-crowded Ballard and Roosevelt.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Truax clearly has no idea what he's talking about. It's a shame that such uniformed SPS staff feel so comfortable spouting off in public to push their personal agendas with such blatant disregard for the facts. Does freedom of speech in the workplace really extend to spreading lies and misinformation as a representative of SPS? Shameful.

He writes: In Seattle, unfortunately, our public high schools are too segregated. Much of this comes from neighborhood patterns and tracking in our schools. Both of these problems are hard to solve. Wrong. Tracking in our schools is NOT one of the causes of segregation in our schools. In the absence of tracking programs, our schools would be MORE segregated. Would Garfield be more diverse if it weren't an HCC pathway? How about Washington Middle School? Even Lincoln Elementary is more diverse than many of the neighborhood schools that feed into it. Yes, our neighborhood patterns are one factor in the segregation we see. The second factor is our district's neighborhood-based school assignment plan, NOT our highly capable programs. But, of course, that reality doesn't fit his agenda.

IBX is a special track for these advanced learning students. This program is detrimental to the learning of both IBX and non-IBX students. Wrong again. IBX and IB students are in the same classes together. IBX students are just doing them a year earlier, because they completed the prerequisites a year earlier. They don't get special, segregated IBX classes. They simply follow a different timeline. But again, that reality doesn't fit his agenda.

Until six or so years ago, Garfield High School was the magnet school for students in the district’s HCC program. Uh, Garfield is STILL the HCC program pathway high school, the default school for most HCC students. Does he not even know that simple fact? Sheesh.

Garfield has struggled with racial tensions since the program started. The demographics of HCC is disproportionately wealthy and white. Wait a minute. So his argument is that Garfield has struggled with racial tensions since disproportionately white and "wealthy" HCC students started being sent there--which suggests it would be better in the absence of those rich white brats--while at the same time he's complaining about the racial segregation in our high schools? That doesn't make any sense. But I'm sure whatever it is, it's the HCC students who are to blame--either by being there, or not being there, or being the wrong color or having the wrong parents, right?

At Ingraham, HCC students spend part of the school day in their own classes while some students are right next door doing the same curriculum using the same texts and at times, learning from the same teachers. Well gosh, that does sound unfair. Too bad it's completely FALSE. As noted above, HCC students in the IBX track take IB classes with IB and IBX students both. They aren't separate classes, and IB students are not all HC-identified students. But again, that reality doesn't fit his agenda.

(continued)

Anonymous said...

But the reality is that the program has students with a large range of abilities, one that has grown larger over the last decade as the size of the program has more than doubled. While all or nearly all of Garfield’s valedictorians in a given year are HCC students, there are also HCC students with 2.0 GPAs, and students struggling with the usual challenges of high school. And there are many non-HCC students at Garfield outperforming their HCC colleagues. Ok, he may actually be right about the data on this one, although I suspect his data are more anecdotal and based on his feelings than any actual real SPS data analysis. But the problem is that this isn't really the issue. Do some highly capable students underperform? Absolutely! In fact, it's one of the reasons that gifted ed experts call for instruction specifically tailored to the unique needs of gifted students--because they tend to get bored and significantly underperform if not provided the appropriate supports. And why is it supposed to be a shock, or a sign of failure, that some non-HCC students do as well or better than HCC student? Many non-HCC students were in fact HC-identified at one point but decided not to enter the HCC program. Others may be less cognitively gifted but have great study skills or home support or whatnot--and since our program is designed for high achievers and isn't really tailored to the unique needs of highly capable students in the first place, it's no surprise that high achievers (gifted or not) can do well. Mr. Truax attempts to use his anecdotal performance data to suggest that many HCC students aren't really all that gifted in the first place, when really his data suggest that our instructional program isn't doing a great job of meeting the educational needs of many HC students. It's our failure, not theirs. But that wouldn't fit his agenda, AND it might make teachers and schools and administrators look bad.

Students test into HCC as early as six years old by taking a test that’s essentially an IQ test. Once they’re in, there are no performance requirements for staying in. That's not true at all. Students don't have to repeat IQ type tests to remain in the program, but they ARE routinely reassessed. Ever hear of state tests? Or report cards? Most HCC students score 4 (exceeds standard) on the state tests, and to the extent that some only score a 3 (at standard) there are many likely explanations, such as diagnosed/undiagnosed learning disabilities (common in gifted students) or poor HCC instructional programming. Students who continue to underperform on report cards will be counseled out of the program if their situation warrants it. They DO need to continue to perform to stay in the program. Perhaps MR. Truax doesn't know this because there isn't an HCC "program" at Garfield to "stay in." There are just classes, open to all students.

There is no academic argument to segregate a school based on an IQ test. Would the orchestra teacher at Ingraham be justified giving the #1 violin seat to a student based off a test they took when they were six? The universal answer to that would be no. So why are we doing this in academic subjects? Seriously? Class placement is NOT based on tests given at age six. They are based on classes taken the prior year (i.e., you take the next one in the series), or based on standardized tests taken the prior year (i.e., students newly testing into the program at whatever grade level jump into the level of their HCC cohort, for the most part. They may face a big jump and need to overcome a large gap based on material they skip, but they are mostly up for the task).

(continued)

Anonymous said...

This segregation hurts the students in the HCC program as much as it does the rest of the Ingraham community. They lose the rich learning that comes from a diverse learning environment. The worst of this segregation at Ingraham is in the humanities as both the language arts and social studies classes are the most tracked. So students are missing out on the rich and diverse viewpoints that could be shared in class. Again, they DON"T have separate classes! He's really hung up on this misunderstanding. Maybe he'll feel better now that people have set him straight. No, I'm sure he'll continue to push his misinformed agenda, despite the reality.

Our board and district administrators struggle with what they term the “achievement gap.” Multiple district goals are aimed at reducing this gap. Yet, this same board and administration are intentionally creating policies that lead to racial separation at Ingraham High. They do so while scratching their heads wondering why we can’t close what is really an opportunity gap. A simple first step would be to eliminate the IBX program at Ingraham and allow the school to be One Ingraham. Eliminating the IBX program would have ZERO effect on the opportunity gap, and ZERO effect on the racial separation at Ingraham. For one, many HCC students are opting for the IB timeline rather than the IBX timeline already. Two, IB and IBX classes are already integrated. And three, denying opportunities for acceleration to those who are ready for acceleration does not suddenly make them less "highly capable", nor does it make the school more racially integrated. I'm really scratching my head trying to figure out what exactly he thinks would change if they didn't offer an IBX option.

Not only are his "facts" wrong, but there is no logic behind Mr. Truax's argument. On one hand he's arguing that HCC students really aren't so gifted after all, while on the other he's arguing that having a program for them contributes to the achievement gap. Huh?

People like Mr. Truax have very limited understanding of the needs of highly gifted children, and it's a shame that so many will suffer as ignorant ideas like his take hold in SPS. There seems to be an unwillingness to acknowledge the role of socioeconomic factors in the development of intellectual giftedness, while simultaneously implying that since these students got this way through no effort of their own (e.g., they were born to "wealthy" white parents), they are somehow undeserving of an appropriate education--they didn't earn it. Teachers like Mr. Truax would rather deny learning opportunities to gifted kids in the hope that other will then catch up, or at least that things will at least look more equal on paper. What he doesn't understand is that most highly capable or high-IQ students will continue to be highly capable and high-IQ regardless, and the achievement gap will persist. The achievement gap is measured based on things like graduation rate and scoring at least at grade level on state tests. Highly capable students do NOT stop being highly capable just because you take away their learning opportunities. They will still score high, and they will still graduate at higher rates.

If Mr. Truax really wants to eliminate the achievement gap, he should focus his efforts elsewhere. The achievement gap is already present at kindergarten entry, and it persists. We need to more to reduce/eliminate the gap in K readiness, and we need to do more to close that gap in the early years. We need extensive supports for struggling students throughout all grades if we want to close the gaps, and we need to provide sufficient resources to teachers and support staff so they can do that. Denying opportunities to a small segment of high performing students is not the way to close the gap. Not only is immoral to intentionally stymie the education of one group in order to let the others catch up, it's also not going to work.

Face it

Anonymous said...

A plan for Ingraham is also critical. Ingraham is getting a permanent addition in 2019. However, portables can be added before then as the campus has ample space.

Does IHS have ample space while the building is under construction (over the next two years, when the space is most needed)? The construction will take staging space for construction trailers, equipment, etc.

A long term plan for high school HC is needed. Garfield cannot handled the growing HC enrollment and IB is an option for a reason. If the message is that HC students are not welcome in the very schools that are supposed to serve them, RHS and BHS HC students will increasingly choose their high performing neighborhood schools, though with the unknown boundaries and splits, it's not so straightforward.

-another parent

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post Face it - you are correct on every point,

I am getting very tired of individuals, especially those in the SPS, stating "facts" definitively that are completely false. These are individuals that are supposedly training our children to do research and cite their references? Or shall we just tell children that you can say literally anything you want just so long as you do it definitively enough to convince others that you are right. If you do that, you WIN. I think this attitude also represents the business philosophy of TRUMPucation. And this is a history teacher no less. I don't think, based on his own erroneous comments, that Mr. Truax possess any knowledge base on the IB program at Ingraham or any other IB school. I am very sorry to see this person teaching SPS students.

-IngrahamIBParent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, it is interesting that the Times has not one but two education op-eds on Advanced Learning. And this big push this year on the horrors of the program and how it seems it is THE cause of all inequity. How - can - that - be?

Well, it is if that's the narrative you choose to put out there.

kellie said...

@ another parent,

Per the portables report presented to the capacity committee, Ingraham can take at least six portable during construction. My concern is that hiring qualified staff is a bigger issue than the physical space. While a portable can be placed and permitted fairly quickly (a few months), hiring qualified IB teachers can not be done at the last minute.

Watching said...


"Again, it is interesting that the Times has not one but two education op-eds on Advanced Learning"

I share Melissa's sentiments.

Thanks to Face it and other parents that have commented.

I've read Truax's piece, Seattle Times comment section and blog comments. I question Mr. Truax's "facts". As well, I would appreciate actual data.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, on January 11 Garfield is hosting Carol Burris, author of Detracking for Excellence and Equity, one of the books used by the teachers in developing their Honors for All teaching strategies. Will she talk about eliminating ability grouping in math and world language classes, and in Garfield Orchestra and Jazz band? Yeah, didn't think so, because ability grouping IS appropriate, and the best model for targeted teaching and learning.

open ears

Anonymous said...

Open Ears-

We also do ability grouping in school sports.

-mouser

Anonymous said...

Who is paying for the Carol Burris visit to Garfield?

-wondering

Melissa Westbrook said...

I know Ms Burris from other work; I'll try to talk to her.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Ms Burris has any clue just how differently Garfield is implementing their version of detracting, compared to the well-planned, well-supported, and slowly phased in model they created in Rockville Center. There's no comparison, and no reason to expect similar outcomes.

Face it

SusanH said...

Do you guys have a sense of whether or not the 9th grade "honors for all" is just the beginning? I thought it was an isolated test program, but with the "detracking expert" coming to speak, I fear it's part of a larger effort. Is Garfield intending to continue the program to 10th grade as well (and not let us know until the summer)? I keep thinking, "well, it's OK that my child has a slacker year for 9th grade; they are getting used to high school after all," but I am hoping for more challenging, faster-paced classes starting in 10th. This year has been SO much easier than middle school.

Anonymous said...

@ SusanH, I think the writing is on the wall that they want detracking. While the folks down at JSCEE don't seem to support advanced learning and are letting it die a slow death through neglect, the folks at Garfield seem to be taking advantage of the antipathy and charging ahead. Several years ago they decided HCC students were no longer able to jump right into AP World History in 9th grade, as they had done for years. This past summer, that article on Ted Howard originally said he was eliminating honors in 9th grade, and I suspect that the "honors for all" rebranding was partly in response to the fact that SPS is required to provide some type of HC services in every grade, and with Garfield the HCC pathway, they couldn't officially offer nothing (though in practice, they can). In that same article, he mentioned that this move was about "chipping away" at the current system, implying that this is just the start. Now we have that recent op-ed by Mr. Truax--which didn't come out of nowhere--and the effort to bring Ms. Burris out.

Charlie tried to put a positive spin on the Honors for All thing by buying the story that they'll be thoroughly evaluating the success of this approach, but I'm not falling for it. Does anyone really think they will do a rigorous, meaningful evaluation of the impact this has on different types of students? Not only do they likely not have the capacity to conduct such a study (and they've never identified their "success" outcome measures in the first place), but they can't really do it before time to make a decision on next year. I fully expect they'll instead just use their own impressions that it's all going "great" to expand the effort schoolwide. They'll use Ms. Burris' visit as further justification, even though what they implemented at GHS in NO WAY resembles what they did in Rockville Centre.

Face it

Lynn said...

I think you should be advocating now with the board as a whole that any further changes at Garfield must be announced prior to open enrollment. This is information families need in order to choose the appropriate school for their students. Busing across town to Garfield makes no sense for a student in the Ballard or Roosevelt attendance area if the school no longer offers appropriate classes for accelerated students.

The district describes the program at Garfield as an accelerated AP pathway. Who is responsible for ensuring the school is actually offering that?

HCC Parent said...

My sense is that Garfield is offering a pilot program. Didn't the mayor recently talk about Garfield's "pilot" program in relation to closing the gap?

Will Garfield bring in anyone that offers a different perspective in relation to advanced learners?? I doubt it. Very one sided presentation.

One director has been asking for the board to provide evidence that advanced learners needs are being met. What do we get? Crickets.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the changes are limited to Garfield. IHS changed the course catalog to reflect the change to IBX being opt in, with the senior year even vaguer than ever (the change was put in writing after this years 9th graders had enrolled). HCC students will by default follow the non-IBX pathway to IB in 11th and 12th, even though it turns 10th grade into a holding pattern for some students. While the change is perhaps being instituted for good reason - some students just couldn't keep up with the IB work load - it doesn't seem fully planned and may result in the end of acceleration for students who may need the added challenge. More advanced courses will cease to exist in senior year because they won't have enough students to fill the classes. It's like a planned obsolescence. IHS does not offer appropriately challenging science courses outside of the IB coursework (partially a teacher issue) and as 10th graders they can't yet access Running Start. If neither Garfield nor Ingraham are going to make an effort to provide appropriately challenging courses outside of AP or IB coursework, then Ballard and Roosevelt HCC students may be better off remaining in their neighborhood school. Of course the offerings become a big unknown for the year Lincoln opens. It does make one think it is part of a larger effort to move away from HCC pathways in high school.

-speculatin'

SusanH said...

Yep, and regarding math and science, I was comforted by the fact that at least Garfield still offered honors sections of those classes. But I found out that's not really the case. My son's Honors Chemistry is in fact just a basic chemistry class, where one can "opt in" to Honors by answering a few extra questions/demonstrating a higher level grasp of material. The class is not moving at a faster speed or covering deeper material. Anyone can choose to take the honors credit by doing a little extra work.

Which makes me reiterate: ANYONE can opt in to honors classes in high school. There is no tracking anyway.

Sigh said...

Another high school has a similar situation, Susan. "Honors" option includes putting a student in a general education class. Then, the advanced learner is given a different test. My student isn't impressed.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone share their experience at Roosevelt with an HCC student?

Eighth grade

Anonymous said...

An honors designated class that doesn't do more advanced work, but just more work, is not truly an honors class. When you go on school tours, ask if they have honors classes, for what subjects, and if are they blended (honors option?) or honors only classes. If they are blended, ask how the work is more advanced for honors, or are they just given additional [busywork] assignments.

Based on the Roosevelt tour years ago, core science classes do not have separate honors classes, but they sounded like they were taught to a pretty high standard (perhaps even more comprehensive than some "honors" classes at other schools.) In my child's "honors" Chemistry class (not Roosevelt), students sometimes need to take the role of teacher because the teacher cannot explain some concepts. I suppose that works as long as you have only advanced students in the class. It's SPS. It varies by teacher and school. There does not seem to be any standard. Texts vary. Content coverage varies.

-anything goes

Anonymous said...

Eighth Grade: we have a HCC student at RHS and we literally regret it every day. There is so little discussion, lots of stand and deliver, and little diversity.

Wish we'd gone with Hale.


Hindsight

Anonymous said...

Hindsight, even with Hale's inclusive classes and repeat of science in 9th grade? Just curious.

My kid was very happy at Hale and really enjoyed the diversity and inclusivity. My kid is now doing great at UO and feels like Hale provided good preparation for college, especially in math. My kid was not HCC though.

HP

Anonymous said...

I believe Hale would mean a repeat of science in both 9th AND 10th grades, yes? Not to mention a smaller cohort of HC-qualified students, if that's who your child best relates to. Diversity and inclusivity sound great in theory, but if you have a hard time finding academic and intellectual peers, school (and life) can be pretty isolating.

Face it

Anonymous said...

I would think it would be easier to skip Biology in 10th grade than it would be to skip the 9th grade academy. There is a coordinated presentation of LA, Biology and Social Studies in 10th grade (Darwin, genetics, literature) but if you already had Biology, I wouldn't think it would be necessary to repeat it especially if you have already passed the EOC.

HP

Anonymous said...

I sent an HCC qualified student through RHS. Lots of mediocre/poor teachers & AP curriculum is all about memorizing information. Student learned nothing in 4 years of science, had only 1 year of worthwhile English, BC Calc & AP Stats were fine not great, History was all AP so just memorizing flash cards, the whole Spanish dept was really excellent, also music was excellent.

AP is about learning facts, practicing, memorizing, to get the right answer. The humanities & social science classes are like survey courses in college & math is like Kumon. My kid felt like very little learning or thinking happened and curiosity had no place at all.

Younger kid did IBx, higher quality teaching & curriculum with exception of music & Spanish.

-HS Parent


Lynn said...

What did your IBX student do for senior year?

Honestly, I'd rather my child have three years of engaging classes and graduate early than four years of the typical high school curriculum in blended honors classes.

z said...

Blogger ate my comment from earlier this morning, I'll try again.

Eighth Grade,

I fully agree with Hindsight's first paragraph, couldn't disagree more with the second.

Roosevelt isn't a great building for HCC kids that really need to be challenged, and yes, not much diversity. But at least there are a wide variety of AP courses and the overall level of learning, engagement and challenge is higher than most high schools.

Hale, on the other hand, is all about leveling the playing field for everyone. That may work fine for many kids, but if you have a true HCC outlier that needs rigor and challenge, Hale isn't likely to be a good fit. Most HCC kids that find themselves at Hale end up taking lots of Running Start classes.

Neither school will offer your kid a lot of gifted peers, which may or may not be critical for him/her. As always, it depends a lot on your kid. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

My IBx senior decided to take a full-load of additional IB courses senior year choosing those that were interesting & those that had great teachers. Three of the strongest teachers I've seen, & another very good, all in one year, unimaginable at RHS. Also 2 science classes which was not allowed at RHS when we were there even if you could find 2 worth taking.



-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

Running Start classes aren't that challenging, either. Community college and UW undergrad classes are not designed with HC students in mind, so if you have one of those "true HCC outlier" types that z mentioned, you might keep that in mind. It's not until you get into upper division classes that things start to get interesting.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

HS Parent, that sounds like a great experience. Too bad the Ingraham option is no longer guaranteed for HCC students, and many who want it will instead be sent over to Garfield, where they are actively doing everything they can to reduce the level of challenge and rigor.

DisAPPointed

z said...

I agree with DisAPPointed's comments on Running Start. My point above was that it seems to be the most accessible (and most common) choice that Hale HCC kids have if they're looking for more challenge than Hale provides, which isn't much.

Anonymous said...

I know a kid who went K-5 at Thornton Creek, MS at Hazelwolf and now attends Hale. Not an HC student, but always eager to learn. This freshman is getting straight A's and is enjoying Hale and the students very much.

Different Strokes