Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Advanced Learning in CSIPs

Here is a list of 42 schools that fail to adequately address their plan for serving advanced learners in their CSIP. Is your school on the list? Does it belong on the list?

UPDATES INDICATED IN RED

You can find all of the CSIPs here.
  • Beacon Hill Elementary (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added a statement about services for advanced learners.
  • Blaine ("Students who qualify for Advanced Learning are served with in the context of the general education classroom with the support of core teachers. " - magically differentiated instruction is not a plan.) Old statement was deleted and replaced with a statement about how Reader and Writer's workshop provides access text at their instructional level and a specific statement about service for advanced learners.
  • Center School (no plan other than some math classes and magic pixie dust sprinkled to provide "differentiating instruction based on students’ readiness, skill levels, and learning goals") Added specific course offerings for advanced learners.
  • Chief Sealth (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added this claim: "The teachers in core classes are being introduced to strategies that can be used in any classroom to differentiate the instruction to address the needs of the struggling students, SpEd students, ELL students and advanced learners."
  • Coe ("GOAL #3 (ALO) We will increase the percentage of students participating in Advanced Learning Opportunities from" - incomplete goal statement) Completed the goal statement this way: "We will continue to increase the number of students accessing Advanced Learning Opportunities and provide to support to all families through the application and evaluation process." This is, of course, not a SMART Goal as it is not quantified.
  • Concord ("Classroom teachers provide Advanced Learners (ALO) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) based learning aligned to their assessed level" magically differentiated instruction is not a plan.) Added a statement of service for advanced learners.
  • Denny (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE NO REFERENCE TO ADVANCED LEARNERS AT ALL - THIS IS A DESIGNATED SPECTRUM SCHOOL
  • Dunlap ("Strategies to meet these students’ needs are differentiated instruction, extended lessons, and opportunities for peer teaching" - more differentiated instruction pixie dust and peer teaching, which is not student learning.) NO CHANGE. STILL THINK THAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEER TEACHING CONSTITUTES ADVANCED LEARNING SERVICES.
  • Eckstein ("100% of teachers will provide learning extensions and differentiation" - how much magic pixie dust will be needed?) NO CHANGE. THIS A DESIGNATED SPECTRUM SITE. STILL REGARD MTSS AS A TOOL EXCLUSIVELY FOR STUDENTS WORKING BELOW STANDARD.
  • Franklin ("Our annual goals include: 1) Ensuring all students at or above grade level grow at least an academic year or greater from established Fall baseline within each subject area and 1.5 year’s growth for students below grade level in core subjects;" stated goal but no plan to achieve it) Added a list of AP classes.
  • Garfield (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added a statement of services for advanced learners - AP classes.
  • Gatewood (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Better, but still not sufficient. "Flexible groupings are formed based on the results of the assessments and individualized and differentiated instruction is delivered in small groups."
  • Hawthorne (16% Spectrum enrollment, no plan for service) Added a description of their blended Spectrum and services.
  • Highland Park ("- Advanced Learners at HP are provided differentiated literacy instruction through the Workshop model." just this for literacy and no plan for math) NO CHANGE.
  • Ingraham (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) The CSIP is illegible due to a faulty table formatting.
  • Jane Addams (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards other than HCC) Spectrum-eligible students can enroll in the HCC classes or get some vague "differentitation" in general education classes.
  • John Hay (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added language about serving advanced learners through MTSS and differentiated instruction.
  • Lafayette (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added description of advanced learning services.
  • Lawton ("Our CSIP goals target all ranges of our student population from advanced students’ needs to underachieving students’ progress in a number of specific ways." - not true. The CSIPs goals do not target advanced students' needs at all.) STILL NO CSIP GOAL FOR ADVANCED LEARNERS.
  • Licton Springs (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Madison (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE. THIS IS A DESIGNATED SPECTRUM AND HCC SITE.
  • MLK, Jr. (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added language about services for advanced learners.
  • McClure (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards - and actually seems aggressively opposed to the idea) Say that they differentiate. Pretty weak stuff.
  • Mercer ("Additionally, we provide Spectrum for advanced students in literacy and math." They write about Spectrum as if it were a fuel additive.) Added a statement about how they serve advanced learners.
  • Pathfinder ("K-5 advanced math students and K-8 advanced reading and writing students are supported through differentiated classroom instruction." not a plan, not a promise, not anything.) NO CHANGE.
  • Rainier Beach (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added a statement of service to advanced learners.
  • Roosevelt (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Roxhill (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Sacajawea (no mention of support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Sanislo (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Seattle World School (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added a statement of services for advanced learners.
  • South Shore (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • John Stanford International School (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) Added a statement of services for advanced learners.
  • Stevens (after identifying a problem, "Advanced Learners (ALO) students are leaving the school once identified for choice schools due to feeling that their students are not being challenged appropriately." the CSIP offers no plan to serve the students, only a public relations plan to retain them.) Added a statement of services for advanced learners.
  • Thornton Creek (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Van Asselt (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE.
  • Viewlands (nothing that means anything) NO CHANGE.
  • Washington (A significant problem here as Spectrum Level 4 rates fall each year that the students are at Washington. While there is a goal to improve, there is no plan for improvement. Instead, the CSIP says "Create more rigorous classes by clustering Spectrum and Scholar students in all English Language Arts and Social Studies classes, increasing challenge and rigor for all students" It is unclear how the mix of students makes the class more rigorous) NO CHANGE. NO REFERENCE TO HCC SERVICES AT ALL.
  • West Seattle High School (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) They will increase their academic/tutoring support for Advanced students.
  • Whitman (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards) NO CHANGE. THIS IS A DESIGNATED SPECTRUM SITE.
  • Whittier (No plan for support for student work beyond Standards) Still not a plan, but they claim "Rigor for advanced learners will increase through content, process, and product depending on the expected learning target."
Throughout the CSIPs I was very surprised by the number of Spectrum schools that did not make any mention of their Spectrum program at all.

Throughout the CSIPs it is clear that MTSS is not regarded by the schools as a tool for serving students working beyond Standards. Most schools reference it only as a tool for identifying and serving students working below grade level. If the District is serious about using MTSS as a means of serving advanced learners, they need to do a better job of sharing that message with the schools.

There was significant duplication of language among a number of CSIPs which suggested that the responses were copied from another source and inauthentic. More than a few schools provided this response:
Students who are achieving significantly below or significantly above grade level standards (including Advanced Learners) are targeted under MTSS for Tier 2 interventions. These can include:

• flexible (and/or cluster) grouping
• curriculum compacting
• tiered instruction
• project-based learning
• small group instruction
• moderate acceleration
• telescoping of curriculum
Here's another:
We created a master schedule to maximize available student learning time especially in literacy and mathematics. We are studying and putting into place “best practices” in instructional strategies. Best practices include increasing students’ active engagement in their learning, and differentiating instruction based on students’ readiness, skill levels, and learning goals.
The verbatim repetition of an entire paragraphs like these suggests that the CSIP is not viewed as a document to guide practice at the school but a bureaucratic form to complete and forget.

That's a lot of CSIPs that don't offer anything for advanced learners - even when they are specifically directed to do so.

What does it mean when the Board direct the superintendent to take an action - such as include a plan for serving advanced learners in every CSIP - and the staff and the schools refuse to comply? What does it mean when the Executive Directors of Schools and the Chief of Schools tell you that they have reviewed these documents and that they all include this required element when they don't?

What is this CSIP exercise? What is it supposed to be about? Are the schools just checking a box for the State or are these documents supposed to be meaningful?

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our experience would agree with your description of McClure as "aggressively opposed" under the current principal.

Former McClure

Charlie Mas said...

The BAR for the annual approval of schools doesn't mention the requirement that all of the CSIPs include a plan for serving advanced learners.

Instead, the BAR only says this:

"Each Building’s C-SIP will:
• Fully comply with all applicable laws and regulations; in this case, compliance is
necessary for the release of basic education allocation and/or Title I funds.
• Use data to drive instructional/programmatic planning.
• Connect school-based activities with our district’s Strategic Plan.
• Provide supplemental and/or individualized services for underperforming students,
targeting specific areas where the students are performing below standard.
• Include professional development and other resources essential to successfully implement
key strategies and achieve student learning targets.
"

The letter from Mr. Starosky, the Chief of Schools, doesn't claim that the CSIPs include a plan for advanced learners. His letter only says this:

"I certify that all the schools and/or programs in Seattle Public Schools attached to this memorandum have an updated Continuous School Improvement Plan that complies with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 180-16-220."

The CSIP Guiding Questions document, however, has this question which must be addressed in the School Improvement Plan.

"What alternative instructional techniques and services will we implement for our Advanced Learners (ALO), Students with Disabilities (SWD), and English Language Development
(ELD) students?
"

Here is an excerpt from the minutes of the November 14 meeting of the C & I Committee:

"Dir. Geary noted that advanced learning is always a hot spot, and she sees the components in the document, and feels that the language is not common and are vaguely referenced. She is concerned that it is not meeting both ends of the spectrum and meeting the needs of all of our students. Dir. Geary noted concern that the documents will not be so easy to compare due to this. Dir. Burke thanked the team for the work to get this to a cleaner place. He has some concerns with the differentiation on the building level on advanced learning, which was more clearly stated in years past. Mr. Stone noted the second component/box where there is a specific guiding question on how they are providing advanced learning services that is included in the document that will be addressed. Mr. Tolley noted the guiding questions for each section, and that the portion on advanced learning is a required response. Dir. Geary noted that she wants consistent language amongst the community discussions, otherwise it leads to miscommunication. Dir. Burke noted adding a designated header that would break that out."

So Mr. Tolley has assured the Board that an advanced learning plan is a required element of CSIPs and Mr. Starosky was in the room when that was said. Mr. Starosky claims to have made a review of the CSIPs and he reported to the Board that the Executive Directors of Schools have reviewed the CSIPs for the schools in their regions.

It is simply impossible for those school district officials to review these documents and not discover that they are missing plans to serve advanced learners.

Former Sacajawea said...

Based on our experience at Sacajawea, you could add that the current principal is "aggressively opposed."

Anonymous said...

As a former Bryant family now in HCC, I will say I am impressed with what I have read in their report. I would love it if they continue to develop their ALO program to the point HCC students could return and easily transition to JAMS from 5th. What a great community--we miss it.

I believe they need more resources to continue developing their "walk to" program, despite how easy Charlie makes it sound.

NE HCC

Melissa Westbrook said...

I tagged onto this list to the Board and sent them an e-mail.

"1) There exists no clear definition - for schools or parents - of what Spectrum is or what an ALO is. That means it is whatever any given principal says it is would be, in my opinion, wrong.

3) Spectrum does not exist any longer in any real way. When I pointed out to Director Geary, who attended a Boundaries meeting at Hale, that the AL rep there was saying that how Spectrum is presented is a "site-based" decision that principals are making program decision on their own, she mostly shrugged. I will say to you that this issue of principals being the masters of their school - because I know of no Spectrum school where parents were engaged in this issue, but merely informed - is going to come back to haunt you. (And I mean all principals and their site-based decisions, not just about AL.)

Lastly, I will point out that yes, the CSIPs have gotten slightly better. Yes, they are finally getting done on time. But, again, just as with past Boards, if you allow this kind of vague and near-useless kind of information to stand by voting that this is "done" in order to satisfy the State, then your vote is for continued non-compliance. These are supposed to be living documents that represent real academic goals and work for students.

Filling out a form and turning it in seems to be compliance in this district and you know what? That hurts students. All students who could benefit from more rigor in every single school in this district are hurt by this continuing action by staff and then, by Board vote.

I greatly appreciate the movement on action that this Board has brought to the district, asking hard questions and expecting answers.

But now is the time to put your foot down and not look the other way. Not bring your foot down on anyone's neck but also not vote "yes" and then tap your foot and go "tsk, tsk, next time do a better job." NOW is the time to NOT accept this work and if the CSIPs are late at OSPI, it is not your fault."

The ball is in the Board's court - either it matters or it doesn't. And, I'll bet Sped parents have their own issues with the CSIPs.

Anonymous said...

If you want any sort of advanced learning you must get into HCC. Far from perfect, but it offers at least a modicum of challenge for bright kids.

Charlie, it's a lost cause I'm afraid. We'll never get back Spectrum self-contained.

Let's focus instead on maintaining the HCC and growing it. I truly believe a building to call our own is the first and most important step.

Cascadia is getting the entire ES elementary space, right? Now an HCC middle school is essential. So many kids come in at 6th grade. Could possibly Whitman gened kids go to REMS and Whitman become the HCC middle school for the whole district?

New Tuba

Anonymous said...

NE HCC or Fix AL, I'm curious why you think Bryant needs more resources to develop their walk to program? What resources are they lacking that are found in the other elementary schools that offer 1 year acceleration in the form of WTM?

In grades 1 and 2, over 50% of Bryant students easily exceed "end of year standards" in math in the fall. By 5th grade, according to the CSIP, only 10% of Bryant students score 70% on the end of year assessment in the fall. Why? Look at the end of year goals for third grade. There is no plan for students who accomplished that goal in second grade.
85% of 3rd grade students by June
2017 will achieve 80% or higher on the
Multiplication portion of the 3rd Grade
Baseline Assessment and score 95% or above
on the 120 Multiplication Fact Assessment.


What resources is Bryant lacking such that they cannot formally, consistently, reliably provide one year acceleration? What specifically impressed you about the language in their CSIP?

2@Bry

Anonymous said...

New Tuba-you're missing the point. Many families don't want to leave their neighborhood school and to give up and only focus on HCC is not going to improve the District. HCC really should be for outliers who need a cohort, IMHO. There are a lot of HC-qualified students and spectrum students who relate well to all students and benefit from a heterogeneous learning environment. There is a subset of HC-qualified students who benefit from a homogeneous learning environment in elementary school, and research indicates it is not beneficial to learn in a bubble.

Fix AL

Charlie Mas said...

@New Tuba,

I agree that Spectrum self-contained is gone and is unlikely to return. But all of these schools that dismantled Spectrum promised that they would continue to provide advanced learning services when they did that. Now it is clear that they have no plan to provide any advanced learning services and no intention to develop one.

It doesn't have to be self-contained classes. There are dozens of schools that are providing AL services without self-contained classes. Some of the schools gave clear, understandable descriptions of how they would meet the academic needs of advanced learners in their CSIPs. That's why they aren't all listed here.

Anonymous said...

How many HCC middle schoolers are there? McClure is much more centrally located and accessible to the whole city. That would be hilarious to turn it from anti-HC to all HC.
Something needs to be done.

Dismayed

Anonymous said...

@New Tuba, it's not clear if your post is an attempt at humor, or purely delusional. Whitman, in the far NW corner of the district, as an HCC middle school for the whole district? Besides the probability of an all HCC middle school in SPS being about zero, a non central location makes little sense. And the last thing the district wants is to "grow" HCC. I think they'd prefer to smother it slowly.

not laughing

Anonymous said...

Call me unconvinced Charlie. Which schools do you think provide an education that engages the HC student?

Comfortably Cohorted

Charlie Mas said...

Here are some elements of Bryant's CSIP that were encouraging:

"Bryant has a robust system of PLCs. Our grade level and specialist PLC teams determine
essential standards, assess students for understanding, share instructional strategies and
co-create plans collaboratively addressing 4 guiding questions:
• What do we want our students to learn?
• How will we know they are learning?
• How will we respond when they don’t know?
• How will we respond when they already know it?
"

The very fact that they ask that last question.

"Instruction is standards based, informed by data, individualized for students and supported by flexible groupings and walk to models."

Flexible groupings and walk to models constitute a plan for serving advanced learners.

"Last year, Bryant teachers developed a plan to more intentionally serve students in the advanced learning opportunities program (ALO). The Bryant advanced learning opportunities program includes a number of different strategies that allow for instructional differentiation including flexible grouping based on standards aligned instruction, walk to models for math and literacy, project based learning, and extension activities led by intervention and extension specialists."

That's a plan to serve advanced learners. These are real things that student families can confirm are being done for their child. That's why Bryant wasn't on my list.

"Our teachers have identified essential Common Core State standards and after teaching units, many teacher teams share students in flexible groups across grade level to reteach or extend instruction for students that have met standard in math and literacy."

This is a specific reference to supporting work beyond Standards.

Bryant identified this as a Problem of Student Learning: "Traditionally, students with math scores reflecting the middle clusters of achievement have received the most consistently targeted instruction."

Here's a stated goal: "all students will make at least one year’s growth in mathematics." That means one year of progress even for students who are already working beyond Standards.

This CSIP reveals a school that is actively interested in serving its advanced learners along with all of the other students.

Anonymous said...

@not laughing

The heat maps show Whitman as the most central location for the most HCC students. Kids used be bused to Washington from every nook and cranny of the district. Whitman is big, McClure is not, it's a third the size of Whitman and the cohort won't fit.

I don't appreciate your tone either.

New Tuba

Anonymous said...

John Stanford International School (no mention of advanced learners or any support for student work beyond Standards)

No mention, because no services. At least, that was our experience.

kitty

Charlie Mas said...

Comfortably Cohorted wrote:

""

Okay. You're unconvinced. What are you unconvinced about? That advanced learners can be served outside of a self-contained classroom? That some of the schools have a plan for serving advanced learners? That forty-two schools didn't include a plan to serve advanced learners in their CSIP? Is this about Santa Claus? Don't be so cryptic. What are you unconvinced about?

"Which schools do you think provide an education that engages the HC student?"

I think the HCC program provides an education that engages the bulk of HC students. I cannot and will not vouch for any other program or effort at any other school.

The requirement for the CSIP was not about HC students - although it should have been. The requirement was for the schools to describe their plan to serve advanced learners, which means Spectrum-eligible students, not HCC-eligible students. There should have been an additional requirement that they describe how they serve their HC students because HC services are now, under state law, included in the definition of basic education, whereas Advanced Learning is not.

There was one school that said that they served HC students by advising their families of the location of the HCC sites. No joke.

Anonymous said...

@2Bry-not good. Wishful thinking, I guess. Sorry. The last I heard two years ago was that a Bryant teacher was transitioning to the role of leading the intervention and extensions program, but that didn't happen because funding was pulled. I assume that the Principal and Assistant Principal can't lead the effort without this person?! So that is where my comment about the need for additional resource comes from.

As compared to other reports, the Bryant plan reads as though the school supports advanced learning and has services in place to support these students.

NE HCC

Anonymous said...

Bryant's CSIP is somewhat impressive but I doubt it will get anyone returning or staunch the flow of students into HCC. I don't think they will accommodate HC students, maybe lower-level AL qualified ones, but even that's a big maybe.

If we see HC students staying at Bryant, I'll be convinced, but they have the highest number of students leaving for HCC in the district as of now.

Comfortably Cohorted

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Bryant's admin and teachers have been clear that they teach grade-level standards only. I haven't re-read the CSIP in its entirety but I think you will find that they refer only to "extensions" which is a nebulous term and very inconsistent. It comprises going "deeper" with multiple methods or games, etc. in the grades that have flexible groupings. The question How will we respond when they already know it? and the claim of one year's growth in math for every student are misleading, since the assessments are based on grade-level standards, which gives you a bit of a catch-22. There isn't a mechanism to show what you know beyond grade level standard, which is not the appropriate checkpoint for many Bryant students.

Also Bryant

Charlie Mas said...

From the John Stanford International School CSIP:

"We assessed our progress in eliminating the achievement gap/education gap between
students of different ethnicities to ensure that our goals addressed the needs of all groups. We created a master schedule to maximize available student learning time especially in literacy and mathematics. We are studying and putting into place 'best practices' in instructional strategies. Best practices include increasing students’ active engagement in their learning, and differentiating instruction based on students’ readiness, skill levels, and learning goals.
"

This paragraph, which appeared in the section in which the school is supposed to describe their services for ELL, Special Education, and Advanced Learners, was clearly copy and pasted into this space. These same words, verbatim, appear in a number of other CSIPs.

You'll notice that there's no specific plan for service described here. They are just studying "best practices", which include the magic pixie dust of differentiating instruction.

In fact, I think there are other canned, ready-made, cut-and-paste responses on this CSIP. Only a few are original, authentic, or specific to this school.

The only references to MTSS are about identifying and serving students who are below Standards, nothing about using it to identify and serve students working beyond Standards.

That's why John Stanford International School made the list.

Anonymous said...

Indeed HC services are to be offered at every school, every single one, so I assumed you were saying there was such a school other than the HCC sites. Many people confuse AL with either the AL department at JSCEE or the former Spectrum or advanced learning, sans caps.

As far as I know there is no school that will meet the needs of the HC identified student outside the designated HCC locations. I thought you were claiming there existed such a school.

Comfortably Cohorted

Anonymous said...

The Hamilton plan re: HCC students is pretty weak, in my opinion. The strategies they intend to use are largely the same ones they've been using all along, so I'm not sure why they anticipate better results this time around. The only changes I see are an apparent increased emphasis on self-assessment and students going above above and beyond on their own, with less teacher review/grading and more self-determination and optional challenge problems. Those may provide great opportunities for the most motivated and self-driven and already high-functioning students, but I fail to see how they are going to address the stated problem of some students not meeting standard on tests. It would seem they need to focus on some basics, too, with good, rigorous instruction and high levels of accountability. All this emphasis on self-assessment and community based activities and self-determination sounds like it's adopting the discovery math approach for science, LA and SS, too. Ugh. I suspect even more kids will fall through the cracks if they go further in this direction in all subjects.

Hawk

Charlie Mas said...

Thanks, Also Bryant, for the more in depth information.

It may well be that Bryant doesn't serve its advanced learners very well, but they have included a plan for serving them in their CSIP, which is all I can check. Bryant is in compliance with the Board's direction that they include a plan for serving Advanced Learners. I have no way of knowing if the plan is being implemented, how it is being implemented, or if it is even real.

While there is little doubt that a number of schools only pay lip service to serving advanced learners, right now there are 42 schools that don't even do that - as they were required to do.

This is partly about the schools serving their students, but it is also about the schools complying with the Board's direction, about the Executive Directors of Schools reviewing the CSIPs, the Chief of Schools reviewing the CSIPs, and those members of the District staff intentionally misleading and misinforming the Board about every CSIP including all of the required elements.

Anonymous said...

"There was one school that said that they served HC students by advising their families of the location of the HCC sites."

I'd recommend every school just leave it at that, anything else about actually teaching HC students is a fib.

Comfortably Cohorted

Anonymous said...

All this emphasis on self-assessment and community based activities and self-determination sounds like it's adopting the discovery math approach for science, LA and SS, too. Ugh. I suspect even more kids will fall through the cracks if they go further in this direction in all subjects.

Aack! Yes, this is what we are noticing, even in high school. Our child drew pictures for an end of unit group assignment in 9th grade honors LA. Is this how teachers interpret "project-based" learning? It's not art class. What happened to writing instruction and essays? The class is "Literature and Composition" after all. We already taught cursive and typing at home, along with supplementing with grammar and writing exercises. Now I am to teach high school level composition as well?

exhausted parent

Anonymous said...

There was hope when the district adopted Math In Focus despite the attempt to force another more "wordy" curriculum. Director Peters led the charge and if only schools had faithfully implemented MIF we would be seeing much better math test results.

The drawing drives me crazy. If your kid wants to draw and can't fit it into their school schedule, there are fantastic art schools in Seattle and some programs at various community centers.

also exhausted

Charlie Mas said...

Coe has a plan and they have described it, but their stated goal for it is incomplete. How could an incomplete goal get past the Principal, the BLT, the Executive Director of Schools, and the Chief of Schools? The answer is simple: they didn't really review the document.

Is there no one who wants to claim that a school on this list actually has an effective ALO?

Anonymous said...

If lip service is all the board wants then why bother?

What about the required report on program efficacy?

The AL dept. has the data on the progress of every student in AL(Spectrum) and HCC.

For high school students they have PSAT scores as well to compare.

The board needs to enforce policy and demand data from Dr. Martin.

This is pure fantasy from the district website:

"Highly Capable designated students can receive services at their reference area schools"

No, it's not true, it's a lie.

My guess is the data shows poor progress for HC students at neighborhood schools, hence it is suppressed.

I would also bet kids in the cohort don't do as well as expected due to bad curriculum, overcrowding, anxiety due to moving so often, lack of support from the district and the unrelenting attack on gifted kids and their families who just want a slight bit of challenge.

The board needs to calmly give Mr. Nyland an ultimatum. provide the legally required assessment of all advanced learning programs or see yourself to the door.

no excuses

Anonymous said...

@exhausted parent

My kid learned cursive in 3rd grade. I don't know if it was just the teacher though.

Keyboarding was required in our middle school. What schools did you go to?

-yachtsman

Anonymous said...

QAE was and ALO school that was ALO hostile under the previous principal. Don't know what it is like now. When he was first selling the school, the principal touted it as a school where kids could follow their interests wherever those interests took them. But apparently not if they were interested in math. The PTA bought an expensive math program and when some kids hit the top of their grade in the program after about two months, the staff decided not to unlock the next grade level for them. ALO my ass.

You don't have to be in the 98%-99% to be bright and able to learn much, much more than SPS gives. Including grit, which everyone seems to love but which is impossible to cultivate without seriously challenging material. These kids are like sponges; many will absorb so far more than they are given credit for. Instead SPS turns out a bunch of high GPA kids who will not have the foundation to be engineers, scientists, linguists, etc. And kids who will be saying "I'm no good at math" and "Me and him went to the store" for the rest of their lives. It's a...

crying shame

Anonymous said...

What did the kids do for the rest of the year? That's really appalling.

Joe

Anonymous said...

The call to arms over paperwork (CSIPs) that are only "partly about the schools serving their students" and provide "no way of knowing if the plan is being implemented, how it is being implemented, or if it is even real" is disappointing when the actual house is actually burning down (funding).

CSIPs are a site admin work product. Good site admins are every day pouring their life energy into the very real work of making a difference for students, staff, and families. Formalities that don't advance the mission and ill-informed bloviating are a constant headwind. Google 'top jobs for burnout'--first result has teachers, social workers, and principals at 3,4,5.

Site admin RIFs are being ID'd now from an already low level so I wouldn't expect the window dressing to improve.

All hands on deck! Fix school funding!!

--siteadmin spouse

Anonymous said...

"legally required assessment of all advanced learning programs or see yourself to the door."

What is the legal mandate for this? It certainly exists within state law for HC, bUT where is it stated for advanced learning?

FWIW

Anonymous said...

I always thought CSIPs were for parents in the BLTs who need something to do and don't enjoy tutoring students.

If I were on the board I would require the program assessments, not some aspirational document.

Crunch some dam numbers and show us what is working!

-berserker

Anonymous said...

I think all programs require annual assessment that is to be delivered to the board.

policy no. 2090

http://seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=15276

no excuses

Charlie Mas said...

Policy 2090 requires annual evaluations of all academic programs. That includes Spectrum, HCC, Montessori, language immersion, international education, STEM, and more. Just for the record, there has never been any evaluation of any academic program ever.

Policy 2090 is not, however, a legal requirement. There are reports required by law for Special Education, Indian Education, Title I, and other such programs. The WAC requires annual reports on HC programs, but the OSPI is lax in their enforcement of the reporting requirements. Sorry, did I say lax enforcement? There is no enforcement. None.

CSIPs are required by the State as part of the Annual Approval of Schools. The legal requirements are slim and easily fulfilled. And, again, there is no enforcement from the OSPI. None. The OSPI has abdicated all enforcement responsibility.

If the CSIP is, as siteadmin spouse suggests, just window dressing, then let's be honest about that and move on. The District, however, claims that the CSIP is intended to be a guiding document for a school's focus and efforts in the coming year, and not just window dressing. And if it's not the CSIP that fulfills that role, then what does? There is a value in having a documented plan and it's not about window dressing, or public relations, or a way to occupy meddlesome families.

A school is a medium-sized organization with a lot of professional players who need leadership to provide them with focus, goals, and plans for achieving those goals. These ideas need to be codified and documented. The CSIP is supposed to be that document. If the site admin, the principal, is doing this work in some other way, then I have to wonder why they aren't using the CSIP for this purpose and how their alternative process is superior.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"...research indicates it is not beneficial to learn in a bubble."

Could you give a couple of citations please? What I have read, constantly, is that when you put everyone in the same classroom, those at the bottom do much better, middle slightly and top do worse.

I am not saying this could not be made better but I'm saying that what the research generally says.

"You don't have to be in the 98%-99% to be bright and able to learn much, much more than SPS gives. Including grit, which everyone seems to love but which is impossible to cultivate without seriously challenging material. These kids are like sponges; many will absorb so far more than they are given credit for."

Absolutely. Kids DO want to learn.

Anonymous said...

@ No excuses: No, actually, there has been data released by the district that shows HC-qualified kids who stay in their neighborhood or other option schools do better on ELA testing and about the same on math testing. No time to hunt for the information today so go back through this blog or the HCC blog if you want to investigate. The subject has been discussed. It's not the neighborhood schools that should be ashamed. It's the HCC program or should we say lack thereof.

Stayed put

Absquatulated said...

Well, @Stayed put, let's see the data then. To me it seems like it would vary by kid and by school whether you would do better joining the cohort or not.

Let's say you have a 5th grader reading at a 8th grade level in an elementary school with very limited librarian hours and a very small and very old library collection. And the principal is opposed to doing any walk-to groupings whatsoever, so all kids stay in their homeroom classrooms for all ELA lessons. And the classroom library is stocked with 4th and 5th grade and a few 6th grade level books to read. Where is the kid even going to find a book at the appropriate level to read? How is the kid going to pick up new vocabulary from his/her classmates?

What if the 5th grader is reading at a 10th grade level? You can't tell me that every elementary school in the city of Seattle is going to find books for that kid to read.

At least the 5th grade classrooms in HCC are stocked with books a few years ahead. And there's a library. With a good selection of books ahead of level. Already a huge improvement over many of the neighborhood schools, who should absolutely should be ashamed. All classrooms should have books available at the reading levels of the kids in the classroom. At a bare minimum. And they should walk all the fifth graders reading at a 10th grade level to a reading group at that level... oh, wait? What? Huh? Where are they going to find that group? That's why some kids need HCC. Not all do, but some do. If you duplicated that 5th grader into two people and studied his/her performance staying at the neighborhood school vs. at HCC, I guarantee that kid is going to come out better at HCC.

Anonymous said...

And I second Absquatulated but on the topic of math. Look at the data cited above for the school that retains the most HC non-cohorted students. Only 10% of the 5th graders can pass an end of year 5th grade test in the fall. There are at least 10% HC students in the 5th grade at that school. If you claim that this would be true of the cohorted students, someone has misled you.

TC

Anonymous said...

The "data" you reference, @stayed put, is questionable. It was not broken down by grade or school. Did HCC qualified students staying at Eckstein perform better on *grade level tests* than students leaving for Hamilton? What schools retained the most HCC qualified students (suggesting they offered enough to challenge some HCC students, or had a big enough cohort of similarly advanced students)? What schools lost the most HCC qualified students? What about middle school vs elementary? We don't know. The data was not broken out in any meaningful way, which makes it difficult to reach meaningful conclusions. The data certainly leads to many questions. I would agree they should be questioning the quality of the HCC program, but I could tell you that without the referenced data.

@yachtsman, my children were at schools that didn't teach cursive or keyboarding (maybe keyboarding is now getting more attention with SBAC testing). Teaching cursive certainly does not seem to be the norm, especially given that a classmate asked my child to print their work so they could read it. How long will it be before some of them become teachers and can't read cursive?

-exhausted parent

Anonymous said...

Why does the district not test HCC or Spectrum students at the grade level their test scores determine they are working at rather than at the grade level? Grade level tests give no challenge and provide no meaningful data to anyone.

If schools are worried that HCC or Spectrum students test scores might be lower due to giving more appropriate tests then peel off all the HCC and Spectrum scores into a few placeholder fictional schools that keep track of the data to show challenge and improvement. These students could also be considered a level 3 or 4 achievement for the age level cohort so the schools don't take a big dip.

Or you could leave the data alone and see what happens to school data when we have more appropriately disambiguate the test results. More challenge for AL's and less squishy data so that implementing rigor for students who need more rigorous instruction isn't buried under the passing scores of students being under-challenged. Win win for everyone.

Wouldn't this also put more opt in for parents who are skeptical of testing? Give the test some natural importance as a meaningful instrument rather than a blunt one.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

no caps said...

hc is a service that is why it is no longer ap"p" and is now hc"s." and that is why the state now mandates yearly review of its efficiency as a service. they have struggled to come up with reasonable test to comply with this requirement ever since.

no caps said...


you would agree that being tested on performance on math that you took two years ago might lower your results right, mr. m. so yeah why would you test kids two levels below their current grade of study. seems odd to me unless you wanted to have skewed results.

Anonymous said...

@ Joe, The computer-based program was an add-on to the regular math curriculum. (EDM, at the time.) The kids who topped out just lost that add-on option.

Crying Shame

Anonymous said...

Math is actually two years advanced for most HCC students, but LA? T&L has realigned the HCC middle school LA/SS curriculum to be at grade level. Students are supposed to go "deeper," whatever that means. Students might be capable of reading at more advanced levels, but is instruction really that advanced? Maybe, depending on the teacher, not necessarily the HCC curriculum. What is the HCC curriculum, again?

HB

Anonymous said...

If parents of HCC students argue that they don't score high on math scores because they took it 2 years ago, one might argue that the kids never mastered it in the first place. That is certainly the attitude of most SPS high school math teachers and administrators. Truly. Ask around. The majority are not impressed with the output of HCC accelerated math in middle school.

Seen It

Anonymous said...

Good point, Seen It. They are using CMP, Discovering Algebra and Discovering Geometry. Not exactly advanced materials. Just non-advanced material delivered on an accelerated schedule. Post Pounder, how advanced are HCC middle school math classes?

HB

Anonymous said...

huh?
the parents knew that the test was grade level, the kids maybe reviewed.
no they never mastered algebra and hs math teachers hate it
thats exactly what turns many kids off math
they can pass it but they dont get it
`
smell roses

Cascadia Parent said...

RE HCC Math at Cascadia in 2nd and 3rd grade I've had the following disappointments:

1) The second-grade teacher didn't seem to follow MIF all that much.
2) The third-grade teacher actually did an excellent job of using MIF (5th Grade Book) but followed the district pacing guide which cuts chapters 5, 6, 7, 10 & 12 because according to the district they are not 5th-grade standard.

It seems ironic that the district is cutting MIF chapters like algebra for the HCC kids.

My child is now in 4th at Cascadia and using the Glencoe Course 1 book. She's commented that she liked the MIF book better and that math this year is easier. I'm haven't done a detailed comparison of the MIF to Glencoe, but I do feel the 5th grade MIF was challenging and in my opinion quite good.



Anonymous said...


Speaking as someone who worked diligently on a CSIP last year, I have to tell you that the CSIP structure makes it very difficult to produce a really visionary plan. The format (enforced by the District) requires the school to show a quantitatively illustrated "problem of student learning" and to offer up a goal that can also be quantitatively measured. We don't really have good data on Advanced Learners, nor do we have much good "measurable" data for Special Ed students - so where does that leave us? What if our goal is to increase inclusion? Or to improve learning for students who are topping out already on tests? Or what we really need to do is more evaluation and curricular program development? It's hard to figure out how to make these "smart goals" in the mode required by the District.

This isn't intended to be a cop-out or to suggest that all these schools turned a blind eye because of lack of data, but people should recognize that if you want the CSIP to be the "vision plan" of the school, the CSIP format is incredibly limiting.

NW Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

NW Mom, thank you for that input and I'm not surprised at all at what you say.

But I think that continues to point to the lack of accountability of Executive Directors to guide principals on these issues.

Again, if the district would listen to people on the ground - administrators, teachers and parents - this district would be a lot better off.

Megan Hazen said...

I can't continue to follow these discussions in which we have any pretense that Spectrum still exists. It doesn't, and the sooner we all admit that, the sooner we can move on. *sigh*

If SPS wants to accommodate students without self-contained tracking, or work on some "honors for all" idea, it also needs to commit to providing teachers with the appropriate training, prep time, and resources to adequately differentiate in a single classroom.

About an all-HCC cohort middle school in the north end - I've run some numbers on this. The entire HCC cohort *might* fit into one middle school, but the one that makes sense is Eagle Staff. (It will be a small middle school because it has space for Licton Springs, it is central, it could be used without displacing current students.) But I can't imagine the sh1tshow that would result if this was actually suggested.

You can't fit the entire Whitman program into Eagle staff as it is. Whitman is predicted to have around 850 kids next year, plus the kids in the Eagle Staff zone, and Eagle Staff will only fit around 720 once Licton Springs is right sized. HIMS should be around 900, so you can't move them. The entire HCC cohort next year is predicted at something like 800, which is also large, but smaller than Whitman or HIMS. You might be able to send some of the Queen Anne students to Washington.

Anonymous said...

@ Seen It, I'd venture a guess that HS math teachers would be equally unimpressed with non-HCC math classes as well. For example, I doubt that they find that 9th graders who take Algebra II (2 yrs ahead) do less well on state tests than those who take Algebra II as juniors. I believe Algera I EOC pass rates in middle school were also higher tan high school, right?

I don't doubt that mastery is not what it should be, but I don't think it's an HCC-specific issue. All kids get the same crappy curriculum, and many get poor instruction, too (whether as a function of large class sizes, district-led lesson plan nonsense, or yes, sometimes poor teaching). HCC kids are just further ahead in the overall poor math results process.

DisAPPointed

Charlie Mas said...

@Megan Hazen, Spectrum's distinguishing feature used to be the self-contained classroom. That is gone. It would be best if the District would simply acknowledge that fact and remove Spectrum from the literature and from the Student Assignment Plan.

Spectrum is gone, but it is supposed to be replaced with Advanced Learning for high performing students who are not HC. Advanced Learning is supposed to be in every school and it's supposed to be described in every CSIP. Let's let go of Spectrum and put our attention on Advanced Learning. That's what I have done by looking for Advanced Learning in the CSIPs.

Unfortunately, about half of the schools have not provided adequate descriptions of their Advanced Learning services in their CSIP. So the first step is to compel those schools to develop a plan for serving advanced learners and supporting work beyond Standards. The next step is to compel the schools to implement their plan for advanced learning services. Then the District should evaluate those services and, as necessary, require improvements.

In the end, I don't care if the services are called "Spectrum", "ALO", or "advanced learning". I don't care if the services are called Holiday on Ice. What's important is that every school understands that the Standards are a floor, not a ceiling, and that they have a duty to support students at every point in their learning, whether they are below, at, or beyond Standards.

Right now, the schools are not willing to do this voluntarily.
Right now, no one on the District staff is interested in compelling them to do this.
So right now we have to rely on the Board to carry this message and make this happen.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Charlie, If the teachers, schools, and district staff are unwilling or unable to support students at every point of learning, below, at or beyond Standards, what can the Board possibly do to make this happen? You can't fight a tidal wave.

The fact that we have severely limited resources (read: money), a clear, official, and measured priority (single priority?) of 'closing the gap", and a mindset that schools have the ability and responsibility to singlehandedly to solve long-entrenched social and economic and racial inequality in the US, predetermines the outcome. The entire system would have to be reconstructed from the ground up with your goal of supporting each student as the priority. Maybe abandon grade levels and have a system of moving students through learning requirements that are uncoupled from grade levels. I don't know, but something radical. I just don't believe you can push on the system here or there, and see any change. And I can't think of anything the board could do short of hiring a new superintendent with a very different mindset, and gutting and rebuilding the entire system.

Parents are left with maximizing their kids' experience with resources beyond school. Which, ironically, increases the gap, as the parents who have the ability and need to do that are disproportionately ones whose kids are the beyond standard kids.

asdf

Charlie Mas said...

I have never asked the district to do anything that the district didn't voluntarily say it would do.

Fake Help said...

The district's approach to "closing the gap" appears to be to keep advanced learners from progressing. That doesn't help the kids at the bottom of the gap. It's like raising Thurgood Marshall's and Garfield's test scores by housing a program with good test-takers on campus. Where's the plan to improve learning outcomes for the kids with the low scores? Because nothing you do to advanced learners helps the subjugated/subaltern scholars go to college and get good jobs. Stop screwing with the advanced learners--put 'em in a classroom somewhere and let them proceed. Focus on helping the kids who need help. Stop focusing on the kids who don't need help. Advanced learners need more rigor? Guess what? Rigor is free. Give it to 'em and move on to helping children who have real obstacles to overcome and fewer resources to do it with.

Anonymous said...

@ Fake Help, yes, kind of... But advanced learners DO need help, too, and they do often have real obstacles to overcome. While I agree that SPS needs to get out of their way and allow them to progress at their typically fast clip, it's a mistake to promote a "don't worry about them, they'll be fine" attitude.

DisAPPointed

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think Fake and DisAPP are both right. But yes, if the district would quit a lot of this subterfuge and churn, they might get better results in both directions.

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

I am laughing about Viewlands' CSIP, "nothing that means anything." I really like the Principal, she is a good leader, but when we asked about how the school will manage advanced learners we basically got nothing that means anything. And now my children are in private school, but I plan to send them to public for middle school. I hope.

Anonymous said...

Right, Fake. They are advanced, and they will be ok. But they might never be great, or come close to reaching their potential. Kids at private schools and from districts with good programs for advanced learners will outdistance them in everything--they'll be the ones getting into engineering programs and med school, or the ones who at least have the skills to get in, but choose not to go into STEM because they don't want to, not because they can't hack it. And the "gap" within the whole society actually increases. If that's ok with everyone, fine. To have a public school system that tries to lift kids who really need it, turning out graduates who are "ok" or "mostly ok". In other words, a public school system that triages kids and only serves the ones most at risk. I think that's bad for society in that a poor public school system is always bad for a society, and in that it reduces the talent pool of people who might solve some of society's big problems. And I think the problem is not just wasting the talent of the top 2%, but of many, many bright kids in the top quintile.

"OK" is not good enough.

crying shame

Charlie Mas said...

Re-posting anonymous comment:

I am laughing about Viewlands' CSIP, "nothing that means anything." I really like the Principal, she is a good leader, but when we asked about how the school will manage advanced learners we basically got nothing that means anything. And now my children are in private school, but I plan to send them to public for middle school. I hope.

Fake Help said...

@DisAPPointed and crying shame,
I actually do agree with you. But in practical terms, just getting the advanced learners access to a dedicated classroom solves a huge portion of the problem for advanced learners. If Spectrum were in dedicated classrooms, it could move forward at one year's acceleration at a comfortable speed for the students. With HCC in dedicated classrooms, it can move 2 years ahead. Some kids need more than that, but you have to admit, even just that is a huge step forward over what my cruddy "ALO" school that fights walk-to tooth and nail because (cue principal's whiny voice) "walking-to-math makes kids feel like they have different levels of math ability." FFS!!!! No s#!%, Sherlock. They **DO** have different levels of math ability!!! [insert laughing/crying emoji here]. If kids have access to programs with one and two years of acceleration depending on need and access to a counselor and a library and principals who don't punish them for their overexcitabilities and asynchronicities, well, that would be cheap and pretty effective. Should there be a mechanism for getting kids who need more than that more than that? Yes. Am I holding my breath? No. But if the school districts explicit, stated goal is simply to close the achievement gap, it's a complete bamboozle to attempt to achieve that by only wrecking advanced learning and not doing anything to help the kids on the bottom end of the gap. Not to mention probably illegal to intentionally sabotage the educations of all the kids in the top 13 percentiles on a fool's errand.

Anonymous said...

Fake, I guess I misinterpreted your prior comments. We do agree. Sorry about your cruddy ALO school. We had the same experience at ours. No "walk to", because equity means everyone gets the same instruction, not that everyone gets a chance to learn.

crying shame

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hale is listed as Hale High School but I don't see if under either name on your list yet I couldn't find anything about advanced learning on their CSIP. Maybe I missed it?

The CSIP was very focused on bringing up the bottom and increasing graduation rates.

HP

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with much of the sentiments here. As Charlie says there should not be a ceiling on learning as SPS seems intent on enforcing. My 2e child experienced very little instruction during the year before entering HCC. The teacher and principal were content letting him just sit in the corner and reading most of the day since he was "meeting standards". Having my particular 2e child bored and unchallenged in a gen ed classroom definitely does not help other students (I laugh reading some comments with assumptions that HC kids are easier to have in a classroom). At least there was walk to math, which was the class he did best in because he was more challenged. The school still caps reading and writing levels and I have heard from other HC parents that opted to stay that they will be leaving next year because of that. By the way that school is not on the list but I would definitely add it as a school not offering meaningful ALO.

Learning 4All

Anonymous said...

Could we get a list of schools that are hostile to HC students? Maybe some examples?

Thanks, Mindi

TB said...

@Mindi,
Might be easier to build a list of schools that are NOT hostile to HC students. I hear Hazel Wolf is pretty good for HC kids. And a lot of Thornton Creek HC families don't jump ship until 4th or 5th grade so it must be kind of bearable until then? It's pretty clear HC kids race to get out of Bryant and View Ridge just based on the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, here is the email sent out to Shoreline Staff today. Is SPS being as proactive?

Dear Elementary Staff,

We want to inform you of changes coming for the Highly Capable program starting in the fall of 2017 based on new state guidelines. We want to be sure you are aware of these now, because the district will be sending out letters this month to kindergarten parents telling them the results of the testing their students completed in December.

First, the state has said, starting in the 2017-18 school year, the district must serve students who qualify in either math or ELA or both. In the past we have only served students who have qualified in both areas.

Second, all students identified must receive HiCap services, even if the families choose that their student stays at their home school. In the past we have only provided services at Meridian Park and Ridgecrest.

A district-wide HiCap Review Committee, which includes teachers, parents, principals, SEA leadership, and district staff, is studying service models now and should have recommendations for the Superintendent to consider by early February. Based upon her consideration and future actions by the Board, as soon as we have those we will know how to provide the support you to begin implementation in the fall. We may not have the program fully implemented as envisioned by September, but we will assure the students are having their needs met.

Learning 4All

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you, Learning4All; very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Why are so many principals and teachers so opposed to doing anything extra for advanced learners? I've heard this for years and seen evidence of it myself. That attitude simply mystifies me. Why would people who choose education as a profession not want their students to achieve their full potentials?

- Wondering

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wondering, I would say:
- general mistrust that there are truly gifted kids
- perception of pushy parents
- social justice
- need to have bright kids in all classrooms to both lead discussions and sometimes temper behaviors (and sometimes, in bad cases, to act as little teachers for other students.

Anonymous said...

Charlie--this post got a shout-out at the school board meeting! Chief of Schools/EDs apparently communicated with these 42 schools and it was just an issue of us not understanding the educational jargon in the CSIPs like "differentiation."

Hmmm

Lynn said...

What did you think of Director Geary's deep pain at the continued existence of self-contained highly capable programs?

Anonymous said...

Coe provides an amazing ALO. There is daily pull out year-ahead math for 1st and 2nd graders(by a math specialist hired to teach that group). There is year-ahead walk to math for 3rd-5th graders daily. One day a week the 3-5th graders have a class with a math specialist who teaches really high level math. It's unfortunate their "goal" was finished in the CSIP, but honestly, they don't need a goal, they are doing it right! Incidentally, Coe is acquiring former QAE students because of QAE's hostile attitude toward advanced math.
Coe Rocks

Mike H said...

@Wondering,
Washington state teacher education programs don't cover giftedness (at all?). So many teachers who earn their credentials in this state are unaware of gifted education as a field within pedagogy. Teachers may be unfamiliar with giftedness unless they happen to have had personal experience with it. Since it's statistically rare--somewhere around 3% of kids in the state are identified as "highly capable"--it is very possible for teachers to not know many or any gifted adults and/or kids.

So, when teachers encounter a gifted kid, they can't necessarily parse what they're seeing.

They see a kid who is ahead of his/her age peers at something (like reading or math) and assume that an adult **caused** the child to become ahead by working with the child using flash cards or something. Teachers know how hard kids generally find learning to read or multiplying double digit numbers or whatever and they can mistakenly assume that the gifted kid worked that hard to learn the thing in question. The parent, on the other hand, of course knows the kid so the parent knows that no flash cards were involved and that the kid just learns things much more easily than most kids.

When your 3-year-old begs you to show them YouTube videos that can explain how harmonic resonance or mitosis work, you get that there's something unusual going on. Teachers and principles don't have that kind of insight into a child. Since SPS sends gifted kids away to different schools, many teachers and principles don't see very many of them. With the class sizes they have, they also don't have a lot of time to have the kind of long heart-to-heart chats with a kid that might cause them to notice just how advanced a child is and say, "hmmm..." Educators are generally too busy to have that conversation. And when they do, it usually comes rather late in the school year when not much can be done.

In this day and age educators are front-line social workers for children will far more urgent needs. Educators are taking care of things that used to be addressed by aid societies and churches and extended families and charitable organizations. The educational needs of children must take a back burner to non-educational needs when it is below freezing out and there are children without homes or coats or food.

Anyway, some teachers think the imaginary-flash-card parent is some kind of tiger parent pressuring the kid to learn things unnecessarily early. This view of the pushy parent is then backed up by parents of gifted kids who meet with educators far more than other parents because the school is meeting their child's needs less well. The parent can see that the kid is bored and not learning anything and urges the school to advance the kid or challenge the kid more, but the teacher believes the kid has been pushed way too much at home already (the flash cards, remember?), way more than other kids that age, and wants to ease up since the kid is ahead which makes the parent freak out more about the school's unwillingness to educate the child. It's a feedback loop.

Charlie Mas said...

To be clear, the Chief of Schools and the Education Directors are wrong.

I can tell you that all of the information in the post also went to the School Board and they shared it with the Chief of Schools. Both the Board and the Chief of Schools got my detailed review of the plans. For many of the schools there was no educational jargon. None. There was simply no mention of advanced learning at all, in jargon or otherwise. The Chief of Schools and the School Board know that. It was kind of the Board Directors not to call him out on his lie by asking him about specific school plans that are silent on advanced learning.

For other schools there was jargon, but it was meaningless. Let's remember that this is supposed to be a plan. Tossing around unsupported promises of differentiation is not a plan.

Finally, the instructions for the CSIP tell the schools NOT to use obscure jargon but to make the plans accessible by the public.

I'm sorry that Mr. Starosky chose to lie about the contents of the CSIPs to the Board and the public and I'm sorry that the Board felt they had to allow him to do it.

Charlie Mas said...

Since I originally wrote this blog post a number of schools have revised their CSIPs to include plans for Advanced Learners.

I guess that's a good thing. While it is a shame that it took citizen activism to get the schools to do it (rather than any effort by the schools, their BLT or principal, the Executive Directors of Schools, or the Chief of Schools), the good news is that a number of them were responsive to that activism and did the work.

Of course these edits were done AFTER the CSIPs were approved by the BLTs and there is no indication that the BLTs approved the changes. Does that raise other issues of transparency?

Anonymous said...

Hi! Can we publish Learning4all's letter as a new discussion topic? I think this illustrates well how other Districts are honest about what they deliver and have a true interest and intention to meet the needs of students and fulfill their obligation to state requirements. SPS does not do this.

Also, Coe begins a running list of schools that actually serve advanced learners with walk to one year ahead. Hazel Wolf is second on the list, and I believe the list ends there. Anybody, anybody?

Hazel Wolf discontinued walk to math 2 years ahead because they say they didn't have the numbers to create a class. Why doesn't the District reserve 26 seats at each grade at Hazel Wolf for HC-qualified students so they can have the numbers to walk 2 years ahead? There are plenty of people who would go. This doesn't solve the LA an Science pathway for HS, but that could be tinkered with.

Again, not everyone wants the cohort...but lots of kids need the acceleration and challenge. It's time to get creative and make room for advanced learning. ESPECIALLY if there is going to be a new requirement to serve students gifted in one area OR the other. This is HUGE.

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

For other schools there was jargon, but it was meaningless. Let's remember that this is supposed to be a plan. Tossing around unsupported promises of differentiation is not a plan.

Hugely grateful to Charlie for actually getting someone to talk about this issue. I hope someone at Bryant reads the above sentence. Did anyone catch Mr. Starosky's point about how there was a misunderstanding about the CSIPs? He said if people read about students meeting 4th grade standards, they (mistakenly?) assumed that 5th grade standards or even 6th grade standards were not being offered...and then he kind of trailed off. Was he trying to claim something different? That's exactly what it means at Bryant! I was waiting to see if he was going to claim that the higher level standards ARE being offered, but they he conveniently never quite finished the sentence. Unless I missed it?

Also Bryant

Anonymous said...

@Also Bryant--he doesn't know what is being offered at Bryant, or the other schools. There is no structure, the schools are flailing, piecing together their own curriculum and approaches based on their preferences and student population. Why Bryant teachers can't implement walk to math in a school with the biggest hot spot of HC-qualified students is beyond me. They could create a wing for advanced learning there, but choose not to. Most people who qualify for HC leave by 3rd grade or keep kumon in business, or have parents willing to plop their kids on protege/u name it math program, to keep up and get ready for JAMS. Wedgwood and Viewridge will soon be in the same model with the elimination of spectrum and no meaningful replacement.

Most of this (not all) can be solved with proper funding. Call your friends and family living outside of Seattle and ask them to contact their legislature today about the Levy Cliff and McCleary.

Fix AL

Charlie Mas said...

I watched the video of the Board meeting.

Mr. Starosky was less than honest. Some of the CSIPs truly said nothing about advanced learning, not even embedded in jargon. Some of them still don't.

I absolutely loved Director Geary's statement. She made it very clear that we need clear, meaningful descriptions of advanced learning services in CSIPs - not to serve one part of the community over others, but to keep our community united. While there are many who pit the interests of various sub-groups against each other, she highlighted how everyone's interests are actually aligned.

It doesn't serve the interests of under-served communities for the District or the schools to under-serve more children. If you oppose self-contained classes or tracking for advanced learners, then the only moral path is to support inclusive services for advanced learners, not to oppose services for them altogether.

Director Geary also reminded us that any student - not just those designated as Spectrum-eligible - could be working beyond Standards in any given discipline on any given day and should be supported in that work.

Charlie Mas said...

I have been a public school advocate and activist since 2001. In all that time don't think I have ever had a victory. I'm like 0-329-1 (the tie was when I was able to defer the split of elementary APP for a year).

I think I may be able to count this as my first victory. It's not much, but I'll take it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Charlie!

Wishing Well

Charlie Mas said...

I have run through the 42 CSIPs again and indicated updates.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that even Garfield doesn't consider their "honors for all" classes to be one of the ways they serve advanced learners. They list AP courses, but not the honors for all classes in the CSIP. I guess in their heart of hearts they know the rigor isn't really there anymore.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

It's a Pyrrhic victory. The district will use the bogus CSIPs to justify curtailing growth in the size of the cohort.

As Geary stated, she wants to dismantle the unfair cohort model wherever possible.

Plus Burris showing up to provide "intellectual" justifications for "detracking".

You're not just taking the bait, you're setting the table and opening the wine for the meal that is you!!

Can't wait for the new stickers replacing the APPartheid ones. They'll prob'ly read something like HCluClux.


identity



Charlie Mas said...

Actually, Director Geary did not say that she wants to dismantle the self-contained model. She said that she wanted an alternative to expanding it.

You need to stop making stuff up and become more reality-based.

Farhan Khan said...

Thanks for sharing this info,To see your board's date sheet, click on the link given below.
AP SSC Time Table 2018
AP Intermediate Date Sheet 2018
Bihar Board 10th Date Sheet 2018
Bihar Board 12th Date Sheet 2018
CBSE Board 10th Date Sheet 2018
CBSE Board 12th Date Sheet 2018