Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Student Assignment Transition Plan Work Session

Update 2: It looks like Amendment one is NOT going to pass (grandfathering).  Director Burke is going on a very long-winded explanation about why he (appears) to be voting no.  Blanford and Geary are saying it's equity versus equality and it's not fair to the kids who will be going to RESMS.

Geary is trying to make a point that all the parents in the room that want grandfathering will be there for their kids, no matter what.  (Not sure that particular lands well with these parents.)

Pinkham was worried people would think he would support this amendment in order for there to be more room for Licton Springs.

Final vote 2-4-1 with Peters and Patu in favor and Pinkham abstaining because of the pending vote on room for Licton Springs.

Update 1:  well, they created a new amendment around wording in the SAP.  It's a bit complicated to compile here but it's more a clarification than any direct effect on the plan.

Staff also wants to take out the word "formerly" in front of "Spectrum" in the SAP Transition Plan. Peters asked if that means Spectrum still exists and Ms. Davies said yes.  (I did laugh a bit to myself.)

End of update

The room is quite full for this portion of the Work Session.  I expect that it will run late as the original Work Session for both topics - budget and SAP - was supposed to have ended at 7:00pm and this portion is just getting started at 6:53 pm.

General Counsel Noel Treat opened this with the explanation that first the amendments will be addressed - there are now three.  Then they will vote for the plan with whatever amendments that are approved (if any.)

Sorry, apparently, they are starting with the plan; Treat says it doesn't really matter.


mirmac1 said...

Essentially the "clarification" was an utter stripping of language pushed by SpEd advocates providing our kids some semblance of a "pathway", something every single other group of students has.

Most despicable is that, after dismissing the reasonable changes put forth, only one word change remained. It could have meant something, except the directors and staff decided it was only "stylistic", laughed and figured, eh!, let's pass this token change.

In my years having listened to lies; seeing disabled children physically and emotionally harmed, neglected, bullied, and suicidal; their parents treated like dirt - this board discussion is rock bottom. Marianas Trench bottom. We've always suspected where we stood. But now it is as clear as the water 36K feet under the ocean. I look forward to seeing HCC, dual language, Option programs down there with us someday. The more the merrier.

Anonymous said...

@mirmac, rather than expressing your desire for others to get similarly mistreated, you might do better to try to explain the issue to us and enlist our support, or at least create more awareness.

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I often feel you send mixed messages--complaining that the non-Sped communities are't active enough in support of Sped issues, while also treating us as if we couldn't possibly understand so it's not worth your time to explain. Your rants are probably warranted, but it might be more helpful in the long run to build more awareness. Unless you're just here to vent, which is totally understandable.

Reality bites

mirmac1 said...


Given that I haven't posted in months, I presume you haven't given much thought on the concerns of the disabled in for some time. Personally, I don't expect to be spoonfed on civil rights issues. I would find it very helpful if you expanded your thinking on what all children in this district are due under federal law, and how we could deliver on that.

Vent? What are you here for but to snark? Do you ask your African-american friends to explain racism to you and tell them otherwise to quit ranting? Do you ask recent immigrants to explain why they can just speak English already? I don't need to put out an FAQ for you. Yeah, it bites.

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

Anonymous said...
If I were one of the board members who voted no, I would be very worried. Payback is a bitch

1/11/17, 9:42 PM

Actually, there are many people who agree with the board members who voted no on grandfathering. SPS does not have that money for that luxury. If they are to open new schools, those schools need to be full of kids. Personally, I hope they put these new school plans on hold, keep kids where they are (thus no need for grandfathering) and figure out how to pay for essentials and cut central office staff big time. - Cap Hill

Anonymous said...

By Central Office I mean downtown at Central Admin. -Cap Hill

Anonymous said...

I just hope all the HCC kids that can go private. We are now taking a hard look at leaving.

What a mess. Next time I see Burke at the massage parlor I'm going to give him an earful.


Anonymous said...

I dunno Mirmac. I saw the part you're talking about and thought the board was engaged and respectful. Geary said she had talked to the head of the Special Education PTSA and also a key person on a task force about Special Education and the wording was no problem to them. Those are advocates in key roles, I suppose. I have a lot of issues with the discussion tonight but it seemed the board was trying its best around the Special Education language in the middle of a tough long no-win meeting. I'm not the biggest board fan so I'm not just blowing smoke.

-watching- (who has been barked at to change the moniker so this is the end of -watching-)

not mc-t said...

wow mc-t what is that about burke and a massage parlor? i googled it and got nothing. and be assured it won't be private it most likely will be charter... if they could have afforded private we would have left long ago.

sorry mirmac you have been going after hcc for years for special treatment. and yet no i don't find any merriment in sped getting short shifted. i just wish hc kids had half the protections sped kids do. if it wasn't good for the district's capacity issue hc services probably would consist of grading honors for no one essays. they are already tutoring ss at tm. but district needs a warehouse for those kids away from gen ed so welcome to cascadia. what is that sps' co op program you advocate for? seems like a great accommodation for a few.

on the bright side at least you aren't being called a racist for for the program that education researchers and district staff said is the best program for your kid.

no caps

Watching said...

I did not write the above comment.

Carol Simmons said...

Dear Mirmac,

I saw you at the Board meeting. I have missed seeing you and have missed your posts. You have been consistent and dedicated in your advocacy for not only special education students and their educational needs and rights but also other underserved students.

The Board majority vote was such a disappointment for Special Education students, Alternative education students and Native American students also. It is a description of Institutional racism at its best. For 4 members of the Board to vote against the necessary number of rooms at the Robert Eaglestaff building for the Licton Springs community (that includes the Native education program students and Special Education students) is disgraceful. Thank you to Directors Pinkham, Patu, and Geary for voting for this underserved population by giving them enough space to grow and thrive. They took away the necessary space they now have at Lincoln. They may have killed the Program, once again.

Anonymous said...

The thing about Sped. It's a very very very long battle. True - a huge disappointment at an opportunity not captured. But also not a change for the worse. And if they did wind up changing the wording in the SAP to remove "capacity" as THE assignment criteria for sped, they surely would still be doing the same old thing. In some ways it's better to keep the documentation of institutionalized discrimination on the books. The SAP clearly states: "SPED students in the continuum of services are assigned according to capacity". So there it is - clear as day. District policy is to fail to serve.

And when there's a capacity crunch, where will SPED students be served? Would it be nowhere if there's no room? The district's very own special education program consultants have no problem prioritizing every other student above special education students, allowing principals to move students anywhere, and even opting for the most expensive 6 figure educations available privately on the eastside - so long as SPS doesn't have to educate the kids nobody "likes".

But here's the real thing. If sped families came out like HCC families, there would be movement on this issue. They don't. If more of them filed OCR and OSPI complaints or wrote to the newspaper or showed up for anything at all - the board would take notice and maybe change this. When the EEU issue got in front of the board - Wyeth Jessee was defeated. He looked like a complete fool. As it is now, only a few ever complain and raise issues about special ed placement. That is - where programs are actually placed, or where and how students are assigned. The board thinks this issue is really not an issue because people don't complain about it. Maybe they are right. The people who would complain and raise issues are the same ones who can force the right thing to happen for their kids. In fact, they have even more choices than everyone else. Which reiterates the original point. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.


Anonymous said...

So did HCC get their split to the old Decatur site?


Anonymous said...

Is there any data on how many sped students get moved between schools mid-stream i.e. 2nd grade at one site, 3rd at another for capacity reasons? In our experience with the system, we were assigned to an out of cluster school for a developmental pre-k.


Anonymous said...

Yes, good to hear from you again Mirmac.
Thank you for your advocacy Carol.

Not voting for the 14 rooms at LSK8 tells staff it was okay to lie to prospective parents and say our school was full, and then when when our numbers were down, to take away room at our future home.

If you try to apply to Licton Springs k-8, and are told it is full, please contact the school directly.


Anonymous said...

If I were a newly arrived Seattle resident and read this blog I would never ever send my child to SPS. It's not because of the blog, it's because of what the blog exposes.

The cost of living is just too darn high to have such a poorly managed school system.

San Fran

Anonymous said...

True San Fran! When I moved to Seattle in 1994 from San Francisco I noticed that the city infrastructure (cleaning, pot holes, etc) was non-existent. That seemed bizarre to me considering the rich companies ensconced here. But at the time I thought it was fun because it was still rough and tumble Seattle and there was not as much crowding as I was familiar with in the Bay Area. You could still buy a house in the city for example (barely). I think the charm of the lack of infrastructure will be lost on this new influx of workers. When I arrived, the Seattle public schools appeared to be balanced on the cusp of being (1) a great option for local kids' education or (2) turning into typical big city public school serving principally troubled students while everyone else flees. You could still, it seemed to me, and this proved to be true, get a great public education here. There were a number of interesting and helpful programs in place (school choice, option schools, magnet schools, APP, Spectrum, great teachers). But the schools were precariously balanced - mainly due to the growth of Seattle from a small city to a big city. And I suspect it was Melissa's hope that the district would avoid the classic big city public school failings (hence the blog name "Save Seattle Schools". But then the money scandals, curriculum messes, and poor decisions (such as closing and reopening schools) of the MGJ years contributed to a significant degradation of services. Banda's tenure of just marking time to get a better job with no substantive ideas, and no state funding in sight anywhere continued to render the schools unacceptable for many new workers. At my place of work, we have lost recruits (from the Bay Area no less) due to the combination of the high cost of living and public schools that don't appear to match up to the demands of a high tech population that values education. To my eye, this is a huge crisis point for the district and I don't see anyone stepping up to the plate to reverse the decline.


mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Geary said she had talked to the head of the Special Education PTSA and also a key person on a task force about Special Education and the wording was no problem to them."

Hoping somebody asks the Special Education PTSA "head" whether she actually took such a position. If so, it would indicate quite the disconnect.


Anonymous said...

Let me clear, although SPED PTSA does many good things, the organization does not represent nor speak for officially SPED families. The SUDO authoritarian position folks assume SPED PTSA has is wrong and misleading.

The district loves to assume if it's mentioned to SPED PTSA then it's good to go.

SPED Parent

Anonymous said...

I thought we didn't name call on this blog. Calling staff idiots is name calling, no? Great advocacy and intent often disappears into a cesspool of bad feelings when name calling happens and its unfortunate because Mirmac could have been so much more effective than he/she has been when flamethrowing. There is enough to criticize and then fix within SPS SPED without undermining those efforts with boorish behavior.

Better Together

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

Yep. That was name-calling. Noel Treat was identified individually.

mirmac 1, cut it out.

Thanks to Better Together for bringing it to our attention.

mirmac1 said...


Now I'll call you out. You regularly complain about, and ridicule what's in Friday Memos authored by, yes, specific staff? Did I say Treat was a BSer? No, although I could very well have.

Who among these readers was at the board meeting in 2010 or so (can't say precisely because videos and agendas are no longer available! I'm sure I could find it in my archives) I was there and I heard the newly-appointed General Counsel tell the School Board that the 9th Circuit Board of Appeals '09 decision (Renee' et al v USDOE) regarding providing non-HQT (not-fully certified teachers) to poor students violated NCLB, did not apply to Washington. For the uninformed the 9th District covers the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii. This was "bad" advice to a legislative body in a public forum. If a General Counsel gives such flawed advice, then we need someone better. Yet he has been welcomed back with open arms.

More bad advice was provided at the SAP meeting. What could be the motivation for saying things that encouraged the board to retain language that violated the WAC cited in the policy? Is it ignorance? Poor judgment? I say it is done "to maintain (SPS admin's) ironclad grip on the future of our kids with disabilities."

not mc-t said...

yeah double standards abound. district staff calling families segregationist is ok. charlie can support geary calling hcc staff racist again ok. it seems seattle polite is only for peon posters of the blog not the owners.

no caps