Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

A reminder about the Seattle International Film Festival's showing of the public education documentary, Backpack Full of Cash.  

This sobering documentary by Sarah Mondale, narrated by actor Matt Damon, explores the rising trend among many higher-income, socially conservative parents who want to spend their child's "backpack full of cash"—their lifetime allotment of public-education dollars—at whichever school they choose. Mondale investigates schools across the country, visiting similar charter-schools, where eight-year-olds in Nashville are given dozens of standardized tests in a school year, or in New Orleans, where tax dollars are being siphoned from cash-strapped public schools to teach creationism as scientific fact. Backpack Full of Cash is a wake-up call for those who believe high-quality public education should be available to people of all incomes and races and should not be left to the "free market" to decide.
Tonight at Pacific Place at 7 pm.  Wednesday at Pacific Place at 4:30 pm.  The director and the producer will be in attendance at both these showings.

Big shout-out to former Times education reporter, Brian Rosenthal, who took the Education Writers Association's top award this year.  This is a reporter going places.  He now writes for the New York Times.
The Education Writers Association is delighted to honor “Denied: How Texas Keeps Tens of Thousands of Children Out of Special Education,” an investigative series from the Houston Chronicle, with the top prize in the 2016 National Awards for Education Reporting. This year’s Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting will go to the reporter behind the series – Brian Rosenthal.

“This was such a flawlessly done series,” wrote one of the award competition’s judges. “It took drive, guts and a lot of tough reporting on a topic that affects thousands of special-education children in Texas,” wrote another judge.
Speaking of awards,  from SPS Twitter (and check out that photo - what a line-up of young women):

Congratulations to all our students who took part in the 19th Annual Middle School Science & Engineering Fair last week at the Museum of Flight! 

I love that the judging was broken down, not just by project but by aspects of the projects: Best Data Analysis Award, Most Likely to Be Patented Award, Best Use of Engineering for Humanitarian Purposes, Best Environmental Sustainability Project Award, Relentless Investigator Award, Most Thought Provoking Project, MacGyver Award for Equipment Ingenuity, Everyday Relevance and Best Field Study Project Award.

Also from SPS Communications:
The Washington State Library (WSL) has announced the winners of the 2017 Refreshing School Libraries grants. The purpose of the grant is to help bolster schools’ nonfiction collections, supports the Common Core Standards and satisfies student needs. This year eight of our schools have been awarded the refreshing school libraries grant. Each school will be able to purchase up to $2,000 in nonfiction books.

The seven schools selected this year are Dunlap, Emerson Elementary, Franklin High School, Mercer International Middle School, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Wing Luke Elementary, and Beacon Hill International School.
Also about science, an interesting article from the New York Times about pushback  in the classroom about climate change.  Ask your student about what's happening in their own classroom.
To Gwen Beatty, a junior at the high school in this proud, struggling, Trump-supporting town, the new science teacher’s lessons on climate change seemed explicitly designed to provoke her.
So she provoked him back.
What's on your mind? 

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know it's a small thing, but is it really too much to expect the SPS Communications Department to use use proper grammar and capitalization in their posts? They are, after all, the communications experts.

grouch

Eric B said...

The articles in the Seattle Times about increasing the number of students going to post-secondary education (college and other training) were really interesting. It turns out that having a "after high school" class that is mandatory for all seniors was one of the key pieces for Onalaska (in SW WA) to get their seniors a 100% college acceptance rate. The class covered deciding what students wanted to do, college applications, financial aid, etc. While there were other things done, that seems to be one of the biggest drivers of their success.

It would be nice to see something like that here.

Anonymous said...

My question is about high school bell time and yellow bus transportation.
My child will start high school in the fall and we were told that all HS students either get metro bus cards or are on their own for transportation, depending how far away from school they live.
Is this true for all SPS high school students, or do some high schools use yellow bus service?
If it's only a small number of students using yellow bus service, why are all high schools' bell times tied to the yellow bus schedule.
I looked at old bell times and it seems like they are getting out 30 to 45 to 55 minutes later than they did just a year or two ago.
MadValleyMom

Lynn said...

MadValleyMom,

The district changed bell times for the current year - flipping high schools with elementary schools. You might look at the bell time task force website for background information. http://www.seattleschools.org/families_communities/committees/bell_time_analysis/

General education high school students receive Metro cards. Many special education students receive yellow bus transportation.

Anonymous said...

@ Eric B, while a post-high-school-planning class sounds helpful in theory, our 6-period day and the new 24-credit graduation requirements would make it tricky in practice. They already have less flexibility than before, making it that much harder to take 4 yrs of all the things competitive colleges like to see. I'd hate to see a student have to skip a 4th year of math or science or social studies or foreign language or band or such in order to take a planning class like this.

If students really need this type of support, why not use our newly added 25 minutes per week (20 min/day, minus the early release) to work on this sort of thing?

HS soon

Patrick said...

I'm happy to note that on this blog the "Read More" button at the end of the introductory paragraph is back! (For me, Firefox on Windows)

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with Eric B. I'd LOVE to see students, all students including HCC qaulified students, forced to take a post-high-school planning class. After all, if they are college-bound they will get more math, science and social studies, etc. over the coming years. These classes do not all have to be crammed into high school. Further, students can tackle band as an extra-curricular.

For kids who don't see themselves going to a 4-year college, this class would be a final chance to ask them "why not" and see whether perceived obstacles could be overcome. Or, it could be a chance to help these students learn solid job interview skills, access internship and apprenticeship opportunities, connect them with community college resources.

The achievement gap moves to achievement black hole when post-high school planning is left to overburdened or nonexistent counselors and parents.

Further, some of the "smartest" academic kids can be the squirreliest time management and planning kids. This class would be immensely helpful to them. Then there are kids who would like to have some control over their coming years but have experienced nothing but the expectations and planning of their driven parents. A bit of autonomy would be just the thing for these children on the verge of adulthood.

Finally, this sort of class is exactly what private and charter schools offer. Huge amounts of resources go into this planning. SPS public school students get close to zero.

Do agree with Eric B., though, that this class is impossible without the state changing or allowing for an exemption in the 24 credit legislation.

EdVoter

Lynn said...

It's likely that most high schools will be adding an advisory period next year with the schedule change and that's the best time to offer support in making post-college plans. (Though who knows where the money will come from to train teachers in the curriculum?)

Maybe beginning band is an extracurriular activity in some schools, but many if not most advanced music performance programs are regular classes that meet on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Eric B., Hale has a similar program through their mentorship program. My kid had to have a plan for after high school. There was help for college essays and applications as well as a college fair everyone was required to attend. They had to contact at least one college at the fair their sophomore year, 2 or so their junior year, and apply to colleges or schools their senior year. It wasn't as good as the college planning my oldest got at a private high school but it was pretty good for a public high school with only 4 counselors.

HP

Anonymous said...

I should add, that the post high school plan is required for graduation at Hale.

HP

Anonymous said...

@ HP, the high school and beyond plan is a state graduation requirement. The issue is whether or not students have to devote a credited class to it.

@ Ed Voter, of course many students would benefit from such a class. However, it would be a complete and utter waste of time for many others. My child, for example, has known for many years what he wants to study in college, and has been working toward that ever since. Not because of parental pressure, but due to internal motivation and passion for the subjects. He could walk in to his future high school counselor tomorrow and say I want to go to one of these colleges, get degrees in these subjects, and here's my proposed schedule for the next four years.

And are you seriously suggesting that a student who really wants to enter a STEM field and go to a top school should forego a 4th year of math or science because they'll get more later? At many schools those lower level undergrad courses are awful, and anything you can to do avoid them will be to your benefit. (This is on top of the benefit to your chances of getting in in the first place.)

The timing of such a course also makes it problematic. On one hand, students need that planning in 9th grade, so they can develop a plan to get all the courses they need for that end goal. For students who don't see themselves on the college track, that's also the time to intervene and potentially help change that mindset. Freshman year might be a little early to work on internships/apprenticeships, though. On the other hand, a course during the fall of senior year might be better. That would potentially allow time to work on college applications and essays, seek scholarships, etc. It would also be a good time to work on interview skills and job search and the like for those not going to college. The reality, however, is that the for students who most need such a class, they might benefit from it early on and again later. They could get the help they need to make that initial plan and start things in motion, then get the help they need in bringing it all to fruition--or adjusting to whatever has changed in their HS experience and/or wishes for the future.

If they were to adopt a requirement like this, I would hope you could opt out by submitting your plan for approval. If it's a viable plan, they should waive the requirement. If you made a few mistakes but overall have a clear vision, your counselor should work with you to fix them and get your plan in order. And it there's concern that it's surely overbearing parents imposing their will on their HS students, counselors could call the students in and have actual discussions with them about their interests and plans and the possibility of exploring other options. But please, let's not make a mandatory class about how to plan your future classes. Optional? Fine. Required with an option to waive? Also fine. But not mandatory.

HS soon

Mr Bigly said...

"Though who knows where the money will come from to train teachers in the curriculum"

Just take it out of any BEX funds, it seems to be the go to piggy bank for SPS.

Anonymous said...

TRAIN them in the curriculum? That assumes there would even BE a curriculum!

unclear

Anonymous said...

I want to correct a glaring error by Mom x2 on the Garfield honors-for-all thread, which was discontinued.

In trying to make her case that HCC students are totally underperforming, she said: Around 50 SPS kids were PSAT NMSFs in 2016. That's around .1 percent of the total district enrollment I think. Again, .1 percent of SPS students made it to the national ranking. Not 1 percent. Not 5 percent. .1 percent.

Um, you don't use the entire district population to do that math. For National Merit eligibility, you take the PSAT your junior year. According to SPS data, we had 3468 11th graders in Oct of 2016. You use that as the denominator, not the 50k+ total district enrollment. If it was 50 kids, that's 1.4%, not 0.1%. Big difference. (And as reality check pointed out, the PSAT cut-off is top 1% in the state, so that would be better than expected.)

Not that it matters, but Mom x2 also said that NMSF semifinalists get academic scholarships from competitive colleges. The list of colleges that give scholarships to NMSFs is really not so strong. Are there some good schools on the list? Sure. But most selective schools don't need to try to lure NMSFs to them with funds, since they have so many semifinalists wanting to go there already. I suspect most NMSFs end up at schools that don't provide anything special to NMSFs.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

But most selective schools don't need to try to lure NMSFs to them with funds, since they have so many semifinalists wanting to go there already. I suspect most NMSFs end up at schools that don't provide anything special to NMSFs.

There are many strong colleges offering merit based scholarships that are able to lure NMSFs. Not everyone has the means to afford the most selective colleges, even if they get accepted. It's the students with limited means who benefit the most from NMSF status. Anecdotally, my niece and nephew are going to respected colleges on full ride scholarships, room and board included. No, they are not the top name colleges, but they are well respected by employers in their region. They will graduate debt free.

Want the connections and status that go along with a selective college? There's still grad school.

(and thank you for correcting the back of the envelope calculations of a previous post)

-realist

Anonymous said...

What happens when tech billionaires spend their money to reshape public schools?
The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America’s Schools

Ed Tech

Anonymous said...

Laurelhurst is again trying to oust the principal. She came from Broadview Thompson as their 1year interim principal who had a vote of no confidence and the PTA went to the district about her. District switched her before the results became public. Same feedback from Laurelhurst and crickets from the district.
Test scores down up to 40%
Low community, student, and staff scores
Families fleeing
Serious staff turn over.
If this was happening in a title 1 school she would have been gone by now.
I'm no expert but I don't believe the way to close the achievement gap is by lowering the bar.
What does it take to get rid of incompetent in this district?

Fed up

Anonymous said...

https://www.change.org/p/michael-starosky-change-in-leadership-at-laurelhurst-elementary-school-needed?source_location=minibar

The petition that I'm certain will not change a thing.

Fed Up

Just look said...

My daughter is a Ballard grad. She took a class, can't remember which one, but they had to have fairly detailed post high school AND post college plan.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fed Up, I was going to write a thread about this because 1) Laurelhurst Elementary had always been a strong elementary and seems to be in decline. My opinion when that happens is either a principal or a program change or both. 2) It once again points out the issue of how EDs do very little to solve problems, morale or otherwise.

People like to say how hard it is to get rid of a teacher but principals are much harder.

Jet City mom said...

I agree Disappointed.
The very top schools do not offer any merit aid at all, because they generally meet full need to all accepted students.
Just being admitted is considered recognition of merit.
There are still very good schools that do offer merit however.

Some schools offer very small NMS awards.
My oldest did not qualify for NM, but she got a Washington state governor award as well as merit award from her 1st choice of the Washington state schools.
However, we were in the spot of even with instate tuition, and the merit awards, it was roughly the same cost to us for her to attend a private school that met 100% of need, but offered zero merit.
It worked out better than counting on merit awards which often are not continued past freshman yr.

Jet City mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

Here's a first look at maps of proposed Lincoln High School boundaries.

Anonymous said...

Ah, good catch DisApp. Good to know that the Seattle population isn't far below the norm for giftedness.BUT you also miss the mark. Only around 25 or fewer of those NMSF awards are from SPS (and dropping as time goes by). That puts about 0.75% of SPS students scoring in the top 1%, eg fewer than expected. And, way fewer than those who claim that giftedness in SPS is far more than national norms. Clearly that is wrong. And, there's no telling which of the NMSF winners are actually in HCC. No doubt fewer than 100%. Looking at the college acceptances on the app blog for Ingraham, we see not a single Ivy. Colleges are not buying into the idea of SPS as a super Mecca for giftedness. PSAT is an aptitude test like CogAt, with similar racial bias. Unlike CogAT, colleges actually care about PSAT and SAT. We should too. NMSF may or may not mean college money, but it does improve admission rates.

reader

Anonymous said...

It all goes back to data.

For such a highly educated group of parents, the HCC crowd is uncharacteristically data averse when it comes to HCC (except when making data demands about Honors for All or social studies at TM).

Those numbers about neighborhood school eligible kids outperforming the "cohort" were quickly dismissed and rationalized, as are the low numbers of NMSF coming out of HCC.

When the numbers don't work in their favor, it is the fault of HCC middle school or some such. When the eligibility norms statistically over-work in their favor, well...you know, Seattle is just a very smart place.

data4all

Eric B said...

Lynn, while those are the first cut of maps that the HS boundary task force is considering, pretty much nobody liked them so they will change a lot. The Lincoln boundaries will get bigger and hopefully have less disruption on uninvolved students. For example, the current maps show some Ballard students getting shifted to Roosevelt for no real reason, and we hope to minimize that kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

One thing I noticed about NMSF - as soon as the first cohort of IBX students reached graduation at Ingraham. The number of Garfield NMSF's dropped in half from previous years. And where did that remaining cohort of NMSFs come from? Ingraham.

Also, maybe HCC kids (and parents) are smart enough to know that ivy-league schools are not a guarantee of a good education and, in fact, can be a huge waste of money. The only parents I have seen who worship the ivy-league schools are those that have never been to college. My parents (one of whom was a college professor) explicitly forbade me to attend such a school.

-UniversityProfessor

Anonymous said...

@Eric B

The three maps for Lincoln, to be built for 1,600 students, show 3 attendance area of merely 763 or 843 attendance zone students.

That's a whopping difference of 837 students missing!

SpEd at Lincoln is a tiny niche program.

Do they really think 800 HCC students are going to be pulled?!? Garfield can't afford to loose HCC and still have anything meaningful left. Does the task force understand what Garfield was like before APP/HCC got pushed in? Do they not know what'll happen to it once HCC is pulled up? Leave a stump of HCC, and the HCC will collapse there and then the entire school will absolutely endure unintended consequences as an impact.

EYES OPEN

Anonymous said...

I thought magnolia kids were headed to Lincoln high for sure. On the 3 maps it looks otherwise. Am I reading them wrong? Has something changed??

Mag mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eyes Open, that may be true but you sure would make a lot of teachers and students at Garfield happy. Things will play out as they do and there are always consequences to choice. Wonder how Ruth Medsker feels about HCC.

Anonymous said...

@Melissa

If bulldog teachers and students are fixing to dance on the grave of HCC at Garfield, they better first look down, over the cliff edge. What do they think awaits them once they push other bulldogs out? What'll happen to their PTSA funding? Their course offerings? Their "honors-for-all"? Currently, nonHCC Stu dents from cap hill go, but they use to avoid back in the day. Push out HCC, it is like pulling the thread and watching the sweater unravel. If they think they can keep a tiny piece, like 10%, they are wrong. HCC program is the cohort in high school, if there is none to speak of, the others will flee. Fleeing will happen. Parents have choices. I spoke to a family that said they had an uncle in Ballard, they are changing the utility bills to their name as an insurance policy.

It's the nonHCC bulldogs who really ought to be voicing demands to leave HCC untouched at Garfield: it is in their own self-interest. But short-sightedness or prejudice may prevent them from understanding the big picture. Look at current Lowell gen ed students vs Lowell gen ed students of 5 years ago. See where this is heading. And don't think for a moment that a residual 10% or 12% HCC enrollment at Garfield will be 'the same difference' compared to 20%. It won't. Knee-capping HCC bulldogs will hobble not just HCC, but the others who use to avoid Garfield but because of HCC show up to Garfield. It is painfully obvious how this lands if the task force really does push HCC into Lincoln. All those mid-level career executives recruited to Seattle who specifically land in cap hill to access Garfield will go north or to Bellevue.

As Joni Mitchell sings, "don't know what you've got til it's gone..."



EYES OPEN

Anonymous said...

@ reader,

I assumed the person who originally posted that link and did the way-off-base calculations had at least managed to count correctly, so just used their 50 as the number of SPS MNSFs for that year. You're right, however, that they were off--but so are you. I count 31, not around 25. I also see at least one student who left SPS HCC middle school the previous year, so as they were only a month or so into their new program at test time, I'd count that as an SPS HCC student. So we're around that 1% mark.

The complicating factor is that many students who are in SPS HCC for elementary and/or middle school end up in private schools for high school. Who gets "credit" for their success? It's messy. I'd wager a bet that private schools skim off a disproportionate percentage of NMSFs. Of the 1000 or so (?) Seattle 11th graders who are in private school, do you really think only 10 are NMSFs? It looks like Seattle's private high schools had over 40 NMSFs that year. I suppose some might be from out of town, but given the highly successful public schools in our surrounding area, gifted kids in those areas have a lot of other options besides trekking to an expensive private school in Seattle.

As to your argument that this is "way fewer than those who claim that giftedness in SPS is far more than national norms," you're misunderstanding things. SPS does have above average levels of students scoring in the gifted range, but so do other areas in our state. These are national norms. Seattle, and the east side, and perhaps other areas ALSO have higher-than-average percentages of students scoring in those top percentiles on nationally normed tests often used to identify academic giftedness, so there's no reason for Seattle, specifically, to end up with more NMSFs than any of those other areas in the state. The other piece you're missing is that WA students DO in fact do better than many other students--that's why we have a very high cut-off score for NMSF eligibility (and that's additional support for the claim that giftedness in SPS is more than national norms).

One final point: NMSF qualification isn't really that good of a measure of the relative success of a program. Not only is there the complication of students moving between programs over their K-11 years, but there's the issue of preparation. Many private schools--and perhaps some public schools?--do a lot of test prep for the PSAT. It looks like Interlake, for example, has students take the PSAT 9 in 9th grade, then ACT practice (Princeton Review) in 10th, then they take the PSAT in 11th. There may be additional school-based prep as well, not to mention extracurricular prep classes.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

@ EYES OPEN,

For one thing, Ted Howard has repeatedly said he wants Garfield to be much smaller, so pulling out a lot of HCC kids would help with that.

Two, Garfield teachers and administrators seem to really dislike HCC, so would likely be happy to see the program squeezed out.

Three, they don't have to pull ALL the HCC students from Garfield. In fact, it wouldn't make sense. Leave Garfield as the south-end HCC pathway. If that makes it too small, they can open up some option spots for HCC north-end students who still want to go there.

Four, why do they need HCC students to continue "honors for all" classes? If everyone is capable of those honors classes, as is the premise, they can just keep offering them.

Five, they know what they've got, and they don't like it. They don't like having such a large HCC population there. They think the cons outweigh the pros, and they certainly don't want to deal with an ever-increasing HCC population.

HS soon

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lynn.

Scenario 2 (B) is simply the historical 1974-75 boundaries, when Queen Anne had a high school. Scenario 3 (C) looks like some hybrid of old and new. Not knowing the existing HS boundaries (it would have been helpful to have them dashed in as an overlay), or planed program placement, it's hard to comment. What's going on with Franklin/Cleveland STEM in Scenario 3? And Rainier Beach AA has 1400 SPS 9-12 students?

-hmm

Melissa Westbrook said...

"I spoke to a family that said they had an uncle in Ballard, they are changing the utility bills to their name as an insurance policy."

First, that's wrong and if the district finds out, it'll be a problem (but yes, I know people do this and I suspect it will happen around Roosevelt as well).

HS Soon, yes and we know Ted Howard does have final say at Garfield so perhaps he will get his wish for a smaller school. However, I think a new superintendent might have different ideas about principals - and I think Nyland is not going behind his current contract - so we'll see.

Not pull all the HCC students? Again, maybe not but with a reduced HCC population (and probably offerings), I suspect that the numbers might get really small.

And I agree - any school can offer "honors for all" - I think Hale has a version of this but does not carry it out in the same way as Garfield.

Do they know "what they've got?" I'm not sure but they will if HCC numbers at Garfield dramatically change.

SusanH said...

It's interesting that in Scenario B, they have Cleveland as an assignment school, rather than an option school. That doesn't make sense, as it's a STEM school, which should be opt-in for those students who want that.

Anonymous said...

@eyes open: surely south and southwest HCC students want to keep the entire city's HCC population migrating to Garfield. Likely they're alone on that opinion now that Garfield has become blatantly unwelcoming to HCC and clearly prefers not to be a magnet school. It is best to honor their desires rather than pound the sand to keep the current broken system. Times have changed, the city has changed, population is growing rapidly...we need to plan ahead! Hopefully all schools will become more accepting and accommodating to all learners, and having all HCC go to Garfield is not a great idea for the foreseeable future.

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

I'm with Mag mom, I had heard that Queen Anne students were definitely going to be assigned to Lincoln. In these options, they are either going to Ballard or Center school? Or am I missing something?

QA mom

Anonymous said...

Lakeside accounts for nearly all the private school NMSFs and half of its students are from outside Seattle, mostly the Eastside but from much further away too. Some of those students may have once been in HCC but not many. There really are very few open seats for the high school. Maybe a handful HCC are admitted but mostly not, as they seek a diversity, not just a pipeline. Some private schools do test prep but Lakeside does not. Many parents also do test prep of both CogAT and SAT. Not sure why test prepping is ok for one, but not the other. Never heard of intensive prep for PSAT though. The bottom line is this: Seattle does not appear to have a gifted population which is far outside the norms based on any objective measure. Programs that serve as "intervention" are supposed to serve outliers, not just well prepared students. To make an intervention appropriate, it needs to actually be an intervention based on need and difference. Everyone benefits from rigor, care, and enrichment. Everyone.

reader

Anonymous said...


"It's the nonHCC bulldogs who really ought to be voicing demands to leave HCC untouched at Garfield: it is in their own self-interest."

Gee, maybe those families are tired of being second class citizens. Ya think?

Coffee Smeller

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't get how any of the 3 scenarios work. A and C seem to leave Ballard over capacity. (Sorry, only looking at my own kids' options, not advocating only for them but just looking to try to understand.) And Scenario B has 948 students in "Queen Anne" with no accompanying HS, unless they mean the Center School grows to that size. Can anyone enlighten me?

Confused

Anonymous said...

@coffee smeller

Yes, we can all smell that coffee. Really, we are all 'woke'. We don't even have to have a sense of smell, we can all see it on those apartheid signs that are carried. Makes me think of the cliché, be careful of what you wish for.

So be it. Show HCC the door. See how that works for the residual bulldogs. Remember, West Seattle is going to have its own HCC pathway high school. And your coffee 'tea leaves' point to north Seattle booted out to Lincoln (that's 600 HCC high school students), so those who want a smaller Garfield school will really, really get their wish. Look at Stevens families avoiding Madrona. Do you really think those families will show up to a new, 'improved' Garfield?

But hey, have at it. Garfield can go back to the way it was before APP/HCC was designated there.

It is clear, message is obvious, 'not wanted' could not be any plainer. As a Garfield supporter, I do not want to see it's fortunes change for the worst, because that will hurt all remaining Bulldogs. But we can have different opinions on that. Obviously, we do.

The filmmaker Michael Moore had a compelling last desperate attempt to talk to his constituency and beg them to go vote and vote for Hillary, because he said it might feel good to spank politicians because their economic situation in Indiana, and Illinois was so desperate and they had felt so ignored for the last 8 years, so they were going to vote for Trump, but that they would have to wake up the morning after and face what they've done, like end up with repealed Obamacare. He warned him that while he understood their anger, shooting themselves in the foot was not a solution.

Reasonable people can disagree. The writing is on the wall, those who wish to take apart HCC at Garfield will likely prevail and Garfield will endure the consequences: Pyrrhic victory if ever there was!

Equally predicatable is how angry those same folks with the apartheid signs will be when they see the fortunes of Lincoln rise ( it will be a wealthy school), with the Wallingford population and a huge HCC contingent. I don't imagine anybody at Wallingford is going to be choked at having a bastion of excellence and high achievement or award-winning instrumental music groups. Yes, folks will point to the southeast initiative and be upset that nothing good has happened, and that Garfield has now changed, and its course catalog is severely diminished. They'll say it's not equitable, etc.

It's so truly predictable. Oh yes, we're all smelling the coffee.


Eyes Open

Anonymous said...

modified version of "we'll go private" with our purse strings and then you'll all be sorry (as in, see I'll show you)

instead of examining the source of why your presence isn't as desired as you might have thought

et al.

Anonymous said...

I think the people polarized by this argument both feel insulted and neglected by the other. Each feels that the other doesn't really understand their children's needs, or that the other doesn't care about their children. Both sides seem to think the way to solve the problem is to shout louder.

I'd like to see people look seriously at the concerns of the other, and try to figure out something that gives everyone what they need. Can we even state what the other side needs or wants, sincerely, without snark? I wonder. Can we all get what we need? I'm skeptical about that, but we can at least work on that problem, rather than hating on each other.

Naive one?

Cap hill said...

I find it kind of troubling that we are discussing whether schools, principals and teachers "want" certain groups of kids and families. As far as I know, principals and teachers are employees of the district who are being paid to serve all of the families either in their feeder area, or their pathway.

Just to be clear - having been a PTSA President at Garfield, and being a parent there now, no teacher or staff ever said to me that they did not want HCC kids at Garfield. I do think large percentage of the Garfield would like to continue to have a diverse environment and would probably favor some caps on HCC enrollment, but that is totally different.

However, there is very clearly an unhealthy situation going on.

HCC parents and kids should be as important to Garfield staff as any family - no more, no less. The school data is extremely clear that all families think the school is doing a poor job partnering with families. I know many staff at Garfield have very deeply held personal beliefs about inequity in society, but they also need to do their jobs. And the district needs to hold the school accountable to build and maintain a healthy environment for all families - not just those who agree with some of the staff views. By the district management not taking action to address the situation, it may be perpetuating a perspective that staff can choose who they want to serve.

Take a look at the excerpt from the Principal job description at the bottom.

This is not that hard: get some of the teachers and a representative group of parents together to sit down and figure out how to work together. Different communities bring different things to the table and effective schools figure out how to get them to work together. Effective parent engagement and process enables changes to be discussed, concerns addressed and stakeholders to buy in. Sit in a room until you have it figured out.

From SPS Principal Job Description:
"Develops and maintains effective community relationships; seeks community support to form new partnerships as aligned with the school mission, vision, and CSIP; fosters relationships with other organizations and partners; involves staff in partnership activities; promotes the school to attract enrollment; maintains positive media relationships; is responsive to parent concerns."

Anonymous said...

@ reader, Lakeside accounts for the majority of private school NMSFs, but not "nearly all." More like about 2/3, if you really want to debate the numbers. Lakeside's website says they have 580 HS students, so let's say 145 per grade. They had 28 NMFS in 2016, so that would be almost 20%. Let's say, as you estimate, about half their students are from Seattle. That's 70+ students. If 20% of those were NMSFs, that's about 15. If you added those 70 students and 15 NMSFs to the SPS numerator and denominator, SPS would have a NMSF rate more like 1.3% (num: 31 SPS HS plus 15 Lakeside=46, denom: 3468 SPS plus 70 Lakeside=3538). But like I said earlier, this NMSF thing isn't a very meaningful gauge of anything.

You're also incorrect that they have "very few open seats for the high school." Their HS program is more twice the size of their MS program, so they obviously have to admit a sizable cohort in 9th. I also don't think you're correct that only a "handful" were in HCC. Of the three students I know who were admitted there, all three came from HCC. Anecdotal, I know, but that would be pretty strange if the only three I know happened to also be your handful...

Your continued insistence that "Seattle does not appear to have a gifted population which is far outside the norms based on any objective measure" is puzzling. Nobody is saying that Seattle's population is different than everywhere else. We're saying our population differs from the NATIONAL norms. That's true for a lot of WA state. Seattle's HC-identified population is not an anomaly locally, either. Some of our surrounding districts have even higher rates. Lynn had posted some figures not that long ago. Our numbers actually looked low in comparison!

It seems your argument hinges on your belief that while someone who scores in the the top 2% nationally might be considered an outlier, if there are more of them concentrated in a particular geographic area (e.g., Seattle) so that they represent 5% of the local population instead of 2%, then they are no longer "outliers." The problem with that line of thinking is that (a) standards and textbooks are developed with that more average national population in mind, not our upwardly skewed local population; and (b) whether you're talking about 2% or 5% or even 10% of students in a given school or classroom doesn't really matter--it's still not many, and they are still outliers in the context of the classroom. And being an outlier in a classroom means you are unlikely to be adequately served. "Teach to the middle" and all that, right?

You say that "to make an intervention appropriate, it needs to actually be an intervention based on need and difference. Everyone benefits from rigor, care, and enrichment." Absolutely. But are you suggesting that "rigor, care, and enrichment" is the HCC intervention that is being provided, unfairly, to only a subset of students? "Rigor" is a relative term. What's rigorous for one student may not be for another. It's not like we have a rigorous program and a non-rigorous program, right? HCC doesn't have its own curriculum. It SHOULD--because I agree with you that in order to be an appropriate intervention it should be based on the different needs, but can you imagine the stink if HCC students actually got something different?--but it doesn't. So the idea that non-HCC are cheated out of rigor reserved for HCC is silly. As for care and enrichment, I don't what you're getting at. HCC isn't provided more of either than non-HCC.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

HCC self-contained classrooms are divisive, that is a real problem. The district needs to make things more fair by either making more self-contained classrooms available for advanced and gifted students and artsy and shy and all other "special" groups or it needs to provide inclusive classrooms that meet the needs of all students equally.

I think if all students received 90% of what is needed to realize their potential, preferably in blended classrooms, we'd have a more cohesive district.

HCC parents seem to live in another district from the rest of us, they say they want nothing special, but they don't want their kids in academic classrooms with non HC students. By definition, they want something special.

Jasmine

Anonymous said...

Jasmine, HCC is an intervention for vulnerable students who would likely not be successful with a conventional approach. Self-contained programs are a best practice for highly capable students. Best practices for Gen Ed look different. Neither is more "special" than the other.

best practice

Anonymous said...

Jasmine,
Why should there be separate academic classrooms for an artsy student? If the whole point is to target the strengths of the individual student, then you have varsity sports for athletic students, advanced music, art and drama for the artsy students, student council and volunteering for civic and service-minded students, and advanced academics for those who are already academically advanced, no?
-Pollyanna

Anonymous said...

@ naive one, I'm not sure it can be done. Or maybe I'm not sure that different in wants/needs between the "sides" is really the heart of problem. After all, don't both sides essentially want the same thing?

-Challenging instruction that allows student to learn
-Good teachers
-Safe and supportive school environments
-Positive social development
-Adequate facilities and supplies
-Access to extracurriculars and enrichment
-Access to classes that interest students
-High levels of student success (e.g., graduation rates, test scores, college matriculation)
-And so on?

My gut tells me it's when one of these issues for one group comes into conflict with one for another group that we have problems. For example, advanced classes necessary to meet the "challenging instruction" need for one group might make another group feel somehow inferior, thus detracting from their "supportive school environment" and "positive social development" needs. Or when decisions made to make one group feel more supported end up making another group feel less supported.

It's tempting to think that more money would solve the problems because then we could give everyone what they want, but I'm not even sure that's the case. These seem to be much more fundamental, philosophical differences.

unclear

Anonymous said...

Jasmine-- You really do need to learn more about kids who score in the top 1-2% range and the field of education. Have you read any research material on gifted education? You are making comments based upon feelings, perceptions and not knowledge. Kids who score between 1-2% need to be provided a basic education that meets them where they are at by law...period. There are state laws regarding special education and kids who fall outside the norms on tests. Not laws for "artsy kids " (huh?)....your analogy is way off.
-KL

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jasmine, you said this:

"HCC self-contained classrooms are divisive, that is a real problem."

You forgot to add "in my opinion." Not everyone believes that.

You also said this:

for advanced and gifted students and artsy and shy and all other "special" groups or it needs to provide inclusive classrooms that meet the needs of all students equally.

Okay, then clearly you don't seem to think giftedness needs to be addressed with that "artsy and shy and special."

I think when I do write about the presentation on highly capable students - with the data and science solidly behind it AND that it runs across all incomes and all races - maybe you won't think that.


Anonymous said...

Jasmine, so by "inclusive classrooms that meet the needs of all students equally" you mean inclusive classrooms that DON'T meet the needs of any?

While we're at it, you know what I find divisive? Foreign language classes. I think all languages--French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, whatever--should be taught in one class. At the very least all the various of the same language should be blended. How much difference can there really be between French 1 and French 5?

Serious question: what exactly is it about inclusive classrooms that makes them more "fair"? Is it because everyone is working on the same thing, at the same pace? If so, that's not fair to those who already know it or could move faster. Is it because teachers will naturally spend more time on the students who are working on grade level standards or below, providing little attention to those who exceed standard and thus don't really need (deserve?) instruction? Neglect doesn't sound fair either. So what is that makes your desired approach more "fair"?

My own child found his inclusive classroom to be divisive. He was told not to raise his hand to answer questions, because it made the other students feel bad that he knew the answer and they didn't. He had nobody who wanted to talk about the things he wanted to talk about--or could talk about them at his level--so he had few friends. If he ever made an error, the teacher called it to the attention of the class, presumably to make the other students feel better somehow. When he returned to class with deep knowledge on a subject the teacher had covered at a superficial level (because he researched it at home in order to really understand it), the teacher accused him of showing off and told him they weren't supposed to cover it at that level. Is this the sort of fair, inclusive classroom you envision for all students? If so, count

me out


Anonymous said...

If the way they are opening EagleStaff is an indication of how they will balance (or not!) enrollment, leaving schools way over capacity might happen with the high school scenario as well! Whitman left underenrolled, Hamilton left over enrolled, waitlists for underenrolled schools etc. Get ready for another crazy high school situation where a new high school opens and schools like Ballard bursting with 1900 students end up with even more students! Seriously there needs to be an administration change I think for sanity.
-Yikes

Anonymous said...

@reader How do you know where Lakeside's students come from?

Just guessing?

Anonymous said...

I think cap hill brings up a key point when he/she says: "I find it kind of troubling that we are discussing whether schools, principals and teachers "want" certain groups of kids and families."

We have an HCC kid and we did not go to Garfield because at the tour we definitely picked up an unwelcome vibe from the teachers. That was two years ago and now we are very happy where we are and glad we followed our instincts. However, it's a real problem when the district allows teachers and principals to routinely slam certain families, and also does that at their own board meetings (I base that on statements made by the directors and reported here). Maybe the schools should post on their face pages what child is welcome there and what child is not? It would make it easier for us families.

-JustLetUsKnow

Anonymous said...

"art and drama for the artsy students"

artsy students? Please your ignorance is shining through.

CokeBottle glasses

Anonymous said...

When people say that Seattle should have more gifted students because of their parents' education levels (routine), and the demographics of HCC are so out of proportion with the SPS student population, then many don't think HCC is inclusive. Wonder why?

Too many people have rationalized the demographics in HCC for years. Glad the
district/board is now smelling the coffee. Wonder if public pressure about the
demographics has had anything to do with that?

Looking forward to this great research that has finally reached the ears of Seattle. Please bring

it on

Skipper said...

Why don't we stop age-based promotion. The kids will just test for what grade level they're at. And when they're ready, they challenge test to move up to the next grade level. This country is a meritocracy, right? We have the tests graded blinded so the results are fair. We base their learning on their skills. That would fix a lot of bellyaching.

SusanH said...

Despite all the kvetching about Garfield, I'd like to offer a different perspective. I have a (shy, introverted) HCC 9th grader there. He doesn't feel unwelcome or ostracized at all. He likes his teachers and he feels they like him. He is in the band, which gives him a close-knit, inclusive group to belong to. He has a lot of Bulldog pride. He has a solid group of friends that came along from Washington Middle School. I just don't think the overall atmosphere is as toxic as some of these blog comments might suggest. I wouldn't worry about sending your child there, especially as it stands now, with a diverse mix of ALL types of students, and a wide array of interesting classes to take.

Anonymous said...

@ SusanH, that's nice to hear. How does your child feel about the level of challenge in 9th grade LA and SS? I've heard from others that it's less challenging than middle school HCC LA and SS were, and my student was bored stiff in those... My student is also not into band/orchestra or sports, but instead gets stimulation through academic pursuits--and is driven to push those as hard and far and fast as possible. The district's HCC pathway should theoretically be the best place for that, but sadly that no longer seems to be the case.

HS soon

Anonymous said...

@ it on, HCC is not supposed to be "inclusive"--it's a program for students who are cognitively atypical, scoring in the top 2% on nationally normed tests. It is intended to be "exclusive"--not in the country club sense of the word, but in the sense that it is intended as an intervention for a minority of students who need something other than what typical academic programming provides.

If, instead, you mean that the demographics are skewed, yes. Gifted programs around the country often have a hard time identifying proportionate numbers of students from some racial groups, although income is just as much of a factor as race. SPS has taken some steps to fix this, but it's challenging--especially since so much of the disparities are beyond SPS's control. I think pretty much everyone agrees that SPS should continue working on improved strategies to identify and support highly capable students from underrepresented groups. Well, I guess not everyone, since people like you would apparently rather disband the whole thing and not even bother trying to serve highly capable kids appropriately. If it's broken, let's fix it, not trash it.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

Inclusive means to include those who are eligible and need services.

vs.

Exclusive, which means that those who should be eligible don't get in.

The speaker at the School Board retreat addressed the need to be inclusive very methodically, meaning that excuses are no longer going to keep it exclusive.

Bring it




Melissa Westbrook said...

It On, here's the thing - why are so many people against self-containing classrooms and yet offer nothing about the kids of color who aren't be served?

Anonymous said...

Who said I'm against self-contained classrooms?

I'm not against them. Where did that come from?

Making children of color who need services eligible, and then serving them is what I'm offering.

This is exactly what the speaker was talking about. No more excuses for denying them services. Just do it! That's the offer.

On it

Anonymous said...

Coke Bottle glasses,
Literally no idea what you're on about. The "artsy" was simply quoting Jasmine, and the entire post was more than a little tongue-in-cheek.
-Pollyanna

SusanH said...

HS Soon:

Well, it's true that classes have been relatively easy. But I think my son is fine with that, not a ton of homework or stress. And my husband and I feel like: fine, have an easier freshman year while you are still getting used to being in high school. AP classes will start sophomore year, so presumably the challenge will increase then. Language arts has always been super boring for him - even in middle school. I can't wait for some inspiring teacher to come along (Dead Poets Society style), and actually teach LITERATURE, and have everyone read the SAME BOOK and discuss it in an engaging way. Maybe that won't happen until college. History is more interesting, both in middle school and in Honors for All. The group projects are a drag for him, but I guess those are a fact of life no matter where you attend school. (Caveat: most of this is reporting is gleaned from 5-minute interactions, since my 15-year old doesn't tell me much in general). :)

SusanH said...

HS Soon:

But oh! I should add that the worse part of 9th grade LA is that they have to fill out a reading log. Are you kidding me? That has been an utter insult to my child since the 3rd grade. Reading logs have no business in honors classes in school, where students have been reading voraciously for pleasure for years. I complained about it in middle school, but have now given up.

Eric B said...

I'll say it again. The map options need a lot of work and aren't really usable right now. Lincoln is too small and Ballard and Garfield are too big. Option B does show mid-70's boundaries, back when we had a Queen Anne High. There's an idea that we'll eventually have a new high school in the Queen Anne region generally, so that's a notion of what it might look like. There's also discussion being had about whether Cleveland should be an attendance area school or an option school.

There should be more maps out for the next HS Boundaries Task Force meeting toward the end of the month.

Anonymous said...

@Jasmine,
Your point about the divisiveness of the cohorted self-contained gifted program is entirely accurate in my experience. I think everyone wants to see students challenged and have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

What people, some people, don't like is the separation of so many kids from the main student body of the district. Co-housing seeks to alleviate some of that isolation, but as many of us know first hand, there erupts a school within a school situation.

Many, many districts, both large and small, have found ways to serve their gifted students primarily in classrooms that contain non-gifted students. I feel Seattle needs to move in that direction ASAP.

Muesli Lover

Anonymous said...

Susan H, thanks for your perspective on Garfield. When we toured the kids all seemed very welcoming - it was the teachers and the MIA principal that gave us the hinky vibe that we were not welcome. We chose to attend a different public high school that also has a diverse mix of ALL kinds of students. The difference there is that the teachers and principal were super welcoming of HCC kids. Many of my kids' friends went to Garfield to participate in the music program and we got a lot of blow-back from them about not going there. This was a few years ago and I can't help but think they want to just get rid of the HCC kids (the teachers) because that attitude has persisted and gotten stronger if anything. I agree with "On it" that kids of color, at Garfield and other places are not being given services. I will tell you the one other major reason we didn't go there. The "science projects" posted outside the science rooms looked like they were created by 3rd graders. Filled with horrible inaccuracies yet proudly posted in the hallway. It made me feel like there was a fairly large population of kids at that school that were not being educated. How can this be? At the HCC track school? Now, the school's administration and some of the teachers are blaming the HCC program for this travesty. It's an easy out. The HCC program costs maybe a little money and some work to track the students. Yet it underscores and brings into focus the inequities in the educational performances of the district's kids. So get rid of it - get rid of the HCC kids, drive them to private schools and get rid of their nasty parents too. We are missing that attitude for the present at our school but it could happen there as well - in the future. If the district persists in implementing non-fixing fixes to these problems and fostering an atmosphere of racism in the schools.

-JustLetUsKnow

Anonymous said...

HCC vs. non-HCC.
Athletics vs academics.
Elementary vs. High School.
North-End vs. South-End.
SPED vs. non-SPED.
Children of color vs. caucasian kids.
Neighborhood vs. neighborhood.
Parents vs. parents.

This is the pattern I see, week after week, reading this blog - and I find it utterly dispiriting. Public education is not supposed to be a zero-sum game. For example, just because HCC kids are being served appropriately doesn't mean other kids can't be (and SHOULDN'T mean most kids can't be challenged despite their non-HCC designation). It is natural to advocate for what your own child needs, and all parents should. But we find ourselves drawn into these arguments time and time again because people feel a win for one group is a loss for their own.

This is mainly the district's fault, due to its poor planning, lack of transparency, and abysmal community engagement. But we - the parents - must work TOGETHER. We must resist the temptation to fight each other over scraps, and instead hold the district (and city and state) to account. This blog is SUCH an amazing resource - but the conversations in the comments often set a combative or derisive tone and could give the casual reader a pretty negative impression of the parent community in Seattle Public Schools. Can we be more disciplined about the way we conduct these conversations? Can we resist the lure of divisive talk and fight together for common sense and high standards? If we can't, nobody wins.

Flummoxed

Anonymous said...

��������

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

(Those were supposed to be clapping emojis)

Mag mom

1/2 Nasty said...

Why are the HCC parents nasty, JustLetUsKnow? That's what I don't understand. I don't get it at all. The parents of the 3,000 or so HCC students out of all 53,000 kids are nasty, but all the rest of the parents in the city aren't? HCC parents come in all colors and sizes and financial situations. And we're all nasty? Wait, are private school parents nasty? Do parents stay nasty after their kids graduate? Or does that cure us of our tarnish? Do HCC parents become nasty when we get pregnant? Was I nasty when I went on my first date with the person who would one day help me conceive the child that has somehow made me nasty in your eyes? When I take my non-HCC kid to his geozone school, where I'm active on the PTA and a welcome, participatory member of the school community, am I nasty then? Or am I only nasty when I'm at my HCC child's school? Or does just raising my HCC child make me nasty? But not raising my other kid? What if I told you my HCC child was adopted? Would I still nasty for raising her? Should I have adopted a different child? Can you see the supposed stain of nastiness when the child is born? One year old? Three years old? Kindergarten? When does the stain of nastiness suddenly come over the parent of an HCC child?

I don't know why we can't all work together to educate our children. I don't understand why the education of my one kid makes me a nasty enemy of the needs of other children while being a parent to my other kid isn't a problem. How am I half nasty? What if I had 5 kids? Or 3 kids? Is one drop of HCC blood enough to destroy an otherwise un-nasty person? Is miscegenation a thing with supposed HCC nastiness? I don't even know why people who aren't parenting or educating my kid even care about what my kid is doing at school. I certainly don't understand how doing anything to a program for 3,000 kids in this city helps the other 50,000.

Why can't we work to improve the educations of all 53,000 students? I don't know. You just go right ahead hating on the half of me you think is so nasty. I'm proud to be a half-nasty woman. And I'm proud of the other half of me, too. Both of my kids are important to me. All the kids in this city are important to me. They all deserve so much better than this state is giving them. Better than DeVos is giving them. Especially the ones whose parents can't afford to fix the problems by switching them to private school.

Anonymous said...

Muesli Lover, there is some ambiguity in the term "gifted." Even here in Seattle, any student above 87th percentile was designated as "gifted" during the Spectrum/APP days. The terminology has changed to be more precise, now using Advanced Learner and Highly Capable. So if you mean Advanced Learners when you say they can be integrated into an inclusive classroom, then I agree with you. But I strongly disagree that Highly Capable students can be. This population has different social, emotional and learning needs and self-contained programs are an intervention that help them succeed. It doesn't take away from other programs to provide this intervention for these children.

best practice

Anonymous said...

Sooooooo.... How bout them maps?

QA mom

Someday Lincolnian? said...

The maps are obviously nowhere near ready. Interesting to look at them, but they clearly don't tell us anything about who will actually be assigned to what school when Lincoln opens.

Anonymous said...

Someday Lincolnian & QA mom- Program decisions for Lincoln will be made in Fall, so that's a large group of kids who will be coming from many areas.

On the APP blog someone attended a recent SPS meeting and apparently there was talk of HCC from Magnolia and QA going to Lincoln as an AP pathway. But the maps indicate Ballard is the pathway for non-HCC Magnolia and QA kids? Also, W Seattle kids not going to Garfield but to a new AP pathway at W Seattle high school.

However, would mean the entire north end HCC AP pathway still goes to Garfield? What sense does that make with increasing traffic issues as those kids are further away? However, given the way the district seems to be making decisions, ex kids on waitlists at underenrolled schools, opening a new middle school and leaving schools way overenrolled and others grossly underenrolled, maybe logic is not a consideration.
-not logical

Melissa Westbrook said...


Flummoxed, I love that and I hope more people 1) look for solutions and 2) point out good things happening in this district.

Anonymous said...

So who's to blame that the gened scene at Garfield is worse than at a gened school like Ballard or Roosevelt or Hale? Does the presence of the HCC kids who are so far ahead and have experienced the lack of non HC kids in all their core classes have an adverse effect on the rest of the school?

Great question, if you ask me.

T

Anonymous said...

@ Flummoxed, the divisive talk on the blog is often because school and district actions do in fact turn these into zero-sum-game type situations. They create and fuel the divisiveness through simplistic or inaccurate or biased or ill-conceived approaches to issues. "But we find ourselves drawn into these arguments time and time again because people feel a win for one group is a loss for their own." True--because time and time again, a win for one group IS a loss for another.

Can we resist the lure of divisive talk and fight together for common sense and high standards? What's common sense to you is insanity to someone else. For example, what's common sense to someone with a student in a gen ed program and who feels like their child is missing out on something by not being in HCC might be to fight for the elimination of HCC, because it seems to them like it would be great for students like theirs and it seems like teachers should be able to serve everyone equally well regardless of their academic differences. For the parent of an HCC student, however, it might be common sense that this approach doesn't work, because the tried it already and it didn't work.

Common sense to the parent of a high school athlete might be to make sure school ends in time for the student to travel to games without missing too much class. Common sense to a parent without a high school athlete might be to start school late enough in the day that their student isn't chronically sleep-deprived. Common sense to both groups might be to start at something more like 8:30am, but that might ALSO be common sense for parents of elementary and middle school students, in which case "common sense and high standards" come into conflict with the realities of what is and is not feasible. Compromise is often necessary, and there may be "winners" and "losers"--although many within each group will differ as to which is which, depending on their own perspective.

I agree that we could use more civility and less emotion in our discussions, and a whole lot more openness to really understanding the issues of others. But in reality, it's hard to see how a lot of these issues aren't inherently divisive, and how they won't continue to be so.

messy

Anonymous said...

@ T, how were test scores and graduation rates for Garfield in the years before it became an HCC site? That might help answer your question as to how the addition of HCC impacted the GE program there.

messy

Anonymous said...

I've noticed a lot of posts referring to an "AP pathway." There isn't really such a thing. All the high schools offer either some AP courses or IB. There's an HCC pathway, which is currently only Garfield. But looking at those maps, they show about 850 students living within the proposed boundary of Lincoln. Lincoln will have a capacity of 1600 so that's a lot of unclaimed seats. If that proposed boundary sticks, it's not unreasonable to think it could become the HCC pathway for the entire north end, not just QA & Magnolia.
Good Fit

Anonymous said...

Messy, T, APP began at Garfield in 1979. An awful lot has changed in this city and school district since then, including the elimination of mandatory busing. The Gen Ed programs at the schools you mention have changed too, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. HCC has been an integral part of Garfield for 38 years. It's just not a simple comparison of before and after.
History

Anonymous said...

@good fit and considering the suggested boundary maps project Garfield and Ingraham (and Roosevelt) decreasing in size it seems likely...

reading tealeaves

Anonymous said...

Will post on the HCC blog too but public testimony from last night's board meeting seemed germane to this thread also. At the meeting a group of HCC parents from Thurgood Marshall testified. I got distracted watching the meeting but at least 3 spoke, maybe 4? They held up signs saying Equity for HCC and all came to the microphone each time one of them spoke. I believe they all serve on the school's HCC advisory parent committee or somesuch school-parent group. FWIW all the parents speaking were Caucasian. One said she has an African-American daughter.

The net of their conversation is an outrage at the stark racial divide and classroom conditions between GenEd and HCC at Thurgood Marshall. As HCC parents they said a change in the program and in identification must happen. Board members nodded heads during testimony.

Will this impact HCC cohort pathways at high school as Lincoln opens? As most readers here know, HCC is not self-contained in High School, but HCCers do get first preference into AP classes. I don't know how fast or even whether the district will make changes to the program as Lincoln opens but with directors and staff supportive of the demand for change, maybe so?

Geary said something afterward about SPS not being able to fix the segregation of Seattle neighborhoods which might indicate sympathy but no planned action with budget shortfalls but then went on to talk about how to offer gifted services in each school.

HCC Mom

Anonymous said...

"Our typical identification processes definitely favor parents of native
English speakers who understand the US school system, and that is exactly what we see reflected in our highly capable programs today."

--Austina De Bonte (speaker at School Board retreat)

http://www.nwgca.org/uploads/1/2/0/1/12018395/peeling_the_onion_-_equity_in_hicap_final.pdf

Flummoxed said: "just because HCC kids are being served appropriately doesn't mean other kids can't be" seems to miss why so many people speak out against the current HCC. It's this: Many low-income students, 2E, children of color who need HC services are not being served at all because they weren't even identified.

Thanks to the many voices in Seattle, SPS and the Board were finally compelled to address what De Bonte calls out: "...some of our most vulnerable children are habitually underrepresented in our state’s HiCap programs, which just makes this inequity that much more painful. This is a social justice issue." Please bring

it on

Anonymous said...

"Many low-income students, 2E, children of color who need HC services are not being served at all because they weren't even identified."

It on-- Where in the state or in this country is this any different? What test would be used to find these kids if they are not being identified through the most common tests used to learn whether kids need advanced pace/curriculum? Also, as far as 2E, and kids of color from Asian, Indian and other nonwhite ethnic groups, there are quite a few in this program. It is the lower income kids of all races who are not represented.
-JL

Anonymous said...

@ it on, you keep saying that the Board is finally addressing this. What exactly are they doing? What do you THINK they should do?

The AL office tried to get funding for a program that would work with promising students from underrepresented groups to try to increase their eligibility for HCC, but they didn't get it. The AL office did institute some universal screening in lower income schools, but as I recall, that didn't find disproportionately more students from those underrepresented groups.

What's the magic bullet? You keep suggesting that big change is coming, or that the Board is finally taking action and HCC people aren't going to like it or something, but your words seem to be just words. Is there some actual change happening, or are you just referring to the increased willingness of people to disparage HCC students and families as evidence of future TBD action?

DisAPPointed

Melissa Westbrook said...

HCC Mom, I continue to be baffled about the race divide in HCC at Thurgood Marshall. The program is right in the school and yet the principal is not able to convince parents of color to test their kids? If that has happened, I think it would have been reported (but probably yet another issue I'll have to ask about at the district). I find this troubling from a school level.

HCC Mom, I'll have to review that footage because I'd like to know what Geary said on providing services for AL students at all schools.

I'm going to end this discussion here and we can restart it when I post my thread on the HCC presentation at the Board Retreat last Saturday.