Monday, August 21, 2017

Curriculum and Instruction Committee Meeting

The Curriculum and Instruction meeting is tomorrow from 4:30-6:30 pm in the Board conference room.  Agenda here.

First up on the agenda after the basics is the approval the grant from the League of Education Voters to South Shore Pre-K-8 for two years at $1M per year.  Oddly, it's for intro and action at the next Board meeting and yet this is no emergency.  The Board continues to allow this to happen for almost BAR; and so it goes.

As I have said in the past, I think this is all fine except for a couple of things.

I have never seen a report about the outcomes for this investment which has been going on at about the same rate since 2003. (It started at TT Minor Elementary in 1998 but then the philanthropist who started it realized he just wanted to fund for a whole new school.  A couple of years after that change, TT Minor was closed.)

Here's how the district explains this:

This partnership between the School District and The New School Foundation (merged with LEV in 2011) was formed in 2003. It began with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that evolved into a Partnership Agreement in 2006. The school’s first year, 2002-2003, began with PreK and K. In each subsequent year, the school grew by one grade until it reached its current size, a PreK-8. The funding source of the grant was a private individual who chose to be anonymous.
Well, the original donor was Stuart Sloan who used to run QFC  but I don't know if the funding still comes from him.   As for the date for partnership starting in 2003, I'm unclear.  The program at TT Minor started in 1998.  Here's an excellent overview from Forbes:
Sloan’s extra money paid for a 12-month school year and a school day that runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It provided three meals to students each day, put teacher’s aides in classrooms and paid for psychological counseling for students. And that first million was only for the 80 kids in kindergarten and nursery school. Sloan says he is prepared to spend millions more to roll his ideas through the fifth grade
This is not what the money pays for today, at least not according to the BAR. 

Initially, the grant was governed by a Partnership Agreement that provided for an annual grant renewal subject to review of the program success and an integrated budget. The funding made up a significant portion of the school’s budget (86% in 2002-2003). Funding peaked in 2006 at $1,556,000 (40% of the school’s budget). Over time as the school has grown and other funding sources have been secured, LEV funding has decreased to an annual pledge of $1,000,000, which is about 20% of the school’s budget, excluding Special Education programs which were added in 2010. 

South Shore Program Priorities

  • Maintain the original goals of LEV funding which include lowered class size and academic supports to Pre K-2 classrooms. This will ensure adequate academic growth and maintain social emotional regulation.
    - Continued improvement in academic outcomes, as evidenced by standardized tests
    - PreK-3rd literacy program alignment
    - Hands-on learning, such as garden, music, environment, arts
    - Support for school newcomers, especially students in the 4th and 6th grades and new

    teachers
    - Continued improvement of the Wellness Program through program review, the RULER

    framework, and integration of physical health resources
    - Support for families through before/after school programs

  • Add to the Multi-tiered System of Support in tiers two and three for social emotional learning to optimize the learning environment for all. South Shore will take an “early adopter” role in implementing trauma informed practices to ensure that South Shore remains a safe, kind, respectful learning environment that prepares students for high school and post-secondary education.
  • South Shore will proactively develop alternatives for students of color that negate the early onset of special education services, particularly the overrepresentation of African American males that are served in programs that label students as Emotionally and Behaviorally.
  • Continue to use funds generated for South Shore in ways to push the work forward to a great degree in SE and Central Seattle so that other students in need may also benefit from what we are learning.
 I'd have to go ask if I missed something but I have never seen a report from the district about outcomes, especially for a partnership that has lasted this long. 
 I've never heard the district say that, based on outcomes from South Shore piloting new initiatives, that the district was trying them elsewhere.  
It all seems a bit mysterious and you'd think, after more than a decade, there might be some real news to report.
I'll also note that South Shore is the only school in the district where an outside entity get to interview principal candidates and do it alone.  The Superintendent does make the final decision but I highly doubt that he/she would ever go against what LEV recommends.  Have to wonder if schools that raised more than $1M a year, between PTA and booster groups, could ask if they might have the same ability to choose a principal.
Other agenda items:
- High school - 24 Credits, see page 22.  
- Cascade Parent Partnership Program, see page 23, about Running Start students in the program
- update on Middle School textbook for Math adoption, see page 26
- Assessment updates, starting on page 30.  Page 31 starts the assessment calendar.
This year’s calendar will include Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessments. The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment was selected for its wide use across schools in our district as well as its ability to complement the new K-5 ELA adoption, which lack a robust assessment to carry out the goals of Multi Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS). Additionally, these assessments will support elementary and K-8 schools in using assessments and data to drive instructional decision-making and monitor the progress of students in English Language Arts (ELA).
- Advanced Learning update.  Key findings from "Phase 1 Report: Descriptive Analysis" that was delivered this past June.  (I still need to write a thread on this report.)

  1. Enrollment
    • There has been an increase in the districtwide percentage of students eligible for Advanced Learning over a three-year period, from 9.4% in 2015-16 to a projected 11.3% for 2017-18.
    • White students remain significantly overrepresented and historically underserved students of color remain significantly underrepresented. Disproportionality has not significantly decreased in the last 3 years
    • The Northwest region currently has the highest concentration of the district’s Advanced Learning/Highly Capable students (30%), while the Southeast region has the lowest concentration (6%).
    • There has been a steady decline in the percentage of AL eligible students enrolled in Spectrum Program, driven mainly by declining number of students attending Spectrum designated schools. The decline is most noticeable among elementary grades, where the proportion of students enrolled in Spectrum Program dropped from 40% in 2014 to 28% in 2016.
That last bullet?  I call BS on the reasoning.  Of course, Spectrum enrolled has dropped; they've allowed the program to twist in the wind/be at the mercy of individual principals.  Why would students/parents transfer to a new school for a weakened/watered down program?

Only 4% of principals said the District should continue designating certain schools as “Spectrum schools.” Over two-thirds of respondents believes the District (68%, 46 principals in total) should discontinue this practice. The rest (28%) were “unsure”.
 In open-ended responses, these principals cited two main concerns:

o Maintaining a Spectrum designation perpetuates inequities in the district, benefiting families privileged in terms of both race and socioeconomic status.

o All schools should be able to accommodate Advanced Learners as part of the district’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS).

So you throw out a part of a program - that the district itself designed and maintained - because of racial inequities instead of correcting that issue?  Sounds a lot like a good reason to get rid of a program you don't really want at your school.

As well, sure, you go! MTSS.  But please allow that parents might not believe in this ability to support all learners when there is no proof that MTSS will work either.

The end of the agenda is the work place for this committee for the coming school year.

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

MTSS is an unfunded pipe dream that will only work with very small class sizes AND teaching assistants. The District discontinued Spectrum, everyone knows it, so why do they claim it is still around but fewer students participate? This makes no sense and is beyond the typical left hand-right hand disfunction within the district.

Anything on waitlists?

Blind Faith

Anonymous said...

MTSS says nothing about students who are ahead. It would literally have them just sit there patiently doing busywork (especially now that Spectrum is defunct). Once children meet benchmark they can be locked in the boiler room for the remainder of the year.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing that mandates an AL designation. HC, however, is state mandated.

Spectrum was illegal because it did not provide General Ed LRE for students with IEPs and it also illegally clustered ELL students. When HC was enacted in state law, the writing for Spectrum was on the wall.

The real disgrace here is that the district hasn't had the backbone to make these facts clear by eliminating Spectrum, but has instead let the program die a slow death.

The other disgrace, of course, is that the district creates these HCC demographics by design because they don't follow state law: Students should be evaluated for HC in comparison to those with similar backgrounds and experiences.

A lawsuit is not if, but when, especially as people continue to wake up to white supremacy and get sickened by it.

Poor Me

Ed said...

And along the way came administration and the kids can find their own meals on the street?

Thats progress?

Oh Mr. Sloan.

Anonymous said...

@poor me: is there a District in WA that is handling their HC evaluation and identification appropriately? If so, what is their follow up delivery of curriculum for those students? How do they handle other students who are not gifted but could benefit from more challenge than benchmark curriculum provides?

I didn't grow up around here; my school had a walk to math in 2nd, nothing in 3rd, then always provided walk to math from 4th grade on. It wasn't called spectrum, and there was no feeling of "you're in, you're out" and I believe it was based on standardized test scores and teacher recommendations at the beginning of each school year. I honestly don't know or remember if we worked ahead or deeper/more or what, but I did know I was in advanced math and I enjoyed the challenge. There was also olympics of the mind where I was pulled into the library with a small group to work on fun creative problem solving projects. Otherwise, I was in school with everyone from my town/city. My husband had the same arrangement at his school, both of us were from small to medium sized schools, with 4-5 classes per grade of 23-28 kids each class. We both have masters degrees and feel we received good educations. AP classes where available, but not on the grand scale we have here. I was one of the first students to participate in running start, which I have regretted since but I guess at the time it was the right choice for me socially and academically.

I do believe spectrum has been shuddered and it seems silly not to acknowledge this happened. There might be two or three schools left with walk to math, other than the impossible to get in STEM schools. Has anyone surveyed parents to find out which schools offer walk to math? I'm curious becyyou cant tell by reading websites.

Regarding Spectrum: I venture to guess they don't have a name for how they will serve advanced learners (or a plan), or maybe they won't and it's up to parents to provide stretch learning opportunities for their elementary kids (Kahn or Kuman).

If they don't offer walk to math, how else will they give kids at various ability levels the instruction they need? I mean that seriously because it seems that for some subjects, pulling kids into focused groups not only helps the instructor dial in the materials, but it also helps the students feel comfortable with their questions and peer group so they don't appear dumb or too smart. I think they could do it without all the labeling and exclusionary tracking and stuff that pisses people off, but ability grouping should not go away IMHO.

Instruxion

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ed, can you not be cryptic? If you have something to say, please do so.

Simon said...

Does anyone know what textbooks are on the middle school shortlist? I reviewed all of the textbooks when they asked for parent feedback, and I can't believe they were considering a couple of them, particularly after laying a solid foundation with Singapore Math at elementary.

Anonymous said...

Instruxion, walk to math, flexible groupings, and programs like Olympics of the Mind should be part of any good instructional program.

I am in complete agreement with your excellent posting.

Spectrum and the former APP allowed SPS to avoid offering what you described in General Ed because they simply assumed that they had an "out" in terms of providing for the needs of advanced students.

Now, they have simply continued APP as HCC instead of complying with HC state law, which mandates a representation of the district's demographics for students with unique educational needs.

Poor Me

Anonymous said...

@Poor Me, repeating the same misinformation as fact does not make it fact.

tiring

Anonymous said...

tiring,

That is cryptic. Please be specific so that your point has a basis rather than being a meaningless accusation.

Poor Me

Melissa Westbrook said...

Simon, I believe the math books being considered are these.

https://seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=24450150

Poor Me/FWIW, you do say the same things over and over. Also, "accusation?" Tiring just pointed out the obvious.

Anonymous said...

@Poor Me " "A lawsuit is not if, but when, especially as people continue to wake up to white supremacy and get sickened by it."

So poor me what about Bellevue where Asian kids are the kids overrepresented (as compared to Whites & other races/ethnicities) in the advanced learning programs? Is this "Asian Supremacy"? Or Mercer island where many more kids qualify for advanced learning programs. I think economics, parental values & education level of parents play a much larger role.

-Think deeper

Anonymous said...

The lack of representation is for the "historically" underserved populations.

Additionally, if you parse the demographics for distinct groups, "Asian" student demographics and outcomes vary extensively.

Augusta De Bonte addressed the high numbers of East Asian students in some HC programs, which was interesting:

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

Educational attainment of parents is the critical piece, which is why I continue to say that HCC is a program for students born on third base, and why experts strongly emphasize that the identification protocols in most gifted programs are woefully inadequate.

The recommended protocol is for less reliance on cut-off scores, an approach which compares students to those with similar backgrounds and experiences, and, most importantly, looks at the needs and talents of the child as an individual.

I caution you to be very careful placing "parental values" as an issue since it implies that those without knowledge of the system, those who have been abused by the system, and those not like you have inferior values...even if you didn't mean it that way.

Your implication of false equivalencies also needs to be disputed, especially when we are talking about historically oppressed students, ELL, disabled/2E and FRL students who are excluded from gifted programs in vast degrees...and in SPS in such blatant terms as to be a serious civil rights issue.

Poor Me

Cap hill said...

Poor me, I like your analogy - born on 3rd base. I am a parent of two kids that have been in HCC in Seattle, and I would tend to agree that *most* of these kids have been born somewhere north of second base (at least as far as I can tell). That said, we should also keep in mind that almost every kid born in America is born at least at first. But I digress.

I think the debate is between two camps of people: those who think that those who were born on third base should remain there, or even go back to second base to help those rounding second to make it to third. That is the philosophy behind things like honors for all. It is primarily a teacher and social justice warrior philosophy.

The other camp says that kids who are on third should have a program that gets them home - but not at the expense of other kids (which it isn't where HCC is served today). That same philosophy is theoretically embedded in the school district's mission statement of helping each kid reach their potential. Most parents I know are in this camp - they want to see to see all kids do well, and they generally empathize with other parents wanting the best for their kids.

If someone could prove to me that HCC is being provided to kids at the expense of other kids (i.e.the cost of providing HCC or Spectrum is far and above the average cost per student) and impacting the district's ability to provide for other kids, I would like to see that analysis. But it doesn't exist. And the issue isn't really that we have an "underfunded" school system - we don't. The funding per student according to the NCES is much higher than all of the peer districts other than Anchorage (that peer group includes PDX, SF and Denver) and higher per head than most other developed nations. We have have a mis-funded district, but it isn't a resource issue. We all know it is a hard/complex problem and we have a low-performing system.

The only way I can understand it is that it is a fundamental objection to the fact that some kids are born on third. And if certain educators and SJWs decide that if you are born on third, then the system isn't going to reasonably serve you, I think you can understand it as a rational decision to not participate in and/or not support that system. The point being: your objection may feel good and self righteous, but it is ultimately more than somewhat counter productive. It clearly isn't doing anything to move the needle for the kids you want to help, and it is weakening support for a public good.

Anonymous said...

Pulling high performing into self-contained classrooms is bad for all kids. It creates issues of inferiority and superiority in children despite all efforts to avoid them.

SPS needs to shut down the flawed HCC program, create a small program for outliers and provide real rigor for all students at their local school.

If parents want an exclusive environment free of under grade level and SpEd kids, they need to pony up for private school.

Public school should not provide private school experiences for a select few.

Nor should SPS be paying for kids to go to Morningside, another example of savvy parents manipulating the system.

leaf girl

ABM said...

Accelerating gifted kids or putting them into self-contained classrooms is not bad for kids. It is well attested to be very good for gifted kids.

Having self-contained classrooms does not CREATE issues of inferiority and superiority in children. Kids are unique. They vary in perceived attractiveness, athletic ability, popularity, being nice dressers, being "not boring," meanness, coolness, toughness, aggressiveness, use of slang, musical taste, math ability, reading level, GPA... Issues of inferiority and superiority exist in society independent from how or where gifted kids are educated. If aliens came down and zapped away all the gifted kids, issues of inferiority and superiority would still remain.

The HCC schools are just option schools, like so many other option schools in Seattle. Only with entrance requirements. Allowing option schools to exist within the public education system does keep thousands of students out of their local neighborhood schools, but no one seems to care that Seattle has a ton of option schools. 30% of the city's kids go to private school. No one seems to care about that either. All those kids in private schools and option schools, those are all kids not in their neighborhood schools.

HCC would have a lot more SpEd students in it if Seattle public schools were any good at identifying giftedness or learning disabilities. SPS looks for students to fall behind before considering whether they might have a disability. And SPS looks for students to be way ahead before considering whether they might qualify for HCC. So you end up having many gifted learning disabled students floundering along at about grade level, exhausting themselves trying to outwit dyslexia or out-think dyscalculia. And because they're gifted, they succeed for a long time. Dyslexia affects what a student needs to thrive. Giftedness affects what a student needs to thrive. It doesn't make them special, but it does have educational implications. Maybe you've heard high blood pressure referred to as a "silent killer"? Well, giftedness masks a lot of other conditions (like dyslexia) and prevents schools from noticing that the student has either. It's a great masker.

One sure-fire way of creating issues with perceptions of inferiority and superiority in children is to force a student who's a year behind in math to sit next to a student who's four years ahead. And then force the student who's behind to ask the gifted kid for help. You know what the kid who's behind doesn't deserve? To have to learn math from a freaking genius who has no pedagogical training whatsoever, who's bored, who's not being paid, and who never learned that math the normal way anyway because she sees glowing numbers in the air like Russell Crowe in that movie A Beautiful Mind, and who does not want to be a teacher. Both kids deserve more.

Anonymous said...

HCC, as is, clusters students without disabilities, FRL and ELL into a virtual demographically homogeneous program. That is the argument against charters because it takes the public out of public education.

HC is, by law, required to address the HC needs of ALL students who are highly CAPABLE, not just highly those who are highly performing and well-prepared for school.

BTW, coming on this blog time after time does not FEEL good or righteous because it's not about ME. I've been teaching for 25 years and don't have child in the program. In fact, that is the problem with the commentary about HCC on this blog, IMHO: It mostly comes from parents with children who are in/have been in HCC and there is a clear self-interest in preserving the APP mentality because it works for you and yours.

I'm providing a link to OSPI. That should help you understand what the legal mandate requires for HC. And, no, it's not reserved for those born on third base. In fact, the law and gifted experts are fully aware that giftedness is spread across all demographics and that those not born on third base are being vastly underserved. That is why the law stipulates clearly that the demographics in HC must reflect the area that the district serves.

The law takes the "camps" out of it. SPS will learn that at some point when a civil rights lawsuit makes them comply.

http://www.k12.wa.us/highlycapable/

Poor Me

Anonymous said...

Finally, no worries about those born on third base being failed by the system. You may not have made it into Lakeside, but you're not hurting either. Spend some time at some southeast Seattle schools and you'll get a reality/perspective check on victims of the system.

See: http://www.alternet.org/real-estate-school-segregation and Melissa's real estate link from the other day.

I had to Google SJW! I could easily have found it on Breitbart had I just looked since that is also their mentality about silly progressives like me.

Poor Me







Low Income said...

"Public school should not provide private school experiences for a select few."

I fully agree the way SPS handles identification for HC is deeply flawed and needs to be fixed to identify ALL kids. I'd absolutely love there to be more diversity and have the community be reflected. However, this perception that these kids are getting a "private school experience" is just wrong. I've never had a kid in private school but I sure as hell hope people aren't paying thousands of dollars for the experience my HC kids have had...it really isn't "all that". I'd much rather they were served and challenged in their own schools but that wasn't an option. So for our lower class family with limited resources this was our only way to get any challenge, so we took what was offered to us by the system. And are consistently looked down upon for doing it. Doing what we thought was best for our kids, given our options.

Anonymous said...

>>>I'd much rather they were served and challenged in their own schools

Therein lies the rub. Everyone wants their kid to be challenged. Lack of challenge is the hallmark of public schooling. But HCC parents think only their kid deserves challenge. Everyone else can stick with whatever. The kids who need challenge the most, are the kids with disabilities. For them finger painting and circle time is great in all grades. If anyone needs more challenge, it's special ed. Let's move them to HCC. They need more challenge.

Challenger

Archer said...

"HCC parents think only their kid deserves challenge"??????

What HCC parents have you talked to? You won't find any HCC parents that think that.

ABM said...

Melissa's link the other day was talking about Hazel Wolf, an option school. It's not an assignment school. Where you live doesn't get you into Hazel Wolf. And a huge number of the housing units in geographic zone for Hazel Wolf are low income or rental housing units. The school is located less than a mile away from a title one school (Northgate Elem.). And Northgate is a title one school because there are a lot of low income families among the families who live in that area (the area where Hazel Wolf is).

Hazel Wolf is a public school in Seattle. Northgate is a public school in Seattle. Families can opt to go to Hazel Wolf, although this year there was an 88-child wait list for kindergarten. But the demographics of families who opt into option schools is not the same as Seattle's demographics in general. HCC is just an option school.

It's not like families at assignment schools are crying because all their sciency kids have left to go to STEM option schools. Where's the outcry over that?

Ted said...

The kids in SE Seattle are not being failed by SPS, are they? Aren't they being failed by their council members and their representatives and the mayor and a long history of racism and sexism and inequity in pretty much all the systems of our nation? How are the schools failing them? Well, RBHS needs to be renovated/rebuilt. But beyond that. Are the teachers failing them? Or is society failing them?

Anonymous said...

Some public school systems do manage to offer an education comparable to competitive private schools, but SPS? Somewhat laughable. High performing private schools generally have a planned curriculum, with carefully selected texts and materials and well equipped lab spaces. Class sizes tend to be smaller and much more is expected of teachers and students. They generally value high achieving students and work to attract and retain them.

(and the third base analogy...uh...just had a different meaning where I grew up...)

just laughable

NNE Mom said...

So sad that pretty much all the parents whose kids eventually end up in HCC do is fight for more challenge in the neighborhood schools, sometimes for years, sometimes pleading with teachers every day, begging for their child to be given something to learn, readers at their level to read, math that will challenge them and force them to develop grit. Begging schools to allow walk-to-math to happen. This is pretty much an obsession for so many families who have ultimately had to send their kids on a long bus ride to a distant school to get the kind of challenge that elementary school principals ***could*** have just allowed by just walking kids to a class at an appropriate level. And then on this blog we're hated for not fighting for more challenge at neighborhood schools. What gives? Are we being scapegoated?

Anonymous said...

"Public school should not provide private school experiences for a select few."

Then I should be able to opt out of ALL taxes. These children are not select they are handicapped by a system not prepared to teach them.

Are you NEW here?

Some people

Anonymous said...

@Poor Me- Your "White Supremacy" comment ignores lower income white kids not in HCC either. In addition, you seem to understand that Asian kids come from different ethnic & economic backgrounds. So do "whites", they are just as and maybe even more diverse.
In fact, haven't you been watching the news? Those who label themselves "White Supremists" hate Jews, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean people etc. Also, the HCC program has more kids with autism, ADHD etc than our local elementary school.
-JK

Anonymous said...

Poor Me/FWIW,

1. When you say "HCC clusters students without disabilities", this is incorrect. Whether formally identified or not, there are many students with disabilities in HCC.

2. You criticize the district on civil rights, yet you have committed civil rights violations via your Thurgood Marshall "Racial Equity in HCC recommendations".

You purposely omit the disability category in your list of equity concerns and set quotas for certain racial sub-groups. This is non-compliant with civil rights in this state.

3. You perseverate on local norms despite that fact that David Lohman specifically stated that the identification process needs to match and be supported by the program.

If we followed your advice, a child who scored in the 75th percentile in a 35th percentile school would be moved to a two years accelerated program. This is illogical.

Lohman recommended that children who score higher than the norm in their school, but still below or at grade level, be given extra opportunities such as after school enrichment or mentors by the school.

Lohman does NOT recommend acceleration for children who perform below and at grade level. He is promoting an expansions of means to identify talent and modes to support them. What I hear from you is an endless focus on program entry without any substantive change in program delivery.

4. You're not a teacher, and yes, you're a HCC family. You're entitled to privacy, but not to misrepresent yourself.

APP

Anonymous said...

@Poor Me-- You likely have made some wrong assumptions about my background in your comments. Some of my own family members hold very different "parental values" than my own. My comment was intended to mean that those who have attended college often place a high importance on K-12 education. This does not mean that there are not exceptions. My own mother & father did not go to college, yet they valued education. My husband's parents did not go to college and they did not value education at all. But parents pass along values to their children. I also have many family members who did not go to college and do not place a high value on education. They also come from multi-generational poverty.
-Think deeper

Anonymous said...

@ Poor Me/FWIW- P.S. The "white supremacy" comment you invoked in relation to HCC is also very disrespectful during a time when Jews, middle eastern and other people who may also check the white box are being targeted by hate groups.
-JK

Anonymous said...

Whoaaa!!!

Sounds like you HCCers are having some serious infighting issues! I don't know who you're trying to out (and you should be deleted for that) but you have sadly mistaken me for someone you are apparently harboring an intense animus toward.

The Lohman norms have nothing to do with this discussion since I am referring to state law, which clearly states that students should be evaluated for HC in comparison to those with similar backgounds and experiences. This is also a best practice according to NAGC. Furthermore, APP is the advanced learning model that is all about working two grade levels ahead. SPS just hasn't gotten around to updating APP to translate in the state law requirements for HCC (except they did change the name). HC law is about providing a variety of services for qualfied students. See link above for clarification.

If you look at the SPED funding in HCC, it is minuscule compared to district school averages. Nobody (certainly not me) said there were none with IEPs. That is why there is always a mantra on this blog that touts how HCC has the lowest student funding costs in the district. The students with IEPs are typically much milder than in other schools., too, hence the low costs.

Y'all need to keep your dirty laundry on the playground at Thurgood Marshall. It sounds pretty ugly.

Poor Me

Anonymous said...

APP didn't out you Poor Me. So, no need for deletion.

Interesting though that you claim to know that APP is at Thurgood Marshall. It's a big oopsie to admit that FWIW. You gave credence to APP.

Popcorn

Anonymous said...

The district is following the Washington State code. For those wanting to read the actual language for WAC 392-170:

Definition—Students who are highly capable.

As used in this chapter, highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes according to chapters 28A.640 and 28A.642 RCW.

Assessment process for selection as highly capable student.

(1) Students nominated for selection as a highly capable student, unless eliminated through screening as provided in WAC 392-170-045, shall be assessed by qualified district personnel;

(2) Districts shall use multiple objective criteria for identification of students who are among the most highly capable. There is no single prescribed method for identification of students among the most highly capable; and

(3) Districts shall have a clearly defined and written assessment process.


enough already

not mc troll said...

as usual this thread is full of misinformation and lies up to katie may's chin to try to besmirch app/hcc.

no one is happy with the program and yet it is growing much faster than gen ed which is also growing.

as for app = apartheid = segregationist = hate. anyone i have spoke to would love more diversity in the program. why can't that happen with such noble representatives like tolley and blandford. yet all i have heard is cut it all. baby meet bathwater.

no caps

Anonymous said...

enough already, no, not at all:

http://www.k12.wa.us/equity/Rules.aspx

"While most of the requirements of this section remain unchanged, the revised
rules clarify that each school district and public charter school must, at least
annually, review course and program enrollment data disaggregated by sex,
race, limited-English proficiency (i.e., English language learners), and disability.
If a substantially disproportionate number of students who are members of a
protected class are enrolled (or not enrolled) in a particular course or program,
the school district or public charter school must take action to ensure that it is
not the result of discrimination, including in the identification and selection of
students, course and program enrollment criteria, tests and appraisal instruments, guidance materials, or educational scheduling or placement."

From Carolyn M. Callahan, gifted expert who has testified at in OCR lawsuits regarding gifted education discrimination:

http://giftededucationcommunicator.com/gec-winter-2015/the-courts-the-office-of-civil-rights-and-gifted-programming/

This is actually very serious. Blow it off at your own peril, School Board.

Poor Me

Melissa Westbrook said...

And here we go.

Poor Me, you may be an expert on gifted education. You certainly present yourself as one but since you don't sign your name, well, I'm just not sure. So I think most of us take your many pronouncements with a grain of salt.

No one outed you so I'm not deleting that comment. I would warn readers that we do not allow outing of anyone.

Also, Poor Me, words have meaning. Do not use "white supremacy" unless you mean it. If so, well, then we all know what you are trying to do which is to incite. I won't be having that here.

Also, to all readers - when you make comments about "the/this blog," I am always confused if you mean me or comments by readers. While this is a community forum, I represent the blog. Please be clear what you mean.

I can only continue to point out that the district - to my knowledge - has never been sued on HCC services. I think they believe they are firm ground on what they are doing, no matter how sad or how little it is or the diversity of the program.

Anonymous said...

FWIW and Poor Me appear, to me, to be the "Breitbart News" of the HCC program.

-SpSParent

Another Name said...

I want to hear more from Cap Hill on this issue:

"And the issue isn't really that we have an "underfunded" school system - we don't. The funding per student according to the NCES is much higher than all of the peer districts other than Anchorage (that peer group includes PDX, SF and Denver) and higher per head than most other developed nations. We have have a mis-funded district, but it isn't a resource issue."

Any chance we can have more information? Perhaps a blog post? We really need to start looking at expenditures.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Another Name, I can start a thread but the drill down is difficult. The district publishes a fairly macro-budget document.

I think it always important HOW money is spent. The district doesn't seem to realize/care how much their lack of transparency hurts their cause.

I also note the recent comments by some Sped parents who don't think more money is needed and challenge work being done by IAs. This is in direct contradiction to what the district is saying about state funding for Sped.

Anonymous said...

Melissa: "So I think most of us..."

I think you just answered your own question about who "this blog" means.

Poor Me

Anonymous said...

Keeping in mind there is a system of educational services in this city besides SPS, let's remember that many families with children of color who excel in school are invited to private school on scholarship or move out of the city before kindergarten.

If Poor Me/FWIW really cared about children of color getting the education they need and deserve, rather than worrying white children are getting more than they deserve, she would spend more time examining:
a) where are the gifted children of color attending school and why?
b) what educational experience do parents want for their HC-qualified children of color, and if HCC doesn't fit that desired experience, does that mean HC-qualified white children willing to drive across town for HCC should be denied this education?
c) Should we be scrambling to lure children of color back from private schools and into HCC so we can meet our benchmarks? Or should we be happy for those kids who are getting great advanced educational experiences via private school?

I think everyone wants to increase diversity in HCC, but if a parent would rather keep their child at their neighborhood school or private school for whatever personal reason, does this mean everyone else needs to change course because of how people interpret the limited data being shared?

Private Eyes

Anonymous said...

"I also note the recent comments by some Sped parents who don't think more money is needed and challenge work being done by IAs. This is in direct contradiction to what the district is saying about state funding for Sped."

I think I've been one of the parents who don't think more SPED money is needed...YET.

First I say lets have a clear picture of where each dollar is spent and the results. We all know the games SPS plays with SPED funding and the total lack of accountability for meaningful results and progress. I blame the school board for this never ending practice. I cringe at the thought of that group returning to the dais.

I'm not going to trash IAs but it's almost laughable if it wasn't so tragic the inappropriateness of how IAs are used in SPS.

SPED Parent

Anonymous said...

Ah, we are back to the 30% going priviate excuse again...yet with a new twist!

Now, the argument is adjusted to say that the talented children of color are being "lured" away (in kindergarten!) while (let's follow your argument to its conclusion) just a small proportion of talented white students get lured away (leaving 30% of talented NE students to populate SPS).

Not only is that a ridiculous argument on its face, OSPI has statistics on private school enrollment by demographics. The demographics in Seattle are majority white and the proportion in SPS are significantly lower (for whites).

BTW, since 30% go private, and they are disproportionately white, shouldn't HCC be disproportionately much less white?

Unless you are saying that the talented pool of students of color is just so small anyway.

(BTW, I have taught for 25 years and "really care" about all of my students and their families.)

Poor Me

Melissa Westbrook said...

Nope, I meant me and the readers. I think from the statement I was making, that's pretty clear.

Move on.

Anonymous said...

correction: NW, not NE

"The Northwest region currently has the highest concentration of the "district’s Advanced Learning/Highly Capable students (30%), while the Southwest region has the lowest concentration (6%)."

Poor Me

Anonymous said...

NW? It must be just a small handful of schools. Like Cascadia (MSDS), Ingraham (bus em in hoss) Loyal heights (snow white) Whittier (AKA Whiteier)JSMS (let them eat cake)

The rest of the schools just chug chug chug along singing why can't we be special too?


Ya Burped

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ya Burped, not kind nor note-worthy. You might also want to move along.

HCC Parent said...

KUOW has another article about Honors for All at Garfield high school. Zach DeWolfe appears to be pushing this model. I guess he will join Geary in breaking advanced learning without any indication that advanced learners are having their needs met.

Anonymous said...

Geary has become the Trump on the school board. Move on Geary it's ok to resign.



My2Cents


Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with Geary, and generally think she could temper how she talks about all the students she represents, but I don't see how she could ever be compared to Trump. She would never say people are wonderful and good one both sides/all sides of an issue when referring to HCC, and --more importantly--she is not at all racist. If you're saying she is divisive, I'll agree, but I don't think it's on purpose. I think she receives emails from people asking for improved neighborhood schools and people who want other HC options besides the cohort model. That is a tough nut to crack in a district that lets principals run their own show with no support, guidelines or rules for how to handle interventions and extensions. I think she is trying to be a voice for those families that wanted to stay at their neighborhood schools after Spectrum was dismantled and either stayed and aren't satisfied, left the district or went to HCC and have big regrets. They're out there!

Me Included

Anonymous said...

NW has 30% of the AL/HCC students, not NE. And it's not because of Cascadia. They're counting where the kids live not where they go to school. Plenty of kids go to Ingraham and Cascadia who do NOT live in NW Seattle.

And the 30% who go private isn't an excuse. It's a fact. If you care about where the missing kids are who should be in the neighborhood assignment schools, you can't JUST blame HCC for filtering them away. You also have to blame the option schools (which account for WAY more kids filtered away from neighborhood assignment schools than HCC does, WAY more). And you also have to blame private schools. That 30% (again) is also WAY more than HCC filters off. Plus there's homeschoolers. If you care about where the kids who AREN'T in neighborhood assignment schools are, there you go. The leading causes:
1. private school (30%!!!)
2. option schools (a large number, way bigger than HCC)
3. HCC (a little over 3,000 kids at all grade levels city-wide)
4. homeschool/unschool

That's where all the kids who are missing from neighborhood schools have ended up.

I loved Alec Cooper's idea of showing the opt-out rate for each school on the school climate survey. For some specific schools it is QUITE high. Why????

The Missing

Curious Cruncher said...

In 2016-17 there were 17,951 Seattle students in private school (1,364 of them African American). Here are the private schools Seattle's African American students are choosing to attend (name of school followed by number of African American students in 2016-17 according to OSPI):

Makkah Islamic School 100
Amazing Grace Christian School 76
St. Edwards 74
Hope Academy 67
Holy Names Academy 64
St. Therese 63
O’Dea 60
St. Matthew 58
Lakeside 51
Seattle Academy of Arts/Sciences 50
St. Paul 44
St. George 43
University Preparatory 42
Northwest School 41
Seattle Preparatory School 35
Bishop Blanchet 32
The Bush School 27
First Place 26
St. John 24
Seattle Amistad School 23
St. Joseph School 21
Hamlin Robinson 17
Seattle Nativity School 15
Alfajer School 14
Christ the King School 14
Fairview Christian 14
Hope Lutheran 14
Seattle Urban Academy 14
Lake Washington Girls Middle School 13
Bertschi 12
Concordia Lutheran 12
Epiphany School 12
The Valley School 12
Billings 11
Meridian 11
Giddens School 10
Seattle Classical Christian School 10
Our Lady of Guadalupe 9
Seattle Girls School 9
Villa Academy 9
Holy Family Bilingual Catholic 8
St. Alphonsus 8
Holy Rosary Elementary 6
Seattle Lutheran High School 6
St. Anne 6
Morningside Academy 5
North Seattle French School 5
Our Lady of Fatima 5
St. Benedict 5
Northwest Montessori 4
Our Lady of the Lake 4
Spruce Street 4
St. Catherine 4
Westside School 4
Kapka Cooperative 3
Pacific Crest Schools 3
Seattle Area German American School 3
Seattle Jewish Community School 3
University Cooperative School 3
West Seattle Montessori 3
Matheia School 2
Seattle Hebrew Academy 2
Seattle Waldorf School 2
Tilden School 2
University Child Development School 2
Academy for Precision Learning 1
Brightmont Academy 1
Dartmoor 1
Emerald City School 1
Laurel Academy 1
Perkins 1
Puget Sound Community School 1

I'm not sure what this tells us, but it's interesting to look at the list. The innuendo keeps coming up that this is where many of our city's gifted black students are in addition to the 60 in HCC and more than that in AL.

Anonymous said...

Blame? You're "blaming" private schools (or HCC or homeschoolers or...)? Blame suggests private schools have done something wrong. On the contrary, they seem to be doing something right to pull some 30% of Seattle students. Families choose private schools for many reasons - can't help but notice many of the private schools listed are religious.

nitpicker

Anonymous said...

Very Curious indeed! So, the rate of black private participation is not high. That seems to match observation, but is contrary to the HCC lamentation as to private skim rates. 7.5% Private school numbers of black students is about the same black representation as in the population. The white private population however, is vastly over represented in private schools (because it is so low in SPS) indicating that private schools have predominantly skimmed off white students. Those who excuse HCC demographics claim the the privates have taken ALL (or nearly all) the gifted black students (and presumably not taken gifted white students). The excuse maker's claim relies mathematically on the presumption that nearly ALL of the black kids skimmed into private schools are gifted, and NONE (or nearly none) of the white kids skimmed are gifted. In that very weird case, then the all white (and Asian) HCC demographics is a-ok. Is there any evidence for that? The private schools are full of dull white kids.... and ALL of Seattle's gifted black kids. What actual data do we have for this HCC claim.

Curious Recruncher

Anonymous said...

Back to my point: if bright students of color don't want to join the cohort, does that mean that should be the rule for everyone else? Does that mean we should make a new HC program in addition to what we have and ask that population to help design its location and pathway approach? Does that mean they have different priorities and we should honor those, while accepting others do as well? And, yes--what about TC, HW, and other highly sought after option schools? Lower diversity numbers. Do we care? Hmmm...why not? Isn't the claim that diversity is better for our students, makes them better humans?

Private Eyes

Melissa Westbrook said...

Private Eyes, good point. If diversity is the key, then it should apply to all schools.

Except, let's consider the high schools. I've been getting queries about high school boundaries and Lincoln. Should the district peel off kids in all directions to make a diverse Lincoln? Should kids from Garfield be put into a Lincoln boundary?

Curious Cruncher said...

I just don't understand how it can be harmful for all the students at the neighborhood assignment schools to be lacking the 3,000 or so HCC students, but no one cares about the 17,000 private school kids and thousands more option school kids that they're lacking??? Really? That's just weird.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that many people care that they are lacking 3,000 students, it's that those 3,000 students are not representative of their neighborhoods. I don't have the stats on Cascadia compared to its feeder schools, but North Seattle HCC likely is not far from representing the diversity of their neighborhoods, and I have heard it is more diverse than many neighborhood schools and option schools in north seattle, but from the cut-south there is a serious problem with HCC having an over representation of white students. So...what to do? What is the reason? People have been going round and round for years.

Broken Record

Anonymous said...

It is very tired FWIW. It might be a record for you with so many fake personas in one day. Poor Me and also Curious Recruncher. If you want to establish a fake persona you should at least be consistent. Now you are saying you have been teaching for 25+ years, but in previous posts you claim a different amount of years. As you so often say, Google and look it up. APP claims you are not a teacher and that is more believable at this point with your inconsistency.

Tired

Anonymous said...


" 8/24/17, 7:52 PM
Anonymous Curious Cruncher said...

I just don't understand how it can be harmful for all the students at the neighborhood assignment schools to be lacking the 3,000 or so HCC students, but no one cares about the 17,000 private school kids and thousands more option school kids that they're lacking??? Really? That's just weird. "

try to understand how my daughter felt when 1/3 of her classmates left for the HCC. we know we could have private tested her into the program, like many of her peers were, but she wanted to stay in the neighborhood and we wanted to support the local school and community, and the schools she has attended were able to differentiate to our satisfaction. not perfect, but as fairly as the special ed kids and the struggling students were treated.

we all felt that the cohort was a way to escape the challenges of a diverse, in many ways - not just racial, but socioeconomic and ability, student body. The loss of 1/3 of the students from her elementary school DID hurt her emotionally, in a loss of self-esteem and intellectually as it took all the high performers and the brighter kids out except for the ones whose parents value diversity.

the HCC hurts a lot of kids, even those in the programs. parents we know have pushed their kids into the cohort and the kids are unhappy to be away from friends in the area for school, they miss the diversity, they don't feel connected to their school because it is far away but the parents are so blinded by the obsession with college, starting about third grade, if even that late, that they don't see their children's pain at moving schools and abandoning friends.

no, the HCC is hurting many,many kids.

Sgt. Bilko

Anonymous said...

No school sends anything like a third of their students to hcc, but the ones that send the most are *less* diverse than Cascadia. For my children and many children the move to hcc *increased* the diversity they were exposed to.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

There's something wrong with your numbers Curious Cruncher. I personally know African American kids attending Seattle Country Day School last year. That school has a test requirement similar to HCC. Same for Evergreen which is also missing from your list.

Sgt. Bilko,
Maybe instead of allowing your child to stay at the neighborhood school you should have tried HCC. My daughter was in the same position - her friends all publicly tested into the program. She waited a year and also publicly tested into the program (I don't think you, personally, know how many publicly and how many privately test). We found the HCC classes to be far more diverse than the neighborhood school. I think you made the wrong decision if you feel your child suffered as a result but, that said, you should stand by it and not tear down the program or make mean-spirited pronouncements about other parents' motivations.

MissingData

Anonymous said...

"No school sends anything like a third of their students to hcc"

The Northwest region currently has the highest concentration of the "district’s Advanced Learning/Highly Capable students (30%).


math

Anonymous said...

Advanced learning is not the same as hcc. That is the old "spectrum" label.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

where's your data to disagreggate who went to spectrum v hcc? 30% is nw average/not school average. spectrum enrollment keeps decreasing. where's your data that no school loses 1/3 to hcc?

math

Anonymous said...

You can look at enrollment reports which show where kids from each school live, including Cascadia (and TM, but that is harder to parse since it doesn't separate by program). The school that sends the most is Bryant, at something like 12%, and some of those kids will have gone to Thornton Creek (but the data only shows where they live, not what school they originally attended).

The school district has also published numbers of AL vs hcc students in various reports, many of which are at dead links since the website redesign. There are many many more AL students. I agree the label is somewhat pointless. I don't know if it's people who were trying for HCC, or if they go to a school that requires it for walk to math or what. I think some middle schools still do something with it.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Where to start?

"...children's pain at moving schools and abandoning friends."
With SPS boundary redraws and program splits, imposed moves have been par for the course for many students. Yeah, moving schools and splitting from friends is difficult. Hopefully you have explained to your child that the choices of other families are just that, choices. Even without HCC, friends may switch schools, move out of state or across town...it's part of life.

"...we felt that the cohort was a way to escape the challenges of a diverse, in many ways - not just racial, but socioeconomic and ability..."
Lots of assumptions there. If the neighborhood school was able to provide appropriate academic challenge, don't you think families would prefer to stay in their neighborhood school? Many HCC qualified students are leaving schools (Bryant, View Ridge, Eckstein, Roosevelt, Ballard...) that are less diverse socioeconomically than the designated HCC pathway school.

"...parents we know have pushed their kids into the cohort...they don't see their children's pain.."
Wow, you know better than other parents what is best for their children? You know how those students feel, more than their own parents? Wow.

"...we know we could have private tested her into the program, like many of her peers were..."
And there it is. The tired canard about private testing.

getting old

Anonymous said...

"The school that sends the most is Bryant, at something like 12%"

There has been an increase in the districtwide percentage of students eligible for Advanced Learning over a three-year period, from 9.4% in 2015-16 to a projected 11.3% for 2017-18.

this is for hcc eligibility only but with district average now over 11% and spectrum enrollment declining, your numbers are likely outdated.

math

Anonymous said...

OSPI enrollment reports for public/private schools:

http://www.k12.wa.us/DataAdmin/enrollment.aspx

The reported categories are American Indian, Asian, Black (not just AA), Hispanic, White, and Other.

googled it

Anonymous said...

No, that's eligible for Advanced learning, not HCC. That is a larger number than are eligible for HCC. My numbers are from the 2015-2016 school year, so they are good.

-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just to note, you can only use private testing for appeals.

Anonymous said...

HCC takes anyone who qualifies, while private cherry picks their students and option schools like TC/HW have a mysterious lottery process (and terrible diversity stats.)

Many (not all) Bryant, Wedgwood and Viewridge teachers encourage students to move to HCC if they qualify. With commitment from parents, friendships endure regardless of where the kids go.

Is this about a sad little girl, or closing the opportunity gap? Rather than trashing HCC, let's focus on creating better scaffolding for students of color to progress and reach their potential. Many families of color would not want to send their students across town for HCC for various reasons, some cultural and some logistical, and it would be ideal to create other options. HW is a good example of another option, but it is difficult to get in there. Why didn't SPS make Cedar Park and advanced learning school like the Board directed? Anyone care about those NNE AL and gifted students? Anyone? Hello Pinkham, Geary...board...this one is on you: failure to care for those NNE advanced learners. Why would they want to go to Cascadia and make friends with hundreds of kids who won't attend their middle school? They might get into HW, Decatur is closed to them (big fail) and their neighborhood school teachers openly admit they can't differentiate four grade spans.

We need to be getting creative to cultivate opportunities for our eager students, not stifle their learning and/or jerk them around.

One person's perspective that parents force their child into HCC to avoid diversity is such a blanket generalization of parents across the city, it is not fair or true. Every school is different, and every child has different needs at different times. Many parents have one child in HCC and one or two in a neighborhood or option school. I know one family with two at a neighborhood school, one at private and one in HCC. The choices parents make are very personal.

Private Eyes

Curious Cruncher said...

My numbers were just from OSPI's private schools data. OSPI has zero black students (male or female) listed for Seattle Country Day for 2016-17. They have a large number of "other" students, though. So perhaps the kids you know are listed as "other," which I suppose would include mixed race and anyone who chose not to specify one of the choices given?

Evergreen is in Shoreline school district, so it wasn't included in my Seattle info search. Evergreen had 18 black students (plus 2 in preschool) last year.

The Missing said...

The district needs to work on scaffolding for sure. There is so much churn at so many schools. Families choosing to send their kids to one school and then finding that there is insufficient challenge there, so moving their kids to another school and then finding there is insufficient challenge there. Kids are moving schools A LOT. So many of the kids who eventually wash up on the shores of HCC have already tried their neighborhood assignment school and then maybe the Spectrum school in their zone and sometimes even an option school if they could get into one. Or various other permutations of that list. Some families try the neighborhood school and then switch to a STEM option school and then to language immersion school. All looking for more challenge for their kids. It does have a tragic human cost for kids whose friends leave them behind to go to another school or kids who leave their friends behind to go to another school. Obviously they can still socialize outside of school. But it's tough to watch your friends slowly drift out of your school BECAUSE YOUR SCHOOL IS NOT MEETING THEIR BASIC EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. But if you think 30% of the kids are going to HCC, you're delusional. They're leaving to move to Shoreline and West Seattle and Topeka and they're switching to the Spectrum school and the option school and the language immersion school and private school. Parents in Seattle are not happy with the public schools. Have you seen the survey numbers? Our schools suck. Why would you have to beg for walk to math? Why? They keep giving the kids tests. They know what level the kids are at. Here's an idea: give them math at the level they're at!!! Genius!!! Problem solved. But no.

Some families move from school to school to school because of housing instability. Others move in search of a school willing to teach kids something they DON'T already know at a pace not intended for sloths. Whatever the cause, the churn is bad for kids. Our district needs to improve.

Each school report card should list the opt-out rate for the school. How many families would be assigned there but have chosen a different school instead. That would really tell families something. And cut down on needless, wasteful, unnecessary churn.

Anonymous said...

HCC extraction absolutely damages the schools students were extracted from. Those schools experience the loss both socially and academically as the social capital of the HCC cohort is now used exclusively for the benefit of HCC. Social imbalance is created and neither school is reflective of the totality of the public experience. Those philosophically opposed to exclusionary tracking, as modeled by HCC, are faced with remaining at schools from which the most supported students have been removed. This affects the social,academic and pedagogic experience for the students not in the programme, in addition to the pain children feel when their friends, in some cases en masse,decamp for the "better experience." Other difficult realities include the obviousness of racial exclusivity and what that means for a supposedly equal society.

For those who like to point out that private schools extract students from schools too. That is correct, they do and they are just as damaging. Sgt. Bilko correctly states the perception that people chose the exclusionary program such as HCC as a way of avoiding the panoply of urban public school experiences, with their complex riches and challenges. In addition HCC serves no academic purpose as we know from the district's own reporting to the board, that students who qualify for HCC but remain at their non HCC school perform better than than who enrolled at HCC. Why are we continuing to facilitate this harmful folly?

For progress

Melissa Westbrook said...

The Missing, I agree on having an opt-out rate published. Then the Board could examine those numbers and query staff, both at the school and in the district, as well as current parents on why they think some kids in the neighborhood don't attend the school.

For progress, most districts have some kind of pull-out or separate gifted model. You can go check.

At least you are honest but with a flawed honesty. Why should kids have to stay at a school that doesn't serve their tested need? To help the school's test scores? To bring stability to classrooms? That's not their job.

And again, as we see from this district, the idea that all HCC kids leave their neighborhood schools is just - not - true. As well, there are still kids who test for Spectrum and yet they stay.

As for social issues, well, again, that's not any kid's job. It's part of life that we lose friends we make as children for all kinds of reasons and this is just one of them.

And while you may call it "racial exclusivity" (and it's not because there are many Asians in HCC), I'd call it the district's lack of will to find and place gifted kids of color.

I find it so telling that more people want ALL HCC kids to stay put rather than fix the program so we find all kids who need to be served.

Clearly, there's more to it than lack of diversity in HCC - it's keeping kids in place for many other reasons.

Anonymous said...

Public education is an insurance pool for society. Just as in health insurance and the affordable care act, you need a diverse pool to be successful and to spread the risk. Obamacare is an attempt to spread the risk.

HCC abstracts the low risk group into a separate pool, leaving the higher risk behind, thus weakening the benefit for society at large.

Concentrating on individual wishes over society as a whole, as far as public education, is concerned is short sighted. It's not entirely up to the individual. Everyone pays for public education and the choices made affect all. Your child is not an island.

The system has to work for everyone and not just those with the means or ambition to divert their child out of the mainstream and into the elite. These separate and unequal programs emerged as a response to court mandated integration. They need to be disbanded.

For progress

Anonymous said...

@for progress: what about option schools? Or do you only hate those schools with entrance requirements to be sure the kids swim rather than sink?

We chose HCC so our student will have access to more diversity and rigor.

Playing Field

Melissa Westbrook said...

For progress, HCC (formerly APP) did not emerge out of court ordered integration. Where do you get that?

And Playing Field makes good points - the district has created - largely by parent demand - many different kind of programs that take kids out of their neighborhood. Do we get rid of all of those as well?

I agree that public education is a common good but no, I don't agree that we measure that common good by every kid receiving the exact same education in the exact same way.

Anonymous said...

Option schools can be problematic sometimes as they can, in some cases, act as an opt out method as much as an opt in. They can also drain resorces from their nearby neighborhood schools. Initially designed in response to public demand for a more progressive experimental methodology and school culture, overtime they have become in some cases -not all- fiefdoms of the well connected and very different from the progressive bastions first envisaged. Some Option schools do deserve more intensive scrutiny in terms of academic practice and social participation.


Option schools, however, differ in major respect from HCC as they have no gate-keeping test. They are truly available to all in a way that HCC is not, and they have in general been much wore welcoming to under-served populations, such as our Native American, LGBT and special needs students than HCC. Overall most Option schools do provide an earned alternative place in our public system.


For progress

Anonymous said...

There was no court mandated integration in Seattle as Seattle voluntarily integrated. However the well documented history of school integration is that so called "gifted" programs emerged alongside it as a way to avoid its effects. Seattle is no different in this regard.


For progress

Anonymous said...

"In addition HCC serves no academic purpose as we know from the district's own reporting to the board, that students who qualify for HCC but remain at their non HCC school perform better than than who enrolled at HCC."

It's like a game of telephone tag. Your claim is morphing and misrepresenting the limited data presented to the Board.

I'm frankly too lazy to dig up that info, but remember the data showed a difference between math and language scores (numbers were based on **grade level** state standardized tests), with HCC enrolled students performing better in math, but not necessarily in language, compared with those HCC qualified students choosing to remain in their neighborhood schools. The data was also aggregated in a way that did not separate grade bands (elementary may have been lumped with middle school). Given the @%&* curriculum used for HCC LA/SS (a good LA/SS class was the exception in our experience), it's difficult to know how to interpret the data. Perhaps the HCC curriculum is in need of improvement! Ya think? Oh, that's right, there really is no curriculum.

Ultimately, the data left me wondering what schools are/were retaining the most HCC students, and did results differ between elementary and middle school. We have yet to see more detailed info.

remembering

Anonymous said...

For Progress,

Fallacy: "students who qualify for HCC but remain at their non HCC school perform better than than who enrolled at HCC"

Fact: HCC qualified students who remain at their neighborhood school are CURRENTLY taught and tested on the SAME level material. HCC qualified children who are enrolled in HCC are being taught accelerated material, but tested on material learned years ago thus a grade level disconnect. There's a disconnect in timing of learning vs. timing of testing for state tests. Obviously, memory plays a significant role in test performance for recalling facts and processes. Educators spiral curriculum to increase likelihood of learning becoming embedded in long-term memory storage. Teachers intensify test prep leading up to standardized tests to help performance. Logically, the gap in timing impacts test performance.

Fallacy: "Social capital is being used exclusively for the benefit of HCC cohort"

Fact: Have your heard Washington's Paramount Duty? Numerous HCC parents giving extensively of their time and professional expertise to benefit all WA students. Can you say you've done the same?

Fallacy: "Racial exclusivity" at HCC.

Fact: A composite demographic of SPS Advanced Learning was 68% white in 2015/16 and 65% in 2017/18 pre-lim estimate. If opposition to racial exclusivity were your true motive, your #1 target would be Loyal Heights Elementary at 80% white. There would be around 18 schools for you to excoriate first including Bryant Elementary, Salmon Bay K-8, Hamilton Middle School, Catherine Blaine K-8, Thornton Creek and Ballard High School.

School PercentWhite
Loyal Heights Elementary School 80.09
Whittier Elementary School 78.89
Bryant Elementary School 76.99
Salmon Bay K-8 School 76.19
Genesee Hill Elementary 75.63
West Woodland Elementary School 75.56
Hamilton International Middle School 74.88
Catharine Blaine K-8 School 74.66
Green Lake Elementary School 73.51
Thornton Creek Elementary School 73.32
Frantz Coe Elementary School 72.66
Ballard High School 72.62
North Beach Elementary School 72.43
Lawton Elementary School 72.07
Queen Anne Elementary 71.76
Eckstein Middle School 70.97
The Center School 70.74
Adams Elementary School 70.64

Source: OSPI School Demographics, 2015-16

Fallacy: Sgt. Bilko's claim of 1/3 of school leaving for HCC.

Fact: If you want credibility, don't align yourself with someone whose post is soaked in obvious propaganda. Anyone who's analyzed the district reports knows that no school contributes that high of a percentage. Not even close.

APP

Anonymous said...

why do people feel the need to denounce my perceptions and opinions? i have talked to at least one parent of every single student in my daughter's elementary school, and, yes, many had to resort to private testing.

I would actually explain how to do it if parents were interested. I think transparency and honesty about the HCC program is the best. How to get in, what it's all about, the history of the program as For progress laid out. I find it very disturbing when parents try to hide the fact they are in the program. I don't shame parents, I just hink the district has avery flawed approach to gifted education.

HCC is offered and parents have every right to use it, to private test, or, if they choose, to reject the program, as many parents with HC identified students have done.

I don't know if the program is bad for any one kid and I respect parents' decisions, but that doesn't mean I don't recognize the pain some children experience when moving away from friends. And yes it's sort of like moving across town except it isn't; it's moving into an exclusive(in the literal sense of the word) school that most of one's classmates are not allowed to attend.

Sgt. Bilko

Melissa Westbrook said...

Clearly, For Progress is another version of FWIW. It's kinda like trading cards - can we collect all the names? Luckily, this person doesn't alter his/her (but I'm betting her) writing style so it's easy to just start reading and then ignore.

I don't mind if people have arguments against HCC but c'mon, I'm with APP - it's propaganda, not fact.

Anonymous said...

Post above supposed to be addressed to Private Eyes, not For Progress.

Although, For Progress, you're incorrect that option schools are open to everyone. They're gate kept by geo zones and often have wait lists. Also, your post further up using IEP data to imply that HCC has few SPED students is ignorant of the process. It's harder to qualify for an IEP using a discrepancy model which many HCC students are subject to by the district despite the legality of this issue.

APP

Anonymous said...

AL/HCC score comparisons as presented to the Board in 2016:

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Friday%20Memos/2015-16/May%206/20160506_FridayMemo_2015-SBA-Results.pdf

remembering

Anonymous said...

"No news source outside of Breitbart would allow the slanderous statements regularly displayed here and no citizen reporter or journalist would disparage readers in one on one arguments." GreaseMonkey 8/9/2017

"People, call it bias if you like but I am pretty even-handed in terms of believing in gifted programs that are finding and serving ALL gifted students...

I challenge my readers and for those who either believe in their points and/or enjoy a spirited debate, they don't find me that scary." Melissa 8/9/2017

Ganging up on dissenting voices is a sign of desperation:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

Poor Me

Anonymous said...

So when one person uses five names to create the perception of ganging up on dissenting voices (pro-option and pro-HCC) then we should understand they are desperate?

Mahatma Wannabe

Anonymous said...

Seattle's gifted program (first named IPP, then APP, now HCC) originated from a 1974 University of Washington study of "highly precocious" preschool aged children.

It was soon obvious that we could not simply identify extraordinarily gifted young people and then abandon them.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10022

fact checker

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

the outing, the ridicule, the straw-person arguments, the name-calling. omg, the HCC people should just 'fess up to enjoying an elite program. they didn't make it, they don't control it; they should not be so defensive and ashamed to be part of it.

i think the program sucks, is bad for ALL kids, in or out of he cohort, but that doesn't mean i'm angry or jealous of parents or students in the program.

i think For Progress is showing a much more adult attitude than the program defenders. For Progress and myself are being called names, outed, dismissed, called propagandists and liars.

pretty dismal imo

Sgt. Bilko

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with FWIW. And so does most staff. If you think all dissenting opinion is from one person, no doubt that is why you claim "inconsistency". All the principals in the district can't just be wrong.

AL has definitely hurt my kid. At McClure we had a huge swath of kids who were "gifted". Since giftedness doesn't come in packages of 32, they got classes as low as 17 - just for them. They could "walk to math" but only with students of the same grade, wink-wink, same giftedness, oh and same ethnicity. For them in their giftedness - they couldn't be with even different ages - in middle school. So classes of 17 for them. The AL classes received both preferential class size, and class time. (had to make sure the gifted kids got all the good electives too). My kid's classes were often above 35 and close to 40, in order support those reduced sizes. There were 6 kids from the autism program. There was an IA for them - but only when there wasn't a tantrum somewhere happening in the building. There were often several students from the EBD program - let out for inclusion. And of course, ALL the resource room students - there were about 18 of them. All the school's disenfranchised minorities and ELL students were also clustered in my kid's class. So yeah. AL hurt my kid. And seriously. Does this concentration of minorities, disability, and ELL really help those kids? It exacerbates the "achievement gap". And just think about it. This is the same neighborhood where people rallied to kill off the alternative learning program for SPS students with substance and other problems. On QA, their $**t don't stink! Luckily, so far, not successful. Maybe it's changed, but from this blog the entitlement seems to have grown, not shrunk.

If AL didn't have such a negative impact on clustering people wouldn't oppose it. If the program was smaller - and not composed exclusive of third-basers, it would get support. We can all rally around supporting outliers - but not out-for-me exclusivity. The statues are coming down. Segregation hurts if you're on the bottom. Make no mistake.

XMcClure

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sgt Bilko, I can only say there are many exclusive groups in schools like music and sports. I know many kids find that equally hurtful to be left out.

Really? we don't out people here so please desist.

XMcClure, who are you talking to? It can't be me. I didn't say all the pushback was all one person but one person is trying to valiantly hide behind several names. Yes, I would agree the tone from staff has shifted from where it was several years back. What has happened, I don't know.

"They could "walk to math" but only with students of the same grade, wink-wink, same giftedness, oh and same ethnicity."

I call complete BS on that last part. If you have clear proof that your school only allowed kids of certain ethnic backgrounds to participate in Walk to Math, please provide it. Give me dates and times, teachers involved and I will indeed investigate and ask the Board to do so as well.

Sorry you don't like inclusion for Sped and ELL kids and think that minority kids aren't bright enough to be in your child's class. Or that's how it reads to me.

You need to watch that tone because if you are going to imply this is about racism, you'll need to do it to my face. You're not going to hide behind your anonymous computer and throw those kinds of accusations.

I'll be ending this thread by the end of tonight as it is - once again - becoming circular. All the other things I reported on in this thread and just one thing gets discussed. That's telling.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think we're done.

Fix AL

Melissa Westbrook said...

So Poor Me, I think you outed someone better than anything I did or did not do. Why some of you think it worthy of doing so is a mystery to me.

I don't need to insult anyone's intelligence if you think before you type or hit send.

We're done.