Friday, September 08, 2017

Friday Open Thread

Thank you for bringing the error to our attention, I have contacted Omar Vasquez about the violation of the inaccurate C-3 report and informed the campaign to correct the discrepancy.  Omar Vasquez agreed to resolve the issue. 


Micaiah Titus Ragins
Compliance Coordinator Washington Public Disclosure Commission

Advanced Learning referral window is open until September 22nd.

A great story from SPS about a five-decade(!) volunteer, LouAnne Rundall, who worked in the Highland Park Elementary library.

As Rundall explains, two years after beginning her library career as a paid assistant her position was eliminated for budget reasons. Rundall continued to work every day, from morning to afternoon, paid in memories of generations of children she has watched graduate and start careers and families of their own.
On the morning of the first day of school, Highland Park students, families, and staff flooded the school’s gymnasium to honor and surprise Rundall with news the school board would soon vote to rename their library in honor of her. That evening, all six board directors made it official. Now, each time she steps inside for another day of volunteering, she will be walking into the library that, rightfully, bears her name: the LouAnne Rundall Library. 
New York City has taken the step to provide a free lunch to any student who wants one. 
New York City’s public school system set an important national example this week when it made free lunch available to all of its 1.1 million students regardless of income level.
Three quarters of New York City schoolchildren had already qualified for free or reduced-price lunches. The new initiative reaches another 200,000 children, saving their families about $300 a year per child. These additional lunches are not expected to cost the city more money, thanks to the federal Community Eligibility Provision program, under which schools that offer free lunch and breakfast to all children are reimbursed based on students’ poverty level. 
The New York Magazine this week is their Education issue. I have not read any of these articles yet but plan to do so.  I note there is an article about Michigan schools - that's Betsy DeVille's home state.  She was busy this week trying to undo protections created under the Obama administration under Title IX.  From the Huffington Post:
She did not announce any large policy changes to Title IX other than implying that the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter would be rescinded when she told the crowd “the era of rule by letter” has ended. 

The Secretary of Education repeatedly discussed the rights of not only survivors of sexual assault, but also those who have been “wrongly accused” of sexual misconduct.

In the past six months DeVos rescinded protections for transgender students and made the investigation process for college sexual assault less transparent, while also threatening to cut resources and funding.
 In advance of the City's ban next year on straws, did you get your reusable freebie from Starbucks?  I did.

I attended a great conversation last night at Town Hall between writer Sherman Alexie and writer Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snickett) on Handler's new novel,  All the Dirty Parts.  From Amazon;
All The Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world. "There are love stories galore," Cole tells us, "This isn't that. The story I'm typing is all the dirty parts."
It was a frank and funny discussion about teens and sexuality.  I'll have a thread on that soon.

What's on your mind?

83 comments:

Lynn said...

I read this recent Education Week article Minority Students Still Missing Out on Special Education, New Analysis Says.

Here's an Op-Ed the researchers wrote for the New York Times on the same topic in 2015.

Anonymous said...

SBAC scores from last year's testing were released yesterday statewide. No surprise: SPS did not trumpet them. OSPI did a release bemoaning them and the Seattle Times did an article trying to put the best face on the results with the take of "little movement". Yes, the plusses and minuses were largely within the statistical error range, but almost universally scores went down and the achievement gap went nowhere in terms of improvement.

We will be doing a lot of student assignment plan and HCC service placement arguing on this blog in the coming months. I hope people get as impassioned around 1) the use of SBAC 2) the scores of SBAC and most importantly 3) the kids in our system who continue to need so much more and so much different than what public schools can/will provide at this point in time.

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

We are looking at online English/LA course options for our high school senior. I have seen Red Comet mentioned a few times in posts recently. Does anyone have any experience with Red Comet? How about BYU teacher-led online courses? Any feedback is appreciated.

Senior Mom

Anonymous said...

Fire alarm at Garfield, classes have been canceled. Hope there wasn't a real fire!

-Garmama

Anonymous said...

The roof caught on fire!
- Garfield mom

Anonymous said...

This was a real fire. People had been smelling gas since first thing in the MORNING, and dense smoke was billowing into the 3rd floor classrooms by 4th period, around 1:15. All this BEFORE any fire alarms went off. Once the fire alarms went off, it still took ages to clear the classrooms and building, and kids were inhaling chemical-smelling smoke and coughing a LOT. Then kids were left on the football field for an hour and a half before finally being sent home.

This was much more than an "inconvenience," as Garfield puts it on its website. This was a DANGER. Again, fire alarms failed to go off in a timely fashion, and people had been smelling GAS since 1st period. A teacher came into my student's classroom during first period to tell the other teacher that he/she smelled gas. Still, nothing was done about the gas smell until all the smoke in the 3rd floor classrooms well past mid-day.

They found asbestos, as well, in the roof, which as "contained." One can only hope the smoke did not release asbestos fumes into those classrooms. If there was a gas leak somewhere in the building, it doesn't bear thinking of.

Does Garfield change its fire alarms/batteries regularly? Do other SPS schools? Why did everyone wait so long before doing anything, and WHY didn't the fire alarms go off earlier, when kids had been seeing and smelling smoke for so long?

Some investigation is in order. This is clearly not a safe situation, particularly in a school, and particularly in an overcrowded one. As a parent, this just totally freaks me out.

Anonymous said...

Link to article about the repair to Garfield's roof and discovery of asbestos. Clearly something went very awry.

http://www.madisonparktimes.com/Content/Schools-Youths/Kids-In-Motion/Article/Garfield-High-School-roof-project-on-schedule/5/5/30925

Also forgot to sign my name to post above.

-Alarmed parent


Anonymous said...

Does that have anything to do with football well then if not nothing will come of it. Garfield High School tutored a single student with affinity for playing sports but they don't have math classes for 70-plus kids.

Overheard at Washington Middle School in the combined Scholars HCC social studies class is HCC segregation?

APPalling

Anonymous said...

@APPalling - Could you please explain your comment above regarding HCC segregation? What do you mean and did you hear this directly or was it relayed to you by someone else? Thanks for clarifying.
-NP

Anonymous said...

A gas leak wouldn't necessarily trigger a fire alarm. Some buildings have gas alarms -
others don't. Puget Sound Electric and common sense say leave the building if you smell gas.
-NP

Jet City mom said...

I am horrified they did not immediately evacuate the building, What were they thinking?

https://pse.com/safety/NaturalGasSafety/Pages/Detect-a-Leak.aspx

Anonymous said...

History tells us that if the district has any guidelines or procedures in place to deal with these situations, Garfield will have flouted them.....

Seriously though, this sounds like a disaster narrowly averted. Just consider the recent gas explosions in Greenwood and North Bend. The North Bend explosion was related to construction going on in the building but fortunately occurred at 4am. When you consider a school full of kids in the middle of the day....... For Garfield to call this an "inconvenience" seems pretty arrogant.

-JustSaying

Anonymous said...

The HCC segregation question was reported by a WMS student in a joint HCC for all class.

APPalling

Anonymous said...

To be clear, a teacher thought he/she smelled gas in the morning, and was told to tell the main office by another teacher, but there was no confirmed leak (that we know of). Nevertheless, as JustSaying said above, even the mere suspicion of gas should have cleared that entire school, given the recent disasters in our area. The afternoon fire may have been related or unrelated to that smell, but the combination of the two makes the blood run cold.

It's hard to trust that my child's school can keep its students safe. Especially given the severe overcrowding in that building. It's TOTALLY dangerous. Possible gas leaks and mysterious fires bear immediate investigating in this kind of environment - an overcrowded school full of kids.

It may have been arson that started the roof fire. My child says that Garfield kids get out on the roof all the time, through a door that's too often left unlocked. A careless cigarette butt or match could have started it, given how dry it is. It's scary.

Two things stand out to me: the fact that the building was not cleared IMMEDIATELY after gas was even remotely suspected, and the fact that the fire alarms did not go off until (literally) smoke had filled the upper story classrooms.

Somebody has to go in there and make sure the fire alarms are functional, the asbestos is contained, and there are no gas leaks, before students go back on Monday. If anyone knows who parents should write to about this, it would be appreciated.

-alarmed parent

Anonymous said...

My child's high school teacher talked to the class about "HCC privilege." My child did not feel privileged to be in his class. Unfortunately, it's

nothing new

Melissa Westbrook said...

Between Garfield fire/gas event and this talk of HCC privilege, not a great start to the year.

Something - literally - is in the air.

Anonymous said...

My - a GHS senior who has been in HCC since 2nd grade - participates in the discussion about privilege. There is a lot of thinking and talking about privilege among GHS' very vocal and well-informed student body. In my experience, the students are ahead of their parents in owning up to the issue. Examining privilege is not threatening to HCC students. We do them a disservice by assuming that it is or suggesting to them that it should be.

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

My HCC child also had good discussions about white privilege in her classes. However, the discussion was about white privilege, not HCC privilege.

-There'sTheRub

Anonymous said...

Is that like SPED privilege? I thought SPS was supposed to educate all the students.
Privileged

Anonymous said...

All the animosity towards HCC is wrong. The district is doing the best they can to economically educate the gifted population.

Putting single-subject gifted and eliminating the achievement requirements would make HCC schools as expensive per student as some very highly impacted schools.

They do the math downtown and asynchronous and low achieving gifted students are never going to be allowed into the cohort.

trolley track

Anonymous said...

Ideally, there would be two classes of HC.

The asynchronous and low achieving(too low for the cohort) could have the HC designation for use in their neighborhood school only.

Thus keeping the cohorted students all working at a similar pace for maximum efficiency.

The non-cohorted HC students could then expect service locally.

trolley track

Anonymous said...

Is aviation high school completely option? What about Kirkland's International Acadamy or Bellevue International? Option or neighborhood? Do we have any amazing option high schools gear towards AL students or scientists?

Reimagining

Anonymous said...

Can anyone confirm that all sophomores at Garfield are taking AP World History? My sophomore is convinced that's the case, she isn't into Social Sciences, so she might have preferred just a "regular" class.
-Garmama

Anonymous said...

"However, the discussion was about white privilege, not HCC privilege."

Intersectionality

Anonymous said...

Our HCC cohort was way less white than our Gen Ed classes. I've stated this before for those who know all about HCC but have never sat in a class. In one advanced learning class we attended my kid was one of 3 white kids in a class of 15 kids. I realize factual empirical experiences do not TRUMP memes in today's world but thought I would hopelessly weigh in anyway.

-There'sTheRub

Melissa Westbrook said...

Cleveland STEM is an Option school.

Anonymous said...

"I realize factual empirical experiences do not TRUMP memes."

What trumps memes is OPSI data. Many SPS schools are segregated by race and income.
Compared to them HCC might seem "diverse".

However, HCC is not diverse by any means, particularly in terms of FRL, ELL, SPED or historically underrepresented populations.

Intersectionality

MLK Gifted said...

@Intersectionality:

Using 2016-17 numbers, there are 36,410 white students registered and attending school in Seattle.
25,289 of them attend public schools and 11,121 of them attend private schools. All 36,410 of those white students have the same amount of white privilege. They have varying degrees of other kinds of privilege (class, sexual orientation, sex, ability, gender, happy home life, etc.) But all the white kids have the same whiteness-based privilege. Only 2,610 white students are in Seattle's gifted program. And they're not any more white than the other 33,800 white kids.


All 36,410 white kids in this city's schools have the same amount of white privilege, not just the 2,610 in the gifted program. If it's their whiteness that is the problem, I don't really see how it matters which school they're going to or what programs they're participating in. These 36,410 white kids are going to be white no matter what school they go to. Being in one program or another doesn't change the amount of whiteness-based privilege they have.

Anonymous said...

That's why it's called intersectionality.

Look at the Heat Maps for HCC. There is Venn Diagram
where white privilege intersects. SES and parent educational
attainment are peculiar advantages to HCC.

Intersectionality

Anonymous said...

Intersectionality, genetics and inherited characteristics mean that most gifted children have parents who are gifted themselves or close to it. A high percentage of gifted adults have earned advanced degrees and/or earn high incomes in professional jobs, computer or technical jobs (esp here in the Seattle area). So it's natural to expect that gifted kids come from parents who are highly educated and/or wealthy. It's not a conspiracy or discrimination, it's simply based on their parents' achievements based on their high level of intellectual talent.

This is the same reason that there are many incredibly smart Asian kids here in Western Washington. Most of their parents came here due to being hired by computer and other companies since they were some of the smartest individuals in all of China, India, Pakistan, etc.

All children in SPS should be educated at their level, whether that is average, above average or behind average. Most (if not all) HCC parents support giving kids who need help extra supports. We simply want an education for our own kids at an appropriate level - and we are willing to accept large classes, substandard buildings, almost non-existent playgrounds, etc. in order to get that.

Momof2

Anonymous said...

Momof2--what you just described is one of the reasons they call the privilege and segregated school system problems systemic. People are looking for ways to brake the pattern and lift up students who don't have the support at home you describe. It is important everyone work towards advancing all students, and some need way more help to get out of a cycle of poverty and limited opportunities because of the inherent bias society holds against them.

Open Mind

Anonymous said...

>>>In one advanced learning class we attended my kid was one of 3 white kids in a class of 15 kids.

15 kids in a class? This is the HCC privilege that I want. 15 kids in my kid's "advanced learning " class, squeezing all the regulars into 40 kids to a class. We deserve it, we're smarter. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. (And btw, you didn't mention the number of African American. You can say the word zero.)

Advanced Parent

Anonymous said...

Of course all kids should be educated at their level, that is pretty obvious. It's the question of grouping. When is it appropriate to create a self-contained program and for which kids?

Is it the best for all the students in the district to have only one group(HC students)be given the choices HC kids receive of the cohort or their assigned school?

What, if any, are the ill effects pf the cohort on kids in it and out of it?

I know all about the studies of leadership arising in classrooms when the gifted are removed, but is that really the experience in our schools?

Or do kids feel inferior as their peers and friends leave for what everyone knows is an "advanced" program?

Do kids in the HCC really get a better overall education in the absence of struggling, below grade level, single subject gifted, gifted but not able to pass the achievement portion, SpEd kids; i.e. all the kids not in the HCC?

Do HC qualified students who stay in their regular assigned schools (and there are several thousand of these students) fair better in the long run, say in college admissions and college graduation?

What about psychologically? Is the distinction between HCC and the rest of district making the HCC students feel bad about themselves and guilty?

Every teacher has an opinion about the HC program and they unconsciously or consciously transmit their feeling to their students.

Does the district offer any guidance on talking to students about what the program is and why students enter it?

It seems we need some daylighting on the whole program. Some transparency and airing of opinions among SPS teachers and other staff in particular.

The district also needs to spell out clearly why we have a program designed as it is. It's an SPS original, nobody in the US has a program like ours in terms of criteria for admission and size of a cohort relative to total district population.

Why can't the AL department find the time to hold a few Q and A meetings, issue some papers explaining how they came to their decisions in operating the HC program, and give us their vision for the future of gifted ed in SPS?

Are they too busy to even explain they are too busy??

want answers

Fact Checker said...

"and there are several thousand of these students"--> Nope. Only 3000 or so HC qualified students in the district total.

Anonymous said...

A class of 15 kids? That must be an anomaly, as my kids have routinely been in AL/HC classes at or above the contractual limit - through upper elementary and into high school. I think the largest class was just over 40 students.

reality check

Anonymous said...

Oh c'mon, Advanced Parent. 15 kids in a class is not representative of HCC classes and you know it. At Hamilton, my child's HCC classes were ALWAYS the most crowded, with teachers having to agree to the above-contract numbers. Non-HCC classes? Much less crowded. Like a PE class of under 10 kids.

My child's 5th grade class at the neighborhood school had 18 kids, too.

bunk

Anonymous said...

The question that I would like answered by the Advanced Learning people is this:

How many additional kids would be eligible for the highly capable program if the district obeyed Washington law and admitted single subject gifted and how many more would be admitted if they discontinued te unconscionable practice of requiring very high achievement scores?

Again, the AL dept has that data in hand and chooses to hide it from the public, the owners of the school district.

I know people on this blog have used public records laws to obtain info, would this kind of data be something one could obtain through disclosure requests?

Also, what are the numbers for HC in and out of the cohort? I thought we had almost 5k in the program and 1300 or so not in the cohort.

2e myself

Anonymous said...

@ want answers, answers are nice, but we don't need leading questions to get there. Here are some additional thoughts on some of your seemingly biased questions:

Is it the best for all the students in the district to have only one group(HC students)be given the choices HC kids receive of the cohort or their assigned school?
This depends, entirely, on whether or not appropriate services can be delivered everywhere or only in a few locations. If teachers are overwhelmed and unable or unwilling to provide seriously advanced work for HC students, in addition to providing appropriate services to all the other levels of students in the class, then yes, it's best for everyone if the HC students leave for schools that can better meet their needs. This allows teachers more time to focus on their non-HCC students. Everyone can get instruction more appropriate to their current level, learning style, pace, etc.

What, if any, are the ill effects of the cohort on kids in it and out of it?
And how about what are the positive effects on both groups, too? Because there ARE positive effects for those in and out.

I know all about the studies of leadership arising in classrooms when the gifted are removed, but is that really the experience in our schools?
Can't we just go with the research on this one? Expecting SPS to do a rigorous, scientifically valid study of this is not reasonable. Let's stick with evidence-based policy, as opposed to feeling-based policy.
And do you really think that teachers are seeing big leadership voids in classrooms because HC students are not there? These HC students who are gone are those at the 98th percentile and above. There's plenty of brain power still in our GE settings, and students of all cognitive abilities can have great leadership skills. In fact, I'd argue that many of those 99th percentile kids aren't really the leadership type anyway.

Or do kids feel inferior as their peers and friends leave for what everyone knows is an "advanced" program?
You could flip this a couple ways: Do HC kids feel inferior (or depressed, or...) as their GE peers and friends (if they have any) make fun of them for being advanced and not relating to them well? Or, do GE kids feel empowered when their HC peers and friends leave, since they have new opportunities to shine academically?

Do kids in the HCC really get a better overall education in the absence of struggling, below grade level, single subject gifted, gifted but not able to pass the achievement portion, SpEd kids; i.e. all the kids not in the HCC?

Do HC qualified students who stay in their regular assigned schools (and there are several thousand of these students) fair [sic] better in the long run, say in college admissions and college graduation?
For one, your numbers are off. But more importantly, the outcomes are meaningless without understanding WHY some HCC students stay at their neighborhood schools. In nearly all cases, I suspect it's because they are getting their needs met somehow--but likely NOT through the school. Homeschooling, online classes, enrichment, parental instruction, summer programs...you name it, they all come into play. Parents do what they can to get their kids' needs met, and sometimes it's easier to do it while sending your kid to the local school instead of busing them to HCC. And for kids who are advanced beyond the 1-2 years of HCC, what's the point in sending them if you're already going to have to supplement?

(continued)

Anonymous said...

(continued)

What about psychologically? Is the distinction between HCC and the rest of district making the HCC students feel bad about themselves and guilty?
It's not the DISTINCTION that makes them feel bad, because they already KNOW they are different. It's the constant HCC-bashing by parents, teachers, administrators, and now, apparently, GE students, that make HCC students feel bad. But undoing HCC doesn't make them any less different, just more underserved.

It seems we need some daylighting on the whole program. Some transparency and airing of opinions among SPS teachers and other staff in particular.
"Daylighting" implies there's some sneaky stuff going on, doesn't it? And airing of opinions is quite clear by SPS teachers and other staff already, particularly those who are philosophically opposed to gifted ed--or the very notion of academic giftedness. If you ask me, we need less in the way of opinion, and more best practices, fidelity of implementation, etc.

The district also needs to spell out clearly why we have a program designed as it is. It's an SPS original, nobody in the US has a program like ours in terms of criteria for admission and size of a cohort relative to total district population.
I don't think that's true. Someone posted stats from nearby districts and they had higher percentages in their gifted programs.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

@ 2e myself, WA state law does not require the district to admit single subject gifted.

As to requiring very high achievement scores, it's a fit with the nature of the services provided. The services and the population served need to be in alignment. Our program, for better or worse, is all about providing services 1-2 years ahead, so students need to be high achieving to be ready for that leap.

Part of me would love to instead see a program that is focused on cognitively gifted students, regardless of achievement. Those are the students most likely to need something different, and most likely to need a cohort that relates to them. We would need to raise the cognitive bar, though, and would need to switch to something more like IQ scores than CogAT scores. I don't think there's any way the CogAT can reliably distinguish between someone at the 98th percentile and someone at the 99th, and if we were going to have a program focused exclusively on those cognitive outliers (regardless of performance), it should be 99+.

As for availability of those data, I don't think the district has them as you said. Those who don't meet the achievement cut-offs aren't given the cognitive testing, so we don't know how many would qualify if the achievement bar were lowered.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

"WA state law does not require the district to admit single subject gifted"

Completely untrue.

WAC 392-170-035
“…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.”

Truthout

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

Maybe disAPP can read a statute!

hope so

Anonymous said...

SPS is clearly keeping deserving students from receiving HC status in violation of WA law.

I understand that it is cheaper but so is warehousing SpEd students and they don't do that. Do they?

Money,money,monry.

Who decides what's fair? I guess Mr. Nyland.

plane

Anonymous said...

Districts are supposed to SERVE single domain students, not serve them in the same way they serve dual domain students. They will tell you they are doing that now with "differentiation." They will also tell HCC parents that is what they will do in home schools without the cohort. Walk to math and walk to reading should be standard at all elementary schools, and not just "deeper." There are so many of these students. Different kids need different things.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

@Momof2

"So it's natural to expect that gifted kids come from parents who are highly educated and/or wealthy."

The opinion you just gave is the the definition of eugenics, not giftedness.

https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/timely-topics/ensuring-diverse-learner-participation-gifted-0

State laws were enacted in order to keep your ill-information and point-of-view from being acceptable in HC programs.

WAC 392-170-035 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
WAC 392-170-036."

Truthout












Anonymous said...

"Districts are supposed to SERVE single domain students, not serve them in the same way they serve dual domain students."

They are supposed to SERVE them after the IDENTIFY them. You forgot to add that step.

SPS is not even identifying them yet.

Truthout

Anonymous said...

@sleeper,

If the district refuses to give them HC status, in violation of state law, how can schools be persuaded to serve them? What if they need two years ahead in math or LA at their assigned school?

Having HC status confers rights under the law and SPS violates the law by denying many, maybe thousands, of students what the State of Washington has ordered SPS and all districts to provide.

The law is the law, SPS has no special waiver to exempt "specific domain" students.

It's flagrant, it's willful and somebody needs to be held accountable and I agree it's Supt. Nyland!

2E too

Anonymous said...

Look 2E too,

It's dollars. Can you see the district dealing with a school like Whittier(just an example, they produce a fair amount of HC kids).

How the heck are they going to manage kids one year ahead in math and two ahead in LA and kids who are be below grade level in LA and three ahead in math, and have kids like that in every grade!

This would be much more challenging and require much more coordination than just illegally excluding asynchronous students, requiring very high achievement scores and then warehousing the cohort where ever there's room.

real World

Anonymous said...

Actually I went and read the whole thing, and it seems to offer even less protection than I thought. There are "or"s all over the place, making these just suggestions. "Specific abilities" does not equal single domain abilities, and since we can assume the writers know the terms single domain, we can assume they did not use it on purpose, and meant this as one of many suggestions for how to identify those students. It also says students are found within all classes, but it does not say at the same rate within all classes, so no particular protection there.

I still think there should be walk to math and walk to reading at every single elementary school, no matter what the law says. We are not serving students who need it. Kids are different.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...


WAC 392-170-035
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.

There's the whole thing and the part I find interesting is this:

"significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments."

So more law breaking at SP by not "compar[ing]" academic abilities "with others of their age, experiences, or environments."

So apparently at Bryant, a school with a high percentage of students going into HC, the standard should be different than a school currently having no HC qualified students.

As for the interpretation of:

"Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain."

Looks clear as day(a smokeless one anyways) that the law defines highly capable to include these students mentioned in the statute. Why else would one of only three sentences that comprises the entire statute mention them? To exclude them?

Come On

Anonymous said...

No, look at the "or" there. That means these kids may be identified in many ways- advanced compared to EITHER their age OR environment OR experiences. Advanced just for age is fine.

It suggests a broader net(functionally my guess is this means teacher recs), but does not mandate it.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Believe me I wish there were more protections and accountability for highly capable programs. I really, really wish walk to was mandated. But conjunctions do a lot of work in statutes.

-sleeper

seattle citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle citizen said...

Betsy DeVos, not Deville, though I believe she and Cruella Deville are related.

Anonymous said...

@sleeoer

The words do matter and you seem to have missed the word "others"- meaning other students.
So it's compared to "other" students of the same age, or experiences or environment.

So for example, in a population of ELL students from Somalia, they would have a shared experience and environment and should be represented in the HC program by members of THAT group "who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels".

Simple Simon

Anonymous said...

Yes, conjunctions. The fact that the law describes, in very general terms, who can be considered highly capable, does not mean anyone who fits those general characteristics is entitled to any particular service. If it did, that would mean my artistically gifted student should be receiving highly capable services, which is silly.

The RCW is very clear that districts have the leeway to create their programs and define their eligibility in various ways, within certain parameters.

BTW, it's so nice to be called a 'liar" and "word twister" for exercising my critical thinking skills. You're free to disagree, but how about you grow up a little and engage in constructive discussion?

Even more
DisAPPointed

funny that said...

Seems like everyone without skin in the game,i.e. a kid in HHC, comes to the conclusion that Seattle Schools in breaking the law?

Hydro Joe said...

But apparently no one with standing to sue? Or the time to write a letter to the board explaining the situation? Weird.

Anonymous said...

The statute clearly intended for highly capable artists to receive services.

"Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivity within a specific domain."

You may not want your kid to be served but I want highly capable musicians, artists, playwrights, coders, etc. to receive the challenges they need to reach towards their potential.

Believe it not, the people in Olympia who wrote this got lots of advice from people like Mr. Martin from the SPS AL dept. and, as our beloved leader says frequently, believe me, it's going to court and we'll let some actual lawyers interpret the law.

SPS will probably be the test case as it the biggest district in Washington.

If only someone would find a Somalian family with a kid who would qualify if SPS followed the law...

pro bono

Anonymous said...

@Hydro,

Nobody cares about those kids. It's way to expensive to give ELL students HC accommodations.

Or under performing yet highly gifted children.

Under the bus for them.

Thanks SPS.

2 bad

Mom3 said...

Not to mention, the district will not

"compare[d] with others of their age, experiences, or environments."

They do compare by others of their age, as required, but take into account nothing in regards to experiences or environments. 33% is an E.

One could argue that students with non-college parents should be compered with each other exclusive of college educated parents.

One could also argue that students of parents with advanced degrees be in their own category and compared with each other and only the most advanced in that group should be in the HC program.

Absurd?

Then why is it in the statute? I've seen the posts here by FWIW about norming the CoGAT and it sounds similar.

Anybody?

Anonymous said...

Right, compared with others of their age OR...

That's what I meant by advanced for age. Scoring high compared to age is...fine. Enough for the law.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...


WAC 392-170-080
Educational program for highly capable students.
Each student identified as a highly capable student shall be provided educational opportunities which take into account such student's unique needs and capabilities. Such program shall recognize the limits of the resources provided by the state and the program options available to the district, including programs in adjoining districts and public institutions of higher education. Districts shall keep on file a description of the educational programs provided for students selected.

This clause is why nobody sues:

"Such program shall recognize the limits of the resources provided by the state..."

Affordability.

It's just too darn expensive to teach a gifted program with anybody who can't work two grades ahead.

No matter how gifted that child is, if they don't speak english well enough, or have deficiency in one area, or a disability that precludes high achievement, or life experience that precludes high achievement, then no service because SPS has no money for them.

Since SPS never has enough money, those kids will lose out on their opportunity forever, I guess.

Seems inequitable but I forgot, equity is a buzzword, an aspiration for when the schools are flush with cash.

From those old commercial for the UNCF,

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

oregon native

Anonymous said...

grammar is the key here;

compared with others of their age.

That means the district can't compare red-shirted kids to non-red-shirted

,experience

that means the district can't compare students with different experiences

,environments

that means the district can't compare students coming from different environments

enough with obfuscation.

2E too

Hydro Joe said...

You forgot about the OR. You list three things above, but the state only requires that they look at one of them. And the CogAT is age-normed, not grade-normed. So it doesn't compare red-shirted kids to non-red-shirted kids. In fact, the red-shirted kids are at a disadvantage because, having been held back, they haven't had a chance to learn as much (for their age) as non-red-shirted kids. In fact, several of the old studies on high-IQ kids specifically looked for kids who were very young age-wise for their cohorts AND doing very well because the researchers found that that was a good way to find gifted kids. Kids who are doing very well compared to children of their age.

Hydro Joe said...

Just like a good way to find gifted ELL students is to look for ELL students who are learning English faster than expected. Glad to see the district doing this now.

Anonymous said...

Using local norms is only appropriate when there are different instructional opportunities available, reflective of the different needs. In other words, if the only intervention available is more of an achievement-based program (e.g., working at a higher grade level) rather than a talent development approach, then you select based on academic readiness, not potential.

As Lohman (CogAT developer, and advocate for local norms) himself says:
Is the goal to identify and serve those students who demonstrate unusually high levels of academic ability and accomplishment? If so, then traditional procedures of identifying and serving academically "gifted" students can be used. Poor and minority students will be included in this group, although not at a level that approaches their representation in the population. Attempts to achieve greater minority representation by using nonverbal tests and other measures that are not good measures of scholastic aptitude will indeed include more ELL students in the program. Unfortunately, these will not in general be the most academically promising students. On the other hand, if the goal is to identify the most academically talented students in underrepresented populations regardless of current levels of academic attainment, then procedures like those outlined in this paper [i.e., the use of local norms] will be more successful. However, options for educational placement and programming will need to be much more diverse than is currently the case. That's because even when evaluating students by "opportunity to learn" and making identification within groups, instructional placements should be primarily on the basis of accomplishments to date. In other words, you can use local norms to identify potentially gifted students from underrepresented groups, but you don't then throw them into a program designed for students performing at the 98th or 99th percentile. As Lohman (CogAT developer, and advocate for local norms) himself says:
Is the goal to identify and serve those students who demonstrate unusually high levels of academic ability and accomplishment? If so, then traditional procedures of identifying and serving academically "gifted" students can be used. Poor and minority students will be included in this group, although not at a level that approaches their representation in the population. Attempts to achieve greater minority representation by using nonverbal tests and other measures that are not good measures of scholastic aptitude will indeed include more ELL students in the program. Unfortunately, these will not in general be the most academically promising students. On the other hand, if the goal is to identify the most academically talented students in underrepresented populations regardless of current levels of academic attainment, then procedures like those outlined in this paper [i.e., the use of local norms] will be more successful. However, options for educational placement and programming will need to be much more diverse than is currently the case. That's because even when evaluating students by "opportunity to learn" and making identification within groups, instructional placements should be primarily on the basis of accomplishments to date. In other words, you can use local norms to identify potentially gifted students from underrepresented groups, but you don't then throw them into a program designed for students performing at the 98th or 99th percentile.

I'm perfectly fine with throwing out our HCC program and starting over, making it a true gifted program--with a curriculum and pacing more in line with the needs of 99th percentile IQ kids. But with the program we have now, I don't see it working.

DisAPP

Anonymous said...

MLK gifted summed up what I have been thinking for a long time when I hear about "white privilege". Totally agree. Just being white BTW does not mean you have educational, economic, able bodied, family support and many other privileges. Why don't teachers teach about all types of privilege? Only talking about "white privilege" really is a disservice to all. In college the classes I took as a social science major addressed race, class, gender, etc. We grew up dirt poor with many challenges. My own "white" brother was identified as "gifted" several years after acting out in 3rd grade and being put in special ed for two years. He faced alot of challenges in school BTW the entire way through high school.

MLK gifted stated: "All 36,410 of those white students have the same amount of white privilege. They have varying degrees of other kinds of privilege (class, sexual orientation, sex, ability, gender, happy home life, etc.) But all the white kids have the same whiteness-based privilege. Only 2,610 white students are in Seattle's gifted program. And they're not any more white than the other 33,800 white kids.
-good points

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

@ Hydro

Exactly. The school district can either compare students of their age OR of their experiences OR of their environment. In Seattle they have decided to compare students with others of their age. They could have compared by experience OR they could have compared by environment, but they chose to compare by age.

Geez

Anonymous said...

WAC 392-190-010

At least annually, each school district and public charter school must 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, and educational scheduling or placement.

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

HCCLawsuit Basis

Anonymous said...

" 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, and educational scheduling or placement. "

SPS has as many people in the Equity and Race Department as they do in AL. Get that to insure that things are race neutral as we have working to identify, train teachers, interface in curriculum and work with our schools counselors for AL and HC kids.

My point, is that is how SPS makes it clear to OSPI and the Feds that they are not fools falling for institutionalized racism. Think it still is? Blame that department and the several hundred thousand we pay them. Oh and each department looks at these issues individually too with thousands of hours of professional development and public input.

Funny no one wants to talk about the race shaming going on at WMS and GHS.

APPalling

Anonymous said...

oregon native wrote:


"This clause is why nobody sues:

"Such program shall recognize the limits of the resources provided by the state..."

Let me get this right, if SPS merely claims it doesn't have the funds to include highly gifted students who are ELL, SpEd, asynchronous, poor, historically under-served, or low achieving, the RCW covering HC programs says fine?

By that standard those highly gifted kids will never be given the challenges they need to thrive, because SPS can always say the money is needed elsewhere.

Sounds like a poorly written piece of legislation.

However the onus is on SPS. Supt. Nyland and his staff have made the decision to neglect this group, no doubt after being told how many students would eligible if the law were followed.

It's a shameful waste of students' lives and will no doubt have negative consequences down the road for many of these overlooked students.

These are the gifted students who show high incarceration rates and suicide rates, not the ones who get into a program like HCC. SPS is literally destroying the lives of our brightest at risk youth.

oh well

Melissa Westbrook said...

What a full court press on HCC. I have never seen anything like this. I suspect all this "going to court" stuff is just a lot of people stirring the pot. If the district was in violation - for years now - why has not a single parent every sued? I suspect because lawyers parse that RCW and see those "or's" as you readers have and know the difficulty. Some of this is on the Legislature, you know.

Where to start?

First, there are AA kids in HCC. Don't make big statements like "there are none."

Want Answers, you ask great questions and yes, ones that should be aired in a public venue. I'll ask the Board about this. But I agree; I don't think HCC is really "original."

2E Myself, I think it might be difficult to get good data. You'd find out just who tested high on one subject,sure, but what about kids whose parents don't even test at all.

Truthout, it's not eugenics to note that many parents may have the background and means to help their child in ways other parents don't. It would be if the person had said smart people create smart children but that's not what was said.

NO name-calling. Cut it out. Likewise with the nasty race comments.

I'm ending this discussion here.

Anonymous said...

"oh well" has hit the heart of the issue. We have the program that we have now, not because ANYONE involved in the current cohort model asserts this is the best model or even a great model, but rather because this is the CHEAPEST model.

The current set up for AL is get in the cohort or get nothing. This is not a plan, it is the path of least resistance and classic SPS behavior.

- bulldog.



Anonymous said...

@ Melissa, you said: "Truthout, it's not eugenics to note that many parents may have the background and means to help their child in ways other parents don't. It would be if the person had said smart people create smart children but that's not what was said."

What? Your first sentence is correct, but the second is completely wrong. It is not eugenics to say that smart people create smart children. There's a genetic component to intelligence, and and if highly intelligent people end up finding partners who are also highly intelligent, there's a greater likelihood any offspring will also be highly intelligent. It's not eugenics, it's simple genetics. Yes, there's an environmental component as well (including socio-economic environ), but that doesn't negate the influence of genetics. Eugenics is controlled breeding in order to bring about particular characteristics. If two people who fall in love happen to be of similar intelligence (as is often the case in relationships, since there's a lot of relating to be done...), that's not eugenics. It's nature.

reality bites

Anonymous said...

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, and educational scheduling or placement.

So there you have it. Disproportionate numbers are not desirable, but if they are not the result of discrimination, it's ok.

Districts that rely on teacher recommendations/referrals for highly capable programs tend to experience significant disproportionality, often due to teacher discrimination/bias. Eliminating the referral process and instead screening all children tends to reduce much of that disproportionality. In SPS, we have a general screening process that considers all students (e.g., MAP/SBAC scores). Families--regardless of race, income, etc.-- are encourages to apply for HCC/AL services when their child meets the screening threshold.

Has the district looked at whether the appraisal instruments are part of the problem? Are both the SBAC and the CogAT biased against under-identified groups? If so, what tests are better and feasible? Or are the score gaps seen in SBAC and CogAT results actually pretty reflective of the SPS population overall, since they mirror results of other tests/measures (e.g., kindergarten readiness tests, EOCs, MSP, and graduation rates).

Which brings up the question: disproportionate to WHAT? It doesn't make sense to expect that HC eligibility rates should simply match the racial demographics of the SPS population, because genetics, like it or not, do play a role. As does environment. You have to control for those other factors to some extent, because the eligibility patterns we "should" see are likely a cross between the racial demographics and what we see now (since we could surely do a little better).

DisAPP

Anonymous said...

Genetics. That's all it is. Different genetics. Tall tree, short tree.

Does the soil matter?

Nutrients? Water?

Wind damage?

Insects?

Fire?

Sun exposure?

Botany Matters

Anonymous said...

Genetics, AND experience/exposures.

multifactorial

Anonymous said...

Keep talking about genetics, all of you who posters who happen to have been born on third base.

You are so smart so I'm sure you understand why there are "protected classes" in federal and state law.

The laws were enacted because these historically and currently oppressed groups needed protection against your mentality, since your mentality is clear:

Keep the privileged status quo going because your child is/deserves to be the beneficiary.

The good news is this: When you have gone so low as to publicly use eugenics on this blog to defend the current HCC, it means all of the other arguments you've used over the years have been successfully rebutted.

Truthout

Anonymous said...

Correction: all of you posters who happen to have been born on third base

Truthouth

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, I seem to have not ended the discussion but now I am.

Truthout, those are some untrue and unpleasant words you typed. No one said what you are saying they did.