Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

The speaker list is up for the Board meeting tomorrow; not as packed as I thought with just four people on the waitlist. The majority of the speakers are speaking on high school boundaries (with several wanting to talk about Ballard High).

There are only three of us speaking about the Green Dot resolution asking the City to not grant the zoning departures that Green Dot has requested.  It's me, long-time watchdog, Chris Jackins, and the head of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, Patrick D'Amelio.  (I knew Mr. D'Amelio when he headed the Alliance for Education and Big Brothers and Big Sisters; he's a stand-up guy.)


I will have a separate thread on this because apparently, the charter school is linked to a bigger project in the SE. There's a great article about it from May of last year with some interesting statements made.  I have just found out that one person- up the foodchain - seems to have not been informed that a charter school was attached to the project and is not happy. Whoops!

Great article from NPR about the graduation rate for students in foster care in Seattle/King County and the good work of Treehouse to change that.
Thirty-six percent.
That was the high school graduation rate for youth in foster care in Seattle and King County, Washington, in 2010.
They set an ambitious goal: Raise the high school graduation rate for foster youth to be on par with the rest of the city's kids. Starting in 2012, they gave themselves five years to do it.
They recruited a team of "education specialists." These folks work on-site in high schools around the city. Each works with around 20 students.  
Treehouse counts five-year graduation rates because youth in foster care typically miss out on learning time. Last year, 89 percent of their students made it across that extended finish line. That includes students who completed with the help of credit recovery, alternative schools and GED programs. It beats Washington State's overall five-year graduation rate by 7 points.
No big tech, just a relationship with someone who knows their students and cares.

To note about high school boundaries:

- Director Mack is trying to get a Work Session on January 10th
- the High School Boundaries Task Force meets this week this Friday, the 5th, from noon to 2 pm at JSCEE, room 2750.  No documents available.

Registration for the next school year starts next week.

Important dates for 2018-19 school year
Jan. 8: Registration begins for 2018-19 school year
Jan. 20: Option School Choice Fair Come learn about Seattle Public Schools' option schools
Feb. 5-16: Open Enrollment for School Choice Turn in a choice form to be part of the lottery for a school outside your attendance area. Forms will be available starting Feb. 5. 


KUOW continues its weird coverage of Seattle Schools by putting out a part of an interview with then-director Stephan Blanford (done months ago) about homeless students in Seattle Schools.  It's a 1:10 long.  I think someone is trying to prop up Blanford for something.

What's on your mind? 

80 comments:

Lucky Gal said...

Why are you speaking? Do you have some sort of skin in the game? My guess is you're speaking against Green Dot, yes?. I guess I will see you here, I will have the basket of spoiled tomatoes for you.

Anonymous said...


The Seattle Public Schools makes national news again. Today, Education Week references the 2012 Garfield rape that led to today's launch of #MeTooK12, an initiative of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools in partnership with the National Women's Law Center.

A must read http://bit.ly/2CEYYCD


Mrs. MeToo

LMM said...

MW, thank you for standing up regarding south Seattle schools and the green dot proposal. Can anyone tell me if Cleveland HS is still on the agenda to be changed from an option school to a regular neighborhood HS?

Thank you,
Beacon Hill parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

LMM, I don't know; that's likely to come up at the High School Boundaries Taskforce meeting.

I assume that if I am an involved citizen who writes about public education in Seattle, I can stand up for two schools that ARE making a difference for children of color.

Anonymous said...

I find the new SAP more confusing as time goes on. The memo tonight says any boundary and HC changes will be made for the 2019-20 school year, but I though HC changes were scheduled to occur for the 2020-21 school year.

Since it looks like the Board favors decentralizing HCC, I'm wondering if at the middle school level only Hamilton and Washington will continue to host the service. If we are going to decentralize in the name of equity, why not do it after elementary school? Or why not just wipe out the HCC cohort model at all levels and serve HCC kids in all schools with something like pullout or walk to- in elementary with AP at high school? That, with comprehensive testing of all kids in the early grades, would probably provide the most cost-effective equitable solution.

I'm happy with the cohort model but so very tired of the uncertainty. Kids deserve to have some kind of constant peer group throughout their school years.

open minded

Lucky Gal said...

So you don't have any students in Seattle public schools? I will assume that's your dodge is a yes, oui? Ok so you don't live in the area, right? I'm being rhetorical
because it's public knowledge that you don't.

Finally, you wrote that you don't get paid for your effort and you seem to have lots of free time to write and attend meetings and have for many years.

Forgive me but I suspect you're not being truthful about your motivation.

Anonymous said...

where is the speaker list posted?

imho

Anonymous said...

Lucky Gal, your attacks on MW are unwarranted and obnoxious.

1) Any citizen has the right to speak to a public board
2) MW has had 2 children go through SPS, including one who was 2E (correct me if I'm wrong, MW)
3) MW has been active in SPS for many years and has a wealth of knowledge as well as demonstrated advocacy for all children.

Please back off. If you want to disagree with her, fine. She allows arguments from many sides. But use arguments against policy rather than personal attacks.

Momof2

Anonymous said...

Speakers list is posted on SPS School Board link for Jan. 3 meeting.

parent

Anonymous said...

thanks parent i was there earlier today and convinced myself i was in the wrong area. imho

Anonymous said...

@lucky gal-where were your criticisms when DeWolf was running? He doesn’t even HAVE children. Oh, right...you were in his camp.

Calling BS

NO 1240 said...

"District 2 city council member Bruce Harrell and former state senator, now Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal were instrumental in securing early funding to study the feasibility of the project. "

http://www.sightline.org/2017/05/25/anchors-against-displacement/

Rumors are swirling around that Bruce Harrell supports this project. Please contact his office and ask that he oppose shifting funding from Seattle Public Schools to charter schools. Charter schools are in the court system and lack local and elected oversight.

Phone:206-684-8804
Email:bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

Anonymous said...

Hey Lucky Gal - all taxpayers in Seattle have "skin in the game". Any taxpayer can stand up and speak at a school board meeting should they so choose - hence the reason it is the Seattle PUBLIC School District, not a privatized charter school run by a private charter management organization with public funds.

CT

Eric B said...

LMM, at the last HS Boundaries TF meeting, three options were put on the table: status quo, keep as an option school but move the waitlist to physical capacity, and change to an option school. Status quo received low marks. Both other options had a lot of "need more discussion" responses. Hopefully, that means that they will discuss it in the community and not just behind closed doors.

NO 1240 said...


I do find it interesting that the Seattle Times admits that charter schools are not free of legal hurdles, but Green Dot seeks to "...increase their foothold in Washington".

https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/new-charter-high-school-planned-for-south-seattle/

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the latest lawsuit. As I understand it, the Supreme Court will hear the charter school case in a few months.

Thanks for testifying, Melissa.

Anonymous said...

ok how about the minutes of the meetings. i am sure i followed just about every possible link for last month's minutes with no success. imho

Carol Simmons said...

Dear Melissa,

Thank you for testifying.

Seattle Citizen said...

Lucky Gal's comments asking "rhetorical" questions that suggest MW has no skin in the game because a) she doesn't have children in SPS (anymore) and b) she doesn't live in the Southeast are absurd and represent the divisive, isolating efforts of charter supporters. They would remove public schools from public accountability and turn them into publicly funded, publicly UNaccountable stand-alone entities disconnected from the stakeholders who foot their bills and who are, in a democratic nation, the citizens responsible for overseeing our system of public education.

My tax dollars support ALL students in the city. My responsibility as a citizen is to ALL children and schools. But according to Lucky Gal, I should keep paying but back off.

I call BS. This is THE central scam of charterites: "we want your money but you should shut up and not ask questions." Ridiculous.

NESeattleMom said...

Lucky Gal, When people pay taxes or if their rent pays taxes, they have skin in the game. When we are busy raising children we may not have the flexibility to go to a meeting. However when they are older we may be able to go, plus we have a perspective from experience and caring for all children, not just our own.

Anonymous said...

Is there any update on possible schedule changes for next year? 7 periods? 8 periods? No change? The number of unknowns for next year and beyond is mind boggling.

stressed parent

Anonymous said...

Every high school should be required to post next year’s bell schedule before open enrollment begins. Each school could end up with a different schedule and this may well affect the choices parents make.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

Melissa, thank you for continuing to provide this blog for all of us, and thank you for being someone who continues to (mostly) take the high road despite so many recent troller-seeming posters. I appreciate your understanding of racial equity and your strong advocacy on behalf of what I see as all students.
ManyYearReader

Eric B said...

IMHO, I'm not sure if minutes get posted. They do get reviewed and approved at the beginning of the next meeting, so they should hopefully get on the website.

Anonymous said...

thanks eric!

so isn't this a zero sum gain? ap and honors classes not needed now at ghs so they can go to lhs if the students aren't there? we have split schools before why not split ghs with lhs. and we have more time than the other splits. you can still do a roll up you just need to add the few 9th grade hcc classes in 2019 and then the 10th grade ones in 2020. this is a ton less heavy lifting then making every school a hcc school in 2020. director patu is right fhs has found its sweet spot. if we make every school a hcc school too there then there is really no choice. the simple and easiest thing to do for hcc hs for the next five years is to open lhs as a hcc split from ghs. as director burke said they want lhs to ge a great a challenging school how is that better when the slate is clean to make that happen. and if it is done correctly (not like jams) then they will draw back away from ibx, rhs and bhs. this will open room for kids that wanted into those three schools but probably couldn't because of overcrowding.

this makes the south like the north.
this has much less disruption.
this will save money over time.
this will mean sps is not making more false promises.

put this idea against any staff has proposed and it would be hands down the favorite across the stakeholders. (director burke asked for this but for some reason staff couldn't figure out how to draw maps that would correlate to this. that is unbelievable.)

seriously we are adding 2,000 seats in the north and staff came up with some of the worst options on how to spend this largesse. including having neighborhood kids, many of who are hcc identified, to commute to ghs. good god you can't make this stuff up. (if they stick with this then they should at least yellow bus these kids).

staff has been playing the board. thoughtexchange data and cards don't represent the vitriol that was expressed at the community meetings. this whole thing has been a three ring circus with staff orchestrating their desires, not those of teachers, students or parents. this has been a lessen in bureaucratic malpractice the likes i have ever seen. then they present false choices and strawman options.

just because you tell all schools they need to have a hcc program doesn't mean they can afford the handful of classes that accelerated students need and would be really expensive at nova, center, fhs, hale, beach and etc.

we can't wish kids into aviation high, or hope that the cohort will grow to insure this makes sense. (especially if there is really no reason to continue with the program as there really is no program left).

imho

Doctor Hu said...

The HC IB/IBX option at Ingraham high school would still draw 360 or more HC students at 90/grade. So under the "District Vision" of the 10 HC Pathways Plan at each comprehensive high school, in descending order based on the latest 2017-18 figures the actual HC pathway cohort sizes in Seattle high schools would be:

* INGRAHAM AA PROPOSED HC PATHWAY = 5 HC/grade + 95 HC IB/grade = 20 HC + 379 HC IB/IBX
* ....ROOSEVELT = 66 HC/grade = 264 HC
* ......BALLARD = 56 HC/grade = 223 HC
* ......LINCOLN = ? HC/grade = ? HC
* .....GARFIELD = 43 HC/grade = 170 HC
* .....FRANKLIN = 24 HC/grade = 94 HC
* .WEST SEATTLE = 23 HC/grade = 93 HC
* ..NATHAN HALE = 14 HC/grade = 57 HC
* .CHIEF SEALTH = 11 HC/grade = 43 HC
* RAINIER BEACH = 8 HC/grade = 32 HC

All of the Seattle high schools north of the Ship Canal would have reasonably large pathway cohorts joined by other advanced learners, with the exception of Nathan Hale whose Lake City attendance area includes some of the most diverse and low-income parts of the city.

In contrast, none of the Seattle high schools south of the Ship Canal including Garfield have large pathway cohorts that would then drive advanced AP learning opportunities either for their HC students or for their general education students -- eg, Chief Sealth at 11 HC/grade, or Rainier Beach at 8 HC/grade.

If the actual result of this plan would be to reduce AP offerings for those high school students who live in our most diverse school neighborhoods, there is no principled equity justification for that switch. The answer to the obvious and unacceptable demographic underrepresentation in the Seattle HC cohort lies instead in early identification, specifically including universal testing: our opt-in to test for HC system should be replaced by an opt-out from testing for HC system. Reducing AP class offerings overall or limiting them based on address is not an equitable answer.

Here is a more detailed survey of the proposed 10 HC Pathways cohort sizes.

The 2017-18 numbers calculations for each of the 10 proposed HC "pathways" are here:

What Size Would 10 High School HC Pathways Really Be?


The published 2017-18 figures are supplemented here by details from the 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report, Tables 4D, 4E, and 6C:

Students in High Schools by Attendance Area, Annual Enrollment Report, 2016-17 Data, Tables 4D & 4E


High School Open Choice Assignments by Home Attendance Area [which includes Ingraham HC IB/IBX Option, but not Garfield HC Pathway], Annual Enrollment Report, 2016-17 Data, Table 6C

Anonymous said...

I guess this blog is just for HCC now.

Bye bye

Pat said...

There has to be a pathway for HC students from assignment areas with insufficient cohort sizes. As pointed out above, the HC students from these areas come from some of the most racially and socioeconomically diverse areas of the city. The equity tools ought to be beeping up a storm to be sending these students to high schools that won't be able to offer them the classes they will need while at the same time HC students from whiter more expensive neighborhoods will be far more likely (just through sheer numbers, supply and demand) to have access to the needed courses.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Open Thread means just that and I offer in each one some stories of interest. You dont have to join in any discussion and can start any new topic.

Anonymous said...

@ bye bye, maybe you missed the posts in this very thread, above your comment, re: (1) who has the right to advocate for public ed; (2) Green Dot charters; (3) the Garfield rape; (4) Cleveland HS possibly becoming a neighborhood school; (5) Board meeting speaker lists; (6) Seattle's Equitable Development Initiative; (7) Board meeting minutes availability; and (8) whether there will be changes to the basic high school schedule next year, such as a move from 6 periods to 7 or 8, and when that info should be made public? Hardly "just HCC."

But rather than complain about it, why not step back and think about the biggest issues the district is currently dealing with--and top of the list, whaddaya know, is Lincoln's opening and the need for new high school boundaries and how to handle HCC in all that. There are huge decisions to be made, and everything is interconnected...which is why the district is having such trouble, because decisions re: HCC are essential to drawing accurate boundaries, and vice versa. If HCC-related decisions are front and center, of course there will be more discussion about it.

If you want to talk about something else, post it. If not, Melissa had great advice, or you can follow your moniker and leave.

hot topix

Anonymous said...

Hum is that how a mostly grown up Board works through a problem! REASONABLE pathways versus "pathways for all." Oh and LHS is now available to be a pathway.

Wonder how that will pencil out. Well done Board.

HCC Reality

Anonymous said...

Pat said "The equity tools ought to be beeping up a storm to be sending these students to high schools that won't be able to offer them the classes they will need while at the same time HC students from whiter more expensive neighborhoods will be far more likely (just through sheer numbers, supply and demand) to have access to the needed courses."

This is so well put. I tried to make this point in emails to my Director (Patu) and to the entire Board. I don't get why the Directors who trumpet about the equity lens don't see this.

Ruthie

Anonymous said...



Ruthie, HCC = appears inequitable = get rid of hcc, is the only equation that works for those people. It is analogous to Spectrum = appears inequitable = get rid of Spectrum. Equity doesn't matter unless you want to get rid of a program. Doesn't matter if you want low FRL kids to bus hours a day to get reasonable services as defined by the State.

Oh and at tonight's Board meeting all the Board members are saying segregation and applauding a speaker who conflates every sentence he utters about race. For one it isn't nearly 10 % in HCC it is LESS than 9 percent. These race baiting speakers should be called one for taking up spots when they are not on the agenda and two for spewing lies.

If you applaud when the organization you oversee is called implicit and institutionalized racist and then you do nothing to identify over the years you have overseen it what makes them say it to fix it. What are you saying about your real concerns about racism. Where is the truth?

Love Hurts

kellie said...

I think a key part of the challenge with Lincoln is easier to understand when you look at census track information.

The most diverse part of Seattle is located around Lake City. The least diverse part of Seattle is located very close to the physical location of Lincoln high school. Historic housing patterns the history of redlining makes it very challenging to draw reasonable high school boundaries in the north end, that don't intensify the concentrations of poverty.

When you actually look at the data and not the dogma, HCC is more diverse than than the neighborhood near Lincoln high school. When the task force tried to extend the physical boundaries to optimize for socio-economic and racial diversity, this could only be done but extending the boundary all the way to the bottom or Pioneer Square. That scenario was not in the best interest of students and would have disrupted every high school boundary except West Seattle.

kellie said...

I want to give Janis Avery at Treehouse a big shoutout and thank Mel for mentioning her work on this thread. The work that Treehouse has done is absolutely remarkable and Janis is one the most beautiful human beings I have ever met.

The work that she has done on behalf of foster children has been accomplished state-wide and it is entirely replicable. I sincerely hope SPS attempts to replicate this model.

Eric B said...

Since everyone talks about segregated classrooms in HC high school, let's look at reality shall we? Here's a typical HC student at Garfield's schedule:

Honors LA (honors for all, entire 9th grade class represented)
Honors Social Studies (ditto)
Algebra 2/Trig (some HC freshmen mixed with gen ed sophomores and juniors)
Chemistry (honors and regular in the same classroom, same population as Alg2/T)
2 electives (all school draw)

Can someone tell me where the segregation is?

Anonymous said...

Well said, Eric. Spoiler alert. They can't. MS is only slightly different.

And segregation is division by something. All students can choose their classes in HS.

Equity now

Anonymous said...

Surely we all understand and support that there needs to be more black or brown students in elementary and middle school HCC to help reach our goals. This is the case across the country, and if you pull out the stats on percentage of Black or Brown students participating by grade in Seattle vs six other medium to large cities across the country, and begin measuring the gain for this data point as new equity attempts and tactics are implemented, then we will have an interesting and thoughtful discussion worthy of my time—a discussion about moving these students into the program, rather than flushing (white and Asian) students who need the service out of the program.

Look at the demographics at Decatur and Cascadia and compare those side-by-side with north Seattle feeder elementary schools and tell me what your equity beef is here. Look, and then let’s have a real conversation. If you bring up NNE schools as your benchmark and claim failure—I will say blame district admin. That slice should have been included in Decatur’s boundaries AND Cedar Park should be an advanced learning option school...both of these decisions would have made AL accessible to our target population we hope to move the needle on through increased access and participation. Instead, SPS admin decided to leave that slice out, sending any HC qualifying kids all the way over to Cascadia to spend elementary years with students they won’t follow to middle school or high school (assuming pending changes). No cohort for the course of the HC pathway for them! Say goodbye to your friends every two to four years and start over....And look at what is happening at Cedar Park—what a sad waste of money and capacity.

HC Accessibility

CBA said...

Eric B. is correct. Other high schools are moving towards Honors for All LA/SS classes.

I'm happy the board will kick the discussion into C and I. I also appreciate President Harris's comments related to language that guarantees programs i.e. IB.

CBA said...

continued:

.....adds language that programs i.e. IB receive funding.

Anonymous said...

Please stop conflating segregation (in the school context, used to refer to government sanctioned separation of racial groups) and racial imbalance.

words matter

Anonymous said...

This entire HCC/boundaries issue has been a classic case study on power and privilege.

The mobilizing, writing to board directors (who have been campaign donor recipients, wine or social buddies, political cause colleagues, etc. in some/many cases), the use of this so-called "open forum" to be dominated for weeks by almost exclusive coverage, et al., while the moderator concurrently deleted a high numbers of opposing voices from outside the power/privilege base.

(The fact that the deleting has been put on hold since the word got out won't give ethics charges immunity in the future for board members who post here.)

The most precious has been the 11th hour focus on equity by the power base: Not having pathways will hurt the "poorest" kids the most.

Of course, the fact that so few students have been identified HCC outside a very condensed formerly red-lined area isn't lost on many people. But that isn't helping with the talking points right now. Of course, since there are scant numbers of HCC identified students outside this area, they would have slim pickings in their local high schools (like the rest of the students already there, but that hasn't gotten much air play).

Power, in the end, usually perpetuates itself.

Let's see how much care is put into "the poor" once this issue gets resolved in the most predictable way.

Que Sera

Melissa Westbrook said...

Que Sera, the "ethics charges" (which are never going to happen) issue needs to be given a rest. So unless you or someone you know has filed them (and I don't even know how to do that), enough.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to bringing back votech classes to high schools. 700 days ago it was the big "lets get back to learning" issue. Now, nothing.

Broken promises

Melissa Westbrook said...

Broken promises, Burke and Harris are on that and CTE is alive and well (and hopefully growing).

Anonymous said...

JAMS students robbed a few blocks from school:

January 4, 2018

Dear Families,

I am writing to inform you of a recent safety incident that occurred in our community, and to share how we are working with students to ensure that they maximize personal safety.

Yesterday, on the way home from school, two separate groups of our students were robbed several blocks off school grounds. Fortunately, the students were walking in groups, immediately gave the perpetrators what was requested, and quickly found a safe space to call 911. The students responded appropriately and remained safe.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) were contacted and responded immediately. As of this morning, they continue gathering information and are working closely with the District’s Safety and Security Department. Although our students were not injured, it was a difficult situation, and we want to make sure that parents are alerted. Our counselors are working with impacted students, and are available as needed.

To ensure students feel safe, there will be additional security and SPD presence in the area at dismissal. Additionally, JAMS staff will discuss personal safety with our students. Our goal is to allow students to talk about their concerns and give them additional personal safety skills.

You can also help your student simply by listening to and talking with them. The Seattle Police Department has an excellent resource that may be helpful in family discussions.

We are providing a link to some additional information that might be helpful during these discussions. http://www.seattle.gov/police/community-policing/youth-safety-tips

Please be assured that the safety and security of our students is a top priority at Jane Addams Middle School. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Paula Montgomery

HP

Anonymous said...

Are there any programs or services in SPS history that have been conceptualized and implemented within the average length of a typical SPS student's attendance?

I can't think of any. Just decades of foolishness and broken promises.


If my child is in 1st grade should I expect there will be robust vo-tech classes offered at every SPS high school by 2027? Not to be negative but I doubt it will happen.

Broken promises

Anonymous said...

@Que Sera

I think you're correct or at least close enough to stop the behavior. It appears that Director Harris has possibly violated several laws by conducting district work on this blog. I have seen people claiming to be Harris, Geary and Burke comment on this blog in an official capacity. According to the law each must give advanced notice of such meeting. Similar in how each director must provide public notice for their respective community meetings. It would also be illegal for directors to meet in secret, in person or electronically to conduct district business. An exception in posting requires clear notification that the director in NOT acting in any official capacity, still it's generally discouraged. Directors must not meet in secret, so if one director is commenting here and others are watching and reading the conversation it's considered a violation of the open meeting laws.

Of coarse posting you're having a public meeting or a change in the particulars is benign. Directors posting comments anonymously is illegal in all cases. Finally all directors must retain copies of all social media postings/comments.

I think it's worth filing a complaint, but of coarse that will expose your real name via any FOIA request.

MJ

observer said...

QS, don't be silly, no ethics issue arises when elected school board directors post on this public education blog with transparency using their own names with full ownership of their posts. It is just one among many forms of public outreach.

But are you really sure that our elected school board member Director Geary has not posted posing as many different people using such names as Thank Geary? In that event you might actually have a case!

Melissa Westbrook said...

"I have seen people claiming to be Harris, Geary and Burke comment on this blog in an official capacity. According to the law each must give advanced notice of such meeting."

Good luck with that. Each likely was in their own office at work/home at different times and so there was no "meeting." Geary is a lawyer, Harris a para-legal and Burke owns his own business. I'm pretty sure they know what following the law looks like.

"I think it's worth filing a complaint, but of coarse that will expose your real name via any FOIA request."

And you wouldn't want to stand up and be counted if you really believed all this, now would you?

Anonymous said...

Who are you talking to? I've read the laws and my comment clearly reads "An exception in posting requires clear notification that the director in NOT acting in any official capacity, still it's generally discouraged."

I don't recall seeing the disclaimer on any of the directors comments. If you have the time to search the comments and find the disclaimers, I will be more than happy to issue an apology.

MJ

P.S, looks like someone is trying to get this thread closed.

Anonymous said...

"Each likely was in their own office at work/home at different times and so there was no "meeting."

Wrong, try reading what I posted again. With less anger. Why are you so angry anyway?

MJ

Anonymous said...

@ MJ, which specific section of the law is this that requires such a disclaimer? I couldn't find it.

unclear

Anonymous said...

i recognize the feeble logic just not the j.

middle name

Anonymous said...


Seattle Schools Community Forum

A school-community forum is likely to include public testimony
before members of the board. This is an action, so the meeting must
be handled as a special meeting and be open to the general public.

MJ

Anonymous said...

@ MJ, that's quite the interpretation.

1. I think they mean a different type of forum, as in an actual gathering--not a blog that has the word "forum" in its name.

2. It doesn't seem like this meets the definition of "action" cited in the Open Public Meetings guide: "Action is the transaction of official business, but includes receipt of public testimony, deliberations, discussions, considerations, reviews, evaluations and final actions." If directors choose to read public comments here, like they may choose to read public comments on Seattle Times articles, it hardly seems like official business. It also hardly seems like "public testimony" if it's done anonymously (not public) and given as random comments not directed to the school board (not intended as public testimony).

3. Yes, it says "A school-community forum is likely to include public testimony before members of the board...so the meeting must be handled as a special meeting and be open to the general public." What meeting? It's not a meeting. Oh, and it IS open to the general public.

4. "All of these examples are probably special meetings of the board and should be handled through the notice of a special meetings process." Clearly, the guidelines to which you refer are about special meetings of the board...which this isn't. Even if board members read it, or dare to comment.

unclear

Anonymous said...



It would be fruitless to pursue because the investigation would go like this,

Investigator; Did you comment as a SPS board member on a blog?

Director; Oh, is that wrong?

Investigator; It would be best if you would not continue to comment on blogs or facebook or any other type of social media in any official capacity.

Director; OK...Sorry.

WA state or SPS don't currently have a written policy covering social media use by school board members, others states do. I think it would be work to prove the inappropriate use of this blog by Harris, but it's not a huge stretch for this isn't really just a blog.

Here's why,

The blog administrators are deeply involved in shaping SPS policy and have been for many years(10+), deeply involved in promoting SB candidates and supporting an agenda .They have frequently attacked past board members that once resulted in DT threats against a SBM. They very frequently email various board members (Harris, Geary, Burke). They regularly testify at board meetings. They testify at state senate hearings. They promote protest and strikes. Submit numerous FOIA request. Oh and on more than one occasion administrators have been issued press passes. They even make talk show appearances as experts on SPS.

They will regularly create POST supporting a particular directors position or BAR.
They will then moderate the comments in a away that supports the position or BAR and squashes dissent. I believe there has been some level of coordination between this blog and board members. I believe SPS teachers have emailed this blog's administrator for the purpose of communicating district confidential information.

This blog is regularly read by SPS board members and SPS staff including SPS legal.
Teachers regularly comment here on and off school hours.

So, I think it ridiculous to frame this site as just an ex-sps parent's blog.

What about motivation?, Harris, Geary or Burke know of the impact of this blog and the reach they have when posting here. Harris doesn't just comment but carries on a dialog on her interpretation of policy that might not be shared by the other board members or the district, completely inappropriate.

So let's cut the naivety about this blog.

MJ

Anonymous said...

Naivety normally doesn't require tin foil hats to understand. Your position is NUTZ. I hope you are not but we keep hearing these paranoid statements and threats from Anon post towards MW. If you are mentally ill you need to seek help. And no measure of hostility is acceptable.

Post away

Anonymous said...

If they really wanted to increase “equity” and keep the same enrollment criteria, it seems it would be easy to simply pull everyone who scored above the 95% in math and reading and give them the COGAT. I suspect you’d end up with no more than a few additional kids identified because many would fall into buckets where they are high in achievement, but not at the 98+% per COGAT, but it’s hadd to know without looking at the data. It seems like it should be pretty easy to parse out from data the district already has though.

If they would actually do the analysis, they could talk for real about how to increase equity and make the program more balanced. Since it is a pure acceleration program, it seems to me that lowering entrance criteria based on diversity points wouldn’t lead to ideal results for those kid’s who may not actually be prepared to work that far ahead, but perhaps with added supports?

Another way that would likely benefit far more kids (though many white, middle-upper income kids so not necessarily helpful in terms of specific diversity) would be to increase acceleration opportunities everywhere. Bonus, you’d likely see more need for upper level courses everywhere when many kids aren’t artificially constrained early on because they aren’t advanced enough across the board. In our current system, the 99% kid in verbal or math at an 85% in the other area is totally out of luck if their teacher/school doesn’t accommodate. It might even help diversity, though not specifically HCC, because now those kids are very much just at the luck of their school and family situation.

Alternatively, you could do some ability grouping to increase overall achievement (obv not something that will eliminate achievement gaps, but maybe you could actually then put more $$$ and small groups towards the lower performing groups to help bring them up?) AND do some enrichment for kids who qualify as gifted, by virtue of being substantially different than their peers?

NE Parent

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

Good comments, NE parents. There are solutions and they are not all "burn it down."

Anonymous said...

Oh please do enlighten us on just how redlinning currently impacts Seattle public school children.

JS

Anonymous said...

Enlightenment can only come from learning and understanding. So no hope there.

Redlining caused pockets of very small houses on less than desirable Lots. What you're now some of Seattle's most affordable houses. Families that purchase or rent some of those houses are often from the lower economic status as of 2018. Knowledge facts try it sometime.

Facts matter

Anonymous said...

Nne p,

You mean perhaps have a program that scaffolded up potential highly capable learners who just aren't quite there yet. What would you call that program something like Spectrum? Yeah great idea. Oh that was gotten rid of because of equity claims.

As for what it's worth often talks about legal action a program based on race to solely benefit a person of a racial group is racism. To pursue and agenda as she states based solely on the color of one's skin is illegal. However Seattle Public Schools can and should factor in ELL, SES and 2e. Look at WMS map it looks like a GOP cut away in Texas. The district purposely put those houses previously redlined into Washington Middle School and the others drive past WMS to Meany.


Look at the map equity heads and enlighten yourselves.

Facts matter

Anonymous said...

You have not proved any current negative effect of mythical redlining. You actually stated a current positive effect, lower rents. Harris whips out the race card once again, but fails to put redlining in context. Is she claiming redlining currently exist? Which 40 year span is she referring to?

I suspect to see Harris continue to put her foot in her mouth as long as see has the Democrats insider chip on her shoulder.

Minorities students do not need white students to be successful.

JS

Anonymous said...

as was said you aren't prepared m to be see the truth.


Minorities students do not need white students to be successful, Duh

facts matter

Anonymous said...

as was said you aren't prepared m to be enlightened and see the truth.

facts matter

Anonymous said...

All I see is a bunch of excuses for laziness and others looking to profit off the laziness. If you have $ you can buy my house from me regardless of your skin color or what my neighbors think. It's not redlining or discrimination if you don't have the $ or don't qualify for a mortgage.

You make a claim that mythical redlining pushed people of color into the south end where houses were less expensive to rent. It's also claimed that this is segregation. Maybe, but only for those who chose that reality. I say this because the CD used to have a vibrant mostly black community which most residents were content. Drugs and crime are not the fault of mythical redlining, it's the fault of community failures.

Forcing or baiting students into integrating will not produce better outcomes for black students, but a strong black community that values education will.

You're working the wrong end of the problem.

JS

Anonymous said...

This is super.

Using classic dog whistles (laziness), while claiming to be above racism, in multiple posts is fully tolerated on this blog.

As are the continued ad hominen attacks against others.

Yet posts are deleted that don't seem to fit the moderator's mood or idea of what to print (even when they follow blog rules). Almost every single one of them go against the power-privilege narrative here.

Not only that, the deletes no longer show up as deleted.

Eden Mack's back door attempt to get a message on this blog won't happen again because it violated her ethics as a public servant. My post about that simply disappeared. Note to Mack and others: This is a polically biased forum that is not open to all of your constituents and allows attacks and dog whistles.

Really, it seemed clear that Mack never expected MW to post her reply verbatim; it looked like posting it was Melissa's attempt to prove to her readers that she is still relevant (putting up a post with Mack's name, to boot, while throwing Mack and her ethics lapse under the bus for all to see).

Expect this to be deleted, too. MW, while you delete and claim this is an Open Forum, you continue to lose plausibility.

Public Trust

Anonymous said...

mythical redlining

stopped reading there.


-idiots

Historical Redlining said...

There was plenty of historical redlining south of the cut, too:
Alki
West Seattle
Magnolia
Queen Anne
Beacon Hill
Duwamish
Rainier Valley
Broadmoor
Capitol Hill
Central District's Minor neighborhood
Eastlake
Montlake
Madrona

http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/segregated.htm

Anonymous said...


another one of life's mysteries.

hcc = segregation

redline = myth

what type of mind conjures such nonsense

-idiot

Anonymous said...

This all started in response to a comment supporting Harris's claim of 40 years of redlining has caused segregation in SPS. Harris did not say which 40 years. I know for a fact that it didn't happen as an all encompassing practice in north Seattle. I had more than one black family as neighbors growing up. Did some property owners deliberately not rent to blacks, yes. Did some property owners deliberately not rent to 20 something whites, yes.

Property owners discriminate based all many factors, move on. I have never see a deed prohibiting who could buy or rent a property, if the practice was so pervasive as claimed then there should be thousands of such documents and there is not.

Between the comments about mythical redlining and mythical forced gentrification of the CD it's really hard to believe our school board is working towards improving public education.

Thank god they have dropped the ridiculous white privilege mantra.

JS

Anonymous said...

thanks redline, the first map i saw was the redline in the south and it mirrors quite well the gerrymander around wms to fill meany. look at the map. why did michael tolley do that? how striking wms is now with 400 non frl students attending it. but it still has hcc there. directive 2090 would lead you yo believe walkability and frl would supersede but that certainly not the case.

the map was drawn to put hcc in a building with as high a frl as possible, to strike a false comparison of white and black.

-imho

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea, MW: Just close Open Threads at the beginning of a new Open Thread. Tuesday's Open thread closes on Friday and Friday's Open Thread closes on Tuesday. Just a thought.

(reluctant) reader

Anonymous said...

m, like trump you don't like to read and ignore the facts but yeah there were in fact many deeds out there. you might read a little from redline's post. again what is it mythical redlining or mythical hcc segregation, you can't have it both ways.

For most of its history Seattle was a segregated city, as committed to white supremacy as any location in America. People of color were excluded from most jobs, most neighborhoods and schools, and many stores, restaurants, hotels, and other commercial establishments, even hospitals. As in other western states, the system of severe racial discrimination in Seattle targeted not just African Americans but also Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, people of Mexican ancestry, and also, at times, Jews.

This special section presents research that will surprise many Pacific Northwesterners. Included are maps, photos, documents, and newspaper articles that follow the history of segregation in Seattle up through the 1960s. We also have the most extensive database of racially restrictive neighborhood covenants and deed clauses available for any city in the country.

Segregation maps Here is a set of detailed maps showing residential locations for Blacks, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Jews, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Whites in Seattle from 1920-2010. Follow the link above to view more than 70 demographic maps.
Racial Restrictive Covenants Was your neighborhood restricted? From the 1910s through the 1960s, many Seattle neighborhoods and King County suburbs practiced overt and total racial exclusion. White-only clauses and other restrictions (which sometimes excluded Jews as well as people of color) can be found today in property deeds for many many neighborhoods. We have collected more than 400 restrictive covenants from deeds on file in the King County Recorder's office. Follow the link above to our database and see if your neighborhood was "restricted."
How this project helped change state law On March 15, 2006, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law Senate Bill 6169, which makes it easier for neighborhoods governed by homeowners associations to rid themselves of racial restrictive covenants. Learn how this project helped launch the campaign.

=idiot

Anonymous said...


ah, what a noble thing to say.

=idiot

Anonymous said...

"neighborhoods governed by homeowners associations" You see there were very few neighborhoods in North Seattle that were governed by homeowners associations. Crown Hill, Ballard and Greenwood, none had home owners associations in the 60s or present day. You must be thinking of blue ridge or the highlands or Laural Hurst and other Lake Washington communities.

I have news for you, very few people in Seattle could afford those communities homes and even if you could you were carefully examined for fit before you could buy in, even if you where white.

There's an incorrect assumption that I can't choose who I want to sell my property to. Real estate transaction are completed everyday without the highest offer being accepted, it's not illegal unless someone explicit states they skipped over you based on your race , sex, or religious beliefs. I doubt anyone would do that.

Thank you for at least putting an era context to the claim, 1910-1960. That's well before my time so lets fast forward to the 70s to 2018. It's strange that all of my schools in the Northend had black students, Asian students, Latino students and Jewish students. Our neighborhoods had blacks, Asians, and Jewish families too.

So continue your broad stroke attacks against Seattle, it's disgusting.

JS

Anonymous said...

I forgot about Olympic Manor, they did and still do have a home owners association. They were snobs and would sneer at us when we rode our bike through the neighborhood.

Still there's no covenant against any group from purchasing there. There's many families of color living there, Jewish families to.

JS

Anonymous said...

I think the closing of the old open thread when the new one opens is a great idea. Less for MW to have to monitor.

Some of the Shoreline neighborhoods still have redlining on the books even though it is not enforced.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Minorities students do not need white students to be successful"

Sure but you can't have both ways, saying students are segregated but then, it doesn't matter. Most research shows that diversity serves all students but primarily students of color.

Director Mack did say in her email to me that I could put up the entirety of her message.

Thanks for the suggestion; I think I'll do that.