Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Two Items of Note - HC Capacity at Ingraham and High School Sciences

Editor's note:  a sharp-eyed reader asked about a quote I attributed to Mr. Kinoshita that seemed to be from Director Rick Burke.  I have corrected that in red in the high science science discussion.  My apologies to Mr. Kinoshita and Director Burke.

end of update

Some of you have wondered this outloud at this blog about HC capacity at Ingraham and one parent did so to Director Mack:

A parent pointed out to me that this page still says "space available" for Ingraham IBX, and since the cap is lifted it might be confusing to people.

Now unfortunately, that link to the enrollment page that she was sent is now dead but here are the answers from Enrollment (to directors and bold mine):

We have done the following in regards to communication around the additional HC seats available at Ingraham:

  • Updated the school choice documents referenced below to indicate the increased seat capacity at Ingraham.
  • Updated the Advanced Learning Page with this information about increased seat capacity at Ingraham.
  • Briefed Admissions, Enrollment Planning, and Advanced Learning staff on the changes to ensure that families questions can be answered appropriately particularly in regards to those asking about the seats available at Ingraham.
  • Connected and informed Principal Floe about increased available of HC seats. Principal Floe is supportive of the change.

The second update is the discussion at yesterday's Curriculum&Instruction meeting about high school science.

I first want to note what an absolute gem Director Burke is.  Smart, analytical, calm - he is one the best directors to serve on the Board in all my years of covering it.  He is also the chair of the C&I committee and so led the meeting, several times on different topics, asking cogent and direct questions.  (I don't mean this to say other directors didn't but he really gets the job done well.)

But I also see a disturbing trend and it happened twice at this meeting during two different topic discussions.  Directors were given documents that were not publicly available and then referred to during the meeting.  That leaves me and other members of the public pretty much tweedling our thumbs and trying to follow the discussion.   My notes have scattered "ASK FOR THIS" messages to myself and frankly, it sure gets tiresome to have to do that.  I'll have full coverage of the meeting elsewhere.

Onto the high school science debate.

There were two documents - one from Burke and one from Kyle Kinoshita, Chief of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction.

Burke's is a memo - "High School Science - Summary, concerns, requests" and to the other directors, Superintendent Nyland, Stephen Nielsen, Michael Tolley, Kyle Kinoshita and Mary Margaret Welch (head of the science department at JSCEE).  It's a round-up of information about the proposed changes to the high school science courses and he asks a lot of good questions, none of which I heard answered at the meeting.

Kinshita's compilation of documents including Science Alignment Update January 28, 2018, the Racial Equity Analysis Tool and how it was used in the work and Response to parent communications from Ballard High School.

Ms. Welch led for the district. She gave a brief overview, saying the standards had changed starting in 2009 and that her team had been doing the work to update high school sciences over the last five years.  She said that there had not been a high school science adoption "for a long time" so teachers take the standards, bundle them and then frame as units.  She said it used to be teachers would go to their file cabinets for units and now it's an "electronic" one and they can share and collaborate with other teachers.


She said the team had worked with UW and UC Boulder and this is "what great science minds saythis is what to do."

She said that the issue of getting rid of the term "physical sciences" was needed because it was misunderstood by colleges and universities and therefore, it was better to call it Physics/Chemistry.  I had no problem seeing that phrase online and, oddly, Welch said, twice, that it was called that when she went to high school.  I'm confused why she thinks others would be confused.

As to the sequence she said that the State has said all students will take lab sciences and that the junior year is for an elective and "we can't dictate what they take."  

Burke pushed back saying that it looked like a body of institutional knowledge has become curriculum but without real resources for teachers.  Wells claims they do have the resources.

Kinoshita said the science standards changed in 2005, 2009 and 2013 and said that the materials were "adopted" because of changes in the standards.  He also said there was pressure with the rise of popularity of STEM.

Director Mack said that the state school board directors association - WSSDA - had encouraged delinking these for graduation.  She said she did not understand making this change.


Both Kinoshita and Welch said they didn't care about whether the name got changed on Physical Sciences but that they needed to "upgrade" for 9th graders and not what was more appropriate work for middle schoolers.

To my point of not having information in front of me, there was reference to some percentage of teachers who agree with this; 62% physical science and 80% life sciences.  I'll have to ask for that data.  Interestingly, Welch said she had only sent the data to the directors on the committee who asked for it.

Burke pushed back again, saying he had been thru many adoption cycles and "they don't look like this."  He said his discomfort came not from what was being done but how it was being done with not enough feedback from higher ed sources and parents.

To the issue of parents - which, except for two times, - did not come up in the conversation at all.  Once was Burke's reference and the other came at the end from Welch.  But in the documentation that Kinoshita handed out, here's what they said under "How have parents been involved?"

Teachers who have been involved in the collaborations have shared with parents of students in their classrooms about their work.  It then cited "parent nights" and "through classroom communications home."

The document also states: "Up to this point in time there has been nothing more to share."

I also note that previous documentation referenced that some of the teachers on the committee were also SPS parents.

Then, in the Equity Tool document:

In addition to alignment team members, many high school science teachers throughout SPS have engaged their students, and therefore their families, in the standards and pedagogy of NGSS.

It also says that Ms. Welch has told "principals, counselors, and individual buildings science programs and their administrations to communicate the goals and implications of this alignment on stakeholders, including students, families and teachers."

I find this engagement weak and lame.

How much did you ever get from parent nights on issues like this?

What classroom communications sent home? When, in high school, does a parent ever get info directly from a teacher about curriculum and "pedagogy"?  I had two kids in two different high schools and I never got anything like that.  Readers?  (Not sure if reading your kid's syllabus counts.)

And that "we told the students and therefore their parents" is laughable.

Welch shot back at Burke, "With all due respect, this swirl is because of deferred maintenance.  We have worked diligently to make sense of the standards and worked with university collaborators."

My feeling is that Burke and other directors greatly respect all the work and do not, in any way, want it thrown away.  What they want is documentation over exactly how we got here and why there was not more engagement with families about what was coming.

She also said that West Seattle already has made these changes.

She said this was "a moment of equity" and that SPS had "not structured courses to be accessible to all children."  She and Kinshita referenced "tracking" in schools, citing the example of being in advanced math and then being able to get into Biology sooner.  They said it didn't make any sense and "we don't believe in that." She said Ballard has 5 (!) tracks but HCC is different and that group will "see no changes."  

She also said that every IB school is different and "we need to restructure that."

On that point I'll just say that they are then headed for a clash.  On the one hand, they cannot allow principals to have their own kingdoms with little regulation as it appears is the rule now but, on the other hand, have strict patterns for class offerings.

Mack said she was still confused about why the change was occurring now "if we are already doing the work."  She said that was great but there is the looming 24 credit change (and possible 32) and then that potentially changes all of high school and it seemed confusing to make a change now.  Mack made this point twice before she had to leave (she was filling in for Director DeWolf who was unavailable - Director Patu was in attendance but mostly stayed silent during the conversation.)


Michael Tolley stepped in and said he thought the Board needed more critical information.

Burke said the effort and focus should be in middle school and continue to shift practice but not with fundamental course structure changes and that there should be a formal adoption process that is vetted by a broader group.

Kinoshita said they are moving forward.
 
Burke said that there needs to be an overall structure of PD, assessment, and student materials as well. He said the Board has governance over courses and instructional materials and they are adjusting courses and "I won't be party to offering courses that have no instructional materials attached."

Kinoshita said they are "embarking on that."  He said this was an opportunity to move forward.

Welch said that she was hearing from unhappy teachers and that "it's really incredibly destructive if they were to think that they did something wrong."

She said, " All we did is take state standards and that's our obligation to students and teachers where there were no instructional materials and we came together to prepare excellent materials."

It seems to me that she is conflating teachers being able to teach, following changing standards, with what is a realignment of courses.  I do not believe them to be the same thing.

She said she didn't care what the courses were called but "teachers have already transitioned and can't go back."

Burke said that if teachers and communities were not engaged, it limits implementation and "if success is our goal, I'm asking you to vet this thru an adoption process."

Welch asked if he could put that statement into a written form to help her team "understand the point."  

Then it got real.

She said that "angry voices have demoralized the team and sucked our time up" instead of being "productive" using "misconceptions when this all could have been avoided."

I note that the documentation from the district calls those "misconceptions" "myths."

Welch had seemed ramped up from the start but then she let loose.  She said the Ballard teachers "came on attack and mobilized" and that there was "a riot in the northend."

Now, I didn't go to that meeting at Ballard and I heard it was quite a spirited discussion but, to the best of my knowledge, no chairs got thrown, tables flipped or police called out.

 Burke said he disagreed.  He said we (the district) tells the community about plans and sometimes they let us know what we missed and we can either thank them for the input and  for pointing out something we might have missed or say no, we thought of that.

He said, "It's not always a polite conversation but that's how we make sausage in this factory."  

Kinoshita said, "The Ballard principal got in there and confronted staff about how to have a rational conversation with them."

Burke quietly said that he would not put blame on teachers "but on us not doing due diligence."  Welch agreed.  

Welch chimed in again that "this was a miscommunication that could have been avoided but was purposefully put forward" in public.  Welch said that she had been a teacher and thought she was a good one and didn't understand what the directors didn't understand.

She then asked, "Should I cancel the rest of the family science nights?"  Burke said that was absolutely not his call and that's up to Teaching and Learning and the superintendent.

My takeaway:

- Welch is furious with the Ballard High Science department and certainly was fine with throwing them under the bus to make them look bad.  I sense that her point was that they could have come to the team, stated their concerns, and not done it in a public way.

- I think Welch and Kinoshita are not happy that those Ballard teachers let parents know and that somehow, the parents had become pawns, rather than thinking adults.

- I think publicly mischaracterizing a meeting as "a riot" certainly does not help an already tense situation.

- It would seem that despite what staff says, this looks to some on the Board like an adoption and the Board wants to see more effort that looks like what a normal adoption of curriculum looks like. 

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have found Ms Welch helpful and pleasant in the past, but she's coming across here as someone who screwed up and is getting defensive about it. It seems clear that she misjudged the situation and should have engaged parents early on, and that not working through concerns on the part of some schools/teachers ahead of time was a mistake. They typical SPS M.O. of just telling people how it's going to be usually doesn't go well--especially when the district clearly doesn't have all its ducks in a row re: how this is actually supposed to roll out in the first place. There's a simplistic overview of the new science sequence presented on the district's website, but in reality things will differ by school and by student. Parents want to see the reality version, not the hypothetical.

Some of the quotes attributed to Ms Welch are interesting.

" All we did is take state standards and that's our obligation to students and teachers where there were no instructional materials and we came together to prepare excellent materials."

If they were creating materials where there previously were none, that seems to be curriculum adoption. They had previously stated they didn't need to go through the adoption process because they were just "rearranging" what is already in use, but, as suspected, that does not sound like it's the case.

MW reported that Ms Welch also said that "angry voices have demoralized the team and sucked our time up" instead of being "productive" using "misconceptions when this all could have been avoided."

Yup. And you know who could have avoided it? Ms Welch. If people who have been working on it are demoralized, if time has been sucked up by responding to those with opposing views and/or by parents with questions, if there are misconceptions--those are all on her, if she was the one leading this process. If they've been working on this for so many years, there should have been much more effort devoted to consensus building, public engagement, communications strategy and messaging, etc. If they've been working on it for so long, why does it feel like such a rush job, a half-baked idea with a 1/4 baked implementation plan?

Don't Getit

kellie said...

Time and again, we return to the challenges with how "silo'ed" work at SPS headquarters can become. I concur that the teachers involved in doing the science alignment work, did indeed do good and thoughtful work.

However, nothing is truly silo'ed and the committee completely neglected how interconnected this work would become with Core 24, high school capacity issues, curriculum adoption, etc .... That is not the fault of the faculty on the committee AND it is a massive oversight. Both are true.

It is myopic at best to "blame the Ballard teachers" for the current state of upset regarding Science curriculum. This was a five year process that could easily have included the broader community at any point.

Some of the old timers on this blog might remember more details about the 2011 Science alignment and the vast amount of community upset at that time. The current upset is no different. During the 2011 process, intended to standard science across the district, only the classic science classes would count as science credit and any specialty class was going to be "an elective." This meant classes like Oceanography would not count and there was massive push back.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you for the detailed commentary, MW. And thank you Director Burke for pushing for a formal adoption that includes student materials.

Sigh...this is why a formal adoption process exists. Unfortunately, it seems the path is leading toward less advancement and fewer choices, kind of the opposite of what you'd expect for a growing district. Linking math and science pathways actually does make some sense, because science requires math.

From my armchair, I see a district that is flailing when it comes to developing an overarching plan for Curriculum and Instruction. The science redo was a good opportunity to rethink the middle school to high school pathways and update student materials, but instead we are left with a fragmented plan and still no updated student materials.

As far as increasing accessibility, what we've experienced is a continued lowering of expectations. Rather than working to provide tiered levels of challenge, challenge is being removed. It's like we're moving toward a system of cram schools, where students go to school but then need to cram at home what they need to learn to be competent, from basic writing to science concepts to history content. Teachers play "guide on the side" while students work in groups, then those with any remaining motivation are left to self teach or find a tutor (or just leave SPS altogether).

just bleak

Helen said...

I'm not sure that the formal adoption process works any better for science. The new elementary school science curriculum seems like a dumbing down of science and includes so much repetition, the kids get bored.

Also, the middle school gen ed science curricullum seems like just 3 years of repetition while the HCC kids get to do wet science. The HCC science teachers at the Hamilton open house last month were already laying out the new science curriculum so maybe it is a valid point that it would be hard to undo what has already been announced.

My only problem with the new curriculum is that it would seem to make more sense to go back to the old order of teaching science; Biology, Chemistry, Physics. It makes me wonder if 9th grade Chem/Physics would be dumbed down a bit since it is coming before more advanced math.

Helen

Anonymous said...

What is the reference to West Seattle, what has already been adopted?

Reader

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to hit the "pause" button on this.

Intentional or not, these actions come across as an end run around board policy and the board. Directors are right to be alarmed and demand oversight. Where is Superintendent Nyland in all this? The Superintendent should step in and require his staff to follow policy

It's clearly more than just an "alignment." SPS curriculum staffmembers are playing semantic games. These proposed curriculum changes require board oversight and clear evidence that it's the best direction for SPS students. It currently isn't transparent at all.

As a parent I don't remember any teachers telling me about this science overhaul, and I too want to know how these changes would be viewed by colleges when they review my kid's high school transcript. Right now, they make little sense and appear to undo existing science sequences that have worked.

Staffmembers should respect the expertise of teachers like those at Ballard and others in the district who were evidently not consulted. They have legitimate concerns. To get angry with teachers who are conscientiously doing their job is not addressing the problem of how this is being handled and whether it's the right thing to do.

(There was no "riot" at the Ballard meeting, btw. But there was alot of frustration.)


- Another Tiredparent

Robert Cruickshank said...

Mary Margaret Welch has forgotten something very important:

She is a public servant.

Her job, ultimately, is to serve the public. That means not just listening to feedback from parents and teachers, but valuing it and making it a top priority. If parents and teachers are upset, she shouldn't be defensive. It is quite literally her job to hear that feedback and adjust her approach based on it.

But her dismissive attitude here is the same as we always see out of the JSCEE: "We decided this, we are smarter than you, we know better than you, how dare you push back against this."

That's just unacceptable and we need all board members to stand up to that and make it clear to Nyland that it is completely unacceptable for any of his subordinates to be taking such an attitude toward the board, toward teachers, or toward parents.

I would also add that Kinoshita and Welch are making it very, very clear that they are coming for ALL specialized programs in SPS. All of them. IB, IBX, dual language immersion, and yes, option schools. All of them are going to come under systematic attack in the coming months unless we stop this - and that requires our board members to step up.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader, maybe I should not have included that quote because I wasn't sure. I think Welch was referencing using the new alignment.

Where is the superintendent? Good question. My feeling is that he is not happy with not being renewed and is being more of a caretaker now.

"That means not just listening to feedback from parents and teachers, but valuing it and making it a top priority."

This is EXACTLY the point that Director Burke was making.

And, there is that quote about the IB programs, so yes, Robert, there is more to come.

Outsider said...

It seems unusually clear in this case that "equity" means limiting students to a lowest-common-denominator curriculum, and they mean to prevent any challenge or acceleration for any student who lacks the magical HCC label.

Anonymous said...

She also said that every IB school is different and "we need to restructure that."

It's already happening. The IBX program is only a shell of how it was originally envisioned. With the school push to have most students follow the typical pathway to IB in 11th/12th, the dwindling cohort of IBX students is unlikely have the critical mass of students needed to offer a full schedule of appropriate 12th grade coursework. Students for whom the IBX option was created may be the least served at this point, unless their goal is to graduate in 3 years. More north end students may opt for their neighborhood high school, with perhaps the exception of Hale students, which is the ultimate district goal, yes? IBX has served its capacity purpose, and is needed less and less as a "pull" from Garfield.

onward

Cap hill said...

Equity is being used to justify everything that has not been well thought out, is not evidence based and is poorly implemented in this district. HCC pathways, elimination of Spectrum, Honors for All. Yet the actual hard indicators for equity are moving backwards. Gaps are actually getting bigger, despite more time and energy being invested in the name of equity.

Look, I get that the actual gap issue is a hard problem. But the conflation of equity and the hyper fuzzy definition it is given - I believe that is lowering the overall quality bar for the school district and making it much harder for families and schools to work together. Because the superintendent has declared this to be the educational issue of our time, and because this is a hard problem, I see schools and teachers feeling very empowered just to do whatever, as long it is in the name of equity. If you looked in the SEA collective bargaining agreement, you'd see that the "partnership for equity" is a tool being used to create more teacher control over what happens in schools. As a Garfield parent, I've seen it used to to justify dismantling POST and implementing Honors for All without much of a plan, and despite overwhelmingly negative feedback.

My uber point, is that it doesn't seem to be working. That said, I think we're stuck with the mindset in the district that as long as you can justify something in the name of equity, you can do it. When you can get away with slack implementation just by waving your arms in any organization - be it a business or government agency - you know you have a real cultural problem.

And ultimately, I think that makes it much harder to make real progress on the most important goals - making sure every kid gets the best education they can.

Robert Cruickshank said...

What stands out to me is that SPS is not making any effort - or is undermining existing efforts - to provide equitable participation in programs and curriculum.

Look at IB at Rainier Beach. That's a great example of equitable curriculum - rather than just having it way up in the far north end, a group of parents and teachers fought to bring it to the south end. The school community had to fight tooth and nail to get it created and funded. The senior leadership at the JSCEE have never been truly supportive of it, however.

Or look at the fight over preserving dual language immersion at Concord Elementary in South Park.

Or the way the JSCEE gutted Middle College - by replacing a curriculum rooted in social and racial justice with Bill Gates' own personal white dude curriculum.

If the concern is "why does Ballard HS have this program and not Franklin HS?" then the answer should be "let's make sure it's at Franklin!" rather than "no specialized programs for anyone" which is what is coming from the JSCEE.

And why would the leaders at the JSCEE be taking that approach? As folks like Carolyn Leith have demonstrated, it's because SPS leaders want to go to an electronic screen-based, standardized learning model like that used at Summit Charter Schools and promoted by Mark Zuckerberg.

The signs are all there. I hope parents start paying attention.

Anonymous said...


Many of the same people who are criticizing (rightfully) JSCEE who routinely and for years have:

thrown teachers under the bus, don't listen to them (and often manages to get input from those who already share their agenda)

are the SAME PARENTS who went public to publicly trash teachers (often by name), say that teachers have no right to interfere with curriculum, have no right to exercise their professional judgment.

This is called situational ethics, situational outrage, and hypocrisy.

Can't get all "we're so pro teacher" with such a track record of doing worse than what you're all upset with the district for doing, people.

Self Serving

Anonymous said...

"What stands out to me is that SPS is not making any effort - or is undermining existing efforts - to provide equitable participation in programs and curriculum."

This is the SPS way: they are reactive, seek the quickest way to CYA and check off the box, and use terms like "equity" like the characters in the book 1984.

So, yes, Robert C, you are probably correct.

Here's my question to you: How have you used your well-honed and well-connected voice to address the actual issue of equity in SPS (not the fake equity they use)?

Robert C, where are you on record with such passion about the lack of HC services in the district for underserved students?

Robert C, where are you on record with such passion for advocating that all high schools offer basic AP classes and challenges for students (I mean prior to the past few months)?

Situational Ethics

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

Btw: SAME PARENTS who went public to publicly trash teachers (often by name), say that teachers have no right to interfere with curriculum, have no right to exercise their professional judgment...refers to this situation:

@Cap Hill "If you looked in the SEA collective bargaining agreement, you'd see that the "partnership for equity" is a tool being used to create more teacher control over what happens in schools. As a Garfield parent, I've seen it used to to justify dismantling POST and implementing Honors for All without much of a plan, and despite overwhelmingly negative feedback.

My uber point, is that it doesn't seem to be working."

Uber Ethics

Melissa Westbrook said...

Situational, two things. Robert is a bigger vision person for change in our city/state/country so SPS is not his direct focus. But clearly he is interested and keeps up with what is happening. And, unlike you, he signs his name to everything he writes.

Second, all the comprehensive high schools have had either AP or IB classes for several years. It’s not recent as you claim.

Fiscal Note said...

Where is the fiscal note? With professional development, I have a feeling this "alignment" or "adoption" is going to cost a small fortune. Worth remembering that the district will be dealing with a Collective Bargaining Agreement this year.


I attended the Ballard meeting. Parents were NOT award that changes were on the way. Teachers, speakers etc. were polite.

As others have pointed out, high schools are in the midst of upheaval as they try and figure out CORE 24.

Very glad that Director Mack attended the meeting and I'm very glad Director Burke pushed back.

Anonymous said...

How can "equity" be SPS' highest priority when we can't define it, can't measure it and won't know when we've achieved it?

Crazy Town

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fiscal, Director Burke stated this in his memo and I believe you are right. There is almost nothing that changes in this district without a financial cost.

Anonymous said...

Will there be more choice spots for general ed kids who want to go to Ingraham this fall?
Whitman Family

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

Situational, two things. Robert is a bigger vision person for change in our city/state/country so SPS is not his direct focus. But clearly he is interested and keeps up with what is happening. And, unlike you, he signs his name to everything he writes.

--It that's the case, then he why he is commenting here on equity? The excuse you offered makes no sense given that he has already been commenting here on equity in SPS.

Second, all the comprehensive high schools have had either AP or IB classes for several years. It’s not recent as you claim.

--I didn't "claim" that. The issue was so serious that it was recently part of the amendment that just passed. It recently became an issue for people as a means to preserve HCC pathways.

Uber

Melissa Westbrook said...

Uber, Robert can comment on anything because he's a member of the public at a public forum.

I can prove that all the comprehensives have had those classes for several years. The amendment was NOT about schools without AP or IB, it was expanding it in order to have MORE rigor for more students. You have misunderstood what the resolution is about..

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the day when someone at SPS defines what the end game on equity is. Is it equity of opportunity? Is it equity of outcomes? Those are two different things. And, per the comment earlier: How will we know when we have successfully achieved equity? What does that look like and by what measures?

As a parent of a 9th grader and 6th grader in this district--and a Building Leadership Team member at our neighborhood middle school--I had zero knowledge of the science curriculum discussions before it blew up in public.

Like Director Burke, I don't understand how this is anything other than a curricular adoption, which has a process the district doesn't seem to be following here.

Concerned parent

Ann S. said...

To clarify the HC enrollment info about Ingraham, note the "Linked High Schools for Student Services" page:

http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Admissions/School%20Choice/2018-19_LinkedHighSchools_ADA.pdf

Quote:
"6. Ingraham has typically had 90 seats for HC and a waitlist. For the 2018-19 school year, we anticipate being able to accommodate more availability for HC at Ingraham, greatly reducing, if not eliminating, a possible waitlist."

Anonymous said...


It is really refreshing to hear a principal supporting something HC related (and sad that it is so):

"...informed Principal Floe about increased available of HC seats. Principal Floe is supportive of the change."

And I say this as a parent of a child who is not HC identified and whose neighborhood school will be Ingraham.

Refreshing

Anonymous said...

I kind of get a "Captain Queeg on the stand" picture in my mind as I read about this Curriculum and Instruction meeting.

Ball Bearings

Melissa Westbrook said...

Floe is a good, caring principal. He is also one of at least 3(?) SPS who graduated from the school that they now head ( with Ted Howard at Garfield and I think the principal at Ballard). Mr Floe told me once that he had been in the marching band( that makes two of us).

Anonymous said...

The new principal at RHS is also an alum. of her school.

-StepJ

Anonymous said...

Some questions based on MW's write-up:

"Both Kinoshita and Welch said they didn't care about whether the name got changed on Physical Sciences but that they needed to "upgrade" for 9th graders and not what was more appropriate work for middle schoolers."

What does this mean? Is this acknowledgement that Physical Sciences (a class that was added to the HS curriculum while I was in HS, so I didn't have to take it) is the same as Chem A / Physics A? The Ballard HS letter pointed out that there will be a lack of rigor for Freshman (due to math requirements) and that Chem A / Physics A can't be compared to the existing first semester of the current classes.

If this is just renamed Physical Sciences, than it looks like the BHS' science department is right. Given that, does it mean that students really are only getting one semester of rigorous, math-based Chemistry, in the 11th grade? Yikes.

"She also said that West Seattle already has made these changes."

So... how is it working out? When was the change made? Was this in accordance with the curriculum guidelines adopted by the board. Did West Seattle High School apply for a curriculum waiver (remember those ... and how most schools using their own math curriculum didn't have them on file when we went through the EDM adoption a few years ago)?

"Burke said the effort and focus should be in middle school and continue to shift practice but not with fundamental course structure changes and that there should be a formal adoption process that is vetted by a broader group."

This is important. Middle School science was a wasteland 20 years ago when I went through it. Given the district's inability to do regular curriculum and materials adoptions over the last twenty years, I suspect little has changed. How much of the 9th grade "Chem A / Phys A" curriculum can be pushed down to middle school?

"Kinoshita said they are moving forward. He said the Board has governance over courses and instructional materials and they are adjusting courses and "I won't be party to offering courses that have no instructional materials attached."

Burke agreed but said that there needs to be an overall structure of PD, assessment, and student materials as well.

Kinoshita said they are "embarking on that." He said this was an opportunity to move forward."

Wait, what? Is Kinoshita saying they're going to push this through as a simple adjustment and there is nothing the board can do to stop it? Come on. They can flex their muscles, should they chose to do so. If I was on the board, I'd direct the Superintendent to postpone the work, put it through the normal curriculum adoption process, with a planned roll out one more year further in the future. This doesn't mean all the work that the Welch has done would be scrapped ... just that the full process with the materials selection, public outreach, etc would occur.

Additionally - what about the instructional materials? Kinoshita said he won't offer courses without instructional materials attached. But yet, as was posted here a few weeks ago, the high school biology and chemistry textbooks are the same ones I used when I was in High School, and I graduated over 15 years ago. No doubt, with the growth in student population, many science classes are without textbooks throughout the district. Additionally, doesn't the need for those instructional materials require the full curriculum review process? What about the budget expenditure for those materials?

northwesterner


Ballard Resident said...

Ballard's principal realizes that teacher- student relationships are important. He wants students to have the same teacher for an entire year. The district's plan does not provide that type of continuity.

Anonymous said...

First, it seems wildly crazy to continue to have equity discussions where we talk about racial achievement differences without bringing economics into it. We know a child's socio-economic background has a huge affect on how they (on average) perform on standardized test measures. It's why Cascadia has few black kids and why they have few FRL kids. How are the different racial groups achieving at different income levels? Has the racial achievement gap changed when you pull out the changes in FRL? What is the FRL achievement gap? Different questions, but also different looking equity solutionns.

Second, this whole idea of driving equity by curtailing the top seems destined to fail. There's been tremendous growth in North Seattle over the last 5 years give or take...Sylvan, Kumon, a new writing tutoring place, Mathnasium, Kid Science Lab, myriad science and math focused summer camps...all packed with kids. Some of these kids are surely from parents who are trying to give their kids a leg up, some just trying to fill in after school hours and summer breaks. Others are there because they're trying to supplement a lack of instruction in many schools or their kid is struggling. The district can't stop or control those opportunities though. In fact, I'd guess that the more the district curtails access to advanced learning and enrichment in wealthier schools, the more parents go outside and supplement and that may often take their kids further ahead than they would have been with more access in school.

Ultimately, we can say black lives matter and we can say disadvantaged kids need more funding and those are important guiding principals, but none of this stuff seems to be looking at the underlying questions - what works and what is needed? Which schools manage to close achievement gaps? By raising the kids at the bottom, not stagnating the kids at the top? How do they do it? Why are we not doing those things elsewhere? How much more funding do disadvantaged kids need? Right now the way SPS works, schools with substantially higher levels of FRL get substantially more funding (as they should); substantially more per student than even the wealthiest PTAs average as best I could tell. It's hard to parse out because each school has a different number of students and different levels of additional funding groups (Sped, ELL, etc), but it's more. Is it enough more? How much more is needed? What should the extra dollars be spent on? Is it a funds distribution problem and not an actual funding issue (I've heard a number of times that a lot of the extra money comes with restrictions), or is it actually a funding issue? If we know what works, we can direct money to the right areas and actually help these kids make progress. Or we can spend a lot of energy trying to get 2% of them into our current HCC program and talk a lot about equity and access to AP classes in high school without actually doing anything about making sure they're prepared for them when they get to high school.

NE Parent

Anonymous said...


thought exchange is coming for us all. i said this on the hcc thing and calmer heads prevailed.

same old shit. staff seems to think they are beyond reproach. starts from the top

michael tolley cares nothing about outreach
wyeth jessee says the same thing - with expensive tools that have zero realistic info.

thought exchange blab on about nothing - blab blab blab
survey monkey - do you the districts outreach ___ yes _X_ no. see how simple it is? 60 for an survey monkey account too.

the district did an al survey with dr. vaughn. 90 percent favorability. after 8 years of tolley i am sure they would come up with not too many smiley faces.

then there is kari hanson. hum. how long will she float around talking about mtss. do we pay her for every time she says that this panacea, couldn't we push for more teachers and less false promises.

imho they want to kill hcc. everyone of them but nyland. and he doesn't care. he is just a sunk cost like a geriatric parent who doesn't remember where the keys are. oh well. and that isn't ageism. it is doesim.

iiwal (it is worth a lot)

Anonymous said...

do you LIKE the districts outreach ___ yes _X_ no.

IIWAL

James Wagar said...

Is the quote attributed to Kinoshita here something that Burke actually said instead?

“Kinoshita said they are moving forward. He said the Board has governance over courses and instructional materials and they are adjusting courses and ‘I won't be party to offering courses that have no instructional materials attached.’”

Anonymous said...

Principal Wyncoop is a Ballard alum and has a student at the school. He is a die hard "Beaver for Life". I think his father went there too???

I think this alignment needs to begin in middle school. As an above poster said ... middle school science is a waste land. I agree for what is offered at Whiman MS. My daughter could have taken Biology at BHS as a freshman but neither of us felt that she had a solid science background after WMS. She took Physical Science in 9th grade and is taking Biology this year.

My son will be affected by this alignment - but - I feel that he has had a better science curriculum at Salmon Bay.

I'm confused as to why the path wouln't be Biology, Chemistry, Physics?

If they want students to start with Chemistry/Physics in 9th grade ... shouldn't Physical Science and Biology be covered in middle school?

N by NW

Anonymous said...

@ N by NW, they want students to start with the combo Chemistry/Physics class in 9th so they'll get exposure to all three areas (incl. Biology) regardless of what they take for that third year of science. The 9th grade class seems to be more of an intro/survey class-- Chemistry/Physics LITE. Something "accessible" to all--meaning way too easy for some.

Science fiction

Melissa Westbrook said...

James, you are right. I ran that together in my notes and missed it when I wrote this up. Thanks for the catch.

Anonymous said...

I believe the district's resistance to pausing is driven by the new state mandated science test at end of junior year. The current sequence apparently doesn't have all the components and the new one supposedly does, so they don't want to stop because then it will be the district's "fault" that it didn't expose all to the concepts on which they will be tested. (I will refrain from commenting on tests driving this issue, but I will give a prop to the district for at least trying to work ahead to meet the testing deadline...so often we criticize it for not starting early enough. This time they did, even if the public and school by school engagement wasn't what many of us wished it to have been.)

Which brings to mind the fact that earlier in the discussion there was some question on whether current 9th graders as well as HCCers will have covered all they need for the test. There was talk about needing to offer a one semester elective to add in the "missing" material. But now it seems to be back to "don't worry....HCCers will have covered it" and there's nothing about the current 9th graders. Maybe I missed something? Or maybe the district did? Or maybe there was misinformation on this at the beginning? If anyone can clarify, parents, teachers, district, please chime in.

EdVoter

NNE Mom said...

Ms. Welch says Ballard has 5 tracks???? What the heck is she talking about?

Thanks for reporting about this topic. Some of this stuff is really astonishing (and unsettling) to read about. I'm really glad directors Burke and Mack attended the meeting.

Anonymous said...

@NNE Mom- Just a guess but Ballard has a large variety of science classes due to Biotech academy, as well as CIH & AP science courses. I know some kids may take chemistry, while others are taking physics etc.
NNW

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the tracking comments for science. I understand that some science classes will have math requirements, but assuming some exposure to science in middle school, any gen-ed or AP science class should be open to anyone who wants to give them a shot. I had a friend who took AP physics and did well, but decided she wanted an easier class her Jr year and took gen-ed Biology. Would "tracks" make these decisions impossible?

-NW

Melissa Westbrook said...

NW, like "equity", "tracking" is a ed-whistle comment to gain attention and make something look bad.

Anonymous said...

@NW-tracks would make those moves difficult, but worse yet—one size fits all would indeed make those moves impossible.

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

I would also like to know if our current general education freshmen will need to take an extra course to prepare for the new test. Thank you.

A mom

Anonymous said...

@ A Mom, current freshmen need to take 3 years of science instead of the prior 2-year requirement, so they do need an "extra" in that sense. If your student was already planning 3-4 years of science, however, then your question might be whether they will be required to take certain courses instead of others. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers on that--it depends on their school, and what classes they've already taken. Was your student in HCC for middle school? What are they taking now? What HS are they attending? Are they in any special HS programs, such as Biotech Acad or IBX? Those might help us answer--although there might still be uncertainty!

DisAPP

Doctor Hu said...

WHAT SIZE ARE THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL HC PATHWAYS IN THE FINAL 3 + 1 PLAN?

The new high school boundaries plan establishes three HC pathways at Garfield, Lincoln and West Seattle, plus the IB/IBX HC option at Ingraham (3 + 1 Plan). Based on current 2017-18 HC numbers and final Map F4v3 with Lincoln fully enrolled, here are the sizes of each of those new HC pathway cohorts:

* INGRAHAM IB/IBX HC OPTION 379 HC enrolled, 361 north end AA, 18 south end AA

* LINCOLN HC PATHWAY 342 HC enrolled, 361 Ingraham IB/IBX Option HC enrolled, 236 HC eligible
Lincoln AA: 182? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 146? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 0 HC eligible (? ft RS)
Roosevelt AA: 46? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 28? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 112 HC eligible (<28 ft RS)
Ballard AA: 53? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 38? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 88 HC eligible (<46 ft RS)
Nathan Hale AA: 36? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 63? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 26 HC eligible (43 ft RS)
Ingraham AA: 25? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 86? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 10 HC eligible (48 ft RS)

* GARFIELD HC PATHWAY 287 HC enrolled, 15 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 25 HC eligible
Garfield AA: 170 HC enrolled Garfield Pathway, 9 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 3 HC eligible (74 ft RS)
Franklin AA: 85 HC enrolled Garfield Pathway, 4 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 18 HC eligible (28 ft RS)
Rainier Beach AA: 32 HC enrolled Garfield Pathway, 2 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 4 HC eligible (21 ft RS)

* WEST SEATTLE HC PATHWAY 123 HC enrolled, 3 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 14 HC eligible
West Seattle AA: 93 HC enrolled West Seattle Pathway, 2 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 1 HC eligible (64 ft RS)
Chief Sealth AA: 30 HC enrolled West Seattle Pathway, 1 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 13 HC eligible (49 ft RS)

379 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option (94.75/grade)
342 HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway (85.5/grade)
287 HC enrolled Garfield Pathway (71.75/grade)
123 HC enrolled West Seattle Pathway (30.75/grade)
244 HC eligible local AA schools (107 Roosevelt + 86 Ballard + 21 Hale + 8 Ingraham + 9 Franklin + 13 Chief Sealth)
32 HC eligible other schools (12 Center, 11 ft RS + 10 Nova, 0 ft RS + 9 Cleveland, 24 ft RS + 1 Middle College, 0 ft RS)

1407 HC enrolled/eligible (436 ft RS)


For more details, see What Size Are the New 3 + 1 Plan High School HC Pathways?

1) Full-time 1/18 Running Start numbers include all students, not just HC.

2) Attachment I, HS Boundary Scenario Comparison Table with Projected Enrollment, and Map F4v3 figures show my earlier calculation 262 north end HC enrolled students moving from the Garfield HC pathway to the new Lincoln HC pathway will be joined by 40 captured HC eligible Ballard change area plus 40 captured HC eligible Roosevelt change area, to make up the new HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway cohort 342.

3) New Lincoln HC Pathway captures 80 formerly HC eligible (40 Ballard + 40 Roosevelt), new West Seattle HC Pathway captures 20 formerly HC eligible (20 West Seattle), meaning 100 students change from HC eligible to HC enrolled in those new pathways.

4) Attachment I Boundary Comparison Table and Map F4v3 notes are helpful but rely on older 2016-17 data, and show Lincoln HS future enrollment in 2019-20 when it will be only half-full. So in my chart, Lincoln figures are doubled. Also, Attachment I and Map F4v3 show "HCC eligible" as including "Receiving HCC" i.e. HC enrolled; my chart follows consistent prior SPS data showing "HC eligible" students at other schools as distinct from "HC enrolled" students in HC pathways and IB/IBX option.

5) These new HC pathway numbers do not consider 2018-19 HC grandfathering rules or 2019-20 HC opt-in rules, which will affect transitional enrollment patterns during the Lincoln HC Pathway roll-up, while HC enrollment overall will also rise.

Anonymous said...

Re: #3 above, Lincoln AA HC-eligibles might suddenly be counted as HC-enrolled under the new plan, but it doesn't necessarily mean they need access to the same classes. It might be one indicator of the need to offer AP and other advanced classes, but students not coming from the middle school HCC pathway wouldn't need the same science options in 9th and 10th --they would be on more of a GE sequence.

The distinction between those who are HC and those coming from HCC is also part of the puzzle for understanding.

Anonymous said...

There are gen ed and non-cohort HC kids who take summer school at community college and/or on-line classes and move up to or beyond HCC students. Lincoln needs to offer AP Chem, AP Calc 1A and AP CS from day one, like Ballard. There absolutely will be sophomores who need at least these few options and freshpersons who will need at least one of these classes.

fd

Doctor Hu said...

"Re: #3 above, Lincoln AA HC-eligibles might suddenly be counted as HC-enrolled under the new plan, but it doesn't necessarily mean they need access to the same classes."

Anon @ 3.32 pm, thanks for your insight. However, before the new high school boundaries and 3 + 1 Plan HC pathways, almost all of those 80 Lincoln AA HC-eligibles captured from the Roosevelt (10/grade) and Ballard (10/grade) change areas would otherwise have attended those AA schools rather than the Garfield Pathway after already being HC enrolled at Hamilton, Jane Addams or Robert Eagle Staff middle schools. We can see this by following those 2016-17 middle school 8th graders into their actual current 2017-18 high school 9th grade choices.

According to the 2016-17 Annual Enrollment Report, there were 424 HC enrolled 8th graders at Washington, Hamilton and Jane Addams, but unfortunately the report does not show HC eligible figures for 8th graders at other middle schools that year.

According to SPS 2017-18 figures, there are now 461 HC enrolled/eligible 9th graders in Seattle who include 311 HC enrolled (211 Garfield + 100 Ingraham), and the remaining 150 HC eligible 9th graders at several other high schools (74 Roosevelt + 46 Ballard + 10 West Seattle + 9 Nathan Hale + 4 Chief Seattle + 3 Cleveland + 2 Franklin + 2 Center).

This means that in 2017 between 113-150 HC enrolled 8th graders left the HC enrolled cohort when they entered high school, switching to HC eligible in order to attend their AA high schools, or other high schools outside the Garfield Pathway and Ingraham IB/IBX option. So for the current school year somewhere less than 37 new 8th grade students districtwide could have tested in to HCC for high school, and they should almost all be counted among those 311 HC enrolled 9th grade students now at Garfield and Ingraham (otherwise why bother testing in?). (The number of HC middle schoolers leaving for private high schools would also influence these numbers.)

In sum, those 80 HC eligible students from Roosevelt and Ballard who will soon be captured and HC enrolled in the new Lincoln Pathway will typically need the same science options as the other 262 HC enrolled students who move north from the old Garfield Pathway.

Anonymous said...

@ Doctor Hu- Minor edit. The principal of Ballard puts the current HC eligible 9th grade number at 53, not 46. That might include some kids who came from Evergreen.
NNW

Anonymous said...

#5"These new HC pathway numbers do not consider 2018-19 HC grandfathering rules or 2019-20 HC opt-in rules, which will affect transitional enrollment patterns during the Lincoln HC Pathway roll-up, while HC enrollment overall will also rise."

@ Doctor Hu. This is huge as previously kids who may have chose Ballard or Roosevelt will instead choose Garfield or Ingraham to be grandfathered. This will affect the numbers of HC 10th entering Lincoln in 2019 and I doubt we will see them a high as assumed 80 based upon previous years enrollment. However, there is also the "opt in" provision. But I question how many HC will choose to move schools in 2019. It is an unknown.
NE

Anonymous said...

I am not sure about those numbers. There are 72 hc kids at Roosevelt in 9th(not all in chemistry). I don't know what portion of them live in Lincoln, but I wonder if those are last year's.

RHS21

Doctor Hu said...

"Minor edit. The principal of Ballard puts the current HC eligible 9th grade number at 53, not 46. That might include some kids who came from Evergreen."

NNW, thanks, interesting, if so that would add another 8 9th graders to the current HC eligible grade distribution of those 126 HC eligible Ballard HS students this year at 46 9th graders + 33 10th graders + 27 11th graders + 20 12th graders = 126 HC eligible + 8? Evergreen HC eligible + 2 other schools = 136? HC eligible.

As my chart shows without counting those possible 8 Evergreen students, under the future F4v3 new boundaries and new pathways, of those current 128 HC eligible Ballard AA students 40 HC eligible would be geosplit to the new Lincoln HC Pathway (40 Lincoln Pathway captured). This would then leave remaining only 88 HC eligible Ballard AA students (86 Ballard + 2 other schools) (+ 8? Evergreen - % Evergreen geosplit).

While on point another minor edit, mea culpa, in my detailed hyperlinked data due to an obvious transcription error the totals should of course read 287 (not 283) Garfield Pathway (71.75%/grade, not 70.75%/grade), 342 (not 346) Lincoln Pathway (85.5%/grade, not 86.5%/grade), 53 (not 55) Ballard HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, and 46 (not 48) Roosevelt HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway.

By the way, I'm not familiar with Evergreen, always learning new things here! Can you tell us more?

Doctor Hu said...

"I am not sure about those numbers. There are 7[4] hc kids at Roosevelt in 9th (not all in chemistry). I don't know what portion of them live in Lincoln, but I wonder if those are last year's."

RHS21, whenever available those numbers are this year's, supplemented as necessary in a few places by last year's. Those 74 HC eligible 9th graders at Roosevelt are indeed all reflected in this future F4v3 boundaries and HC pathways chart which shows "Roosevelt AA: 46? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 28? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 112 HC eligible (<28 ft RS)."

As you can see from the details hyperlinked in my chart, under the current 2017-18 boundaries, Roosevelt has "227 Receiving HC enrolled" which I estimate distributed between 109? Garfield HC Pathway + 118? Ingraham IB/IBX. Roosevelt also has 160 HC eligible, who are distributed between 155 Roosevelt + 5 other schools. Under the current boundaries, SPS figures for Roosevelt AA thus show 227 HC enrolled (Garfield Pathway + Ingraham IB/IBX Option) + 160 HC eligible = 387 HC enrolled/eligible.

Under the future F4v3 new boundaries and new pathways, of those current 227 HC enrolled Roosevelt AA students 138 HC enrolled would be geosplit to the new Lincoln HC Pathway (58? Lincoln Pathway + 80? Ingraham IB/IBX Option). Another 15 HC enrolled Roosevelt AA students would be geosplit to Ingraham (5? Lincoln Pathway + 10? Ingraham IB/IBX Option). This would then leave 74 HC enrolled Roosevelt AA students (46? Lincoln Pathway + 28? Ingraham IB/IBX Option).

Under the future F4v3 new boundaries and new pathways, of those current 160 HC eligible Roosevelt AA students 40 HC eligible would be geosplit to the new Lincoln HC Pathway (40 Lincoln Pathway captured). Another 8 HC eligible Roosevelt AA students would be geosplit to Ingraham (8 Lincoln Pathway captured). This would then leave remaining only 112 HC eligible Roosevelt AA students (107 Roosevelt + 5 other schools). Under the new F4v3 future boundaries, SPS figures for Roosevelt AA thus show 387 HC enrolled/eligible - 178 geosplit Lincoln HC enrolled/eligible - 23 geosplit Ingraham HC enrolled/eligible = 186 HC enrolled/eligible (46? HC enrolled Lincoln Pathway, 28? HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option, 112 HC eligible).

Under the current 2017-18 boundaries, as you note reflecting the recent bulge away from the Garfield Pathway, the grade distribution of those 155 HC eligible Roosevelt HS students this year is 74 9th graders + 31 10th graders + 28 11th graders + 22 12th graders = 155 HC eligible. Under the new F4v3 future boundaries, my chart assumes that this currently inverted grade distribution of the remaining 107 HC eligible Roosevelt HS students will eventually flatten out, after the new Lincoln HC Pathway opens and the uncertainty lifts.

Doctor Hu said...

"This is huge as previously kids who may have chose Ballard or Roosevelt will instead choose Garfield or Ingraham to be grandfathered. This will affect the numbers of HC 10th entering Lincoln in 2019 and I doubt we will see them a[s] high as assumed [85.5/grade] based upon previous years enrollment. However, there is also the 'opt in' provision. But I question how many HC will choose to move schools in 2019. It is an unknown."

NE, you are quite right in everything you say. Especially without knowing yet what 10th grade HC advanced offerings will actually be available at Lincoln when it opens in 2019-20, it is impossible to conjecture now how many HC sophomores will exercise their right to opt in to the new Lincoln HC Pathway from Garfield, Ingraham, and their attendance area schools. We know now only that a smaller number of HC 8th graders in Lincoln change areas who are not grandfathered in Garfield or Ingraham, but who rather choose their local schools Ballard and Roosevelt next year, will then be geosplit as sophomores into the new Lincoln HC Pathway.

But to emphasize, my chart does not attempt to figure out what will actually happen during the coming two-year Lincoln roll-up transition between 2019-20 (grades 9 & 10) and 2020-21 (grades 9, 10 & 11). Instead, based on published current HC numbers, my chart seeks to show what will happen when the Lincoln HC Pathway is fully enrolled beginning 2022-23, after all grandfathering and opt-ins are done.

By then, all our current 8th graders will have graduated, so really the numbers in my chart are representing different bodies. Maybe an easier way to think of this thought experiment is to realize that those different future high school bodies represented in my chart by 2017-18 HC numbers would be today's 1st through 4th graders, who will enter high school when Lincoln is already fully enrolled in 2022. Today's 5th through 8th graders will all be part of the Lincoln HC Pathway's roll-up, the 5th graders only in the sense that when they enter as high school freshpersons in 2021, the mainly opt-in senior HC class will likely be smaller than the average 85.5 students per grade. Today's 9th through 12th graders will not be directly affected by any of this. And of course, by 2022-23 due to increasing HC enrollment all these real numbers will still need to be revised upwards yet again from the current 2017-18 count of 1407 HC enrolled/eligible. Hope this helps to visualize!

Anonymous said...

6th and 9th are transition years. It shouldn't be surprising that students come from private schools or leave for private schools at those grades. Who knows how many 9th graders would be HC qualified if they went through testing. It's my understanding 8th grade AL/HC testing is only needed when applying to Ingraham for IBX. How will this change with Lincoln as a pathway? Will they eliminate the need to be enrolled in HC in 8th in order to access HC pathways at Lincoln or West Seattle?

wondering

Doctor Hu said...

"Will they eliminate the need to be enrolled in HC in 8th in order to access HC pathways at Lincoln or West Seattle?"

wondering, Yes, they have already eliminated the need to be enrolled in HC in 8th in order to access HC pathways at Lincoln or West Seattle!

Here is the newly added language from the last-minute Amendment 5 to the 3 + 1 high school boundaries and HC pathways plan approved January 31: "Any student designated as HC eligible, regardless of whether they attend an HCC pathway school in 8th grade, may enter their designated HC pathway." Attachment K: Highly Capable Pathways, Amendment 5.

And from the high school grandfathering plan:

"Incoming 9th Grader Assignments: When the new boundaries and pathways take effect in 2019-20:

• All 9th graders in fall of 2019 will be assigned to their attendance area high school based on the approved 2019-20 boundaries.
• Students in HC entering 9th grade may opt into their HC pathway school.
• Any student may apply to another high school through school choice. Seats are based on space available." Attachment N, High School Grandfathering Plan, Amendment 5.

And from the Board Action Report (BAR) for Amendment 5: "This amendment concerns students who are enrolled in a highly capable (HC) pathway school, or who are HC-eligible but not enrolled in an HC pathway school.

"This amendment accomplishes two things. First, it provides rising 9th and 10th grade highly capable students, whether HC-enrolled or not, who live in the new Lincoln pathway areas the option to attend Lincoln in 2019-20. Second, it allows rising 9th graders across the city who are HC-eligible to attend their new pathway school in 201920, even if they did not attend an HCC pathway school in 8th grade. (Currently, student assignment procedures only provide a default assignment to a 9th grade HC assignment to students who are in an HCC pathway school in 8th grade.)"

Doctor Hu said...

"What stands out to me is that SPS is not making any effort - or is undermining existing efforts - to provide equitable participation in programs and curriculum.

"Look at IB at Rainier Beach. That's a great example of equitable curriculum - rather than just having it way up in the far north end, a group of parents and teachers fought to bring it to the south end. The school community had to fight tooth and nail to get it created and funded. The senior leadership at the JSCEE have never been truly supportive of it, however."

Robert C, you're not alone in noting that glaring inequity. It was brought to the school board's attention by the Seattle Principal's Association, and has been raised by blog posters including myself. That inequity is very plainly if unsurprisingly evidenced by the striking gap between north end and south end HC students enrolled in the sole approved Ingraham HC IB/IBX HC optional pathway, as shown in my above chart, and in the supporting data: What Size are the New 3 + 1 Plan High School HC Pathways

The inequity of unequal north/south HC IB/IBX access has also been recognized by at least one board director. Explaining his vote for the Mack/Patu/Pinkham Substitute Resolution and against the Geary/DeWolf Resolution and their Amendment 1 to the Substitute Resolution, Director Burke recalled being struck by one of the things he heard at one of his community meetings, when he argued that the structure of high school does not preclude us from establishing HC pathways at every comprehensive high school. "And the feedback I got was: 'But that resolution says there's only one outcome. So you're predetermining one outcome without describing how that one outcome serves our students best.' And so I'm like 'Wow, that's pretty insightful because we have international baccalaureate schools, one of which [Ingraham] is an optional HC pathway, two others [Rainier Beach and Chief Sealth International] which are amazing and could and should be comparable, but are not identified as per se, so -- or funded, but that's a different discussion . . . .'" SPS Board Meeting, January 31, 1018, Part 3A @ 22 mins, 30 secs.

Anonymous said...

@Doctor Hu- The only real difference between Ingraham and Rainier Beach or Sealth at this point (as 2/3 of HC are not pursuing IBX at INgraham) is that there are just more HC attending Ingraham.

They were initially lured away from Garfield (& I heard reluctantly) for IBX a program in which the 4th year never quite materialized. There are no HC self contained classes at Ingraham, not even so called "honors". This has now evolved into HC students pursuing regular IB alongside every other kid.

HC take all classes side by side with general ed students. The difference at this point is marketing by SPS (& Ingraham) in which parents are blindly following what the district has labeled "a pathway" in my opinion and where kids friends are heading. The glue attracting them toward Ingraham has also been "distance". Traveling to Garfield from the north end was just too much for many kids.

In addition, some parents have been savvy enough to ask lots of questions of principals & friends with HC kids and slowly figured out that their neighborhood comprehensive high schools also offer an advanced curriculum pathway identical to Garfield as well. Students can start taking AP courses in 10th and take them as they would at Garfield. HC students have priority access for core courses everywhere, (just like non HC students have access to core courses in their pathway) not just at Garfield.
-JBC

Anonymous said...

A particular IB class should be somewhat similar from school to school since they are in theory following a prescribed curriculum, but the larger cohort of HC students at Ingraham (many of whom pursue the IB diploma) allows for a broader range of advanced coursework (HL Physics and HL Math, for example). Without a large enough cohort of students needing more advanced coursework, many of those classes would not be offered - similar to Garfield and the number of AP courses offered there. IBX allows HC students to access IB a year early, but only if they pursue the full IB diploma. They can continue taking available IB courses in 12th grade, for potentially 3 years of AP/IB work, similar to Garfield or other high schools offering access to AP coursework in 10th grade.

The IBX program was designed as a 4 year pathway for students who have already been accelerated in their coursework. Without the IBX option, students are blocked from IB coursework until 11th grade. They potentially have fewer advanced options than if they went to a neighborhood high school that allowed 10th graders to take AP courses. There has since been a move away from IBX, which makes the pathway less appropriate for some advanced students and more likely they'd be pushed into Running Start as seniors, as there simply won't be enough fellow IBX students to offer a full schedule of post IB coursework.

If Ingraham was not able to sustain or support IBX as a 4 year program, then why would other SPS schools think they'd be able to do the same? Simply offering the IB program a year early - without a plan for senior year - is nothing more than a grade skip. The "continuum of services" for 12th then becomes Running Start. In SPS fashion, equity will most likely be achieved by eliminating services, not expanding them (meaning a slow death of IBX).

my2cents

Anonymous said...

On Ingraham capacity, reposting from HCC blog:

"I don’t know about high numbers choosing BHS and RHS over IHS or what that tells us. I do know that over 40 9th grade HCC students were left on the IHS waitlist last year when there was a lottery and many ended up in their neighborhood schools."
Ballard Mom

"In case anyone is interested, I found out from enrollment planning that there will continue to be a cap on HC enrollment at Ingraham, even after new seats are added in 2019. It will not move beyond a 120 HC maximum. Therefore, the HC enrollment at Ingraham would not be expected to grow substantially in the future, especially as Lincoln becomes a north end pathway in 2019, & if it remains a north end pathway."
L

observer

Doctor Hu said...

"The only real difference between Ingraham and Rainier Beach or Sealth at this point (as 2/3 of HC are not pursuing IBX at Ingraham) is that there are just more HC attending Ingraham. . . . The difference at this point is marketing by SPS (& Ingraham) in which parents are blindly following what the district has labeled 'a pathway' in my opinion and where kids friends are heading. The glue attracting them toward Ingraham has also been 'distance'. Traveling to Garfield from the north end was just too much for many kids. . . . In addition, . . . neighborhood comprehensive high schools also offer an advanced curriculum pathway identical to Garfield as well. Students can start taking AP courses in 10th and take them as they would at Garfield."

JBC, thanks for that solid history of high school HCC. Not all driven by academics, but often capacity. Makes one foresee future HC IB/IBX locations at Rainier Beach and Chief Sealth, and perhaps future HC AP locations at Ballard and Roosevelt. Whither Franklin and Nathan Hale? But then what common state OSPI standards control HC AP pathway designations? And what common OSPI standards control HC IB/IBX option designation? What should be the core essentials for such HC pathway or HC option designation?

Doctor Hu said...

"In SPS fashion, equity will most likely be achieved by eliminating services, not expanding them (meaning a slow death of IBX)."

my2cents, very enlightening description of the Ingraham IB/IBX HC Option in practice. So there are 1/4 to 1/3 of Ingraham HC students who pursue the IBX diploma in 10th and 11th grades. You make me wonder, among the remaining majority 3/4 to 2/3 who pursue the regular IB diploma in 11th and 12th grades, is there also a third category of HC students who do not earn the IB Diploma, but who simply earn various IB course completion certificates? Are there even some Ingraham HC students who take no IB courses at all?

You also make me think of the irony that (from other threads) the Green Dot charter is already marketing its new Rainier Beach charter high school as "the AP School" in the south end of the city while SPS does so little to support or market its own Rainier Beach High School as "the IB School"! One aspect that makes Rainier Beach (the public school) an attractive program school is that it is walking distance from its link light rail stop -- even for many north enders it would be quicker Orca transportation than to and from Ingraham! Chief Sealth is a different story, also because that school is already full, so any enrollment cap would be low and would maybe need a boundary change with West Seattle.

But as you say, IBX without any planned senior year is nothing more than a grade skip followed by Running Start. "In SPS fashion, equity will most likely be achieved by eliminating services, not expanding them (meaning a slow death of IBX)." Unless the school board establishes essential core standards for all designated HC AP pathways and all designated HC IB/IBX options so as to ensure compliance with OSPI Washington state law.

Doctor Hu said...

"*State Law and Compliance*: As the District investigates options to serve students identified as highly capable, we must take into account the compliance challenges that could potentially occur. State law for highly capable requires a *'continuum of services'… for students…'from K12'*. An argument could easily be made that Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is out of compliance if there was not an International Baccalaureate Accelerated (IBX) program and we ended the existing pathway to Garfield High School. OSPI made it clear that only offering International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses does not fulfill that requirement. Any solution created needs to provide a HC pathway designation and continuum of service to ensure compliance."

W. Jessee, S. Kokx, J. Halfager, S. Martin & M. Tolley, "Briefing Paper: Highly Capable Services (HC) in High Schools", November 25, 2017

School district staff thus recognize that state law requires SPS to provide qualified high school students with designated HC pathways and with continuum of HC services beyond regular IB or AP courses. But what more exactly must SPS offer Seattle high school HC students to meet these OSPI requirements?

Does IB school Ingraham satisfy this OSPI requirement because its HC IB optional pathway includes IBX? What does AP school Garfield now offer in its designated HC pathway, in addition to AP courses, to ensure continuum of HC service? What must new HC AP pathway schools Lincoln and West Seattle include and supplement as their their AP offerings?
What more such as IBX must IB schools Rainier Beach and Chief Sealth offer to be designated HC optional pathways like Ingraham?

We have already said goodbye to centralized elementary HCC (formerly just Lowell), and to centralized middle school HCC (formerly just Washington), and to centralized high school AP (formerly just Garfield) (1 Plan) by adding the (not very) centralized Ingraham IB/IBX HC option (1 + 1 Plan). We now bid adieu to that 1 + 1 Plan by adding AP schools Lincoln and West Seattle as new HC pathways (3 + 1 Plan). Adding IB schools Rainier Beach and Chief Sealth as optional IB/IBX pathways like Ingraham would establish a 3 + 3 Plan. Then of 10 Seattle comprehensive high schools only 4 would have no designated HC pathway and continuum of HC services: Ballard and Roosevelt (both already proposed as HC AP pathway schools), and Franklin and Nathan Hale (maybe alternative focus HC pathways, e.g., social justice and environment?).

Melissa, so that many more voices can join in this timely discussion on what are the necessary elements of a designated HC AP school pathway and of a designated HC IB school option, can you soon open a new thread: "What are the Core Essentials of a HC AP Pathway? What are the Core Essentials of a HC IB/IBX Option?"