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Friday, July 08, 2011

Open Thread Friday

 Decision day for Lowell.

A couple of interesting news stories about other area school districts and their budgets came across my desk.

One is about Issaquah and how they recalled 35 of 36 laid-off teachers (the 36 declined to return) and avoided the pay cuts to teachers' salaries by the Legislature.  From the Sammamish Review story:

District teachers have the opportunity to earn back the 1.9 percent decrease in the state-salary schedule through an increase in their Professional Growth Incentive Fund and 10 available professional-development hours.


The measurement is the opposite of a furlough. Instead of working less for less pay, teachers will work more to keep their salaries stable.

The money paying for the salaries comes from a variety of sources, including voter-approved increased levy dollars, operational efficiencies, decreased nonclassroom service levels — such as streamlined bus routes — utilization of reserve funds, increased fees and other sources.

The Sammamish Review story comes from Lake Washington district and here's what they did:


The district has reached agreement with the Lake Washington Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers, to maintain current salaries despite a 1.9 percent cut in the state’s contributions to teacher pay.



That money will be made up in part by an estimated 10 cents per $1,000 in assessed value increase in the district’s maintenance and operations levy – money that had been approved by local voters but until recently had been limited by state school funding law.

So they used the law that lifted the levy lid (the same one that allowed SPS to have the Supplemental levy).  Instead of having an election, they will just bump up property taxes from 26.8% to 28.6%.   They also have a growing student population that is helping their bottom line.

They also have an extra school day added (two for teachers with one being a teacher workday).  The district thinks parents will feel they are getting something for the extra taxes. 

I don't think the district could raise the levy lid again since they had an election (but who knows?).   Having teachers work more to avoid the salary loss might be another idea that is being negotiated but it's not like teachers aren't already working hard with more duties.   Teachers, is it worth more work to keep that amount of salary or do you feel you are working at your max already?

What's on your mind?

48 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

How will the Lowell decision be announced?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good question. I'm sure we'll learn from a Lowell parent here but I guess via e-mail to parents.

Anonymous said...

The Lowell parents certainly don't know how/when anything will be announced.

I think we should take bets on the following:

What time will it be announced? I say 5:00pm so the district doesn't have to talk to angry parents the day it's announced.

Will the district stick to the two options announced (move all APP to Lincoln or move 4th/5th APP to Lincoln) like they said they would or will they throw some crazy other idea in there that we haven't heard about as yet?

-Lowell parent who agrees with Tom Petty that the waiting is the hardest part

Anonymous said...
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Steve said...

Email from Enfield was just received re:Lowell APP:

Dear Lowell Elementary families,

After hearing from the Lowell community at our community meeting last week, in addition to feedback from an online survey and personal conversations, we have decided to move APP students in Grades 1-5 to Lincoln for the fall.

I want to apologize to our students, families and staff for the timing of this decision. I know this has been frustrating for many of you. We are putting proper systems in place to ensure this will not happen again.

Moving APP to Lincoln for the 2011-12 school year not only provides a short-term solution while we look long term at our growing APP program, but it also presents an opportunity for additional capacity at Lowell. We will be looking carefully at how we can work together to ensure that the ALO and Special Education programs at Lowell will be vibrant and successful. We will work closely with you and the community in the next school year on these issues.

We are working on the details and logistics of this move and we are compiling answers to the many questions you must have. We are working on issues about transportation, resources and other logistics. We will have more information in the next few weeks, including answers to frequently asked questions that we will post on our website at  http://bit.ly/lowell-2011. You may also email us with specific questions at LowellAPP@seattleschools.org.

We look forward to working with the entire Lowell community on strategic long-term solutions for both APP and the school. I know this solution is not ideal, but I appreciate you working with us to make this the best possible situation for our students. Thank you.

Sincerely,


Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Lori said...

Not mentioned in the email but raised multiple times at the community event:

Can incoming families opt back into their old school rather than go to Lincoln?

Now that a decision has been made, albeit apparently a 1-year decision, do those families still want an out?

We're in it for the long haul since we've seen it's the right program for our daughter, but I can see how others not yet involved in the whole fiasco might still want to opt out.

Charlie Mas said...

I also want to know more about the "proper systems in place to ensure this will not happen again."

Really? What systems?

Charlie Mas said...

At attendance area schools, the District provides sufficient capacity in case every single student in the attendance area chooses to attend the school.

Why don't they do the same for APP and Spectrum?

suep. said...
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Anonymous said...
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Dorothy Neville said...

Fun fact unrelated to Lowell.

As of last year, cumulatively, 65 UW students applied for TfA and 14 were accepted.

For the 2011 TfA corps:
I do not know how many UW students applied.
86 UW students were accepted in TfA, bringing UW from 40th to 8th place in the country for numbers of students accepted.

30 of these students are considered low income per Pell Grant. This makes UW rank 6th.

37 are people of color, this makes UW rank 7th.

dan dempsey said...

"We are putting proper systems in place to ensure this will not happen again."

hummm... proper systems in regard to what?

This district frequently violates state laws and its own policies. Dr. Enfield needs to be a bit more specific in the interests of transparency....
as Charlie said:
What Systems?

Don't hold your breath waiting for details.

Garfield last year ... Lowell this July ... What next?

AND that is only dealing with student scheduling ... what about all the other items that are screwed up in this district ..... Could be we need Brian Sonntag or someone from the SAO Seattle Office for superintendent. They at least know what is screwed up and needs fixing.

StopTFA said...

There's Wendy Kopp burnishing the imaging of her lackey, Tom Stritikus. Gee, do you think the Masters in Teaching cohort, or the recent MIT grads in the unemployment line, are going to like the UW TFA cohort very much?

I did not know the UW was Ivy League. Hey Harium, gee whadya know the "best and brightest" are right here in Seattle! And they only needed a chapter of independent reading on "cultural competence" to work their magic at Aki!

Dorothy, were these kids pre-law and Econ majors who are biding their time until grad school?

Anonymous said...

Garfield last year ... Lowell this July ... What next?

Hamilton (it's full) and then Lowell/APP for 2012/2013.

Dorothy Neville said...

Looks like there were 477 UW applicants. So in the past, cumulatively 14/65 = 21.5% of UW applicants were accepted.

This year, 86/477 = 18% of UW applicants accepted.

Of the 477 applicants from UW, 162 were low income, 24 Af Am, 29 Hispanic, 153 other person of color.

As for what they studied, 30% were from "math, science, engineering and finance."

Dorothy Neville said...

In a time of belt tightening at UW, when there are still questions as to whether U-ACT will be a financial burden on the university (but they are applying to the usual suspects for grants) Tom Stritikus offered Morva McDonald a ten percent raise to stay at UW, turning down another job offer. Morva McDonald is now the Director of U-ACT.

Dorothy Neville said...

"As of last year, cumulatively, 65 UW students applied for TfA and 14 were accepted. "

Oh, I think the above is incorrect. I now believe it refers only to math and science majors. But the other information, as to how this year UW has bumped from 40th to 8th in ranking of overall applicants accepted to TfA is correct.

Anonymous said...

Well here's the TFA strategy, of course (considering Dorothy's information above regarding increased acceptance of UW grads to TFA).

Gain a foothold in the Pacific Northwest with the opening of the program at UW, while at the same time greatly increasing the acceptance rate of UW students to the program. A clever one-two punch to increase TFA advocates in the region.

Wendy Kopp is nothing if not clever.

Oompah

StopTFA said...

Oompah,

Don't forget @*^%!#&$ rich.

Anonymous said...

At attendance area schools, the District provides sufficient capacity in case every single student in the attendance area chooses to attend the school.

Why don't they do the same for APP and Spectrum?


They do. Every single APP and Spectrum student already can attend his/her attendance area school. They can also get "advanced learning" at that school. Spectrum (1 year ahead, often privately tested) should be entitled to nothing. It shouldn't even be considered "advanced". You'd never qualify for special education if you were 1 year behind. It's barely a single standard deviation above, and less if you consider racial factors. And all APP students can get APP. No other group of students has such a right. This is starkly contrasted to "Special Education" students who don't have the option to attend their attendance area schools, and get moved from place to place all the time, completely against their will. There really shouldn't be a beef here. If the numbers of APP students continue to grow endlessly, then there really isn't much the district can or should do about it. The pity party is boring.

--parent

Salander said...

comment from teacher on 1.9%.

Why should I work additional time just to keep the same salary? I already work 50-60 hours a week.

Like many folks in the private sector I have not have an increase in at least three years.

Why do ya'll act like it is a BIG FAVOR to teachers to let them keep their miserly wage if they can just be squeezed for a bit more labor?

Oh, that's right. You have the BEST AND BRIGHTEST who will work on the cheap.

Steve said...

At the Apple Store in University Village, they have a big display promoting TFA. I asked, and they said they were accepting used iPads and other things for the program. I like my iPhone a little less right now...

Melissa Westbrook said...

"They can also get "advanced learning" at that school."

Really? There's an ALO at EVERY school or at schools without them, every teacher is trained in differentiating the curriculum? You know this for a fact? Could you show us the data for that?

"Spectrum (1 year ahead, often privately tested) should be entitled to nothing."

Okay, that's your opinion but you are wrong about "often privately tested." There is no way that many kids could afford private testing. Again, where is your data for that?

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true private test-in.... for the "slightly ahead" Spectrum program.

--parent

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Blogger Steve said...

At the Apple Store in University Village, they have a big display promoting TFA. I asked, and they said they were accepting used iPads and other things for the program. I like my iPhone a little less right now...


I find it interesting that Teach for America, Incorporated, likes to market itself as if it were a humble, cash-strapped nonprofit, when in fact it is a multimillion-dollar enterprise that collects money from the federal government ($50 million+), cash-challenged public school districts like ours (TFA, Inc. demands an extra $4,000 annually from SPS for each TFA-er it hires, in addition to paying a regular teacher's salary for them), as well as (millions of dollars in) private donations from billionaire foundations.

Last year, the Obama administration awarded $50 million to Wendy Kopp's TFA, Inc. and another $50 million to Kopp's husband's enterprise -- KIPP charters (Richard Barth). TFA, Inc. can probably afford to buy new iPads for all its trainees and their students.

See:

Education Department Deals Out Big Awards
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/education/05grants.html

http://www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/annual-report/

Controversial “Teach for America” Back on the Agenda for Seattle’s Schools

http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/controversial-teach-for-america-back-on-the-agenda-for-seattles-schools/


--Sue p.

Just a teacher said...

We can't give any of our salary to the District so that they can just squander it on another "necessity". Besides putting I over 60 hours a week, most of us also put some of our salaries back into the system buying supplies for students and classroom essentials!

On a different note, has there been a topic about how some principals have made the decision to charge supply fees to families? Evidently there a schools who do that?!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Parent, I note you supply no data to back up your claims on Spectrum so I'm going with my first thought which is that you made it up because you don't like Spectrum.

Fine if you don't but please make sure when you make statements you declare them as opinion and not in a manner that suggests they are fact.

SeattleSped said...

You'd never qualify for special education if you were 1 year behind. It's barely a single standard deviation above, and less if you consider racial factors. And all APP students can get APP. No other group of students has such a right. This is starkly contrasted to "Special Education" students who don't have the option to attend their attendance area schools, and get moved from place to place all the time, completely against their will.

I agree. We've been bumped from school to school, harassed by principals, threatened by SPS legal counsel. Our children disciplined for behavior that is a result of their disability and inadequate supports (that are required by law).

I have an idea. Let's have TFA teach APP and Spectrum! They're brilliant and motivated to take you up to the next percentile.

Anonymous said...

Yes Lasting is charging 25 a head for school supplies due on the first day. I never spend more than 10. Racket. --new lawton mom

CT said...

In Shoreline, the teachers are taking the cut and have lost 2 teacher work days - even though the same amount of work will still need to be done. Despite the decrease in the number of teacher work days, nothing was dropped from the teacher workload. On the bright side, supposedly class sizes will not increase since teachers are taking the cut - or so the administration has reportedly promised. The administrators in Shoreline are not taking a cut.

-CT

Anonymous said...

Anon parent..it seems you are misinformed. SPS delivers math and LA curriculum one year ahead for Spectrum kids but most kids who test Spectrum can do far more. That's kind of a bare minimum. So your standard deviation argument doesn't make sense. That's the best SPS can do for those students, but it's a low bar when most Spectrum kids can (and do w/ the right teacher in a self contained classroom) go much further. The kids in Spectrum pass the CoGAT and there are (proven, by actual professionals who study gifted ed) differences in the way gifted kids process info and learn. You clearly don't believe it, but no matter.

I agree w/ Melissa that you don't seem to have any data re: kids being privately tested in. Does it happen, yes. But look at the AL Department info on how many kids take the test. That's the bulk of kids in the program.

Not sure what to make of your comparision to SPED. That doesn't make much sense either (the standard deviation/one grade behind stuff I mean, the moving around part, I don't know about)

New Lawton Mom - the supply fee of $25 is actually way less than what I spend on supplies. "Supplies" is way more than pencils and markers. It's hand sanitizer, wipes, standard school supplies, reams of paper, scissors.. it added up to way more than $25 each year. Problem is that it's not enforceable at all. What are they going to do w/ the family who doesn't/won't pay? And there will be plenty I'm sure.

-katy

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those who won't be paying (except for the magz membership) since I can shop my own pantry for wipes/sanitizer/ziploc bags purchased on sale, year round. With coupons and sales, I never pay more than .99 cents for anything on the supply list and the basics (scissors/glue/paper are always a quarter or less this time of year). I guess the fee makes sense for those who prefer convenience but not for those who prefer to spend their money on other things (competitive gymnastics is not cheap). I couldn't believe they put it out there as a mandate in the final PTA email of the year either. It's pretty presumptuous IMHO and not a good way to be introduced to a new school/PTA. I thought I was leaving all that behind in private school.
--new lawton mom

Patrick said...

New Layton Mom, our family's experience was the opposite at the two schools our child has attended. One gave out a supply list. Most of the supplies were pooled for the whole class, so we were asked not to substitute brands or models, which limits the scope for bargain shopping. We would end up spending $30-40. At the second school, they just asked for a check for $25, which combined with the convenience seemed like a good deal. No action was taken if a family didn't comply, so either $25 paid for more than one child needed or the teacher or PTSA came up with it.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the Lawton supply charge is a school thing, not a PTA thing. The check goes to the school for bulk purchasing. The PTA has nothing to do with it.

It was only communicated via the PTA newsletter b/c that's the primary form of communication to families.

And Patrick is right too. The earlier grades at Lawton pool supplies and some teachers prefer specific brands on things (the supply list comes out (from the office/staff) w. X markers or Y pencils. I think b/c years of experience shows that those brands last longer/hold up better than some other brands. In older grades, the supplies stay more w/ each kid.

KM

Anonymous said...

I sense the assumption is that frugal parents buy generics. I don't. Crayola 24 packs, elmers glue and lg. pink erasers are a quarter at the Ballard Freddy's through next week.

In all the years I've been sending my kids to preschool and elementary, I've yet to have a teacher complain about Clorox wipes in lieu of Lysol or Fiskars in lieu of Scotch brand, especially at the end of the year when they're digging into their own pockets for things and I have plenty to spare. I am new to SPS, not elementary parenting.

Don't get me wrong, the option of a supply package for a fee is unobjectionable. The defacto requirement that my kid show up on day 1 with a check is a little off-putting. It wasn't what I expected when we moved here. Is this typical?
--new lawton mom

Anonymous said...

Watch this video about Stand For Children.

SeattleSped said...

As a compadre, I can vouch that Anon parent is very well-versed re: SPS "special" education, whether it is APP, Spectrum, self-contained, or resource room. The dichotomy is painfully evident to SpEd families.

The difference is entitlement versus necessity. Flame me all you want, but I question the labeling of "advanced" as "disabled." The former need only adjust while the latter can only regress.

seattle citizen said...

So the Seattle Times printed three education pieces today, all related. First, we have a Times editorial that confuses classroom assessments and high-stakes tests, concluding that the pressure of high-stakes tests is acceptable (and good) because they “alert educators to learning disabilities and other educational challenges.”
Then, David Sirota in his column (strangely only in the print version of the Times) bemoans the incoming high-stakes tests for fourth-graders and then looks at the system in Finland, which instead of test mania honors their educators: “Where Finland rejects testing, nurtures teachers, and encourages its best and brightest to become educators, we fetishize testing, portray teachers as evil parasites and financially encourage top students to become Wall Streeters.”
Finally, Danny Westneat advocates for summer vacation, distraught that “A group called the National Center on Time and Learning released a report about [full-year schooling] last week and got 40 education groups to back a bill pending in Congress…Their solution: At least 300 hours more schooling each year (currently there are about 1,100 hours). It could come in much longer days. Six-day weeks. Or year-round schooling — meaning the end of summer vacation.
Or how about all of the above, suggested the federal education secretary, Arne Duncan, to high-schoolers last year.
‘I think schools should be open six, seven days a week, 11, 12 months a year,’ he said, adding: ‘Go ahead and boo me.’”
Westneat correctly suggests that extended school should be directed at individuals, not whole districts. Westneat neatly identifies the core problem of Reform: It wants to change EVERYTHING to supposedly help the few.
The Times, in its editorial, models that other Reform trait: Blindly rushing forward, confusing tests and their purposes, and demanding that students, teachers and parents stay the course (because high-stakes tests “offer a lens into the past year's effort and valuable information for the next year.” As if.)

AG said...

Interestingly, there was an article in Business Week this week wherein Korean parents were bemoaning the potential loss of Saturday school (4 hours, twice a month). There's some fear that Korea's international rank on reading and math assessments will fall if they abandon the extra time in the classroom (the Japanese tried reducing their instructional time and have since reversed course). How are individual parents going to make up for what, by middle/high school, is the equivalent of one or more lost years of instruction when compared to students in Germany or Japan?

seattle citizen said...

AG, the other part of the story is that the South Korean president (I think it was) also is trying to get rid of teh high-stakes test. The idea is that South Korea has gone too far into la-la land regarding school, testing and competition, and needs to pull back in order to let kids grow up with normal lives.
Which relates to your last statement:
"How are individual parents going to make up for what, by middle/high school, is the equivalent of one or more lost years of instruction when compared to students in Germany or Japan?"

School not a competition. We are not South Korean, German or Japanese. There is no need to "keep up with the jones": the US is a hot bed of creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Many scholars (and countries) are recognizing that the US has this creativity and are dialing back their test-mania in favor of a more holistic educational process.

The competition, where it comes in, is for jobs AFTER K-12. This is the pity: Public schools serve a much greater purpose than mere job prep, yet in the media we seem to only look at supposedly competitive, yet very narrow, sets of metrics related solely to work and money.

AG said...

What accounts for the Japanese decision to add more instructional time back into their school year? Or the manner in which Germany has managed to balance testing and greater instructional time?

When I grew up (in an economically depressed minority community) the only people I met who claimed to view education as a purely noble pursuit were those who had already achieved some measure of economic success and stability.

The hard-scrabble, immigrant parents from southeast Asia in my 'hood knew that life itself was a competition for survival. Saying school isn't a competition just doesn't make it so. Humans, like all other animals, compete for resources.

I dislike some of the narrowing of curriculum and the focus on watered down, meaningless tests not ecause I think testing is bad. It' because I want my children to learn all manner of things with exquisite depth so that they can compete more effectively in K-12 and beyond.

AG said...

Hmm...

When I grew up (in an economically depressed minority community) the only people I met who claimed to view education as a purely noble pursuit were those who had already achieved some measure of economic success and stability.

The hard-scrabble, immigrant parents from southeast Asia in my 'hood knew that life itself was a competition for survival. Humans, like all other animals, compete for resources.

I dislike some of the narrowing of curriculum and the focus on watered down, meaningless tests not because I think testing is bad but because I want all children to learn all manner of things with exquisite depth so that they can compete more effectively in K-12 and beyond.

If adding instructional time means educators can teach more than the basics again, then great! Sign me up. What I read in the article in Business week was that South Korean parents of limited means were concerned that, like the U.S., their children would be the only ones disadvantaged by less instructional time since wealthy parents would continue to supplement with private tutors.

Anonymous said...

parent said: "You'd never qualify for special education if you were 1 year behind. It's barely a single standard deviation above, and less if you consider racial factors. And all APP students can get APP. No other group of students has such a right. This is starkly contrasted to "Special Education" students who don't have the option to attend their attendance area schools, and get moved from place to place all the time, completely against their will. There really shouldn't be a beef here. If the numbers of APP students continue to grow endlessly, then there really isn't much the district can or should do about it. The pity party is boring."

Enough with the bitter special ed comments, please! I am the parent of a special ed kid too - (and not one whose disability is "mild" by any means). I have never counted up the money we, like many sped families, have spent on therapies, tutors, special testing, that insurance would not reimburse-- but I am sure it passed into six figures fairly early on. So -- life is hard. What is new about that? And how does it change the fact that there are thousands of Seattle kids whose shot at an "appropriate education" requires education 2 to 4 or 5 years "ahead" of "regular" kids. Their needs don't go away just because my kid also has needs (even though they are different ones). Do you have any clue how badly these kids end up when forced to sit -- for 13 years -- in classes where they learn nothing, where everything is boring, where teachers resent and belittle their comments because they are too hard to deal with, or too off the wall, where they are friendless, or virtually so, because their intellectual "peers" are nonexistent? Why yes! You probably DO have a clue -- because it is the same thing many many sped kids face! Why is it so freaking hard for you to advocate for ALL kids, gifted, special ed, twice exceptional, and -- "the rest?"

And enough with the comments that snidely suggest that people who get their kids privately tested somehow don't belong in Spectrum or APP. I have never known of a tester who was anything but scrupulously honest; and I have NEVER heard a teacher or school administrator suggest that the kids who test in through private testing do any worse, or are any less "intelligent" than the ones who got in by successfully taking a test in a huge auditorium with 50 other kids. (I did, however, have the experience of having the school's sped testers tell me that my 5 year old, who could barely talk, met all of the academic requirements to go skipping off to "regular kindergarten" with no accomodations -- a "fact" which has had the various doctors and therapy providers whom we have worked with for almost two decades chuckling and shaking their heads. So maybe if my only experience with testing was with the "thumb on the scales" testing that SSD did, I would think testers and/or parents seeking private testing were somehow corrupt or cheating too.)


Anultup

seattle citizen said...

AG, I hear what you are saying: For some, life IS a matter of competition for survival. (For most people, really.)
But over the years, public education as evolved from pure competitive training to a fuller background schema and knowledge of the world..."liberal arts," in a way. Public schools twenty years ago offered civics, music, art, drawing, PE...recess...all because they contributed to a "well-rounded" citizen. Not all of this was competitive, nor should it be. Economic competition is the realm of business (though some preparation is no doubt a good thing); we don't need to conform public schools into purely business prep, nor have we wanted to, for a number of years.

Twentieth (and twenty-first) public education realized that a person is a whole being, not just what they "are" at work. The current mantra, and the current over-simplification on very basic test scores draws us back to the purely economic model, which is a shame. I want students to know about their civil rights, how to balance a checkbook, the power of art and music....not just how to succeed in business.

seattle citizen said...

Oh, and AG, some students don't need additional instruction time - the concern of many is that the regular school day is increasingly being filled with basic skills stuff that not all students need. Why should a student who knows a particular thing be subjected to revisiting it over and over in "regular" classes, even if they are then allowed to pursue the arts, etc, in the extended day? This is another smokescreen by Reformers: "We need to change the whole system, even though a majority of students are doing fine with the system we have, in order to address the needs of those who aren't doing fine.
Of course, the answer to this is to provide additional resources/opporuntities/time to those that need it and let those that don't get on with other things...

AG said...

SS - I'm just not as convinced as you that "a majority of students are doing fine with the system we have". The international stats don't bear that out. Even most state tests around the country don't bear that out, watered down standards or not. Where's the evidence that all these kids are doing just great? And how many students is it OK to underserve before you countenance systemic changes?

I say that with no hostility intended. I know many kids that are doing well, mine included, but are they doing as well as they could be? Are they served as well as they should be? I don't think so. My kids benefit from having family members with farms, horses, vacation cabins, etc. that enhance their academic experiences. They learn year-round. Those opportunities should be available to all but it's just not possible with a 6-hour school day and summers off.

As it stands, folks like me will continue to enrich our children outside of the school day and those who can't won't. Long term, I don't think our country can sustain such unequal access/outcomes.

Again, I'm not supportive of the entire reform agenda but I am satisfied that the status quo is inadequate for too many students and that changes are required.

I hear you saying something similar, that the ante should be upped for those who need it, but I question the idea of standardizing some form of broadened curriculum for the kids who need it while opting the "doing fine" kids out of the plan. I just think what's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. And if it's not good enough for the gander...why feed it to the single goose?

none1111 said...

Wonderful post Anultup, thank you.

It's always painful reading comments from people who belittle others' problems in comparison to their own. We all need to be supportive of each other. Special Ed and APP have a lot more in common than many people think.

One big difference, though, is that SpEd is made up of many different groups of kids with very different challenges, ranging from mild to severe. That makes it harder to pool their parental advocacy in the same way APP can. I think many of us recognize this, but as frustrating as it might be for SpEd families, trashing APP parents for advocating for their kids doesn't help anyone, and really only serves to antagonize instead of building bridges to work together.

There are no perfect solutions where everyone is going to be happy. Unfortunately, the farther away from "normal" your kids are, in any way, the harder they are to serve, that's just reality.