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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Listening In at the School Board Meeting

One thing to note: the 30-second interruption before you are done.  I don't get it because you get a light to tell you this but I expect it is because people are going over their time.  (Do I blame them?  No, because two minutes is not enough time.)

Side note: It appears that the class size rise may have been taken off the table by the comments I am hearing but we will have to wait until the contract is signed.

I missed the first 15 minutes but came in to hear one Central resident asking for the Mann building to become an "innovation" school for African-American students.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.  It's too late in the timeline, Nova needs a home (she said the principal wasn't "wedded" to the building - I don't think he would say it quite like that) and a school has to exist within SPS to become an innovation school.  I believe what they are talking about is a charter school and it is their right to apply to be one at some other location.

Heidi Bennett urged that the Advanced Learning Taskforce reconstitute itself since their year lapse (though no fault of their own).  I agree.

Mary Griffin spoke about disparities in discipline and the slowness of getting work done on this important issue especially since the district has been called out publicly on this issue by other governmental entities have slammed the district on this issue.

The so-called Our Schools group had a member read a scripted comment - why can't they ever let people speak in their own voices? - for their "third-party" voice in the contract talks.

One speaker called APP at Garfield - apartheid - and continued on and on over his time.  He said Nova students should support the school takeover and called them privileged.

So funny - many didn't show up to speak and  President Smith- Blum just rolled through name after name.  

Several K-5 Stem parents who advocated for a K-8 pathway for STEM.

47 comments:

mirmac1 said...

I found myself swayed by the arguments presented by the ACIC supporters. Situations that exist at Garfield and existed at McClure (until the NSAP) are intolerable to me.

I believe that, if Brown vs the Board of Education were tried in the court of SSS blog commenters, it would likely fail. That pains me. We all care about the mandate for a free education for all comers, otherwise we wouldn't be here. We know the supreme court in the land determined "separate but equal" does not exist. It is incumbent upon policymakers and administrators to erase the vestiges of racism and, yes, apartheid in our city.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I missed most of that, Miramac. So what did you hear? And how does upending all the plans for Nova (and defacto World School and Meany) make sense now?

mirmac1 said...

BTW, the timer lights weren't working. That is why the verbal prompt was given.

mirmac1 said...

Well if K-5 STEM can rewrite capacity management in West Seattle, why can't a group of historically underserved and ignored citizens make an equally strong (if less conventional) case in the Central District?

Frankly, I much prefer hearing directly from those whom astroturf groups like OSC claim to represent. I at least don't have to filter the message through the BS meter....

Anonymous said...

mirmac,

What situation at Garfield is intolerable to you?

Lynn

Charlie Mas said...

The "apartheid" at Garfield can be quickly and easily solved. Relocate APP out of the building. Is that what people want?

APP can't go to Franklin, Cleveland, or Rainier Beach. It would create the same story in any of those schools.

So does all-city high school APP go to West Seattle High? Does that make sense to anyone?

Unknown said...

The cluster of people who were going to speak on the SEI contract cancelled. Many people who were on the waiting list just did not show up. Those were the names that were just getting rolled through at the end.

joanna said...

Garfield is a fine guaranteed assignment for APP. The students can also attend Ingraham. A vast majority of students of color, especially African American, who take AP classes take them at Garfield. Take a close look at the data for all high schools and records of achievement. For good or bad, neighborhoods have changed. All I ask is that all compare other neighborhoods and the achievement of the students of color in those neighborhood high schools with those of Garfield and then come back for some discussions. Please give up the accusatory tones toward any high school. I ask for facts.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know how many of the Garfield APP students are actually in the Garfield neighborhood zone. My guess is a large % - as was indicated on the APP heat zone map from (I believe it was) the boundaries presentation.

However, I think people may be looking at a lot of kids at Garfield and assume they are in the APP program based on what they "look" like - when they are actually neighborhood kids.

APP is only 25% of the total student population at this point at Garfield - right?

The APP program is not the issue, it is the changing demographics in the Central District. The Central area is visually changing. We can see it on the street corners as we drive down 23rd. It looks VERY different than it did even 5 years ago.

I can certainly understand why that may not be considered a positive change depending on your point of view.

-Garfield parent

Ed Lambert said...

I am the "One speaker (that) called APP at Garfield - apartheid - and continued on and on over his time."

Given that interpretation, here is the full text for accuracy:

My name is Ed Lambert, and I am the parent of a recent Nova graduate and a returning Nova student.

I am here because I respect and support the self-directed actions of the Africatown Community Innovation Center (ACIC) to create a model for education and engagement that works for young people of color in the Central Area.

I support the ACIC remaining at the Mann building because it is critical for communities to reclaim common spaces in the face of an increasing economic marginalization. This subtle economic violence has pushed people of color out of the way to make room for white-condo-rei-disneyland Seattle.

We have all seen this happen year after year, and we need to stand together to actively resist

I saw this happen when my children were at Orca, where an increasingly white school pushed out Whitworth - a school with over 90% children of color. I do not want to see this happen again as a Nova parent.

My family chose Nova because we believed that horizontal, democratic decision-making would allow students to address community issues in a way that is deep and authentic. We felt this would be a positive contrast to the hollow self-declarations of "social justice" that we had seen preached, but not practiced.

However, while I support many things about Nova. Solidarity with other communities is a weak spot. 30 years of closure threats will do that to a school.

I am not saying this to malign Nova, because Nova is in many ways a wonderful school full of interesting students and many fabulous teachers. I support Nova staying open, too.

However, Nova is a privileged community. I would like to see Nova students reach out to the ACIC in solidarity and work to stop their displacement.

The root of this problem is not the ACIC and it is not Nova. The problem lies in the institutionalized power of the district. It lies in your unwavering support for the economic status quo and the institutionalized racism that props it up. Your assignment plan is one of drivers of the gentrification of the CD as wealthy white people rush to buy houses close to Garfield. Your support for the two-tiered APP apartheid model at Garfield increases the inequity in the CD. I have no belief in the legitimacy of your authority over the Mann building. You change rules at your whim because that is what power structures do.

During the 2009 closures, I addressed you and asked, “In three years, when you realize that your demographic analysis was all wrong and you need to re-open these schools, which one of you will resign?”. You refuse to take accountability for your own problems. Instead you generate austerity and then uses coercion and threats of closure to force communities like Nova do your dirty work.

You have created this mess. It is your problem to solve - not Nova’s. Nova should reject this fabricated crisis and refuse to be the foil for your clumsy machinations. Nova should stand with the ACIC to fight the social and economic structures that funnel all of our young people into the role of either the oppressor or the oppressed.

Anonymous said...

Garfield Parent,

Last year there were 109 High School APP students who lived in the attendance area for Washington Middle School and 411 of the 1,669 students at Garfield were APP students.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lambert,

I have some questions for you.
Where else do you think NOVA could relocate to next fall?
Do you live in the Central District?
Would you support the district moving APP out of Garfield and the Central District?
What affect do you think that would have on advanced students in the Central District who do not qualify for APP and would remain at Garfield?
How has life in the Central District changed in light of the gentrification you observe?
What has ACIC created that would take the place of the basic education the state provides to all students?
Is it only school district property that you feel can be legitimately taken by community groups?
How about buildings owned by the state or federal governments?
How about the homes of the affluent whites you see moving into the Central District?

I would like to understand where you are coming from.

Lynn

mirmac1 said...

How about NOVA moving into the Boren building on Delridge? I see that group of students and families as equally deserving of a permanent home as the STEM school.

Anonymous said...

mirmac,
Boren doesn't make sense for a high school that draws students from all over the city. ACIC hasn't offered to buy the Mann building from the district at fair market value - have they? How about ACIC finds a building (any building) anywhere in the city they like that is available for rent? There is no reason for the district to take part in the search.
Lynn

Charlie Mas said...

" it is critical for communities to reclaim common spaces in the face of an increasing economic marginalization"
The African-American community in the Central District has already reclaimed two common spaces from the School District - the Colman School and the MLK school. Where's the finish line? How many more buildings must they "reclaim" from the school district? How many buildings must they "reclaim" from the city or the county?

"This subtle economic violence has pushed people of color out of the way to make room for white-condo-rei-disneyland Seattle" It was the economic violence of redlining that created Africatown. It is people's freedom to live where they choose that drives the gentrification. Is the solution some kind of new redlining that prohibits White people from moving into the Central District? It's hard to know where justice lies when every choice is unjust.

"We have all seen this happen year after year, and we need to stand together to actively resist." No. We don't. Clearly there are a lot of people who want this. Why is their choice less legitimate than anyone else's?

"I saw this happen when my children were at Orca, where an increasingly white school pushed out Whitworth - a school with over 90% children of color. I do not want to see this happen again as a Nova parent."
ORCA did not "push out" Whitworth. Whitworth was closed due to low enrollment. ORCA was moved into the vacated building. And it's not happening again. NOVA isn't pushing anyone out either. NOVA is going home. The ACIC has been in the Mann building for four months. NOVA was there for over thirty years.

The "economic status quo" that Mr. Lambert rails against is the rule that the owner of building controls the use of the building. Is that really an economic status quo that we want to overturn? Is it one that is propped up by institutionalized racism? I don't think so.

Mr. Lambert says that the placement of APP at Garfield is a driver of gentrification in the CD because it makes the school better and more desirable. I suppose that to keep the CD safe for Black people and poor people we need to keep the schools crappy and un-desirable. Is that the plan? Whom does that serve?

Oh, and here's a news flash: our children are not funneled into the role of either the oppressor or the oppressed. Not at all. What melodrama!

Lette's Haven said...

It's sad that you were late however it's better to attend than be absent. Wish you come up a great plan for the school. Keep it up!

System of Greatness

Anonymous said...

The "apartheid" at Garfield can be quickly and easily solved. Relocate APP out of the building.

Right, move it back to every school. This is already happening as a slow process. The program is growing at such a rate that it can not be contained in any 1 school, especially if you throw the Spectrum wannabees. A good thing. Separate and unequal everywhere, but in small doses.

Reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

K-5 STEM can rewrite capacity management in West Seattle."

Is that what is happening or are they just advocating? Why would their voices count more?

"Common spaces" - you'd have to define that to me, Ed. Schools are but to a certain point. The district has to run the school (just like Parks runs the parks).

"It lies in your unwavering support for the economic status quo and the institutionalized racism that props it up."

Who are you speaking to here? The Board, the community? Because that's a broad statement to throw at an entire city. Taking yet another building from a district that struggles doesn't seem like the place to start. That you studiously ignore the issues of Coleman and MLK, Jr buildings is noticeable.

I will again warn against name-calling against children. If I see it again, I will delete all such comments. Keep your comments about the program and not the children in them.

HOw is Nova a "privileged" community? Compared to whom?

Unknown said...

Institutionalized isms are a fact in Seattle Public Schools. They are also a fact in many governmental and private programs. The question is, is SPS doing enough about them.

When I look to the question of institutionalized racism in terms of discipline disproportionality, the evidence says, no, Seattle Public schools does not do enough.

I personally would like to hear more from Ed on this subject, too. What are the good things that Seattle Public Schools is doing about institutionalized racism? Conversely, what are they doing that is furthering institutionalized racism?

Jon said...

A bigger question is whether SPS is doing enough to teach reading and math.

Racial hatred seems to be blinding you to the obvious. Our public schools should not be discriminating based on the color of a child's skin. They should be teaching reading and math.

Unknown said...

@Jon,

I am not sure I understand the meaning of your last comment. Whose racial hatred of whom are you referring to?

And I don't get your point of your last two sentences. Are you saying that SPS should be doing more for kids of some race as far as teaching math and reading? I think that is the point of school, but as far as institutional racism, what exactly should they do to overcome those issues?

Jon said...

SPS should be doing nothing to overcome institutional racism in our society. SPS should be teaching reading and math. SPS should not be discriminating against children based on the color of their skin in any way.

Look, I understand what you and Ed Lambert and a couple others are saying, I just find your solution appalling.

Your argument boils down to that most children face racial discrimination in broader society, and SPS needs to discriminate between children based on race to somehow try to compensate.

My point is that SPS should not discriminate based on the color of a child's skin.

Your argument is that two wrongs make a right (discrimination plus more discrimination somehow might yield no discrimination).

My point is that two wrongs make even more wrong. More discrimination is more discrimination.

Unknown said...

Jon,

I'm not sure what solution you are talking about. I have not advocated any kind of position about the Horace Mann building. I'm talking in general about institutionalized racism. I also spoke specifically last night at the board meeting about the need to set a timeline for responding to the OCR's investigation of discipline disproportionality.

I don't agree with your argument at all. Frankly, your argument is really rather appalling. SPS should not do anything about institutionalized racism? That to try to do something makes for more discrimination? Who said that?

It is possible to teach math and reading in ways that are more accessible to people of different cultures . It is possible to put into place policies and procedures that are less likely to discriminate against kids with different races and backgrounds allowing them to continue to be educated rather than sent home. Your one-size fits-all approach may fit your kid, but the fact is that it doesn't fit most kids that the district needs to educate. Let's take math. I'm not a teacher. I'm a nurse. But I know that there are ways of teaching math that rely less on reading than other math curriculums. This is possibly a good way to teach math to immigrants or someone who has a harder time reading. Curriculums have to be chosen, and they way they are chosen needs to be sensitive to the populations that need to be served. That's just one example.

Mary G.

mirmac1 said...

Oh wow. SPS discriminates against students of color with respect to over-identification of disability, severity of discipline, tracking and low academics, conducting experimentation like TFA, requiring parents to subsidize decent curriculum and so on. If that is not obvious to anyone, then...wow.

SPS has to STOP doing this. Like the Feds demand. And it is within the Feds and OSPI's purview to demand this. Those with the money can demand that their funds not perpetuate misfeasance and inequity. Much like Federal agencies require contracts that include provisions to hire vets, hire small business, offer equal opportunity, hire the disabled, Buy America etc etc. What's that got to do with building an Interstate? Well, it is viewed as sound public policy and ensuring tax dollars don't exacerbate discrimination or stagnation. And since it's their money, they get to say so. Those vendors and contractors who don't wish to deal with this can stick to private sector work.

I see many parallels here.

Charlie Mas said...

mirmac1 is right, but, as Ed points out, when the people with the money make the rules, that's economic violence and we should stand up against it.

Anonymous said...

The district chosen math and reading programs are lousy for many students, not just ELL or struggling students. The difference, perhaps, is that some families have the means or ability to compensate. They are able to succeed in spite of the lousy SPS materials, not necessarily because of them. If SPS were truly interested in narrowing the achievement gap, they'd acknowledge that they'd made poor choices and they'd get serious about improving the academic content in all schools and all programs.

not Jon

mirmac1 said...

Thank you Charlie. I think the key difference is the people with the money vs "We, the People" with the money.

Anonymous said...

Jon, where are you from. It would seem you don't have much education and your kids are very young. Students have mostly all learned to read by 2nd grade, with stragglers learning it by 3rd grade. Then what? Should they just be done? After that, it's all content. Why not teach tolerance? Why not teach civics and social justice? Academics don't happen in a vacuum. They are a reflection of values.

Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Try to keep it civil, folks. "Reading" covers more than simply being able to read, it's called "language arts" now, and you're right that it's about content. Readers and Writers workshop, however, is pretty devoid of content. They teach "strategies" over and over and over...

not Jon

word said...

not Jon @ 12:03

Perfectly stated.

It is this situation that confirms to my mind that SPS is not at all interested in academic achievement....ironically.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that readers drive by the MLK Fame building (former MLK school) and take a look at what is happening (or not) there. It is a ghost town and a disgrace. What used to be a school is now a mostly empty building that was effectively given to an African American community group so that they could run youth services out of the building. Those youth services haven't really materialized. The building and grounds remain virtually empty but for the fire dept. which is temporarily in a trailer there during its remodel. It is the most underutilized building in the area and has become a tragedy. This whole dispute over the use of the Mann Building is a media-seeking diversion. There is an excess of community spaces for youth services in the area, as evidenced by the high vacancy rates for youth service facilities at MLK. In addition, all of the schools in the area can be rented for after school for programs following the SPS procedures.

Why would SPS even consider giving another school to the community when the other school it gave away down the street sits empty? The Superintendent needs to act decisively and put an end to this ridiculous debate. Yes, youth services in the CD are great and we are lucky to have lots of other options for housing them.
-- Don't Forget MLK Fame Building

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think basically these people want a charter school and want a free building. It doesn't work that way.

They may have the best of motives but this is not the way.

K. Voss said...

"K-5 STEM can rewrite capacity management in West Seattle" -- seems to me that if we had that kind of power you wouldn't see us everywhere. Rather, we are advocating AGAINST placement suggestions that are counter to almost every single guiding principle put forth by SPS and advocating FOR solutions that not only provide appropriate space for our community but allow us to continue to offer an option to a diverse population in WS. We are doing our best to not sit back and complain but, rather, provide viable options with consideration of the health of all of WS in mind. We are trying to approach the situation with data, logic, and reason.

I know that there are people out there that may never speak well of us because they didn't support the opening of our school in the first place. It often seems as if there are some who will counter anything we have to say, no matter how benign or reasonable. We DO exist and do our best to shrug off those that seem to want us to fail. To those, I offer an invitation to come and visit our community and take a look at our 5-year strategic plan. I believe you'll walk away seeing a school that reflects the diversity that West Seattle offers, is excited about learning, and wanting to develop strong partnerships with other schools and members of the community. We welcome any opportunity to answer questions and dispel false notions.

Just Saying said...

The MLK building would be a great new space for the good people in the Mann building.

Jet City mom said...

Apartheid at Garfield?
Are students denied classes they want to take?
Is there a special admission process for AP or honors courses? In my experience all that is needed is a committment by the student to do their best, although I have heard parents say that the amount of work expected is unreasonable. Fair enough, even though I think they are selling their own kids short.

Students of color are hardly unintelligent, but like many teens they may be lazy & only do the minimum of what is
required. At other schools ( my personal observation- but not across the board) teachers may have lower expectation and so why should they push beyond those expectations when they can get a decent grade for doing the bare minimum? Garfield teachers have more confidence in their students than that and encourage them to work a little( a lot) harder.

Our experience was they make themselves available not only before and after school for tutoring, but after hours as when several teachers gave my D their home #.
She was able to graduate with honors, despite entering Garfield 2 & 1/2 years BEHIND in math. She caught up by junior year and took Chem, Physics & pre- calc before graduating.
Is that opportunity not available to other students?

I am so tired of hyperbole phrases like apartheid to describe parents reluctance to have their kids take honors classes.

Ed Lambert said...

Here are inline responses to Lynn
from her post of 8/21/13, 11:03 PM

Mr. Lambert,

I have some questions for you.
Where else do you think NOVA could relocate to next fall?
EL: I don’t know, but I bet Chris Jackins could figure it out in about 20 minutes.

Do you live in the Central District?
EL: No. I live in the Rainier Valley.

Would you support the district moving APP out of Garfield and the Central District?
EL: I am against all tracking programs, including APP. I think APP should be dismantled and the system should focus on equity.

What affect do you think that would have on advanced students in the Central District who do not qualify for APP and would remain at Garfield?
EL: I think “advanced students” will be just fine. I personally tend to be more concerned about those that do not meet whatever your criteria is for ‘advanced’. IMO they are kind of awesome too.

How has life in the Central District changed in light of the gentrification you observe?
EL: I am not black and do not live in the CD. I do not want to speak for others. I encourage you to stop by ACIC or Umoja Peace Center and ask them.

What has ACIC created that would take the place of the basic education the state provides to all students?
EL: I am a big supporter of public education (and vehemently against charters). However, I think school programs and individual teachers should be empowered to reach students in ways that are culturally relevant. I feel that most public school programs are based on drills and testing at this point, which I think is bad for everyone.

Is it only school district property that you feel can be legitimately taken by community groups?
How about buildings owned by the state or federal governments?
How about the homes of the affluent whites you see moving into the Central District?
EL: I will answer all of those together. I am morally opposed to our current economic system. I am, however, not a supporter state-socialism or state-communism. I believe that there are MANY other creative options for how to distribute property and wealth in a way that is fair, community-based, and just.

I would like to understand where you are coming from.
EL: While I did not write this specific piece, a friend did and it sums up my views on education and society extremely well:
http://creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com/about-2/

Ed Lambert said...

Here is a reply to Charlie Mas in response to your post of 8/22, 6:56 am:

Part 1 of 2:
Based on many of your comments, it seems like there are some very large differences in our world view. Rather than beat around the bush, here is where I am coming from:

When I look around, it seems to me like a disproportionate amount of the real estate and wealth in our city is in white hands. I am not sure where the finish line is, but I don’t think we have to worry about sprinting past it.

I am strongly against the neoliberal capitalist system that controls our society. (I think state-run communism is bad too, and I think there are many other creative options outside of the standard binary.)

Neoliberalism states that economic power is political power. It makes laws that state that “only people with money can live in this neighborhood” and then somehow makes those laws magically seem sensible to most everyone by virtue of authority and social conditioning.

Capitalism creates inherent injustices at the most foundational level of our interactions with others. So yes, we seem to agree that every move we make in any direction generally amplifies these injustices and fixing things fairly becomes very difficult.

I acknowledge that there are many people who are totally fine with the system as it exists. I was not really talking to those people, but rather to show solidarity with a community that does not think the system is fine as it exists.

I think private property is overrated. We lecture our kids to share, but as adults, every house on the block has to have its own lawnmower, margarita mixer, etc…

I especially think that issues of land ownership are questionable in our area given that we are all living on land that was effectively stolen from the indigenous people that lived here prior to colonization.

I believe that capitalism is propped up by racism. Specifically, fear of criminality by black men, along with myths of black ‘welfare queens’ have been (and still are being) used by political and financial operatives to drive a wedge between working class whites and people of color. Playing races off of each other has historically prevented effective labor organizing and driven white voters towards conservative extremism.

I don’t think that APP makes schools better. I do think it makes them whiter. (I have had parents confide that they moved to a more white school because they “did not want their child to be a social experiment”.) I know at least six white families that bought houses in the CD in order to get their students into Garfield. That does have an effect on home prices, which does increase gentrification.

Continued below:

Ed Lambert said...

part 2 of 2 in reply to Charlie Mas post of 8/22, 6:56 am:


Again, I do not think that APP is a good thing. I think we would ALL be much better off if we focused on equity - not competition and stratification. I do not think that schools without APP are crappy. Finland seems to be doing OK. Perhaps you and I have a different concept of what a “good” school is.

I believe that competition is a damaging cultural aberration that is promoted by and propped up by capitalism.
Oppression exists. We are all on one side or the other. Here is my “newsflash”: there are many people that do not think that is melodrama. If you do not see it from where you are sitting, I do not know how to respond.


I did want to close with one nitpicky point of historical fact. When the Orca K-8 was first being discussed, organizers went to a number of community groups (SOS Coalition w/Don Alexander and others) and promised not to displace another community. Later, at a meeting with a school board member and several members of the Orca community in 2005, when we were trying to get the K-8 off the ground, a member of Orca community (ironically, the organizer of our “race forums”) suggested to this board member the idea of closing Whitworth and using that building instead for the Orca K-8. While I personally opposed it on the spot and during ongoing efforts, the idea took hold from that meeting and was eventually implemented. I personally witnessed white Orca parents later begging the school board to close Whitworth and move Orca in. It was NOT vacant and Orca parents DID push them out

Anonymous said...

Mr Lambert ,

It sounds similar to how APP ended up at Lowell. The district closed it because it was in such poor shape so they claimed, then they turned around and were suddenly able to fund building updates for APP.

Go figure that we ended up with it back as an elementary school for their neighborhood some dozen years later.

CHM

Anonymous said...

These conversations remind me of Kurt Vonnegut's 1961 short story, "Harrison Bergeron."

The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal.

Jet City mom said...

My mom attended Garfield & Washington in the 40-'s - 50's.
It was a mixed community then, lots of Jewish families if I remember right.
Neighborhoods evolve just like our concept of families.
IMO that's a good thing or would some people prefer quotas?

Unknown said...

Jet City mom, I guess I have to take exception to your statement that neighborhoods "evolve." They certainly do change. But your statement seems to follow some kind of sentiment that it is a natural process. The reason people lived in certain areas of the city, particularly African Americans, Asian, Pacific Islander and Jewish back in the forties and fifties was because of restrictive covenants that prohibited these people from buying houses, renting or living in certain areas of the city unless they were servants. These covenants were legally enforceable until 1948, but even well into the 1950's the local board of realtors had as its code of conduct that realtors "should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood… members of any race or nationality, or any individual whose presence will clearly be detrimental to property values in that neighborhood."

It was not a natural thing,and the areas where these communities are rooted today are remnants of those covenants. As a result of similar policies, urban areas of the North became far more segregated and remain more segregated than similar urban areas of the deep south. As an example, according the 2010 census, the city in which I went to college, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the most segregated large urban area in the country, followed by New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Segregation in Seattle extended to schools the same way it does now, due to residential segregation. In 1966 there were nine “black schools” in the Central District and nearly 100 “white schools” in other parts of the city.

Desegregation of residential areas is a very slow process, for many reasons. I'm not sure I would call it an evolution, though.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Interesting discussion.

I would add:

- Ed, I do know Chris Jackins and I'll ask him. But he knows Nova and I doubt that he thinks that a non-central location will work.

- I think the issue around the Mann building is NOT one the district can solve. The redlining that occurred in other generations and the gentrification that is occurring now is not of the district's doing. (Neighborhood schools notwithstanding because many, many parents, throughout the city, pushed for this.)

The district does have to try to find more teachers of colors, have cultural competency professional development for teachers and staff, provide a culturally competent curriculum for ALL students.

But they cannot be asked to solve all the ills of society.

Taking over a school building that is needed for an existing school is not the way to do this.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, Ed, you are absolutely allowed your beliefs. But frankly, saying we all on one side of oppression or another is not really fair. I don't support oppression of anyone but I also don't support this action because I don't see the district's action as oppression.

Anonymous said...

The "historical" redlining of special education students is pretty recent. Ongoing actually. And special ed is disproportionately minority, black and native American, in particular. "Let's just have all the special ed programs in under-utilized buildings. If the schools become popular, we'll just boot the sped out." That has pretty much been the modis operandi of the district for decades. And it still is for K-5. Even now, the Hamilton service area has pretty much made a great many of it's schools unfit for students with disabilities - by design, recent design. All those brand spanking new language immersion programs? What provisions have been made to make those accessible and amendable to students with disabilities (severe, for example)? Oh none. Those students don't exist, they can just be shipped elsewhere.

The issues of ability, disability, race, and equity are inextricably intertwined. You can not solve one if you don't solve the others.

-Another reader

Jon said...

Ed Lambert is saying he wants to use the public school system in Seattle to try to end capitalism and to try to take wealth and real estate out of white people's hands. He goes on to say that anyone who disagrees with him is on the side of oppression.

This is not a reasonable position or one that is amenable to rational debate. There is not a useful discussion to be had here.

mirmac1 said...

And now back to the O'Reilly Factor...