Saturday, January 23, 2016

Annual Equitable Access Report

It's January again and therefore time for another annual report on Equitable Access.

This report is required by Board Policy 2200 which delegates authority for program placement to the Superintendent, but sets the criteria for program placement and requires an annual report to allow the Board the opportunity to confirm that the Superintendent's program placement decisions are aligned with those criteria. The Superintendent submits quarterly reports throughout the year and an annual report in January. The reports are delivered in Friday Memos to the Board. Every quarterly report and every annual report is deficient in some important way. This year is no exception.

The first thing you will notice about this report is that it contains no mention of the elimination of the Middle College site in Southwest Seattle. How this decision does not qualify as worthy of mention in this report is beyond me.

You'll notice that the report, which is supposed to include any decisions which, although not yet made, are under consideration, does not make any reference to the Kindergarten program at EEU. Again, a pretty blatant failure in reporting.

This report does include, better than any previous report, an explanation for how a program placement decision reflects the criteria specified in the policy when it explains the relocation of the EBOC program from Viewlands to Northgate. It does, however, make you wonder why the program was ever sited at Viewlands in the first place.

The bulk of the report is about Special Education programs and there are absolutely no explanations for the siting of any of them.

It's long past time that a Board Director require a report that meets the requirements of the policy.


LizaSfT said...

The omission of Middle College and EEU was pointed out by board members, and stated that there needs to be a way to report those. Also asked for was number of kids receiving special services in the city's pre-k program - no answer. Blanford said he'd asked for that info before and expected to get it.

mirmac1 said...

I, for once, agreed with Stephan Blanford on this. Equitable access, as defined in Title II of the ADA, and in the Civil Rights Act, does not mean physical locations of Program X and "classroom" Y, it means that any recipient of Federal funds must ensure that protected classes shall enjoy the same rights, privileges and opportunities as others.

Anonymous said...

That is certainly what equitable access means in terms of the ADA, but according to the policy staff is supposed to be following, equitable access is supposed to mean what the policy says it means. It's not referring to the ADA or Civil Rights Act. "Placing services in support of district wide goals" could be interpreted to mean funds, but the rest of the policy is pretty clear about physical locations of programs and services across the district. Fine if you(and Stephen Blanford) think that is a dumb policy, but that is definitely the policy. And as Seattle gets more crowded and commute times become longer, I think it's a not insignificant point.