The Times on Nyland; Still an Engima

The Times has a somewhat curious article on the Superintendent.

For one thing, they make it sound like he's been here just a year but, at the end of August, 2016,  he will have been in SPS for two years.  (They say it's the end of his first full school year which is true but most people will not read that distinction.)

They make this claim:
At the end of Nyland’s first full school year as permanent superintendent of the state’s largest school district, opinions on his performance split into three groups.
They are:

- some who think he's stabilized the district
- some who think he is moving too slowly
- those who just don't feel they know him (despite his nearly two year tenure)

I'm pretty sure the majority of people who have interacted with him would say he is a nice guy and a gentleman.  I certainly would.

I think JSCEE staff probably do like working with him because of his personality.   But Stephanie Jones of CPPS nails it:
“I know that he is passionate about the work of the district, but I don’t know that I have a great sense of what his priorities are for the next phase,” said Stephanie Jones, executive director of Community and Parents for Public Schools of Seattle, a group that works to improve parent and community-member engagement.
Exactly.  Even as he continues with the Strategic Plan, most parents probably couldn't tell you much about it.  It's large and unwieldy and has had some shape-shifting happening to it.
At his office in the school district’s headquarters in Sodo, Nyland is the first to admit he’s not a visionary. Ultimately, he sees his role as bringing together different groups that otherwise might not have interacted, like central-office staff with a parent group. It’s not appropriate for him, he said, to come in with one big idea for how to fix all the district’s problems. He sees his job as a weaver.
I'm not sure we do need a visionary but we do need a vision.  It's interesting that he had the idea that central office staff didn't interact with parent groups before he came (or that they wouldn't.)  As well, I wouldn't want someone like Maria Goodloe-Johnson who did come in with a big vision of her own.
But I sure do want a leader.

One thing I had hoped for - given his background in Marysville in working with Native American students - is to see some of that happen in SPS.  Not so much. 

One thing Nyland did do right?  He rehired Steve Nielsen as deputy superintendent. 

Nyland had this interesting statement:
In Marysville, where Nyland served for nine years, he said he would meet with people who had concerns and explain what the district was or wasn’t doing. They would either agree or come to understand that the district couldn’t do everything for everybody. In Seattle, there’s another group:
“(They say) ‘I flat-out disagree and I want what I want,’ ” Nyland said. “That part is different.”
Could that have been the Alliance for Education?  Because I can't imagine any parent group coming in and saying that.

The Times also pointed this out:
In a 5-1 vote, that board recently decided to dilute one of the longtime powers of the superintendent — deciding where to offer and close programs, sites and services.
That had long been the sole responsibility of the superintendent, and now, depending on the situation, the board will vote on them, or at least be informed of the superintendent’s decisions beforehand. 
Unfortunately, the Times did not explain WHY the Board took this step which makes it look like the Board is trying to micromanage.  (They also did not get a quote from a single current Board member.)

Who did they talk to?
Among the two dozen educators, parents, advocates, former School Board members and politicians interviewed, the responses about the state of the district range from “running exceptionally well” to “bad, which is business as usual.” 
I have to wonder about the thinking of any reporter or editor who is doing a story on a current superintendent and doesn't talk to a single current Board member.  Almost like they wanted to shape the story in a specific manner.

What Nyland says at the end is telling about how he sees the work in SPS:
From his office, Nyland gazed out the windows at the Seattle skyline. His contract runs through 2018. After that? He’s not sure. 

“Grand, big ideas, particularly for a city or district the size of Seattle, are going to take a lot of time, and a lot of ownership,” he said. “My goal is to leave the system better than I found it.
 Given the Mayor's machinations around gaining control over the district, I find that statement quite in line with the Mayor's efforts.  Hmmm.


Eric B said…
I've seen a very few parents who are hard line and want one specific thing and nothing else. For some reason, this seems to cluster around capacity decisions. The worse ones are the ones who don't want what the district proposes, but can't say what they do want.
NO 1240 said…
Larry Nyland stood-up to Dorn, Gates and the Mary Walker School district, and told them that he wasn't willing to divert funding to schools formed under an unconstitutional initiative. This act took a lot of courage.

As well, Nyland told A4E that they were not in charge of the school district and severed ties.

Clearly, Murray would love for the city to help select a superintendent. I'm sure the individual would be supportive of the corporate model of education reform.

The superintendent is always under the watchful eye of the press and politicos with an agenda.

The district could look very different without Nyland.
Good points all, Eric and No.
Anonymous said…
What courage? He has a board majority that is decidedly anti-charter schools and a union that hates them and works to close them.

Also, Dorn has no authority of Nyland.

Courage demands sacrifice. Nyland sacrificed nothing (except the future of about 100 kids who were enrolled at Summit Sierra).

--- aka
Perhaps Nyland looked at cities and states where charter schools exist, saw how they systematically undermine and suck funding from public schools, and rightly concluded SPS should have no part of it (as Seattle voters have repeatedly made clear)? All of the problems that we find in SPS would be made far worse by the proliferation of charter schools. Just ask anyone in Chicago or Philadelphia.

As to Nyland himself, he seems to be well-liked on a personal level, but as Charlie's previous post makes clear, he has not put an end to the culture of lawlessness at the JSCEE. Doing so is a prerequisite to his ability to achieve his laudable equity goals.

His term is up in 2018. I don't know if there's any significance to that from his perspective. But 2018 is the year that the City of Seattle's Families and Education Levy and the Pre-K Levy both expire. It is entirely possible that Ed Murray and Tim Burgess will use that as an opportunity to aggressively push for some kind of city takeover of SPS.
Anonymous said…
It's nice to know that Robert has continued on this blog spreading misinformation on charter schools. It's comforting to know that some things don't change.

--- aka
Po3 said…

Can you explain your thinking on this statement:

"Nyland sacrificed nothing (except the future of about 100 kids who were enrolled at Summit Sierra)."

Charter Schools operate outside of SPS, so how would Nyland's position/opinion have any impact on Summit students?

Wasn't their "future' in the hands of the state legislators?

NO 1240 said…
Nothing like a charter school conversation to draw-out- aka.

For anyone that thinks that it doesn't take courage to stand-up to Gates and his minions- think again. These individuals love to use the media to discredit individuals in positions of authority.

Some prefer to paint Nyland as flat, but it takes an enormous amount of courage to stand-up to political forces in this town and state. Highline and Spokane had no problem diverting public funds to schools formed under an unconstitutional law. If you think Nyland would circumvent public dollars to appease Gates et. al...think again. Why did the Seattle Times feel it necessary to write this piece- anyway??

Nyland let A4e know that- under no uncertain terms- he was running the district. Now, we have Murray and Jones wringing their hands.
Anonymous said…
NO, can you point me to any evidence that Gates and his minions and the media discredited Nyland over his anti-charter/ALE letter?

--- aka
Jan said…
Hm. Odd. I thought Robert's points were pretty much accurate, and I saw no misinformation.

"saw how [charter schools] systematically undermind and suck funding from public schoos" -- broad, perhaps, but generally accurate from what I have read;

"as Seattle voters have repeatedly made clear" -- flatly spot on; Seattle voters DID vote against charters, every time they had a chance to.

"SPS would be made far worse by the proliferation of charter schools. Just ask anyone in Chicago or Philadelphia." -- this is really opinion, not "information" so maybe it falls outside the discussion -- but from what I know of public school supporters in those two cities, this is true as well.

And -- for what it is worth, I totally think that Robert is right to worry about a push by the mayor to take over the schools (though that also is not "information" or "fact" -- it is a worrisome prediction, based on observations to date and predictions about how faux democratic mayors in other cities have acted.

Where is the misinformation?
Anonymous said…
Jan, the statement that charter schools "systematically undermine and suck funding from public schools" is not accurate. It's an anti-charter school talking point. A few cherry-picked articles and anecdotes doesn't make it so.

--- aka
No 1240 said…
For some reason, the media preferred not to call attention to Dorn's actions and the manner in which he worked with the Gates Foundation and Washington Charters to undermine our high court ruling. No surprise, here.

I maintain: It takes courage to stand-up to the city's most powerful.
Anonymous said…
Nice to hear from you aka. Tell us the one about Jack and the magic beans next.

-- Ivan Weiss
Anonymous said…
I know --- it takes courage to stand up to an imaginary conspiracy.

As for media coverage of Dorn's actions, are these not sufficient?

--- aka
Anonymous said…
Sorry, Ivan, it's hard to keep my narrative thread straight between hits from my crack pipe.

--- aka
NO 1240 said…
"As for media coverage of Dorn's actions, are these not sufficient?"

No. There was never a media discussion or call to ascertain whether Dorn worked within his Rule Making authority. Also, there was never a public/media discussion to call attention to the fact that the MWSD listed themselves as the parent to all charter school students. There was never media attention to the fact that the MWSD provided their address-as place of resident-for all charter school students.

There was never media coverage to the fact that Washington Charters and Gates played an enormous role in helping former Charter Commissioner- Kevin Jacka- and Dorn divert funding for charter schools through the MWSD.

Signing off.
Anonymous said…
Media didn't report on the rule-making authority issue because it wasn't an issue. The SPI has rule-making authority for ALEs.

They didn't report the MWSD as parent and providing their address as residence because neither of those things happened.

As for the latter issue regarding the use of ALEs to provide funding for the programs, that was reported in the articles referenced above.

What else?

--- aka
NESeattleMom said…
What is everyone talking about?
seattle citizen said…
Not Nyland, anymore, NESeattleMom... ;)
Hi aka. I know you agree with Donald Trump that charter schools and school choice are good things, but facts matter. Here are some of them.

Moody's issued a report making it clear that charter schools take money from public schools:

An overview of how charters undermine public school funding in districts across America:

Here is an NAACP lawsuit about $42 million that has left St. Louis public schools for charter schools:

Charter schools draining money from Oakland public schools:

The great Rick Perlstein looks at how Chicago charter schools drain money from Chicago public schools - 50 of which closed, devastating neighborhoods and causing a mass revolt that has pretty much destroyed Rahm Emanuel's career:

Massachusetts charter schools drain money from public schools: (which is why parents in Mass are working to stop charter school expansion)

A small town in Ohio:

And here's a charter school advocate saying not only do charters take money from public schools, that public school districts should just get used to it and downsize:

Shall I go on? Nyland has his strengths and weaknesses, but standing up for 50,000+ public school kids and their schools is one of the best things he's ever done.
NO 1240 said…
"The SPI has rule-making authority for ALEs." Correct, but not charter schools.

"They didn't report the MWSD as parent and providing their address as residence because neither of those things happened." Wrong.
Charlie Mas said…
Was it Mr. Nyland or the Board who set the policy direction regarding charter schools, ALEs sponsored by MWSD, and the Alliance for Education? Perhaps it was a shared view, but I have to believe that Mr. Nyland would have followed the Board's direction in all of these.

As for standing up to the Mayor or the BMGF, it's more a case of not fawning over them or abdicating authority to them than opposing them. And, again, I see the Board having a role in that posture. The District staff, on the other hand, is all for sucking up to the City (they couldn't do enough for the pre-school initiative) and the BMGF.
NO 1240 said…

You bring -up important points and I'm enormously grateful for our board.

However, I can't imagine Banda standing-up to the over-reaching A4E. As I recall, it was Banda that ordered a mass math waiver..after the board adopted math curriculum. According to the article, Nyland acknowledged the board had legitimate concerns regarding program placement.

Clearly, as the city engages with principals and works from the inside..there is more work to be done.

I also think that if a corporate backed superintendent was in office...the Seattle Times article would have looked very different.
Anonymous said…
From the conversations I've had with regular line-level employees at SPS, Dr. Nyland is more figurehead than leader - while he may be a perfectly nice person, he's not done anything to stand out..rocked very few boats and many of them, even the ones in JSCEE, have never actually met him.

I'd love to see SPS under the leadership of someone dynamic and forthright - who tells the Mayor the places where his assistance is welcome and where Mr. Mayor can just back off. Who tells senior staff to remember that is classroom first, and perhaps gets rid of a few of those newly ensconced senior mgmt positions...

SPS is such a messed up place on so many levels that I'm not sure there exists a person who can turn it around to a more functional entity, but wouldn't it be lovely to try? A girl can dream, right?

I believe there are a couple of people out there but until Nyland's time is up, there's nothing that can be done (except, as Charlie says over and over, the Board holds his feet to the fire on staff following policies.)
seattle citizen said…
Not Nyland, anymore, NESeattleMom... ;)
Jan said…
Thanks Robert, for replying to aka where I did not. I have read a lot, but couldn't find any of it quickly. aka -- I stand by my position. Charters DO drain funding from (and thereby weaken) public schools. Moody's does not do this for sport. As one of the rating agencies rating publicly issued bonds by school districts, they are deeply involved in both short- and long- term school economic trends.
Anonymous said…
Jan. Charters also "drain" students. Last I checked, we have way too many of those. Not saying they're good or bad. The real argument is whether or not they cherry pick, but then we've got programs like hcc which also cherry pick in the same way (from a cost perspective).

Another perspective
Anonymous said…
@Another perspective
At the risk of starting an unintended thread, how does HCC cherry pick, from a cost or other perspective?
-SPS Tired
Anonymous said…
The cheapest students to educate are bundled together in hcc (demographically, homogeneously, ses-wise, disabilitywise) - leaving the costlier students to other schools which are funded at the same rate. This is the same phenomenon we see with charters. There have been numerous threads on the topic already. Hcc "drains" funding the same way, if you look at it as "draining". You can't really have it both ways though.

Another perspective
Anonymous said…
Well, no, they are funded at a different rate, because they are the cheapest to educate. It's a much lower rate per student than other schools, because of the demographic problem you mention-different demographics are funded at different rates. Or are you suggesting hcc should get even less per student? I have not found hcc classrooms quieter or less distracting than other northend elementary school classrooms. (A little louder in the younger grades, tbh)

mirmac1 said…
I would love to see Nyland get more agitated. Actually, I take that back. I have, and I credit him for that. My only complaint is that his previous (40?) years color how he thinks things should work in SPS. We're a different animal compared to his previous districts and I'm gratified to see he is slowly coming to that realization. Nevertheless, his lieutenants think it's business as usual - which hurts the poor, the disabled, children of color and immigrants. He HAS read the writing on the wall an made some adjustments.

As for charter apologists, public records show Dorn cast a blind eye to irregularities in establishing these ALEs under the MWSD. They all should go down in flames.
Anonymous said…
The "cost" is to the remaining students in more highly impacted classrooms. Research is very clear that highly impacted classrooms need intensive support. HCC creates remaining Gen Ed classrooms with needs that increase exponentially as they shoulder the challenges (and rewards) of FRL, ELL and SPED students in numbers way out of proportion to HCC or charter classrooms. The most highly impacted classrooms statistically don't have a chance.

HC is required by state law. Seattle is not following state law. If it were, HCC would reflect the demographics of the district and use a continuum of services model (instead of segregating most of the elementary students). They also would not be identifying close to 10% of students but would be in line with local districts which average 5%. The students in HCC are a very specific demographic that is out of sync with the district in every measure.

"Cherry picking" is used against charters for good reason. They do the same thing that is going on in the HCC cohort (and formerly Spectrum).

The height of hypocrisy is the uproar against charters by the same people who support and defend HCC most vocally. HCC and charters both result in low FRL, ELL and SPED classrooms with the most connected/savvy parents in the districts. In SPS, it includes the most educated.

The "cost" is to the students left behind in the highly impacted classrooms. The "cost" is also to the integrity and fairness of the system. And, don't kid yourselves, there's a huge "cost" to the credibility of charter opponents who maintain an indefensible double standard on this blog and elsewhere.

Anonymous said…
sleeper. You're obviously not a school staffer. And you're wrong about the funding. Low income, but not FRL students, are not funded higher than HCC, but they are not proportionately represented in hcc. That is the cherry picking, cost preferential bias in hcc.

Another perspective

Anonymous said…
You have absolutely no basis for that assertion, another perspective. And I believe it is false.

I *do* think frl kids are underrepresented in hcc, and that there are several things we should do to address that (though that will also bring per pupil spending up.). No, i'm not a school staffer, but I know my way around a budget and am very familiar with the wss.

Anonymous said…
Another Perspective brought up a very significant point that I've not heard before.

Actually, sleeper, the students in HCC are plotted by location and those locations are certainly not in lower income areas in terms of clusters. There is very legitimate data for A.P.'s point, and I would put my money on the accuracy of this assertion.

What you believe about the data doesn't match the clusters on the HCC maps. The number of apartments, etc. are can be easily plotted and usually correlate with income. The NE "hot zones" simply don't follow lower income housing patterns. I'm sure the district has very clear data to prove A.P.'s point.

Anonymous said…
Right, the frl percentage is very low. But the fundraising per student, for example (NOT aggregate, since Cascadia is so huge) does not come anywhere near the other schools with single digit frl populations.

No, the district definitely does not track student cohort by median household income or even have any idea what any student's household income is, aside from frl statistics. If the district was that competent things would be very different in many ways.

Anonymous said…
sleeper - your comments about behavior "you have not seen less distractions in hcc" speaks to your lack of knowledge of classrooms. Clearly 0. I believe that you can read a spreadsheet as you indicate. Hcc has an extremely low frl, district has documented this - and nobody would doubt that the near-frl levels are also low. (or, are you saying there's hardly any frl qualified students in hcc - but, there ARE lots and lots of near-frl qualified students in HCC? That's unbelievable. Again - speaks to your lack of experience with students.) It's a wealthy cohort in sps. Sure, those in abject poverty bring in a small extra sum. But, they do not bring in enough to cover their needs, which taxes the schools they wind up in. The much larger near-frl - bring in nothing. So now, you're complaining that some other schools actually bring in more than hcc? I guess, I'm wondering why that's relevant to anything? O yeah. It isn't.

I guess my solution would be an equalization in funding. Much more to classrooms which are highly impacted by poverty, disability, and language issues - less to others. Removal of gifting except to the entire pot.

Another perspective
Anonymous said…

The district does have the information about student wealth based on residency. Housing patterns and addresses can certainly indicate SES without knowing family income. I think most of us already know the truth about this, especially the people who are in the program.

sleeper is pushing back very hard against the obvious. It indicates to me that he/she is uncomfortable about the injustice in the SPS version of HC.

Anonymous said…

Anonymous said…
Student achievement and family income/education attainment are strongly correlated (example: SAT scores are highly correlated with family income). It's not something that is somehow unique to SPS and HCC. The school with the lowest budgeted amount per student? Pretty sure it is Cascadia. If the students who cost the least to educate were no longer part of the public school system, you'd have less money to go around to serve students with higher needs. A public school system that retains families from higher income neighborhoods will be in a much better financial situation than one that pushes them to private schools. Where I lived previously, many more families went private or moved rather than send their children to the neighborhood public schools. Pass rates on state tests were in the single digits at some schools.

Anonymous said…
Based on the 2015-16 recommended budgets, Thornton Creek and Loyal Heights had lower per student allocations (basic) than Cascadia - $4767 and $4777 per student at TC and LH, respectively, vs $5046 for APP@Lincoln. For comparison, the school funding per pupil (basic) was $6441 at Rainier View and $6373 at Northgate Elementary.

-number stuff
Lynn said…
Let's talk about where Cascadia's students would be assigned if we didn't offer a self-contained program for highly capable students. The school that sends the most students to Cascadia is Bryant. You can't actually imagine that Bryant's classrooms are highly impacted by the loss of students to Cascadia. (Or View Ridge, Green Lake or John Hay.)

The high poverty north end schools send so few students to Cascadia that returning them to their neighborhoods would make no difference at all in the budget or classrooms (6 from Olympic Hills, 7 from Viewlands, 12 from Northgate.)
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the info that supports decreasing segregated schools. That would be a no brainer in terms of gerrymandering and increasing option schools if people had the will and were not worried about NIMBY and house values over fairness and equity.

HCC is its own demon because it is categorized as the "fittest" in terms of academic capability. It is beyond shameful that a so-called progressive city needs something like Rainier Scholars because it is so neglectful of its own talent.

Instead of addressing the overriding issue here--HCC injustice--there is always an attempt to rebut an otherwise insignificant detail that a poster who is speaking from the heart and has made a very important point. The overall argument is rarely rebutted since there is no rebuttal that is ethical.

This is known as either the Availability Bias or Tiny Percentage Fallacy.


Anonymous said…
Thanks FWIW for referencing the heat maps. The ELL and SPED maps were informative too. I din't know they existed.

ap, that's a pretty depressing reason to have advanced learning. That reason to keep wealthier families from leaving isn't going to make much different to the ones who can afford to leave without hardship. Wealthy families don't even have to be in HCC to have advantages. That's the great thing in having money. It buys you resources, right neighborhoods, peers, networking opportunity and information. That reason just help support those who say HCC is more like a gated school within a public school system. Not to mention the flak if HCC gets the new school. The group which would benefit the most by advanced learning are those kids with the least. They are the ones who aren't in advanced learning, but have great potential. They don't have the advantages outside school to help them realize their potential. What happens in the school matters and helps counterbalance what's happening outside school, even if what happens at home affects these students more. Any advantage a person gets is an advantage.

I trade HC/spectrum for smaller class size, real curriculum planning and evaluation, more resources in the classroom and enrichments paid by SPS not PTA fundraising. But that's my fantasy. Not going to happen with an America that is fine with monopolies, income inequality, stagnated wages and loss of upward social mobility and living in city where its leaders talk progressive, but perpetuate policies which drives the poor and increasingly its middle class away while enriching the wealthy even more. It's progress for the right kind of people.

The most highly capable are not well served by SPS advanced learning anyway. They need more than 2 year acceleration. It means allowing more academic individualization like IEP, so students can access college level classes much earlier than HS. The same for those with exceptional talent. Where's a performance art school around here?

Lynn said…
I can't tell if you think increasing option schools would be more equitable. There are good reasons to provide option schools but equity isn't one of them. Which school in the Aki Kurose service area has the lowest FRL and bilingual service rates? South Shore. In the Denny service area, STEM K-8 has the lowest FRL rate and second lowest bilingual rate. For Eckstein, Thornton Creek and Bryant are tied for the lowest FRL rate and TC has the lowest bilingual rate. (Off topic - doesn't it seem odd that the Hamilton service area has just two attendance area elementary schools, three option schools and a service school? I expect HIMS will soon be our first option-only middle school.) For Mercer, Orca has the lowest rates. The general pattern is that high SES families choose option schools and this is most evident for high SES families whose neighborhood school has a higher poverty rate. Option schools are the public school equivalent of charters. (There are real academic reasons to provide option schools and I don't think we should get rid of them.)

Rainier Scholars tests it's applicants with the CogAT - just like the district does for HCC. They also provide after school and summer support and require massive amounts of out of school effort by their students - things the district cannot do and they then funnel that talent into well-funded exclusive private high schools. Rainier Scholars has nothing to do with public schools and HCC.

What you call HCC injustice I call the unfortunate evidence that very few children in poor families receive the support and enrichment outside of school that is necessary to develop their academic potential. HCC is not a reward or the ticket to a superior education. It's an academic intervention for children whose needs our general education classrooms are not designed to meet.
demographically, homogeneously, ses-wise, ..."

What? You'd better have some stats to back that up. I had no idea that enrolling in HCC came with a requirement of stating your sexual preference. As well, while HCC is not as diverse as it should be, once again, Asians are not white.

"HCC is its own demon because it is categorized as the "fittest" in terms of academic capability."

First sentence: "demon?" Who are you, Ben Carson?

Lynn, and speaking of South Shore, they get more extra money than any school in the district. Interesting how they have the lowest FRL/ELL service rates.

I trade HC/spectrum for smaller class size, real curriculum planning and evaluation, more resources in the classroom and enrichments paid by SPS not PTA fundraising.

Well, you couldn't "trade" HCC because it's a state mandate so there's that. And yes, it would be good for SPS to pay for enrichments but I'll remind you that many parents - both in and out of HCC - do invest in our schools. If Garfield drives out many families, I'd be interested to see how their fundraising goes.

Anonymous said…
From the OSPI's description, I didn't think the service has to be self contained. That would make it expensive for small, poorer school districts. I believe getting more resources into the classroom, along with smaller class size and good curriculum will do more to enhance learning for the majority of the students, including many in HC. It might actually allow for real differentiation. For the most highly capable, those students need an IEP to allow them access to classes outside SPS. What we have now is individual parent cobbling together classes via homeschooling, supplementing after school or signing their child for on-line courses. I think there should be a better, more formal way for students to access these opportunity and be paid for by SPS. It's a burden for parents with resources to figure things out. Imagine ones who work or can't afford it.

It's also a fantasy of mine to see school less reliant on PTA fundraising arm. PTA is great for community building. I dislike the yearly burden, the power dynamic and the politics which ensues when fundraising a huge sum, speaking from my lens as a volunteer and check writer. I prefer a well balanced BLT with voting parent representatives. That's where governance should be. It's been a full circle for me watching site-based decision making (which has seen decisions made by one person or a few vs. consensus) to central apparatchik calling the shots, now back to site based again.

Anonymous said…
ses--socio economic status

Rainier Scholars has everything to do with how Seattle mis-identifies HCC students by not using Lohman's own best practices. We've already gone down this road, Lynn, but we can go down it again. Seattle has over-identified massive numbers of students who are advantaged because they don't use local norms. David Lohman and Diane Ravitz, among others, would be appalled at SPS HCC that blantantly favors those in the privileged demographics. That does make it a "reward ticket" based on family privilege rather than proper identification.

Your mantra about "poor families" and the enrichment outside school as an argument for excluding students from HCC is fully rebutted by the author of CogAT. The test is
designed to identify talent, not prior advantage. State law also rebuts your argument since it now requires the demographics in HC to reflect the district.

Rainier Scholars' website refers to the low identification of HCC of underrepresented groups as a reason for its existence. I'm not against CogAT. I'm against Seattle having hot zones of students who are identified by using a scoring formula (and in more than a few cases, test prep) that results in a segregated self-contained program that excludes many talented students in this district. Melissa brings up HC as state guaranteed. True, but there are laws and regulations governing this guarantee, and what you are defending is not following them.

"Funneling talent" that you said doesn't exist (because they are "poor students") is interesting double speak. If HCC worked in accordance with state law, those students would have been identifed early and would have received on-going support and enrichment (making the need for clean-up costs a non-issue or much less expensive one). Why stay in Seattle when your talent has been fully ignored?

If evil is injustice manifested, then the shoe fits. "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will--Frederick Douglass

P.S. We can always count on the I'm-going-to-take-my-ball-and-run response when people
who are used to getting their way don't get their way. Go ahead. Do what's best for your family.

Anonymous said…
voter-I'm in complete agreement that the most highly capable students are being shafted in HCC. It's a highly inflated program with no academic accountability (except the phantom "quietly counseled out" that doesn't exist statistically), in many cases, since kindergarten. An IEP-type of services would follow best practices in highly capable education.

Self-contained can be part of OSPI's continuum of services but, like in SPED, should be reserved for the extreme outliers.

Anonymous said…
And now we come full circle. Anybody who wants to "take their ball and run" is encouraged to do so. We have a capacity crisis. It overshadows everything else. It's pretty amazing the number of parents who believe they are an asset that can not be parted with. I can assure you, Nyland doesn't see it that way. Neither does anybody who would run the operation.

Another perspective
Anonymous said…
FWIW, yes, SPS has gone down that road and decided there will be little change in the identification process. Like many other districts, SPS will continue to use national norms, not local norms. If HC programs are designed to serve students already achieving above grade level (using both achievement and ability scores), then talent development would need to happen for those with the potential to achieve at higher levels. Is the issue with HCC identification? Or does SPS need to provide high ability (but not high achieving) students more opportunities to increase their achievement levels (like with Rainier Scholars)? If SPS is not serving current HCC students well, then what confidence do we have that SPS can also focus on talent development?

-just wondering
Anonymous said…
SPS will need to go back down that road until they get it right:

From OSPI:

"The district identification process must apply equitably to all enrolled students and families from every racial, ethnic and socio-economic population present in the public school population they serve. Districts must review identification
procedures to make sure student selection reflects the demographics of the area they serve. These specific requirements for compliance — and related activities — appear here in the WACs we list below."

Self contained opt in for elementary isn't cutting it either:

"Lawmakers emphasize the need for a continuum of services with regular review that takes a critical look at — how effective are the services and programs you provide?
WAC 392-170-078 Program services — defines the “continuum” as kindergarten through grade 12.
Districts shall make a variety of appropriate program services available to students who participate in the district's program for highly capable students. Once services are started, a continuum of services shall be provided to the student from K-12. Districts shall periodically review services for each student to ensure that the services are appropriate."

How effective SPS will be when they follow the law is yet to be seen. That speculation doesn't preclude the need for them to follow state HC state law.


Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Seriously? Not even going to click on it.
Anonymous said…
It's totally legit. It also has SAT test prep, and gifted test prep, and the "enrichment" courses. Everybody needs this. Are you saying you wouldn't want your kid to do well on entrance exams? I don't understand that. I don't any kids going to college who don't do some sort of SAT/ACT test prep.

Need Rigor
Lynn said…
Really? My kid is going to college and did no SAT/ACT test prep.
Lynn said…
Here is OSPI's comment on the district's highly capable identification process: Program Service Evaluation: The district and Advanced Learning Department staff are commended for outreach to students in Title I-served schools through screening instrument. Your Program Evaluation indicates significantly more students were referred and assessed based on screening results. This is established best practice for identifying students who may be overlooked through traditional referral processes.
Anonymous said…
From OSPI:

"Districts must review identification procedures to make sure student SELECTION reflects the demographics of the area they serve."

Lynn, your stand for years and up until today has been that SPS is doing everything by the book in terms of OSPI compliance. Interesting that you now find the need to prove some SPS work toward compliance with the state law.

OSPI has been giving districts a grace period to reach full compliance since HC is a relatively recent law. Next step is SELECTION. The referenced comment makes it clear that both SPS and OSPI know that demographic reflection in HC student selection is a significant part of the law.

If the law isn't followed within a reasonable time frame, there are enough community members who are fed up with this reprehensible HCC program to take the necessary measures. SPED families can attest to the need to sometimes have to "follow up". The law is clear and is about basic education.


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