Seattle Schools HCC Committee Meeting

An op-ed from a Seattle Schools parent in the Yakima Herald Seattle Times on testing all students for advanced programs.  (For some reason only the link to the Yakima Herald works; I can't find a working one at the Times.)She's also a teacher (in Shoreline) but taught at Hamilton.  She gets things wrong and she should know better:
What’s equitable about a school district that provides special services for the elite, white, privileged, top 2-3 percent of the children and families it serves?
Really? What special curriculum or training or support did your students and you get from being in HCC?
What message does this send to students in the district?  That white students are the current and future members of the intelligentsia, while black and brown students are not.
No, it sends the message that the district needs to reach out in new and better ways to find students of color who would benefit from the program.
More than thirty years later in Seattle, the opt-in system continues to leads to a serious stratification of students and their opportunities for advanced learning.  Until this is addressed, I can’t believe that the district has any real intentions of working to achieve equitable education across socio-economic and racial divides.
What? HCC is not that big and that the entirety of "equitable education" changes in SPS rests on it?

Her suggestion of testing all kids (except those who opt out) is fine but I'm troubled by how long she takes to get there.

I now truly believe more is going on here than one program.  This is way too much noise over it.

Also, here is a link to the Advanced Learning budget that the district provided to me.  Anyone have any questions on it?

end of update

I attended the HCC Committee meeting last week at Thurgood Marshall.

The head of Advanced Learning, Stephen Martin, was there along with new Curriculum Specialist, Diann Sanusi.

Members of the committee include teachers and teachers at different schools. They still are trying to fill spots on the committee including all the middle schools.

Ms. Sanusi gave an introductory talk about her work.  She said she had worked with middle/high school counselors to give them support, added more PD and with funds from Race to the Top, bought books on how to keep data.  She said her goal is to work more closely with counselors to identify and support highly capable learners and their socio-emotional learning needs.  She wants to identify more students who are flagged via PowerSchool and alert counselors to those students.

She can be reached at

Mr. Martin then went over new data from AL.

- He said the office had worried about the new referral system but that they had 5,000 applications (!), most thru The Source but about 400 from private schools that were paper-based.  They had applications printed in nine languages that were available thru schools and on-line.

- He said the testing would be on Saturdays because there is no room at schools during the week.  (I'm not sure if he meant during the school day or after school.)

Editor's note: I see at the AL page this notification:

We initially hoped to have all tests scheduled and families notified by the end of the day Tuesday, November 1. However, our timeline has changed.
- He said that every school had to have an "AL presence" in schools' CSIPs this year. That great but most of what is in the CSIP just isn't happening anyway so again, words on paper.

He then went over the documents on the trends on diversity in Advanced Learning.

Page 1
Page 2

Martin said the trends for more diversity in the program are going in the right direction (the document itself says that "the gap in AL is slowly and consistently shrinking.")

Committee member Gail Herman said that the effect looks even more pronounced than the graph even shows.

On page 2,  Ms. Herman asked about the category of "Hispanic" and if that category breaks into sub-groups.  Marting said no, it doesn't.

He said that the appeal process is in the form that the family gets when they get their notification letter after testing including that private testing is available for free for F/RL students.

One interesting fact is that students with IEPs do get tested with any accommodations they receive via their IEP.  They would be not be tested in a group setting if they have an IEP.

What I see from Page 2 is:

- the number of Asian students dropped after 2011 (1045) to 926 in 2012, then 921 in 2013, then back up to 2016's high of 1152

- the number of black students also dropped from 2011 (252) to 2012 (189) and then were dropping until 2015 when they went back up. But 2016's figure of 234 is still not good.

- the number of Hispanic students has shown a steady rise - from 241 in 2011 to 451 in 2016.

- there is nothing good to say about the rate for Native American students.   Martin said the biggest group growth is in the multi-racial category and he thought that many Native American students may be in this group.

- students who identify as multi-racial has group from 464 in 2012 to 1040 in 2016.

- the white student rate has soared by from 4023 in 2011 to 6415 for 2016 but that is only a 5% growth rate

There was some discussion about the issues for the pending 24-credit graduation requirement.  Most of the members of the committee didn't think it was a big issue for those students but that there is no room to fail a class.

The big number was at the bottom:

Appeal decisions increase the numbers of white students in the newly eligible HC pool by 45% in 
SY 14-15 and by 77% in SY15-16.

There was a great, if somewhat depressing, presentation by Mary Margaret Welch who coordinates science PD and she talked about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Washington state.

She said there will be a big change from learning vocabulary and facts to more "systems thinking and modeling" with students "conducting investigations, solving problems, and engaging in discussions with teacher guidance.

She said that the "shift in practice is bigger than anything before and better for engaging students."

BUT she said not all schools are on the same page to get this preparation work done.  She said there are "a lot of people operating alone."  She said the district has a Boeing grant to get this work done but not all teachers are coming to get this PD.

There was some discussion about middle school science pathways to high schools and that it is not the same for all middle schools.  Ms. Welch said that some high school principals were frustrated over this because they had kids coming into their high schools at different levels of science preparation.

This led to a tangential discussion of ... where is the line between principal autonomy and district mandates?  There was a Garfield parent who was quite concerned over the inability for some parents to navigate many district programs.

Ms. Welch continued on with her presentation and explained that the new science standards would have an equity focus and that the emphasis on examination of phenomena  would start with a blank slate for every student and their ideas.

There was mention that the principal at Emerson had wanted her students to work on just reading, writing and math but when teachers told her that science was a tested subject, she allowed them to teach science.

Ms. Welch mentioned there was a middle school principal (unnamed) who would only allow a half year of science in grades 6 and 7.

Then there was an update from the principal at Thurgood Marshall, Katie May, on their blended social studies classes.  She said it was from grades 1-5 and it was happened once a week for 30 minutes.  She said they would be trying for more time later on.  She said the emphasis was on "blending diverse groups and developing relationships."

She also said they were using a 4th grade textbook that "isn't great" but that they are working with Teaching and Learning to find high quality materials. 


Anonymous said…
It would be great if Advanced Learning would give a training on what HCC is and what it means for students to be in the category of Gifted and Talented. Most of the staff teaching these students have no idea and so allow incorrect assumptions drive their instruction.

Mr. Theo Moriarty
Theo, that's the new role of Ms. Sanusi, at least for high school. I'll try to ask if that is happening across the district. I can say that some staff, both principals and teachers, have their minds made up and just don't want to serve these kids in the manner the district has set up. I don't know why the district allows this but it has been the norm for a very long time.

No teacher or principal or staff member should be deciding for parents what program would be good for their child.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for attending and providing a summary, MW.

Is 2012 when "multiracial" became a category on the forms? If so, it would partially explain the changes in numbers.

"bought books on how to keep data?" All in all, just depressing. Do you know how the district could support the social/emotional needs of students? By having a curriculum that provides appropriately challenging work! By hiring teachers that know and can teach the subject matter. And as Mr. M pointed out, training staff. Except I don't think the district even knows what HCC is.

sign me, losing what little hope I had

Anonymous said…
More like fall to the bottom. Any parent that would trust the public schools with their child is negligent in my opinion.

End PC
Anonymous said…
Her role may be that for high school, but since high schools don't really provide anything special for HC kids, that seems silly. I suspect it's mostly an attempt to be able to claim they are providing HC services at all high schools, as required. Possibly it's a move toward dismantling the HC pathways in high school, too.

What it won't do, however, is change the mind of high school principals and encourage them to offer more options for highly capable students. It also won't change the atmosphere at middle schools that have animosity toward advanced learning, and it surely won't cause teachers who are now fighting to dismantle HCC to suddenly understand the very real and different needs of these students. It won't change the opinions of elementary teachers and principals who oppose advanced learning, nor will it change public opinion. Yes, it's sounding more and more like a CYA for dismantling HCCH pathways in high school.

Anonymous said…
For discussion:

Universal screening is worth considering. Based on website info, Shoreline screens all K students. Even better is that it is done at school during the school day. It does not mean they give the full battery of tests to all students, however. Important distinction - they offer universal screening in K, but the full battery of tests is done as opt-in with Saturday test sessions.

A criticism of the editorial is the writer's use of demographics in HIMS AL classes without the comparison to demographics of HIMS overall. According to OSPI data from 2014-15:

Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 57 6.1%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 3 0.3%
Asian 85 9.1%
Black / African American 20 2.1%
White 703 75.0%
Two or More Races 69 7.4%

If students of all demographics were equally represented in AL classes at HIMS, then you'd expect the following numbers in a group of 150 HIMS AL students:

Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 9
American Indian / Alaskan Native 0
Asian 14
Black / African American 3
White 113
Two or More Races 11

Aren't numbers partially a function of neighborhood demographics? Readers have not been given that info to put the numbers into perspective.

-ST reader
Anonymous said…
Bullying was bad at Cascadia.

went private
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Social-emotional means teaching Socialism and hatred of Whites.

Anonymous said…
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AL Training for Educators said…
There are so many SPS teachers and principals running around with basically NO training in advanced learning issues. Seems like the least we could do is require training.

My kid's teacher "prayed over" my child and made my child sit on one of those bumpy cushions to cure the child. The teacher urged us NOT to test the kid for advanced learning, said it would be "cruel." Assured us that young children cannot be bored. But you can't "cure" giftedness with a bumpy cushion or prayer. As it happens, NOT testing her for AL was cruel. It extended the kid's mistreatment at the hands of SPS teachers for longer than necessary.

What do we want: AL/HC training for teachers!
When do we want it: Now!
Anonymous commenters; we don't take anonymous comments - just give yourself any name and repost. The comment is valuable but it gets too complicated if there are multiple "Anonymous."

Went Private, not helpful at all. How/why?

Fred, also not helpful and not true. For highly capable kids, it means understanding how they process information and their challenges in the classroom.

Anonymous said…
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SPS is Not Infallible said…
So, what you're saying, Anonymous, is that your child can't handle HCC? The math is too hard for your child? Your child doesn't deserve to be in the program? Or could it be that SPS's selection process for the HCC program is fallible? Imagine SPS being fallible?! The tester thought your kid would do well in the program and you obviously did, too, to pursue the appeal.

Testing doesn't capture a score that is higher than a child can achieve. But a kid can test lower than they're capable of. Kids might not be feeling their best on a given test date. Or rush through the test to get out to recess when the test proctor forces them to continue testing through recess (as was the case with my own child, who also got in on appeal).

Not every kid at SPS would benefit from being two years accelerated. Seriously, look around. That would be *harmful* to the educations of many children. But not harmful to all. Children who would truly benefit by being two years accelerated, whose experience of school would go from 1/2 hour everyday of grumbling and moaning and bellyaching about the mindnumbing boredom and idiocy of material being taught to slowly or over and over again, those children can test again every year. They can do a private test and appeal. Maybe they're twice-exceptional (learning disability AND giftedness). Maybe they weren't into being tested on the test day (all gifted children are not compliant people pleasers). Maybe they're divergent thinkers who just didn't test well when they took a group test. Maybe they overthought the questions.

Not all kids would benefit from the acceleration. By a long shot. And not all children would have an easier time fitting in and finding like-minded peers among a population of gifted kids. But for the few who hands-down, no-questions-asked would, why the heck not allow them to test into the program through whichever means?

My kid got in on appeal, but he desperately needed the program. My kid was on the verge of homeschooling because gen ed was intollerable. And my kid did NOT cheat. My kid did the private testing and sailed in with flying colors. Flying colors that SPS missed. Imagine that.

The appeals are self-selecting, self-selecting for people who think their kids would benefit from or need the program. And, you know what? Parents actually know that stuff. If a parents walks into the principal's office and says, "my kid needs to be accelerated another year in math." The principal shouldn't laugh at the parent. Parents know their kids best.
Po3 said…
"Rather than having families opt in for advanced-placement testing, the district tests all students, giving families the choice to opt out."

Let's try this for a couple of years and see what we learn.

NE Dad said…

The fact is district has detailed data on why students are admitted based on appeals, but chooses not to present it to the school board. Are appeals successful because of CogAT retests? Are appeals successful because of math or reading achievement retests? Why won’t they tell us?

The fact is the district has detailed data on HCC student grades and subsequent scores. It doesn’t take a PhD for someone to figure out how students that appealed for example because of a disqualifying math achievement scores perform in math compared to students that didn’t appeal the math achievement score. The same goes for the other scores and subsequent domain performance.

If the students that appealed perform just as well in class and just as well on subsequent assessments, then it would seem that appeals should be a non-issue.

If on the other had the students that appealed certain tests scores under perform in class and on subsequent assessments, then it would seem to make sense restrict the specific types of appeals that are an issue.

The fact that the Advanced Learning department would propose eliminating appeals, without performing this most basic analysis is extremely disturbing.

NE Dad
Anonymous said…
The reason that AL won't put the data out there is that it shows how well self-contained is in terms of academic performance. The HC students who don't enter the cohort do NOT do as well on the MAP or the SBA. Furthermore they do not test as well on the PSAT or SAT/ACT.

Self-contained works and works so well they need to keep the numbers under wraps.

The district wants to dismantle HCC completely or make it so tiny it serves only the highest fraction of the gifted. Getting rid of appeals is only step one. Next will be raising the cut-off score for the CogAT. They know they will never get the diversity numbers up so they'll destroy it in the name of equity.

Madrona Mom
Anonymous said…
Madrona Mom,

I disagree with your guess about how the district will change the entrance criteria. The Cogat score requirement is already high, so I don't see them changing that. Before 10 years ago or so, the achievement test criteria were 98th percentile for both math and language and the program was much smaller (they also required a decent test be used). I think the district may raise the achievement scores back up.

Lowering the achievement score did increase the number of kids overall in the program, but I understand that it did help more low-income students to get into the program. it has been awhile since I have seen the info.

The sad thing is that interest in AL would decrease if the district improved the curricula at neighborhood schools. While HCC gets the same curricula, it is 2 years ahead, which can help alleviate the boredom with the work. Give kids challenging work at the neighborhood schools, and the kids won't leave. Whether or not there will be room for them is a different matter.

Doing the Math said…
Melissa, looking at the Advanced Learning budget you posted, I don't see why SPS can't pay for a math curriculum for HCC kids who are in 4th and 5th grade. Just because they're using a 6th and 7th grade curriculum, I don't see how a public school district can explain not paying for any math curriculum for elementary school children. Surely the $123,372 they spent on a curriculum specialist should have gone to buying an actual math curriculum first? It's not like SPS isn't already buying a bunch of 6th and 7th grade math books already, right? Isn't there some kind of group discount?
Anonymous said…

You underestimate the equity issue. It's not called a "lens" for nothing. Every single program and change must be "viewed through the equity lens" and HCC will never measure up. The program is so big and to lower the cut-off enough to get significant numbers of black students would probably double the number of white kids.

The only way the district will deal with it is to shrink it to near invisibility and when it only contains prodigies, no one will complain too much.

The only hope is the data comes out and shows a really stark difference between cohorted kids and not cohorted.

The Board should demand the data.

Madrona Mom
Anonymous said…
How do the top private schools handle gifted students? I don't mean Country Day, which to my knowledge is the only private school designed for gifted students. I mean Bush, Evergreen, Lakeside, UCDS, Billings, Northwest.... I don't think they have separate "cohort" classes, but I could be wrong.

Other Approaches
Anonymous said…
Madron Mom said, "The only hope is the data comes out and shows a really stark difference between cohorted kids and not cohorted."

So you can justify not having the program? The program has already been gutted. A conspiracy theorist would suggest that has been the SPS plan all along - neglect the program, move kids around to the point of never having stability or continuity, then when students don't do well on tests the program can be eliminated because, well, the students weren't really "that" smart to begin with.

We have yet to see meaningful data on the cohort. The summary data presented some time ago was somewhat useless - they didn't break it down by neighborhood, school, grade, etc. Do some HCC schools serve HC students better than others? What neighborhood or option schools are keeping the most HC qualified students? What schools are losing the most HC qualified students? They also have PSAT data for comparison (not just NMSF), yes?
Anonymous said…
I know that Shoreline screen each and every Kindergartener for the HC program there (unless parent opts out). I don't know why Seattle doesn't try this approach.

NW Mom
Oh, Other Approaches, what a clever gambit. "How do these expensive private schools do it?" Well, let's start with 15-16 kids in a class. Let's start with a level of rigor because they know the kids they admitted can handle it. You do know that for private schools, you have to take a test, right? Yes, you do.

Anonymous said…
As for the seeming spike in successful appeals last year, I highly suspect that has to do with some serious issues in the testing process last year. I for one, got a letter saying my child did not qualify for any AL, after already having passed the Screener (therefore already meeting Specturm criteria) and taking the full CogAT. The weird thing is there were no test scores on the letter. I enquired about that and was then told ooops, my child HAD passed with 99% on all areas and I did not need to submit an appeal. I wonder how many parents had something similar happen, or worst, weren't savvy enough to question it. So how many of these type of issues were counted as "appeals".

NW Mom
Portable Party said…
Madrona Mom,

I'm sure Bryant will be thrilled to have it's extra 100 HCC students back on campus. That'll make, what, 700 kids at Bryant. How many will need to go back to View Ridge? 80? Well here's the portable map

So, Bryant is kind of screwed. They can't add any portables. Hmm. They'll have to fit the 100 kids into the existing building somehow? That means they'll have to redraw the school assignment boundaries. Again. View Ridge can apparently take 10 more portables. So I guess they could take the 100 HCC kids from Bryant's zone and the 80 or however many kids View Ridge is sending to HCC right now and send the whole 180-kid-sized-group to View Ridge. Looks like Laurelhurst is full up, too, so they'll have to send the Laurelhurst HCC kids somewhere, too. Oh, and Loyal Heights doesn't have any room for portables either. Hmm.

Man, it's gonna take some SERIOUS assignment plan changes to fit all these HCC kids back in at their neighborhood schools! I'm sure that will be easy for SPS to accomplish. I'm sure they'll handle that well. SPS is so deft at these things.

Plus I happen to know that a lot of those HCC kids get sent to the principal's office for naughtiness a lot. I really doubt sending them back to schools that mandate GRADE LEVEL WORK ONLY for all children regardless of whether they know it or not is gonna go over great with these kids. Especially since the HCC kids are already two years ahead. So, having them sit there and twiddle their thumbs while they cover material they learned two years ago... hmm, will that reduce their naughtiness or increase it, I wonder? So, will that make learning easier and smoother for Bryant's 594 kids, having 100 super bored gifted kids looking for some way to entertain themselves while they don't learn anything?

How's that gonna work? Obviously there are serious district-wide equity issues. But there are also other considerations. Neighborhood schools have to accommodate kids who live in their zone, so if HCC bites it, there will be a massive migration of kids back into already-at-capacity neighborhood schools. Some major assignment plan changes will be necessary in some neighborhoods that are really, really not going to like it.
Anonymous said…
SPS is on a mission to end *ALL* specialized programs. All of them. Not just HCC. But they see HCC as the weakest link and the easiest to set a precedent. They already launched a racist attack on Middle College. They went after EEU. They're coming after all the option schools next. Then the language schools, the international schools, and so on. They will attack every single one of these things until they have succeeded in their goal of giving every child the exact same standardized, computer-based instruction.

They believe they can get it by turning parents against each other. And parents are gullible enough to play right into their hands.

Solving HCC is easy. Restore genuine advanced learning options at the neighborhood schools. That reduces the pressure on HCC while making it easier to get kids of color into advanced learning because you're no longer asking those kids to leave their neighborhoods.

Non-HCC Parent
Anonymous said…
Why do you think Bryant insists on teaching at grade level only? They have zero desire to retain HC-qualified students, and the parents with kids scoring 90-95% don't want their kids to feel bad if they're not in the highest walk to math class. So lame!!! Lazy teachers, selfish parents, bored kids. If Cascadia gets split, where will the new Bryant extension location be?

Snarky Malarkey
Anonymous said…
Equality vs Equity. Close the Gap vs Every student reach their potential.

We need new leadership with a bigger, bolder vision.

Board leaderless
Anonymous said…
There is no way that very many parents will send their kids back and the rush to HCC seems relentless. I'm in agreement that it would be a logistical nightmare but I'm also sure the "equity lens" is going to focus on HCC and burn it up.

You can't tell me the cohort and the 2 year acceleration doesn't surpass the dismal offerings at almost every school except maybe TOPS and Hazel Wolf, even those schools don't offer a decent cohort of HC kids or solid 2 year acceleration.

Madrona Mom
Portable Party said…
Non-HCC Parent, I totally agree. They want elementary kids doing computerized math "games" and online package-plan engineered-language texts. It's creepy. And those things have got to be expensive. They're all subscriptions from brand-name education sales conglomerates. Kids have been learning to add and read for eons. Why aren't there open source materials for this that can be accessed for free or near free? The U.S. government had some great readers made in the 70s using taxpayer dollar that went into the public domain decades ago. Why aren't we using stuff like that?

I don't understand why we, the people of Seattle, can't
1) Fire the folks in district admin
2) Require the district to be more open. Public records! Why are they allowed to keep so much secret?
3) Require teacher training early release days to be on a Monday or a Friday (seriously, why do teachers have more say than parents in this? Do we not hire all the teachers?)

Anonymous said…
I really like some of our board members, and I'm thankful they are being so thoughtful about the growth boundary changes. I don't understand why they let Advanced Learning spiral into wasteland. There are so many students not being served well. The economy is slowly turning around, I anticipate more will leave for private. The neighborhood schools should all offer some acceleration for students who are ready, at least starting in 3rd grade, but the sooner the better. Or just raise the bar for everyone and teach ahead. How many students are behind at Bryant, for example...ten? Bring in some support for the handful of kids who need it and just expect more of everyone else. They're up for the challenge! These kids are eager to learn!

Step Itup
So Portable Party, yes, you pay taxes so why can't "we" control SPS?

1) the Board has one employee and that's the Superintendent. They can, with cause, buy out or fire the superintendent. But, they do have the ability to express their displeasure/unhappiness with the superintendent's work, meaning, the staff's work, and ask for changes. But it's a delicate balance and there are those in upper Seattle who will cry, "micromanagement!"if the Board tries to get too much in the weeds.
But the Board, at the work session on the Ex Directors DID ask key questions which did not get answered. So, if the Board doesn't get the answers it needs to make decisions on budget issues (like what to fund), well, then maybe they vote no.

2) The Board has pressed for more to be put up at the district's website and there is more than before. However, the website is STILL hard to navigate and every single document at a public meeting should be up at the website with 48 hours. Because whoever could not get to that meeting should still be able to read those documents.

Also, this complaining from all public entities about the costs of public disclosure? Put up the documentation that you put out and you'll see those requests go down.

3) This is a tough one because the district has to have some yin and yang, give and take during contract negotiations. Maybe the early release days are one place the district bows to the SEA.

However, on your point of why don't parents have any say? You are absolutely right. Parents in this district put in money and time and effort to sustain and enchance the district and their power/pull? Not much. That's where parent groups should unite and flex that muscle.
Rachel said…
I'm going to say something that I can only guess will be VERY UNPOPULAR... If we have the 5th largest achievement gap in the nation- why are we dedicating time and resources to something like HCC that clearly has a disproportionate benefit for white students? I don't get it... and I don't understand why the HCC topic gets so much air time on blogs like this as 'Soup for Teachers'... Is it because the people who frequent these blogs and facebook groups are a lot of well-educated white parents who have a vested interest in HCC because that is a program their kids are part of?

While I'm already saying things that are unpopular- it also bothers me when HCC proponents 'borrow' language and concepts from special education law and apply it to HCC. Yes- we want all kids to be included in learning environments that fit their needs. However- children with disabilities used to be prohibited from attending school. Children with disabilities are regularly denied access to appropriate learning environments. It's not the same so stop co-opting the hard-fought language of the disability rights movement.

p.s. In my neighborhood school in Ohio I screened into 'Gifted and Talented' and had a pull-out model that was fine. I would have been devastated to lose my community and to have to change schools.

Anonymous said…
Because we have to educate all students, even well prepared ones. I don't know that we can say HCC has a disproportionate benefit for white students. We can say HCC is disproportionately enrolled by white students, if we are only using SPS, and not the city of Seattle, as the "control." That is not necessarily disproportionate benefit. Option schools are also all whiter and wealthier than their surrounding neighborhoods- are you anti option school? Or would you just prefer work on the diversity at them? I know I think there is value to option schools, even if they have some work to do.

Believe me I wish HCC got less attention, on the blogs, fine, but from the district. That is always only negative. People talk on the blogs because someone flies in and snipes that they don't understand why we don't just get rid of the school another person's child has just adjusted to and needs, and the person who is worried about their child's mental health posts back. The program does not get any more resources. We use the SPED language because those are concepts people understand, and so they are easy to analogize. Many states do use IEPs for gifted education- it's a sensible analogy. I have noticed it causes confusion when people think SPED law applies to our state's HC programs, and it does not.

I hope you feel better after this vent. The program really is lifesaving for many kids. Not just a couple. I am glad a pull out model worked for you. It was poor for me. I wish we had lived in a bigger city that had a real program.

Anonymous said…
Rachel-many families at Cascadia would have kept their kids at their neighborhood school if there was some sort of pull out model and they were devistated to leave their neighborhood school.

Give us a bone! AL at SPS is totally broken and the complaints and recommendations are meant to help all students, not just the white students.

So, yes--your comments are not well received.

Try again
Lynn said…
Rachel - are you aware of the reason we have such a large achievement gap? It's not because our Black, Hispanic and Native American students are less successful than their counterparts in other districts. Our White students are just much more likely to pass the state ELA and math exams than White students in other districts. Getting rid of HCC wouldn't solve the gap because those kids are going to be proficient on grade level tests whether their academic needs are met or not. They were all testing at the 95th percentile on achievement tests before they received HCC services.

As for why the district wastes time and resources on educating our kids - providing services is required by state law.

Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Please take HCC out of the equation and analyze the data again. I would like to see where we are, what the gap is.

The gap I am most interested in is the gap between what students are achieving now and what their true potential is--for each and every student, and that includes those who learn quickly or showed up to kindergarten reading and doing basic math.

Every Child
Win/win said…

Seattle has such an abysmal achievement gap because we have a lot of residential segregation and because the busing the city engaged in until recently allowed us to not do much of anything about inequity. When the busing stopped, our schools became more reflective of the neighborhoods they're in. And those neighborhoods are by no means identical to each other.

The other cause of the gap is that Seattle kids are absolutely not starting out school on an equal footing. That's a massive part of the achievement gap right there.

The little boy of a homeless 25-year-old single mother with bipolar disorder with diabetes, a couple of young kids, ex-boyfriend trouble, no family in the PNW, no high school degree, and no winter coat and the little girl of two 45-year-old, highly educated, well-paid professionals who only have the one kid, have been in a stable relationship for 20 years, own their own home, have fabulous health insurance, have a large helpful family in town, are not mentally ill, are healthy, and have so many winter coats they need to get around to sorting through them all so they can donate a few and make some room in the closet----those two kids are in class together. How dare anyone say that the little boy has an achievement gap.

They are both human beings. They are both children. They are both students. Do they get different test scores? Yes. Yes, they do. Are they reading at different levels? Yes, yes they are.

Is that because the HCC program exists? No, no it's not.
Win/win said…
(part 2)

SPS needs to educate BOTH those children. They both deserve a safe environment to learn in. They both deserve to learn something and advance every year. SPS needs to teach them both (and all the other children in the city). Who the F*&K cares about their test scores being the same? And how would you even do that? They're completely different children. Why can't SPS give them both great educations?

As for you other point, all parents want their kids to be to be included in learning environments that fit their needs. Like SpEd kids, HC children are regularly denied access to appropriate learning environments. Many kids (my own included) are *both* HC and have a learning disability. SPS really screws up with these kids specifically because they look for signs of kids being behind grade level to determine when to check a child for learning disabilities. But HC kids can often compensate for or mask their disability so they function at grade level but well below the level where they could be functioning if anyone could detect the presence of both traits simultaneously. These kids are not at all well served in the SPS system so their parents talk a lot. Contented parents don't hang out much on these blogs--no need to.

SPS needs to fix the racial inequity gaps. (Our society in general has a lot of work to do in the fixing-racial-inequity department). SPS also needs to educate SpEd kids and kids with learning disabilities. It also needs to educate HC kids. It also needs to educate kids who are in multiple categories without making the parents pick which category will be addressed.

SpEd families and HCC families should team up. We should join together with ELL families and FRL families. We should team up with BLM families and kids of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Stronger together! SPS needs to serve all children in Seattle. Not just one group. They've got 53,000 kids and they're not really doing that great by a lot of them. They need to step it up.

Except for the ones who bail and go to private school. It doesn't need to serve them.

P.S. I had "Gifted and Talented" pull-out in my elementary school too. It was fun. ALL kids should have access to that. It had nothing to do with academics. We mostly did papier mâché. Seriously, all kids should get to do that. I would call that "art class" and I would love it if the State of Washington would get off its ass and amply fund basic education for all Washington children as is their paramount duty under the state constitution.

But that pull out class didn't change the fact that I read 4 grade levels above my peers. I didn't learn a thing in school until I switched to private school in 7th grade. In a city the size of Seattle there's no reason for people to need to send their kids to private school if what the kids need access to is harder stuff to learn. SPS is full of harder stuff to learn. It gets harder the older the kids get. Just let kids do a hardness that is satisfying to them. Not one that leaves them bored for years on end. It doesn't need to cost anymore. You just grade-skip them or take a whole cohort and give them work a couple years ahead. It can actually SAVE the district a ton of money. If the kids are two years ahead and they graduate after 10th grade, SPS saves the cost of educating them for two years. Win/win. Let them test out of stuff. Send them to the university early if they want to and are qualified for it.
Anonymous said…
"One interesting fact is that students with IEPs do get tested with any accommodations they receive via their IEP. They would be not be tested in a group setting if they have an IEP."

This statement falsely implies that students with IEPs are effectively tested and "identified" simply b/c they have an IEP with accommodations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Especially with elementary students or students with complex profiles whose IEP teams do not have much experience or professional inputs, accommodations that meets those needs are not well undestood. So by the time of "testing," that mis- or non-understanding is being tested. The DISability is being tested, not the Ability.

I think the whole of SPS trends against the identification of twice exceptional students. Too much trouble. How come this is not recognized as an equity issue for HCC? Do you think that students of color who are also disabled are not caught up in this exclusion? The discourse on equity in my opinion is very flawed in leaving out consideration of students with disabilities adn in passing along as "oh didn't you know?" the misdirection in the statement quoted above that if you have an IEP it's all good. It's not all good. Our students are completely invisible at most schools in SPS and therefore underserved, illegally.

Anonymous said…
"I don't understand why we, the people of Seattle, can't
1) Fire the folks in district admin
2) Require the district to be more open. Public records! Why are they allowed to keep so much secret?
3) Require teacher training early release days to be on a Monday or a Friday (seriously, why do teachers have more say than parents in this? Do we not hire all the teachers?)"

The answer to all of this is that the board is too scared or afraid or unwilling to take these necessary steps. Every four years we elect new people who pledge to clean up the mess. And every time, they get assimilated by the borg and come back in 6 to 9 months and tell us all "sorry, it's just too hard" and then we just accept it.

This is sadly already true of the board we elected last year, which continues to let the staff lead them around by the nose.

The only answer is for the people to rise up and demand mass resignations of SPS leadership. I know people don't want to do that because this is Seattle and you all are convinced that public officials will do the right thing if you just get them to see the superiority of your own data and arguments.

News flash: that's not how government works. Government is about power, not data or evidence or ideas. If you do not organize and force SPS to do what you want them to do, you will never get it. Show up to the JSCEE in massive numbers and refuse to leave until you get what you ask for. That is the only thing that works. Nothing else will.

Non-HCC Parent
Anonymous said…
They say that the difference between an HCC mom and a pitbull is lipstick--Sarah Palin

History will not be kind to the demographics, rationalizations and "liberal" cognitive dissonance associated with this program.

My God, give Rachel a break!

Anonymous said…
" The HC students who don't enter the cohort do NOT do as well on the MAP or the SBA"
Madrona mom-- This was not true of my child who tested 98/99% on Map both subjects every single year remaining in her elementary school K-5th grade. She tested a second time & entered HCC in 6th grade no appeal through school test. She had also tested in second grade, but missed by a point and we did not appeal as she liked her elementary school. She was a stand out student and developed alot of confidence. The school had an overwhelming majority of ALO & middle class kids though and walk to math. So a strong population. She would go above and beyond to challenge herself (IXL, Kahn academy math games, readers/writers workshop curriculum) as that is just her nature. Some parents find their kids are not in a school environment that works and their kids really need Cascadia. However, one university G&T researcher in our area told me she did not think kids should test in kindergarten or first grade, too young. She did think it is tracking at that young age & in the SPS model. I think people should read the latest in G&T research. The classes at SPS are accelerated but that's it. Do not offer any different curriculum for G&T kids.
-another perspective.
Anonymous said…
Equity Summit on Gifted Education at UW, Robinson Center for Young Scholars
Feb 9th-10th 2017. From the Flyer: "There is a fundamental disconnect between the policies designed to serve all gifted students in our state, and those historically disenfranchised within the system by ethnicity, race, culture or language. (I would also add poverty). Guest Speakers from both the UW, College of Ed and across the country are invited to engage in discussions facilitated by faculty related to access and equity to highly capable programs and services in the state of WA. The Robinson's Center's goal is to bring communities of people together from across the country and our state to discuss important challenges facing our system in public education."
-A flyer
Anonymous said…
To the extent that history notices my anonymous comments on a local school blog, it will be thrilled with my contribution to resisting standardization of education, to treating students like the different individuals with different needs that they are.

But probably history will be happier that I spend my Tuesday morning going to vote.

Anonymous said…
Economic Policy Institute article: Lessons: And Just What Good Were The Good Old Days?
"The immigrant challenge was so daunting that New York City started a special education program to address it. A 1921 survey found Italian children greatly over represented in these separate classes for slow learners.Standardized exams seemed to confirm immigrants’ inferiority. About this time, I.Q. tests became common. In 1919, the median I.Q. score of Italian 10-year-olds in New York City was 84; for native-born whites, it was 109. But when only those students whose fathers were unskilled or semiskilled laborers were compared, Italian and native I.Q.’s were nearly identical.Progress was slow, and assimilation rates for subsequent generations varied by ethnicity."

"Is this relevant to today’s problems? Yes, because we need reminding that the past provides models of very limited value. Americans now do a better (and more nearly equal) job of educating immigrant children than did Americans of earlier eras. (Incidentally, Western Europe has no better results for its Algerian or Turkish immigrant children.)"
-Ethnicity, Poverty & IQ
Rachel, they have tried pull-out (at least for Spectrum) but teachers and parents complained about it and that went away.

As well, Charlie and I write about many, many other things at this blog, not just HCC.

FWIW, that Sarah Palin comment wasn't worthy of you (considering its original source and the original quote.)

Key quote from Superintendent Nyland's State of the District speech yesterday:

"We are united in commitment to eliminating opportunity gaps and accelerating learning for each and every student."

That word "accelerating?" Might be useful for HCC parents.
monkeypuzzled said…
Good, good. I see we are accepting the idea that not all children can be educated and we are poised to fight over scraps. Everything is going according to plan!
Anonymous said…
"The classes at SPS are accelerated but that's it. [They] Do not offer any different curriculum for G&T kids."

Well, that's how SPS is currently operating, but not how the program operated just a few years back. Students benefit by more than acceleration - the intent is not to have them race through school and graduate early, but to provide age appropriate challenge K-12 (see Mr. M's first comment above). The curriculum should be modified just as we modify curriculum for struggling learners.

Charlie Mas said…
According to the Friday Memo of October 28:
"There has been no independent instructional materials adoption for HCC classrooms. HCC schools are provided with the Board adopted instructional materials, modify it for advanced students, and access supplementary resource materials to allow for the “enhanced curricula, appropriately differentiated instruction, deeper learning opportunities, and/or accelerated pacing” called for in Superintendent Procedure 2190. Members of the Advanced Learning team participate in instructional materials adoption committee work to ensure that materials under consideration provide the depth, complexity, and extension opportunities to engage highly capable students."
The Best Free Childcare said…

Are there scraps? What scraps are we fighting over? SPS is the best free childcare around. It's free childcare for all comers, all races, socioeconomic levels, etc. It is absolutely a stellar provider of free childcare services for the masses. Obviously any learning the kids manage to do is a miracle. But all the real education going on for most kids in SPS is happening outside of school, by family members and librarians, or they teach themselves. If some children are not being educated, well, whose fault is that? How much educating can you really expect from free childcare?
Anonymous said…
"Well, that's how SPS is currently operating, but not how the program operated just a few years back."
HB-- I think that is a criticism that many share. In addition, how they identify gifted and when also needs improvement from what I gathered from a discussion with a local gifted & talented researcher. She also felt SPS does need to offer accelerated classes. Not a one size fits all. I plan to go to the equity summit at UW to learn more.
-another perspective
Anonymous said…
When the high school LA adoption happened a few years back, they did adopt a list of novels/texts specifically for middle school APP/HC. Were they ever purchased or used? Probably not.

An issue with not having adopted materials specifically for HCC is teachers rely primarily on "supplemental materials" which haven't been vetted. If a teacher makes a bad choice in material selection, parents have little recourse as it's just a "supplemental" material. Some adopted texts are too basic, so books just sit on a shelf gathering dust while the class does without any coherent, sequential resource. They are at the mercy of the teacher and the teacher's choices.

But who are we kidding? This is not an issue just with HCC. It's the district modus operandi.

Anonymous said…
THANK YOU ANON @ 10:41 pm

You hit the nail on the head - I have been waiting for someone to state the obvious.

Fortunately the SPS doesn't have the ability to "get rid of the University of Washington". I'm sure they'd love to. Think of how many JSCEE careers would be made if they closed our abysmal gap by shuttering the UW, Adobe, Google and Microsoft. Instead of attacking HCC it would be better to lobby for more services for underperforming students - so that they too can take advantage of the educational environment in which they live. Tutoring centers and educational preschools - aimed at families whose students are in danger of falling behind. Or, you could just call everyone a "pig" like FWIW....

monkeypuzzled said…
There is a mindset I'm not getting. If people are angry because advanced learning is some extra goody not all kids are getting (which is a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of what HCC is), wouldn't you want to open up and support access to the good stuff, not get rid of it? Liberal cognitive dissonance at work I guess.
Anonymous said…
The "5th largest gap in the nation" just keeps getting repeated over and over... read the study. It was based on some 200 districts, and the authors pointed out the gaps tended to be large in university towns and those with large income disparities (no surprise there, Berkeley was up there as well). They also stressed the data shouldn't be used to rank districts, and what do we see? "5th largest..." Yes, there's a gap, but it would still exist if all HCC students left the district. There are still a lot of students in the district!

11/7/16, 10:41 PM

anon reposting
Snark said…
YES!! ANON @ 10:41 pm and SPSParent, you guys rock!

All the tech companies with their national recruiting efforts... UW is a leading regional and national research institution. Biomedical research, aviation, etc. Plus, I would argue some of the world's smartest immigrants who have successfully managed to pull their families out of of Uganda and Somalia and the middle east and eastern Europe and make it here and start from scratch. Some of the smartest people I've met anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, JSCEE, just hold tight while city-wide house prices skyrocket and little bungalows sell for a million dollars. If you wait long enough, that will close any socioeconomic-based gaps right up.

Anonymous said…
mw considering fwiw has called hc parents segregationist i don't think we know the depth of her deplorability.

NC, we don't know if FWIW is a he or she but clearly, this person likes the stick and jab.
Anonymous said…

sorry i do know... but sure. having been pre-judged to be a racist in the past by their failed thought processes has been hurtful to me and to a service that i believe is needed.

it ain't race people it is about money. enough to go to private school. or not enough to foster the homes, buildings and programs for the simmiliar proportions of hc kids. look at their hc heat maps! those are also the higher income areas of seattle. duh.

i think every school should have the same mix of frl throughout the district. not these silly gerrymandered maps.

Anonymous said…
and thanks mw as always doing a great job.

reminiscent of polling places today -roppt
Po3 said…

Did you call women dogs, on election day, with a women on the ballot for president?

That's ballsy.

I hope you have enough humanity to apologize.
monkeypuzzled said…
"History will not be kind to the demographics, rationalizations and "liberal" cognitive dissonance associated with this program."

And when the revolution comes, we'll be first against the wall. Got it. THanks for the warning.
Anonymous said…
If everyone on this blog - especially HCC parents - spent as much time working to get McCleary implemented and full funding for our schools, many of these problems could be solved. You guys are smart and connected - why don't you focus on all the kids instead of just griping nonstop about poor quallity services, equity issues, and attacking Rachel? - CapHill Parent
Anonymous said…
and fwiw and rachel it is a service not a program just like sped. the only difference one is managed currently by federal legislation and one is supported only by state legislation.

having three tiers gen ed, spectrum and hcc was certainly questionable but without the ability to differentiate and too large class sizes that is a reasonable compromise. in fact if you look at all the money cascadia is saving for the district your argument is completely WRONG. and forced honors for all and mixed academic classes at tm require more resources to solve nothing but an optic issue. your cognitive dissonance is more pronounced than any hcc parent fwiw. save money rachel? improve hc so we don't loss those families going private. end of story.

but mt has wanted to get rid of hcs but he can't so he will just degrade it with weak leadership and false promises. mt promised we would have curriculum outlined with the first split. then he had them teach the same subjects "only deeper" without acceleration. what is it now? accelerated math, ap classes and the cohort.

there is data out there the could look at psat results over the years. I guarantee they have gone down since the splits that mt brought about. he has got to go.


Anonymous said…
no one attacked rachel. get real. that is not allowed in this blog. we did refute her poor use of logic and the ability to come to factual conclusions. as we do all the time. i reserve my right to point out falsehoods.

monkeypuzzled said…
Who's attacking Rachel? I see people disagreeing with what she wrote. Isn't that what this forum all about?
monkeypuzzled said…
Must also be awesome to telepathically know who has and who hasn't been working to get McCleary implemented.
Anonymous said…
HCC parents are the biggest advocates in our state for getting McCleary funded AND improving access to the program. The solution everyone else comes up with is to eliminate appropriate education for those who need it in the name of equity. Sad.

Watch Who
monkeypuzzled said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
MonkeyPuzzled, on McCleary implementation, I do know - for sure - that during the last legislative session, not one single charter school or charter org came out publicly to ask the legislature to get this done. All those months of sending charter kids down on buses and no one could take just a little of that time to stand with other Washington state public school parents and community members who DID speak up.

It would have presented quite the unified front.

And at the last WA State Charter Commission meeting, it was reported that some schools were struggling with funding and gee, wished the McCleary money was coming.
monkeypuzzled said…
That makes me wonder--I wonder if there will be any push for an "HCC" charter school.
Anonymous said…
can you have a school that requires to test in as a charter?

Lynn said…
Charter schools in this state cannot use test scores in the admission process. They must enroll students using a lottery. A school could design a challenging, accelerated curriculum to meet the needs of gifted students. (See the Basis chain of charter schools.)
Lynn is right but, like Sped, ELL, etc., charters can set up a way to "exit" students who they don't want or can't do the work.
Anonymous said…
We need 2 or 3 advanced learning charter schools in north seattle.

Giving Up
Basis may come here; they're a big thing in Arizona, for sure. But charter schools for advanced learners are not the going thing for most charter schools.
Christina said…
Yes! Absolutely! Thank you!
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Given the animosity shown toward AL on Soup for Teachers, I somehow doubt the request for feedback will result in a balanced article on AL. Where they plan on publishing the piece, I don't know, but it's highly probable they will be working with feedback that's skewed against AL.

same old
"Jon Greenberg and Sooz Stahl are "gathering info for an article we plan to write on Advanced Learning programs - HCC, AP, Honors, etc." Questions are posted on Soup for Teachers. Comment at your own risk."

Reprinting for Anonymous; next time give yourself a name.
Anonymous said…
Yeah. Really looking forward to more hand wringing over the evils of segregation by people who coincidentally chose to purchase homes that guarantee their children will never have to share a classroom with black or poor children.

Blind Spots
Anonymous said…
again bs it is not segregation unless you look at that term like divorced. "you seem to make that comment like you are divorced from reality." said me. segregation is not happen in seattle. sorry. there is no appartheid. get over yourself. money segregated yes. so money segregated. sps has the tools to make that not so. do they? just the opposite.

oh and for hcc those kids are more likely than not to come from households that have two working parents. private less likely to have two. struggling academically majority have one also but not at the same income level as private.... unless they help that private school's racial make-up.

mt could fix this tomorrow.
mt could look to fairness in program placement.
mt could stop degrading hc now to get more hc kids in sps.

yet he doesn't.

he degraded the t1 dollars by the splits. our app kid was offered free tutoring because of that from federal funds as they were still t1!

so it is not money. it must be deeper. against all paid consultant's advice he put app in two of the t1 sites well south of the city. until outrage from the north prevailed.

director carr owns this too.

segregation? let's talk about execution. mt is systematically killing hc learning.

soup that teachers.

Anonymous said…
i have a somewhat related question. why are elementary kids being dropped off a block from tm when kids are getting on the bus to go home from there?

elementary al should be self contained especially if we are taken seats from kids that live there.

Lynn said…
Less than half of the neighborhood students choose to attend TM. They opt out during open enrollment.
Anonymous said…
I would resist the impulse to provide feedback on the SFT request, even if you think you are providing balanced, fair, and objective information about AL. If the information is being filtered through someone who has already made up their mind about AL, or the requests are being solicited from a group that has given thumbs up to derogatory teacher comments toward parents of HC students, I would have little confidence in a balanced assessment of AL.

-same old
Anonymous said…

you can't fix the racial imbalance by dropping entrance scores. Whites come in the program at a 50:1 ratio or more compared to black kids.

raising the bar is in fact what is going to probably happen. If the program self-contained only the top 1% of our district say 500 kids grade 1 thru 8, it would have better optics as a gifted program.

Anonymous said…
if they opt out why are they getting off a yellow bus, lynn. I thought that was the rule. or are there separate rules north of the ship canal.

i don't care about optics wren.
it is as racist to suggest that we should have proportionally the same percentage of one race in hcc as it is to say we should have the same percent starting on the varsity team.

my statements are clear: this is not about race people (or should i say pigs, fwiw) this is about money. enough and you escape sps not enough and you work with your school to make things happen. if that thing that you think needs to happen is AL then you pursue that. frl should be considered in any district mapping. and is taken into account for AL it should be for program placements like IB and language immersion.

likelihood of a single parent household making AL happen is less than a double bread earner make that happen.

money money money-- speaking of which how much do we pay michael tolley and all those under him to do his job? superintendent tolley roll that off your tongue for a while seems like president trump doesn't it...

Anonymous said…
It's all about race. If it's not proportional it's not "equitable".

Skin color must be in equal proportions in a program as big as HCC because it is self-contained for most classes 1-8.

!0-15 % is a huge number for a self-contained program unless it's 100% proportional

If you fail to see the problems with the optics of that, so be it.

1% is another story the kids would be 3 SDs at least off average and could do 4 grades of acceleration like the original IPP program at Madrona.

At that IQ level it could even be more diverse.

Would like to see AL dept data on that scenario as in how many we have at that level and their demographics.

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
hum not sure why my post was bleached.

here i go again. no wren ipp at madrona is was not 4 grades advanced. it was tailored to the kid. i stands for individual and developed by the Robinson's from uw. it was a gift to sps and they eventually dismantled the full intent of the plan.

"At that IQ level it could even be more diverse." is the most inane statement ever. prove it. how would it change a thing? and would you then have 98% kids doing gen ed work and cost sps all that money trying to differentiate.

this isn't about race it is about money.

Anonymous said…
Rachel snd Christina, I totally agree. I have 2 HCC eligible kids and it is a PROBLEM that of the 3300 plus HCC kids K-12 referenced in the chart above 34 are black.

Anonymous said…

and how do you solve that troubling problem hcc2? close the program that is working for the 3300? make it honors for none? fire mt as he is obviously a segregationist and a racist for placing hc in a t1 school? too many easy ways to solve this right?

oh it is about money and not race. money not race. money not race. see i can type that three times and it still isn't solved. strange.


Anonymous said…
change a program that is so racially unbalanced into a program for the "extremely academically advanced". like IPP was originally. The numbers don't prove it "works" for 3300 or even for 0ne student. Parents might FEEL it works but there's a lot of misunderstanding about what a gifted program is and who needs it in the HCC parent group.

Too often it's a land rush mentality or "golden ticket" illusion that parents have. Why else the retesting and prepping?

you can yell and try to shut down the discussion by your antics nc but the facts are we have an untenable program that de facto excludes blacks and must go away.

the "extraordinarily advanced" will and should be served in a small self-contained program and to say it could be MORE diverse is certainly a truism, which I can't "prove" and you can't disprove..but it could be true.

Lynn said…
Define "more diverse" Wren. Bellevue's HC qualifying test scores are much higher than ours and 20% of their Asian students are identified as highly capable. Is that an improvement over Seattle's results? (.75% of their Black students qualify.)
Anonymous said…
@ Wren, I suppose IT could be true if all the students who do qualify for HCC from underrepresented groups are also qualifying at the very top end, but that's pretty darn unlikely. Much more likely is that when you look at the curve of scores for each of those groups, it is shifted to the left, with lower scores. That's why few qualify--because the upper tail of the curve is already small, and the shift left means even fewer will hit the cutoff. But sure, it might be possible that all those who do qualify score in that upper tail (maybe an extended, lengthened tail), and that then there's a big gap, with nobody qualifying with more "typical" HCC scores (e.g., 98th percentile CogAT). In other words, if these identified students from underrepresented groups are the brightest of the brightest.

I don't think you really believe that, say, by raising the cutoff from the 98th percentile to 99th, we'd be able to dump more than half the white (and Asian?) students from the program, while maintaining the eligibility of all the underrepresented group students. Rather, I suspect you just like the idea of screwing over those 98th percentile white students and their families, in the name of equity. I don't know it, but I think it...and it could be true.

be honest
Anonymous said…
be honest, it is all about this... "Why else the retesting and prepping?"

they don't understand that vast majority of kids get in on sps testing. and prepping; no one preps other than achievement test. but they will say it again and again and again.

wren comes here every time with a new name like they are a new idea. yet their hate for the hcs is undeniable and constant. and yet sped doesn't elicit the same response from them. strange. seems the they are analogous. that is why the old lowell was impactful.

if you lie consistently you will get people to believe you. just like trump. so they can't prove going to 1% will change anything but why not put it out there. like fwiw's heat maps.

not about race it is about money. enough you go private. struggling sure is less likely that you will get 95% on achievement. that is why frl get free individual testing. is that enough? i don't think so but that is what mt wants and what he wants seems to be what he gets. good job school board.

Anonymous said…
@ HCC2, I agree that "it is a PROBLEM that of the 3300 plus HCC kids K-12 referenced in the chart above 34 are black." Yes, it's a huge problem. But it's a problem with our social and economic environment in general, not a problem of HCC eligibility criteria. The problem is that black students, overall, start school at a deficit. They score lower on measures of kindergarten readiness. They have, overall, had greater exposure to factors that negatively impact brain development (e.g., poverty, single parent household, low parent education, lead paint, etc.) and less exposure to factors that positively impact brain development (e.g., word-rich environments, prenatal care, good nutrition, quality preschool, etc.). Our schools don't do a good job of closing the gap, but it's important to understand that the gap was already there. SPS is not creating HCC-qualified students, of any race--it's just identifying them.

Whether or not the district COULD create HC students is an interesting question. Would significantly lowering the bar for certain groups do the trick? It would increase the number qualifying, but would that have any impact? If, for example, SPS said all blacks performing at the 80th percentile and above now qualify for HCC, would those students do well in HCC? Is the instruction really appropriate for a student who is performing at grade level? Would these students need significant additional supports to catch up? With those supports, would they eventually get to the point where they were performing at the 98th percentile, or would they always be "low performers" within HCC? We don't know.

It could be interesting for SPS to try a pilot along these lines. Maybe pick the top x% of students from underrepresented groups in one HCC elementary region and let them enroll in HCC. Make sure their parents know it's a trial program, and that their student may show significant gaps initially but we hope (since there probably wouldn't be any additional supports, hope would be the basis) they will eventually catch up since they seem to have high potential to learn. Whether or not to inform the teachers that such students entered with lower eligibility criteria would be a tough decision--do you inform them so they can pay more attention to these kids and provide a little extra help right off the bat, or do you try to keep them unbiased and not say anything, even if it means kids might fall through the cracks?

It might work. It might not. But it wouldn't cost much more, so why not

try something
Anonymous said…
I want to see help for the 3SD and 4SD kids who do NOT get served well in HCC.

We need another program like IPP for them.

Standard HC kids do fine in neighborhood schools like TOPS and Hazel Wolf, that is why so many stay local.

HCC is a farce as it is now. Everyone knows how to get their kid in, there are lots of kids who aren't up to even one year ahead work and we have parents paying money for tests and prep. It's joke and the test scores of the HCC students show it.

25% of them can't meet the exceeds expectations on the SBA!!


Revamp the program. Make it small and focused on the truly needy 3 and 4 SD kids.
Anonymous said…
nc you are the alias that always rants and tries to shut down any conversation just like others who love thehcc

chili dog
Anonymous said…
It IS about money, nc. If you got money for prepping, money for private testing, voila, you are in a program with no poor kids, no black kids, no below grade level kids!!!!

MOney,money, money, money

It cannot last.

Anonymous said…
@ Wren, that means 75% are exceeding expectations, scoring above grade level. They were doing so before they got into HCC, and doing so after. Not necessarily because of HCC, but who knows.

If, as you say, 25% aren't scoring a 4 (and are likely scoring a 3 instead), why is that? Your assumption is that it means they aren't really all that gifted and don't need it. While that's a nice theory, there's nothing to support it. For one, it could be that HCC is failing those kids. We've never seen the breakdowns on who that alleged 25% is, have we? Are they all at one HC school that maybe isn't doing a very good job? Are they middle vs. elementary students? Have they been in HCC for years and are stagnating, or are they new to the program and overwhelmed by the leap?

Or perhaps they are 2e students--students who are both gifted and who have special learning needs. My own student is probably one of those 25% you rail against, as he only scored a 3 on the SBA verbal. But guess what? His verbal IQ is at the 99.7th percentile, so I think that qualifies as one of your "truly needy 3 and 4 SD kids," don't you? His disability makes it harder for him to demonstrate above grade level performance on written tests, but his intellectual reasoning ability and his intellectual needs are all well beyond those of most of his peers--even most of those in HCC. But you'd like to see him cut from the program, because his disability prevents him from scoring a 4 on the verbal SBA, which surely must be the gold standard of merit???

There are a ton of 2e students in HCC. These students are often so gifted that their disability goes unnoticed for many years, often until middle or high school, because they are able to compensate for their deficits. They are often able to score above grade level on achievement tests like the SBA in those younger years, when their deficits are more easily overcome, and thus they can qualify for HCC. However, as the demands and expectations on these achievement tests increases in later years, the disabilities make it harder, especially if they have been undiagnosed or not adequately addressed. This does not make these students less exceptional, nor any less worthy of instruction geared toward their "extraordinarily advanced" intellects.

In other words, making the program small and focused on the truly needy kids who are 3 and 4 SDs above average will NOT mean that kids who aren't performing above grade level are excluded. They will still be there. In fact, given the challenge of qualifying for HCC if you have a disability, I suspect the 23 kids are more likely to be some of the most gifted students we have, so they would likely make up a larger percentage of the program--and the number of HCC students only able to perform at grade level might increase. I'd be fine with that, if it was serving 2e kids well. They arguable need more services than anyone else in HCC.

Anonymous said…
Wren said " Everyone knows how to get their kid in"

Once you make statements like this (truthiness), everything else you say is dismissed as hyperbole. You have ZERO proof of your "fact" and provide none.

Anonymous said…
like always boring, thank god they are not calling the shots on the the board.

Leafy, you are wrong. Plain and simple.

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