Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Open Thread

I attended a great UW lecture last night by Professor Kate Starbird from the College of Engineering on the history/recognizing "fake news."  I see from this article in the NY Times that Italy is really getting serious about this in their schools:

“Fake news drips drops of poison into our daily web diet and we end up infected without even realizing it,” said Laura Boldrini, the president of the Italian lower house of Parliament, who has spearheaded the project with the Italian Ministry of Education.

“It’s only right to give these kids the possibility to defend themselves from lies,” said Ms. Boldrini, who is left-leaning but not affiliated with any political party. The initiative will be rolled out in 8,000 high schools across the country starting on Oct. 31.
Yikes! Amazon has two  "Girls WW2 Evacuee" costumes, one "fancy dress" and the other plain for Halloween.  It was originally marketed in some places as an "Anne Frank" costume.   In fact, they have several of them including one for boys.  The Anti-Defamation League has a petition against it.  It does seem in poor taste and you have to wonder - what kid even knows to dress up as a WWII child evacuee?

Three director community meetings this Saturday, including - I believe - the last one for Director Blanford:

Patu at Raconteur from 9-11 am.
Blanford at Starbucks on 2300 South Jackson St. from 10 am to 11:30 am
Geary at Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney Place Community Room, 6951 62nd Avenue NE from 1-2:30 pm.

Sunday, October 29
Community Meeting with Director Peters from 3:00-4:30 pm at Magnolia Branch Library.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Laughing my rear end off at your report on "Fake News".

This BLOG is a gigantic purveyor of the FAKE.

Let's visit the HCC debate.

It has been stated on this forum thousands of times that:

Seattle has an extraordinarily high # of gifted parents(mostly white and asian) and therefore tons of gifted kids who absolutely need a cohort of like talented students in order to survive, thriving is considered impossible in SPS.

This narrative is played over and over and it's fake.

Number 2.
Black, hispanic, ELL, poor and SpEd kids are not represented proportionally because of poverty, lead paint, etc. Also fake.

I'll wait and see if I get deleted before I spend anymore time listing the fake news on SAVESEATTLESCHOOLS.ORG.

plant based

Anonymous said...

Yes, please DO stop listing your fake news.


Anonymous said...

Ugh! Transportation!!!

Yesterday our elementary child’s school bus broke down at school during pick-up. We weren’t notified about it until 30 minutes after school was dismissed. The robo call said the bus was running 45 minutes late. I called the school and they said no, it’s still broken down and the poor kids are just sitting on the bus.

We decided to drive to school to get our kid. I heard later it took until after 4pm for the replacement bus to show up. Remember, school was dismissed at 2:25pm. It’s a 45 minutes bus ride so kids weren’t home until around 5pm.

This is so crazy to do to such young kids. Why is there not a backup plan in case a bus breaks down? Why were the kids at first kept on the bus, then let off the bus but not allowed to play on the playground. Why couldn’t they have e just gone back in the school and read or done homework?

So annoyed!

NESeattleMom said...

So annoyed! Some principals are very involved with school bus pickup and drop off. They probably didn't know how long the wait was going to be and then it got longer. If the principal was standing there with a clipboard, he/she could make a decision to bring the kids in to the lunchroom or library, I would think.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Seattle has an extraordinarily high # of gifted parents(mostly white and asian) and therefore tons of gifted kids who absolutely need a cohort of like talented students in order to survive, thriving is considered impossible in SPS."

Well, that apparently is either the case or people are really good at coaching their kids for the test. The numbers are there and the district itself doesn't dispute them.

I have always advocate for change in the Advanced Learning program; it's how I started my advocacy.

I have written extensively on the disparities in the program and that it needs to do better.

Sorry you missed that.

Anonymous said...

@plant based - why do you continue to read this blog if you have such disdain for it? Don't waste your time with something you obviously don't care for, life's too short for that. Leave it for others who find value in it.
Be Productive

Mohundros said...

There was a presentation about elementary school boundary changes in West Seattle (affecting Lafayette and Genesee Hill) that was presented as a "coffee with the principal" event at GH this morning. It was unfortunate that it was during the work day for many, but luckily the West Seattle Blog covered it. I hope Lafayette parents got a similar presentation. Seems like it could have been advertised better, with a plan to communicate with all the parents who can't attend meetings during the school day. http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/west-seattle-schools-why-attendance-area-boundaries-might-change-for-genesee-hill-lafayette-next-fall/

Seattle Citizen said...

plant based appears to be troll. Why waste a response? My guess is no rational discourse will follow....I know I get hooked into responding to trolls sometimes, but I'm really trying not to these days.

Anonymous said...

MW: "I have written extensively on the disparities in the program and that it needs to do better. Sorry you missed that."

I haven't missed that because it isn't correct (to put it "nicely"). You have spent years on this blog saying that APP, and now, HCC is "open to all" who qualify. You have stated that the identifying criteria is fair because it is "open to all"--which goes completely against giftedness best practices and research about identifying underserved populations. Your history on this subject can be confirmed with a quick blog search.

Recently, your message has wavered a bit. The winds are blowing frantically in the other direction, especially since the state of WA has put SPS on notice that they must identify underserved students. No one likes to be on the wrong side of history.

You also have not corrected postings of, yes, fake information that rationalizes the virtual exclusion of these populations from HCC. This includes a litany of posts by readers about lead paint being the cause and postings that use a superficial reading of science to post eugenics-types of defense for HCC demographics.

Instead, you have treated people who do correct them like vermin, have regularly told them to go elsewhere if they don't like the message here (as your readers now freely emulate, as above) or allowed other posters to do your bidding for you.

Calling @plant based a troll just because you disagree is perpetuating what @plant based said about the news on this blog. It is easy keep it fake by acting like every poster who has a different message from yours is a "troll".

Waiting for delete, too.

About Time

Anonymous said...

@ About time, I think you're confused about what eugenics is. There's no effort to create academic superbabies here, ok?


Anonymous said...

Excellent article/analysis from Sightline Institute on how Seattle's restrictive single-family zoning practices lead to inequity in access to top-performing schools:


Personally I am really hoping that the less restrictive rules they are proposing for ADUs/DADUs go through.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It isn't going to be a truly fair gifted and talented program until each and every white person gets the full advantage they deserve. And choices galore. Fail the test? Label it 2e and move on. We'll get a few Asians too. Let's test and privately retest until they are all in.

Real Newsflash

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Rick Burke said...

For some reason, it isn't showing up on the calendar, but Director Burke is also having a community meeting today, Greenwood Library, 3:30-5:00. Hope you can join.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Rick!

Anonymous said...

How do you figure out who your director is? I have a physical address that has one director, a kid in an option school that has another director, and a kid in a program at a school that has yet another director. So, do I chat them all up? Is one of them my "real" director?

Anonymous said...

Reviewed the maps again. H2 - what some in the NW are calling "Whitman students to Ballard" does NOT include Viewlands. ONLY Viewlands students would be assigned away from their MS cohort and go to Ingraham while all the other students would be assigned to BHS.

Aren't Viewlands students entitled to the same surety of having the same cohort from middle school to high school?

I think the task force was irresponsible for developing H2 as the preferred plan. It opened up the debate (again) on whether Crown Hill, Olympic Manor, Blue Ridge are "Ballard" and pits those families against Magnolia families. The Magnolia families are looking at a horrible commute so that Whitman students - expect those from Viewlands - can stay together 6th - 12th grade.

N by NW

Outsider said...

If you want a lesson in fake news that really matters, check this:

It wasn't clickbait websites or Russian agents who invented fake news. It was governments. The fake news with the most influence on the course of history does not come through clickbait websites but through "respectable" news outlets like the New York Times. (google "Judith Miller Iraq war" if you don't believe me.) If you wanted to teach students about the fake news that really matters, you wouldn't waste time with clickbait websites. You would focus their attention on the corporate media, which which every day transmit government and party propaganda, much of it from from anonymous sources. For example:


Why do more people believe Beppe Grillo than the Bezos Post? The people must be stupid.

Anonymous said...

Imagine driving past Ballard High on your way to Lincoln. How stupid would that be?. Absolutely no metro bus routes to Lincoln from Magnolia. The district will need to provide transportation both ways. And oh yes, the parking will be nightmarish for anyone who decides not to take the district provided bus. I'm sure everyone in Wallingford is going to love that! Magnolia to Lincoln is untenable and ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

Metro Route 31 University District/Central Magnolia + lots of walking??


Just Saying said...

Parking is going to become increasingly difficult at many of Seattle's schools.

Second Look said...

To moan on about no parking in Wallingford when Lincoln opens somehow implies it's not a problem at Ballard HS Magman. Residents up to 75th can tell you how BHS students fill up every possible parking spot north and east to 10th during the school day.

MetroTripPlanner is right there are Metro options, sure they are not quick and easy like you'd like for your student ... but give them special transportation?!

What about students in elementary schools like Graham Hill who don't get transportation but have to walk and cross major and unsafe intersections like Rainier and MLK and walk the one mile uphill ... and they're small elementary and primary aged children whose families frequently don't have access to cars. Let's also not forget about the safety of neighbourhoods where students (including primary, elementary, middle and high school aged) have no transportation but take Metro and walk to and from stops, sometimes unaccompanied due to family circumstances, in areas that have high crime.

Is it fair or equitable to ask that your students get transportation or their "convenient" pick of schools because it's too difficult for high school students to find a convenient parking spot or have to walk a couple of blocks in safe neighborhoods, or have to figure out how to use Metro,or that your driving them directly to school will be annoying and "time consuming" for you?

Second Look

Anonymous said...

Second Look that about sums it up. Remarkable how people's privilege continually plays out on this blog with posters in full denial. Kids all over the city are on one hour bus rides to school. Magnolia will be OK. So will Wallingford.


Anonymous said...

It'a 30-45 minute bus ride from Magnolia to Lincoln. Take the 31 and then the 62 - no biggie for high school students.

PAA Member said...

Omar Vasquez is running for Seattle School Board, District 5. Vasquez supports charter schools. He recently resigned from Washington state's Summit charter school board. Democrats for Education Reform seeks to privatize education. They have just contributed $20K to Vasquez's campaign.


Vote DeWolf in this race. DeWolf does not support the privatization of public education.

Anonymous said...

"How do you figure out who your director is? I have a physical address that has one director, a kid in an option school that has another director, and a kid in a program at a school that has yet another director. So, do I chat them all up? Is one of them my "real" director?

10/28/17, 1:06 PM"

All of them are your real directors, and each one is responsible to the whole district.

The peculiar way in which they are elected tries to address the need for people on the school board who are aware of the particular situations that come up in each part of the city. I believe that all of the directors feel some responsibility for awareness of the issues that pertain to schools within their electoral districts.

If you want to talk about an issue at a particular school, talk to the director from that area. If you want to talk about more general issues, talk to any and all of the directors. Probably if you start doing that, you will get a sense of which directors are most interested in your topic, and you will soon figure out which directors you feel can most effectively address your concerns.

Of course if you are unable to attend meetings with specific directors you can email or call the board office to let them know your thoughts.


Melissa Westbrook said...

"Parking is going to become increasingly difficult at many of Seattle's schools."

Well, that is life in a big city. But it would help if the City, the district and SDOT worked together on these issues.

About Time, telling someone - who states the same thing over and over - that if they don't like this blog, go elsewhere - is treating them like "vermin?" You have some thin skin there for someone who likes to point fingers.

Okay, NP, the ride itself is one length but two buses and the wait? Longer. At least be honest.

But again we see how the closure of Queen Anne High continues to plague this district. And we have a city where east-west travel is much more difficult than north-south. We are all in this together so I don't think someone venting about a bus ride is really unfair.

Anonymous said...

Oh the horror - a two bus transfer and a wait (maybe an extra 15 minutes?); let's see that's 45 minutes to an hour... Wow. Just wow. That's really difficult. Of course, many people in our city do. that. every. day. And BTW, those travel time stats were from Metro trip planner.

NESeattleMom said...

Part of HS transportation problem is the late start, which families overwhelmingly requested..not me. Traffic gets heavier later, and busses get full/delayed. Early morning parents used to be able to drop off on way to work. End of day my kid gets home at 5. To get to his 4:45 thing once a week I have to pick him up before he transfers. Part of transportation/commute problem is our city’s geography. Plus traffic.

Anonymous said...

Wow. NP no people don't do 2 bus transfers with a 15 minute wait for more than an hour on the bus. (How long is your bus ride, btw?). And then people could live more than 2 miles from the bus stop in Magnolia. That makes the whole trip more like 2 hours each way. Or 4 hours per day. That's ridiculous. That Magnolia to Lincoln ride would go right past BHS. Let me give you a little clue NP. It ain't gonna happen because it's too dumb to, even for SPS.


Anonymous said...

Second Look, yes it's a privilege that some students are able to drive to BHS. Not sure there's any way you know where the student is from, but whatever. But a school assignment plan that forces students into cars, either with parent or student drivers is simply stupid, and not a privilege. In fact it makes school infinitely more accessible for anyone who is privileged. Is that what they want? To create access to education that is extremely inconvenient for privileged kids (their parents will drive them), but highly negatively impacting for all students who aren't privileged. Check your sanctimony.


Anonymous said...

The parking issue at Ballard all circles back to what a poor job the architects did laying out the site when the school was built.

Old Ballard High School had greater capacity, with more room for portables, a better configured field, and a slightly larger parking lot.

New Ballard sprawls across the campus at all kinds of weird angles, and just is a totally inefficient use of the space.

This Ballard High School graduate attended for three years when it was brand new; did two years on Metro which involved 3 buses to get from far western Ballard (it was a 35 minute walk). I drove most of my senior year, and parked in the neighborhood. I'm sure they were thrilled to see my car show up at 0735 every morning. The parking lot had no space for students, as built.

Nothing new here...


NESeattleMom said...


Anonymous said...

I was curious about the claim of no bus routes from Magnolia to Lincoln High School, so I did a little informal analysis. I compared the bus routes from different points in Magnolia to Ballard High vs Lincoln High. The places with the worst bus commutes to Lincoln also have bad bus commutes to Ballard- it's because you're coming from a place with very limited transit. In a few cases you can find addresses that have an easier time getting to Lincoln than Ballard (but they are still both very bad commutes). The places with reasonable bus commutes to Ballard would add between 5 and 10 minutes to their commute to Lincoln by bus, and you can find addresses with virtually no difference. In my very informal unscientific analysis it seems that the people with the easiest bus commute to Ballard would be the least affected by a change in commute to Lincoln.

So commuting from Magnolia to Lincoln does not add any particular transit problems, it just highlights the already existing transit problems.

I would love to see someone spend some more time on this and see if it holds up under a more rigorous analysis!

-Don't Blame Lincoln for Magnolia Transit Problems

Anonymous said...

Someone at Sue Peters meeting yesterday brought up something called "Naviance" that sounds quite troubling. Apparently it's a company that collects a bunch of highly personal student data to steer students toward different kinds of post-high school plans. I found the company web site, but I can't find any information on SPS using this. Is it optional? Pointers?


Anonymous said...

It's been 4+ years, but I'll try to remember what our experience with Naviance was. My daughter attended a private high school and a "subscription" to Naviance was included as part of their college application assistance and counseling program.

It does collect personal data, the same type of stuff you used to apply to college. If I'm recalling correctly, it helped make it easier to apply to multiple colleges and helped you compare application requirements, deadlines, etc.

It's biggest advantage was that it helped students guesstimate what their chances of acceptance were at various schools using blind data from the past previous 5 years of senior classes from their high school. You had to input your GPA, SAT and ACT scores and could then look at various colleges to see how many students had applied in previous years, what their scores were, and how many were accepted. For example, we were surprised to see that our daughter who had a 3.6 GPA and high ACT scores would NOT have a good chance of getting into the UW.

Considering how expensive and onerous the college application process is, we found it very helpful.


GLP said...


Here is the BAR about the Hobsons’ Naviance Career and College Readiness software:


My understanding is that this comes from a recommendation from the 24 Credit Graduations Requirements Task Force. As you probably know there are new state requirements around graduation (for Seattle this is starting with class of 2021). Part of this is three credits related to a student's "Personalized Pathway" based on their interest and their "High School and Beyond Plan". From what I've heard schools and counselors would like a standardized tool to use across the district for developing the High School and Beyond Plans.

Here's more info about the state requirements. I found the visuals helpful.



Anonymous said...

" For example, we were surprised to see that our daughter who had a 3.6 GPA and high ACT scores would NOT have a good chance of getting into the UW."

Wow! Really? That is very upsetting. I had read the UW had a 50% general admission rate. What does a student need to do to get in?

I know specific depts and majors vary on admission rates. It is apparent they let it international students in droves.

For some families it is the only cost efficient option, as students can commute if they live with parents and not pay for room & board.
-local parent

skeptic said...

It seems like there might be some potential benefits to a system like Naviance, but the types of data they require to make those kinds of recommendations is setting off alarms in my head.

According to the BAR it's going to take 3 months to build the interfaces for Naviance to access SPS student data. Presumably this is a direct feed from PowerSchool? My first question is: exactly what data is SPS going to send them?! Is it fully-identifiable student data? How is that data protected?

I like the idea of counselors helping the kids through a challenging process, but I'm not comfortable giving a company like Naviance my kids' personal information, including grades, test scores, discipline records, and especially personal interests, hobbies, etc.

@SolvayGirl, how did your private school manage that? Was it an opt-in tool that students or parents could choose to use, or did the school sign up every student and send data out for all of them without asking for parental consent?

Did your daughter apply to UW, and if so, was she accepted? This kind of data sounds like it would be fun and potentially informative, but the downside is that if you've got borderline stats, and maybe you're an underserved minority or a first-generation college applicant, seeing that data would more likely serve as a negative influence. Just because you're in the bottom quartile of applicants, and most of them are not accepted, that doesn't mean you shouldn't apply!

N by NW said...

At Rick Burke's meeting he said it was a direct upload from Power School. At this point it is not anonymous and will include grades and test scores.

N by NW

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Let us celebrate the accomplishments
of Lakes HS grad in Lakewood, WA
and Stanford University, CA

Kate Starbird....
Computer Scientist and renown basketball player.

So nice to see.

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

I just saw her speak on "fake news" at UW; she was great. She was also in my late husband's bookclub and is a kind person.

Anonymous said...

Our previous school (private) uses Navient as well. The college counselor there gave me a dummy account to play around with when my oldest was in middle school. It's a nifty tool.


Anonymous said...

For those without access to whatever program you're discussing, there is a government website with college statistics that includes info on admissions, enrollment, financial aid, etc. Want to know the percent admitted, broken down by male/female? Want to know the 25th and 75th percentile SAT/ACT scores for those enrolled (good indication of fit)? How about average amount of financial aid received? What about doing a search of schools that fit your short list of criteria? You can do that as well.


As an aside, I found it interesting how the % submitting ACT and/or SAT scores varied by state. For University of Washington, for example, 77% submitted SAT scores and 40% submitted ACT scores, while at University of Iowa (just randomly picked), 8% submitted SAT scores, while 92% submitted ACT scores.


Anonymous said...

@LocalParent She did not apply to the UW—but that was more by choice as she did not want such a large school. She did get into all but one of the schools she applied to—her brass ring school, which had sent her a recruitment letter based on her ACT score. We knew that her chances were next to zero as only one student had been accepted from the five previous senior classes and we knew who it was, and they were a legacy. That helped her feel better about not getting in.

I honestly can't remember if it was opt-in/out, but do know we loved it as it did help her determine good fit and select a couple of safe schools, mid-schools, and reach schools. It gives you so much info all easily found and digestible. I know the info can be found in other places, but this made it very easy, and believe me, the process is stressful and incredibly time consuming for a 17-year-old. As a parent, I was glad I only had the headache of filling out the financial aid forms.

As far as I know, it was anonymous to a degree. I guess if I were paranoid I could believe some nefarious cabal could be using the data, but as far as I know it did not include anything other than her GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. There was no info about attendance, discipline, etc. included.

It truly is an excellent tool for anyone who is considering more than one or two hyperlocal colleges. In addition to Western, we looked at schools in Oregon, Montana and two in BC. At the time there was a Western State scholarship program that made Montana state schools as affordable as WA state schools. Canadian schools are incredibly affordable, though the International student logistics are daunting.


Anonymous said...

@PublicPrivate Ranter
"without Naviance, families have NO WAY to figure out what the reach, target, or safety colleges actually are."

Hahahahaha. Thanks for giving everyone here a good laugh. With a preposterous comment like that, I guess the rest of your post can be ignored as well. In fact, I hope it's deleted for name calling. That is against the rules here on this blog.

Clearly you're enamored with techie toys. Fine. But your post reads like it was written by a company spokesperson or marketer who had one too many cocktails. Yes, it's a cool techie tool. Automobiles are cool techie tools as well, but we don't let 13 year olds drive them, even if they're tall enough and coordinated enough, even with supervision. Why? Because we don't just look at the conveniences and ignore the rest, we weigh all the pluses and minuses and decide what is and isn't okay in various contexts. This is a system with some potential benefits and some potential problems. You're not even attempting to weigh anything, completely and utterly ignoring the downside and being a condescending ass about it to boot. The problems are very clear to me because I know people that work in the data collection industry, and I know two personally who have a hard time sleeping at night because of it - one had to ultimately change jobs. Your post shows a complete lack of critical thinking.

Frankly, I suspect your kid/s are very likely well-supported and will make it into good, if not great schools no matter what kind of data mining tools you use, including none. Mine did. Even still, I support your desire to use whatever tools you want for your kid. Do you support my family's desire to keep our kids' personal psychological profiles out of these unregulated systems?

As for the test data you're speaking of, it's only collected if kids are naive enough to fill in all the "personal interest" fields on those tests. They're not required, and many students, including my kids, leave them blank. But sure, you can continue to make factually incorrect statements all you like. It seems to be popular these days.

@parent, thanks for the nces.ed.gov link.

- public/private/public

Anonymous said...

I have two kids, one graduated from a private high school and used the Naviance (most private schools do) and the other graduated from a public high school, Nathan Hale. The oldest used Naviance and it was a breeze to figure out where, how and what in applying. The kid applied to 6 schools and got their top two choices. Kid 2 had no Naviance to figure this stuff out and it was a real chore. Kid 2 also applied to 6 schools and got into 5/6 of the schools applied to. It was however, a lot more stressful and time consuming. I really wish we had had the option to use Naviance for the Hale kid.

When you take the ACT or SAT you are already handing over all your information.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Up thread, someone asked what you needed to get into UW-Seattle. Here is the recent data, from Autumn 2017.
WA residents: 12, 335 applied; 7,290 admitted; 4,450 enrolled (anticipated).

Freshman class profile: middle 50% from Autumn 2017:
High school GPA - 3.7-3.95 (4.0 scale)
ACT composite 27-32
SAT composite 1210-1390
Reading and writing - 590-680
Math -600-720

It is easier to get into UW Bothell and UW Tacoma and they too have excellent programs and teachers.


Anonymous said...

@Solvaygirl-- I still cannot believe your daughter would not have gotten into UW a state school, supposedly with a 50% general admit rate (is that correct?) with a 3.6 GPA and high ACT scores. That seems nuts and then things have really changed. I am wondering if the Bothell & Tacoma branch campus are similar.

This is a shame as we don't have other local state colleges to which a student can reasonably commute. It's not like the East coast where there are tons of local affordable state college options. My parents (who did not go to college) just left it up to us. We just applied and went, of course that was a century ago :-). I came out here and got into UW no issue as a transfer student with only a (mediocre) 3.4 GPA!
-local parent

Anonymous said...

@ local parent, a 3.6 GPA would be very low for a UW admit, so I don't see why that's so surprising that such a student wouldn't have great odds. 75% of those accepted had a GPA of 3.7 or higher. Exceptional SAT or ACT scores could help, as could all sorts of other factors, but just being a good student and having high test scores isn't enough. There are a lot of good students across the state, and UW can't take them all. (International students make up a small part of the overall student population, but help subsidize the education for the rest of us. Pros and cons...). We do have other good state schools, too. The expectation that everyone should have a good state school within commute distance, though, seems like a bit much. And really, the college experience is so much more if you move away anyway. If you want to commute, go to a local community college.

Fly BeFree

Anonymous said...

@local parent - please see the stats I posted above. The scores Solvay girl posted are at the low end for a UW Seattle campus admit. We have other great schools in WA, although not all are within commuting distance. Again, I urge you to check out UW Bothell. It's a small, diverse campus with innovative, cross-disciplinary teaching, and excellent faculty.


Melissa Westbrook said...

You can disagree without name-calling. Please cease and desist.

Anonymous said...

Again, the “typical UW” admit depends on the high school. Lakeside has not had any rejections for students with at least 3.2 within the last 5 years. West Seattle High, evidently, was unable to get the valedictorian admitted to UW (presumably with a 4.0). Clearly 4.0 at WSH doesn’t mean much. UW is strictly by the numbers, but they do know what high school graduates they are looking at. You can see the variation in the way colleges evaluate high schools with Naviance, not with Navigator, or anything from the government. Having good and complete data is vital. It is not a matter of “using whatever tools you want.” The issue is that families need and deserve to have the specific testing and gpa data. Don’t kid yourself. Checking or not checking a box on your SAT doesn’t keep them from collecting data. Heck, the colleges even report the information. The data isn’t attached to your kid. And unlike the SBA data, you can’t determine anything about individual s


Anonymous said...

UWer is correct. My daughter did have a 30 score on her ACT and might have been admitted based on her other strengths, but UW was not high on her list so for us, it wasn't an issue. Western was more her style, and she ended up out of state thanks to a good scholarship that made it affordable.

The point is that with the help of a good and very involved and knowledgeable college counselor and the easy to navigate Naviance system, my daughter was able to navigate the college application process without a lot of input or hovering from her parents. Our input was more on the financial aspects: what we could afford, how she needed to consider the prospect of student loans, how far away from home she'd want to be, the cost of travel, etc.

We took her on tours. We talked about the idea of "fit" from the aspect of personality and what she liked to do for extracurricular activities, etc. We're asking a lot of a 17-year-old to make a huge decision that can affect the rest of their life. Even with all that, my daughter decided to switch schools in the middle of her Sophomore year. She missed Seattle—we're a pretty unique place—and changed her major. It's a big step on the path of life.

Solvay Girl

bb said...

HP said: When you take the ACT or SAT you are already handing over all your information.

Please stop perpetuating this myth. It's only true if your student chooses to fill in all those personal interest boxes. They are not required at all.

Our kid completely ignored those sections with zero repercussions, and in fact, filled out very little on the forms overall beyond name, school, gender, and I think birth date. All the other info is used for profiling and marketing purposes. We were still able to send scores to colleges, everything worked just fine.

bulldoggy said...

Thanks Solvay Girl, it's nice to hear different opinions without ranting like one of the earlier responders.

For a different perspective, we went through this just a couple years ago, and while it was somewhat time consuming, we didn't consider it particularly stressful, nor did we have any issues trying to find information. Kid got first choice (extremely competitive). We did not have anything like Naviance available, nor would we have opted into it in any case. So clearly everyone's experiences are different. I don't doubt that the tool could be helpful, there's just no way I'd allow a company like this to have the kind of personal data about my kid that they want.

As far as I know, it was anonymous to a degree. I guess if I were paranoid I could believe some nefarious cabal could be using the data, but as far as I know it did not include anything other than her GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. There was no info about attendance, discipline, etc. included.

Unfortunately, it isn't anonymous at all. The school sends in all the student data to Naviance, referenced by student name (required). And unfortunately, if you look at Naviance's strategic business partners, they do appear to be what you might indeed call a nefarious cabal. Pearson, Blackboard, Sallie Mae, BenchPrep, the list goes on. See: https://www.hobsons.com/about/partnerships-and-affiliations

A big part of what Naviance does is to dig into students' personal interests, skills/weaknesses, etc. to create personality profiles. So it's a lot more than just GPA and SAT/ACT scores. It's possible that your school didn't enable those modules, but seems unlikely since the Gallup module ("Do What You Are") is included by default. Several of their modules are actually created and managed by third parties, so some of your students' data is not only leaving your school, but leaving Naviance as well. Privacy policies exist, but many data mining companies play fast and loose with them, and there are always a bunch of loopholes, so it's hard to know where you stand. FERPA does virtually nothing anymore.

You're right on target that we're asking a lot of 17 year olds to make these kinds of huge decisions, and the plan for Naviance is to start at age 13! That feels wrong. I'm sure it can be helpful, but there are also a lot of wrong ways to use a tool like this, even if it was managed by SPS directly without any third and fourth parties involved.

Hope your daughter is finding her new school to be a better fit!

Anonymous said...

bb, Dude, get off your high horse! You gave your kid’s info out when you let her take the test and sent it to a college! Why else would you even take the test if not to give it to somebody? Geez!! That’s how it works! Don’t like it? Homeschool and then sign up for community college. When UW (and every other 4 year college with any reputation) publishes its SAT and ACT ranges, what do you think they are using??? They’re using YOUR KID’S data! The ones YOU sent. Duh! Do they say “The average SAT score at our institution is 1400 except for bb’s kid who clicked a privacy box on the test.” ???? No. You sent it in. They use it. Naviance is simply getting the information YOU ARE ALREADY divulging. Bottom line. There’s absolutely no point in taking the tests at all, if you don’t plan on using the results. And no, the data is unidentifiable. Unlike SBA results where you can often figure out kid’s names from the demographics that are mandated to be published.

I do agree with you that the amount of data is bad. But that’s really the result of our test driven school culture, from admissions to various programs starting in K, to graduation, to college. Kids are more than a test score, but that’s the culture.

G Whiz

bb said...

G Whiz, what on EARTH are you going on about? "High horse"?! wtf? You're completely off base, from top to bottom in your entire first paragraph. If you'd actually read what I wrote, you could have not wasted all your breath.

Of COURSE my kids's SCORES were sent as part of the college applications process. As was school, gender, birth date. That has nothing to do with all the personal info they ask the kids to fill out. Stuff like whether you prefer to "Read books or magazines about new scientific findings" or "Run a lawn mower". Would you rather "Study chemistry" or "Pack things into boxes"? Yes, those are real choices, and there are dozens of them. Plus "Educational Plans, Interests, Needs", "Extracurricular Plans", etc. All this stuff is marketing/profiling, and it's completely unnecessary for The College Board or ACT to have that kind of information. They want all your kid's grades as well, and they ask your kid to fill in that data, but the dirty little secret is that you don't actually have to fill those out. You'll still get your precious scores without it.

Most of the rest of what you said doesn't make sense either. No, I'm not "already divulging" ANY of that kind of data, to the College Board, to SAT, or to Naviance. And all of whatever you type into Naviance is most certainly NOT unidentifiable, it's 100% identifiable, and unlike a single test score, what they ask for is very personal.

At least your last paragraph made sense.