Friday, November 03, 2017

Friday Open Thread

I don't know about you but I woke up to some snow on the ground.  I did check SPS Communications Twitter feed but they have nothing about transportation so it's fine, I guess.

King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered that under 18 year old youth currently being held at the Regional Justice Center in Kent be released to the Seattle Youth Services Center. Those kids had been in solitary for up to 22 hours a day (in order to protect them from the adult inmates) and had 10 minute of face-to-face interaction with a teacher.  This after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of those youth.

Bellevue School District is seeing an uptick in suicide interventions in their schools.  From the Bellevue Reporter:

During the first month of this school year, the Bellevue School District reported 56 student suicide intervention plans, nine student hospitalizations and one death by suicide.
“It’s more than half what we did in 2015-16 and in 2016-17 – it’s probably 40 percent of what we did all year in 2016-17,” Bellevue School District’s Supervisor of Counseling Deborah Kraft said, noting that those numbers are “pretty high.”

Kraft said she thinks a reason for the rise is that the district is doing a better of job of convincing students it’s good to tell a counselor or teacher when they’re having suicidal thoughts and, in turn, more students are opening up.
I note that one Bellevue school official says that the use of the socio-emotional curriculum, RULER, seems to be helping.

Lots of talk about STEM and here's an interesting article from the New York Times about how it's really computer science jobs that seem to be the driver.
Much of the public enthusiasm for STEM education rests on the assumption that these fields are rich in job opportunity. Some are, some aren’t. STEM is an expansive category, spanning many disciplines and occupations, from software engineers and data scientists to geologists, astronomers and physicists.

But he believes that STEM advocates, often executives and lobbyists for technology companies, do a disservice when they raise the alarm that America is facing a worrying shortfall of STEM workers, based on shortages in a relative handful of fast-growing fields like data analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and computer security.

“There is a huge divide between the computing technology roles and the traditional sciences,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist.

“When it gets generalized to all of STEM, it’s misleading,” said Mr. Teitelbaum, a senior research associate in the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. “We’re misleading a lot of young people.”
Oh geez, looks like former head of the College of Education (and Mr. TFA), Tom Stritikus, may be in the running for yet another local university post.  He's gone from UW to the Gates Foundation and now is looking for yet another job.  This is just since 2010. That TFA for you.

On Saturday, Directors Harris and Burke are having a joint meeting on Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the Capitol Hill Library from 4-5:30 pm.
Directors Burke and Harris are co-hosting a series of round table discussions with SPS educators. This November public meeting will be focused on Career and Technical Education.  We enthusiastically invite our practitioners to share their success stories and ideas for improvement as we work to expand and align our CTE courses with future career opportunities.
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

How are things going at this year's newly opened schools?


Anonymous said...

It occurred to me that if HC is split from one site plus Ingraham to five sites plus Ingraham,
we all know the cohort of HC kids will be much thinner.

This will likely mean the kids are taking AP classes with kids 2 years older. The amount of same age peers (coming from HC cohort) will vary according to school. In some schools HC kids might find themselves surrounded by older kids for most of their classes.

In some schools, there will likely be issues with HC competing for classes with graduating seniors. Anyone else see this as a potential issue?

Anonymous said...

I’ve been wondering about Cedar Park. The school was allocated 4.5 gen ed teachers for a projected enrollment of 74. ($933,000 or $12,608 per student.) Actual enrollment is 55 K-5 students, 26 in K, 7 each in 1st and 2nd and 5 each in 3rd through 5th. Did they lose a teacher after school opened in September?

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

I took Geometry as a freshman mostly with sophomores, juniors and a few druggy seniors. I liked the challenge and I was fine. I'm a pretty competitive person, so getting A's on my tests while others were getting C'a gave me a significant runners high! Whoot!

I'll add that some of those sophomores are still my close friends and have become rock star adults with very successful careers (wealthy orthodontist and a research engineer) so it didn't seem to hold them back in college or life not taking geometry as 8th or 9th graders....

I now stink at math.


Melissa Westbrook said...

L, read my wrap-up of the discussion about this at yesterday's Ops Ctm meeting. Apparently there is no cohort model. So they say.

Anonymous said...

@perspective-- It depends I guess on kid and situation as well. I don't know if I want my 10th grade kid who needs a class in their pathway for continuity to battle with a senior who might need a class for graduation. My kid either repeats a class or the senior gets pushed to running start?

We know a kid who skipped and is a young HC kid working 3 years ahead in math (so really 4 years!). That parent has concerns about a 13 year old taking classes with 18 year olds.

Thanks Mel, I will read your notes. Yes, it seems they will be ensuring there is no same age peer group. This is a big difference parents should be aware, as IBX and Garfield historically had a large same age peer group.

Anonymous said...

With math their will be lots of kids taking classes one or two years ahead in high school (not just APP kids). Whitman has a large class of 8th Graders currently taking Geometry, and another big class taking Algebra.
Whitman Fam.

Anonymous said...

@Whitman Fam-- Yes less of an issue at Ballard with math (only) than will be with science, & various AP courses. Will also differ in math depending upon the HC pathway high school. Also HC kids first then seniors have priority registration for advanced courses according to SPS policy.

Anonymous said...

@L, the bigger concern is simply running out of classes because there is not enough of a cohort to offer classes. Ten students need Calc BC? The school is unlikely to offer the class. In 9th, 10th, and 11th, advanced students may be okay as they simply take classes with upperclassmen. Yet when they reach senior year and there are few seniors needing more advanced classes, the schools are unlikely to prioritize HC students and advanced coursework.

This is happening with IBX as the cohort gets split within the school - some students follow the IBX pathway, but more are being encouraged to follow a more traditional IB pathway. If 40 students need a post IB English class, are they going to offer two classes of advanced 12th grade English? No. Classes need to be run as full as possible. They might offer one class and suggest the other students do Running Start, online classes, or ? What happens when that IBX cohort is less than 30 students? They have little assurance they will have a full schedule of core classes come senior year.

If Garfield and Ingraham are unable to offer HC cohorts core classes senior year, with only two HC sites, how is this going to play out when there are 4 more pathway sites? This is why SPS has operated with the cohort model in high school, and minimized the number of HC sites. It's the best guarantee that students can be served within budget constraints. The "new" high school model being proposed will leave many students without options for senior year. Students should not be forced into Running Start.

Don't be lulled into thinking the proposed 5 pathway (6 if IHS is included) model will adequately serve students.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Also HC kids first then seniors have priority registration for advanced courses according to SPS policy."

Sure, but if each principal is making the decision about these course, then that has to be clarified by senior staff. Either it's a policy abided by all or then the policy changes.

Anonymous said...

@Forewarned - You made some really excellent points. I have read threads on this blog and elsewhere. I can guarantee most parents do not realize AT ALL this will be an issue. Or maybe its not on their radar as they think it will not be an issue at their own kid's particular HC pathway school ex Ballard/Roosevelt.

Can you please share these concerns widely? For example, I am wondering if they would even run a Calc BC class with 15 or 20 students?

At Ingraham Mr Rice mentioned they have put 40 kids into an AP class if they have 10 over 30. So I guess one class instead of two sections of 20.

The HCC advisory board made a recommendation. Why was there recommendation not shared at the operations meeting yesterday? Is it to be shared Nov 15th?

Anonymous said...

"Sure, but if each principal is making the decision about these course, then that has to be clarified by senior staff. Either it's a policy abided by all or then the policy changes."

Yes and it sounds like at least at Ballard and Ingraham this is not followed in practice. At Ballard & Ingraham they are unaware of this policy. I was repeating what someone else stated after writing advanced learning when their student had an issue.

Anonymous said...

Below is an extensive list of Seattle area parenting support groups, courses and lectures:


JustDreamin said...

Assuming moving was an option and you could afford it, which public school in the greater Seattle area would you send your kid to and why?

Anonymous said...

Since, as Kellie has pointed out, SPS underfunds schools, it is unrealistic to think SPS is going to run a class for 10 students. As it stands HCC and Gen Ed students can get stuck without a class - ANY CLASS - and it ends up going as a TA on student schedules.

Anonymous said...

@JustDreamin My choice would be different for different kids. To me the important thing is fit between the kid and the school. Also since no school can provide everything, I would go for a school that can provide things that are more difficult for me to provide at home, whether that is specific academic emphasis or extracurriculars. So my choice would be different from yours, because you can probably give your kids things that I can't. Also if I could buy any house anywhere in the city, I would go for one that is in easy walking distance to the school of choice, to make it easier to participate in before/after school activities and evening events, and to replace commute time with homework/activity time.

Movin' Along

Anonymous said...

@Just Dreamin- I would be seriously looking at public schools on the Eastside.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NP, I'm assuming you missed my notation about the uptick in suicide interventions in Bellevue School District.

Anonymous said...

Newbie SPS parent here with a question about PTA funds. My child started kindergarten in SPS this year. Seeing the breakdown of how the school's PTA spends the money that parents donate raised some eyebrows for me. The PTA uses much of the funds to pay for f/t school counselor and music teacher. I found it strange that PTA funds are being used to pay for school staff, especially ones as crucial as school counselor and music teacher. Is this the norm in SPS? What happens to the schools in the district that don't have enough PTA funding--do they lose out on staff too? How is this equitable? --OR--is this just a temporary band-aid fix to deal with budget shortfalls? And if temporary, what does that mean? One year? 2 years? 5? Growing up in a smaller, suburban school district where PTA funds are explicitly *NOT* to be used for staff salary, I find this really strange. Shouldn't PTA funds mainly be used for things like school events, field trips, class parties, supplies, extra resources, etc? Rather than basic fundamental necessary staff positions?

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post. Didn't sign my comment!
Newbie SPS parent here with a question about PTA funds. My child started kindergarten in SPS this year. Seeing the breakdown of how the school's PTA spends the money that parents donate raised some eyebrows for me. The PTA uses much of the funds to pay for f/t school counselor and music teacher. I found it strange that PTA funds are being used to pay for school staff, especially ones as crucial as school counselor and music teacher. Is this the norm in SPS? What happens to the schools in the district that don't have enough PTA funding--do they lose out on staff too? How is this equitable? --OR--is this just a temporary band-aid fix to deal with budget shortfalls? And if temporary, what does that mean? One year? 2 years? 5? Growing up in a smaller, suburban school district where PTA funds are explicitly *NOT* to be used for staff salary, I find this really strange. Shouldn't PTA funds mainly be used for things like school events, field trips, class parties, supplies, extra resources, etc? Rather than basic fundamental necessary staff positions?

--SPS Newbie

Anonymous said...

@Melissa, I'm curious why you assume @NP missed your note about the uptick in suicide interventions in Bellevue School District. Are you assuming the uptick is a bad thing? It's possible the problem isn't any worse but that the district is simply doing a better job of addressing potential risks. Maybe people are speaking more openly about their thoughts, mayb there's less stigma to admitting suicidal thoughts and getting help. An uptick in suicides would be bad, but an uptick in prevention efforts could be good,


Anonymous said...

@SPS newbie--if you're so new--and with a kindergartener--how does it come to be that you have an HCC student? I saw you on another thread thanking Kellie for calling out the fact that there is not enough funding for equity initiatives, but here your post claims ignorance of the long-standing debate over PTA funding. Are you really clueless, or are you trying to lure people into a debate? If the later, that debate is valid and has been going on for a long time, and you don't need to look hard for the conversations.

Orange Marshmallows

Anonymous said...

SPS Newbie- at schools with higher FRL(free and reduced lunch, low income populations), the district pays for those things, or money to pay for them if the BLT so chooses. At schools with lower FRL, PTAs can fundraise or not for them. No schools should not be fundraising to pay for them, they definitely should be standard from the district, but the district does not have enough money, so they triage.


Anonymous said...

@Orange Marshmallows Why the immediate accusation and passive/aggressive attack on SPS Newbie? Did you even stop to consider that they might be a different SPS Newbie? You could have at least opened with "Are you the same SPS Newbie with the HCC child in another grade?" rather than being so snarky about it. It is certainly possible that THIS SPS Newbie is just that—a NEWBIE—and has no idea there is another using that moniker on this blog. This site does not have an algorithm that kicks out names used already. Of course, you may also be correct, but you still begin with the ask rather than the accusation.

If we all took a few moments to be considerate with one another on this blog, we might actually start solving problems. I no longer have a K–12-age child, but I still care about all children and Seattle public schools, so I pay attention. I hate reading posts that devolve into name-calling, race-baiting, and other forms of denigration.

Seattle Public Schools are a mess and for many of the same reasons that much of our government institutions are a mess. We need to find common ground and come together. Yeah, I'm an optimist, see the half-full glass, I still have some hope that people are inherently good. Flame me if that makes you feel better, but I'd like to see us at least try to work together.

Solvay Girl

kellie said...

Thanks for providing a voice of balance, Solvay Girl.

@ Orange Marshmallows, Just to be extra clear, I did not comment that there was not enough money for equity on the other thread. My point is that a true equity initiative always involves MORE resources. There is a profound need for MORE gifted education options and the creation of more options and broader identification will require resources. I would love to SPS to learn something from Rainier Scholars and try to build a new program that directly targets underserved communities with focused resources.

I strongly object to initiatives that don't require ANY new resources, being labeled as done in the name of equity. The entire notion that making five HCC pathways is being done to address equity in gifted education is pure optics and zero substance.

I also object to things that are done for sake of politics, that hurt students and eduction. The closures were pure politics and did tremendous damage to students district wide.

Anonymous said...

"SPS Newbie- at schools with higher FRL(free and reduced lunch, low income populations), the district pays for those things"

This is not correct. While highly impacted schools receive more money, it does not begin to cover the extra needs they have--students in trauma, math and reading intervention, etc.

There are lesser impacted schools that are not able to raise extensive PTA funds.

Neighboring districts no longer allow PTAs to fund positions because of the injustice of it.

About Time

Anonymous said...


SPS no longer has a choice. They have been mandated to find underserved students for HC: http://www.k12.wa.us/BulletinsMemos/Bulletins2017/B064-17.pdf

It's not going to be for a "Rainier Scholars" type of program, but for the actual HCC program that they have been excluded from all along.

About Time

Melissa Westbrook said...

About Time, in your opinion, children were excluded and also be sure who you aim that ire at.

Anonymous said...


It's actually the "opinion" of the state of WA.

By mandating that districts find underserved students who haven't yet been identified, the logic ensues that they had previously been excluded.

About Time

Anonymous said...

I'm not talking about title 1. Sps also uses a weighted staffing formula which includes discretionary funds. There are big differences school to school.


Anonymous said...

Much has been said on this blog bt "no Caps" and others that race has nothing to do with HCC or anything.

Here's a perspective from a white man with two lack daughters that explains to the we're over racism crowd just how racism continues its pernicious damage to and corruption of society.



Anonymous said...

Huh? Orange Marshmallows I've never posted before until the post here on this thread. Someone using same signature is the likely situation here.

SPS Newbie

Some Caps said...

The HCC program admits kids who meet the district's stated requirements regardless of race. If the district classified the race of all children in the district as "other" instead of tracking more specific categories, the racial makeup of the HCC program would be the same as it is now. The box a student selects for race is not a criteria in HCC admission. In THAT sense, race has nothing to do with HCC.

In lots and lots and lots of other senses, there are correlations between race and where students live, family income, parental educational attainment, intergenerational wealth, career choice, likelihood of qualifying for F/RL, ELL services, SPED services, likelihood of attending public school vs. private, SES, etc. But all of these things are not specific to HCC. Their effects are much broader.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about STEM....

I think the big driver behind STEM is ... vendor dollars.

It is another way to get
k-12 districts to feel inspired to buy more hardware and software.

The use of H1B visas has apparently solved the STEM labor shortage in most areas.
Wages for many STEM fields have been flat for years.

The high dollar tech jobs of today and the future
may require a solid academic high school foundation
coupled with a STEM centered university degree.

Vendors see k-12 as a huge revenue opportunity.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

"Underserved" is intersected with race due to historical and contemporary reasons, as outlined in the referenced WA Post article. NAGC has made identification of underserved children a priority:


The Supreme Court has ordered schools to use FRL as a first remedy in dealing with racial discrepancies in education for historically underserved students based on race, as does the mandate from WA State:


Blaming the lack of historically underserved students in HCC on societal factors is no longer an option. SPS identifying criterion does not follow best practices and research in identifying these students.

SPS will need to change their identifying protocol so that it is no longer biased against underserved students, starting with cut-off scores that are not validly normed.

About Time

observer said...

In the current thread on Transition Plan for Next Year on Ops Agenda, "Newbie Mom" said on 11/4/17 at 12.20 am to kellie, "So much pointless hate gets spewed here at my little HCC kid. But you said what we should all be talking about. If only you weren't the only one saying this."

Orange Marshmallows, don't be so grumpy. SPS Newbie, don't you worry, nobody is using the "same signature" as you. And to SPS Newbie and Newbie Mom, a very warm welcome for you both to what is actually a very kind and caring and informative blog community of parents and others who all do care deeply about the Seattle public schools and the education of our children.

Anonymous said...

About Time,

Wondering if you really believe the nonsense you post here.


Time’s Up

kellie said...

@ About Time,

Ok. So you took my clarification about a misquote on another thread, to deliberately twist my words. So Let's just break this down.

My statement is that I am for identifying historically underserved gifted students and then serving those student appropriately and with resources. The memo focuses on identification and reporting. I like to focus on actually doing the hard work.

I mention that I would love for SPS to learn from Rainier Scholars. To be extra clear, equity requires resources. Rainier Scholars delivers extra resources. HCC does not get extra resources.

To just spell this out, I am strongly opposed to this change that HCC in high school is no longer a cohort but instead the delivery model for HCC in High School will be AP courses. I am opposed to this because this is a zero cost solution that will empower SPS to check off the identification box. This may be intentional or unintentional, I can't address that. But I can address the consequences to reporting because of this change.

As 90% of students who take AP coursework are NOT HCC students. AP courses are available to every student in the district AND at some schools 100% of students take at least one AP course. For example, AP Human Geography is 10th grade Social Studies at Roosevelt.

If SPS changes the definition of gifted services in high school to AP coursework on the annual gifted services report, then SPS will have completely satisfied the mandate "on paper" to identify more historically underserved students.

I object to this because I dislike political optics delivered as equity solutions. This change in high school delivery has profound consequences all across the district. This change was not vetted by the community and does nothing to help historically underserved students.

Anonymous said...

Consider this from the NY Times

and how STEM dollars intertwine...

How Silicon Valley Plans to Conquer the Classroom

The School grounds provide for hardware and software a market expected to reach $21 Billion by 2020.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

@ Kellie writes "To just spell this out, I am strongly opposed to this change that HCC in high school is no longer a cohort ".

I thought you and others argued previously that HCC was not a cohort, that APP classes were open to everyone and that was OK. Why is it no longer OK?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, AP classes, not APP.

NE Parent said...

The claim that "90% of students who take AP coursework are NOT HCC students," seems highly dubious.

Are there ways this number could be calculated and be true? I suppose if you count all students that took at least 1 AP class, then yes, this number probably makes sense.

But how about if we instead look at the number of students that look the most advanced AP math and science classes? Are we really to believe that only 10% of the students in those classes are HCC? It's not that these classes aren't open to everyone, it is just that it is hard to believe that non-HCC students would meet the necessary prerequisites to qualify.

The district has a long history of twisting numbers to its own purposes. If it smells like a lie, it perhaps it is.

kellie said...

@ NP,

I can't and don't speak for other, so please don't lump my comments into some monolithic conversation.

To spell this out, the definition of gifted services at high school on the paperwork that SPS sends to Olympia, in order to justify the extra money that Olympia sends to SPS for gifted services, defines high school services as a "cohort." That is the paperwork definition and I object to the change in the paperwork definition, because this will create the optics that identification of underserved students has been done.

There are many people on this blog with younger kids, that don't have direct experience with high school. As such, it is reasonable that many people would think that cohort means the same things in all grade bands. That is not the case. I suspect that is the underlying reason for your lumped argument, because AP classes are open to everyone. There is NO self-contained aspect in high school.

High school is different from K-8 in many ways, including the funding and scheduling mechanism. Cohort at elementary means they act as a cohort. Cohort at middle school means a cohort for LA/SS and science. Cohort at high school has NOTHING to do with the schedule.

At high school, the cohort simply means that there is a density of students, to drive advanced classes on the master schedule.

Anonymous said...

At high school, the cohort simply means that there is a density of students, to drive advanced classes on the master schedule.

Mostly true, but it's not only to ensure critical mass for advanced offerings. It also provides a cohort effect of sorts--not a cohort that sticks together for all/most core classes, but a cohort in that you're more likely to find other students with whom you relate. It's a social-emotional health component. For example, a 10th grader taking AP Calculus in a class full of non-HCC seniors is likely to feel more isolated and out-of-place than if there were other HCC 10th and 11th graders also in the class.


Anonymous said...

The claim that "90% of students who take AP coursework are NOT HCC students," seems highly dubious.

I think it falls into the "lies, damn lies, and statistics" category. It may be very well true that 90% of students who took AP coursework were not HCC students, meaning not in the cohort at Garfield taking AP classes? Does HCC mean in the cohort, vs identified and not in the cohort? What about students in IBX/IB? What percent of HC identified students enrolled at Ingraham, Ballard, or Roosevelt? Kind of disingenuous to leave out IB, isn't it?

I don't disbelieve the statistic, but think it is purposely not providing the entire picture.

As suggested above, there are probably many students taking one or two AP classes. What needs to be included in the statistics is how many unique AP and IB courses are offered at each high school, and for each course, what percent are taken by HC vs non HC. It would provide a better picture what courses might be considered baseline offerings at a comprehensive high school and what courses are considered baseline offerings for HCC (what's offered at Garfield that's not offered elsewhere? What IB courses are offered at Ingraham vs other IB schools?). Where is the overlap and would the number of HC sites suggested in the latest proposal be able to provide those additional offerings? I think we know the answer: unlikely.

darn startistics

Melissa Westbrook said...

About Time, show us where the State is saying that because kids of color are not in the program, they have been "excluded." Excluded implies intent. Is that proven?

Readers, if you are told someone use has your moniker -pick a new one. It's wrong to try to confuse others or pretend you are another commenter.

Dam Startistics, you should ask the Board to ask for this info. It might be helpful.

Anonymous said...

observer, thanks for your kind comment :) I still question the practice of having PTA bear any part of the burden of staff salaries--especially core staff like art, music, counselors etc. It's sad and worrisome to think that my child's school may or may not have music or f/t counselor every year, depending on how much money the PTA can raise. And equally sad to think about how many less "enhancements" will be available to students at my child's school since the PTA has to spend so much of its money on staff salaries.

--SPS Newbie

Melissa Westbrook said...

SPS Newbie, you echo my sentiments exactly. It IS a burden on parents to support a salary every single year (Ingraham's principal doesn't allow it but he's the only one I know of.) Obviously, it is a huge inequity and a glaring one that the staff and the Board pretends isn't happening (or isn't a problem, which I don't know).

PTA is about enhancement and enrichment and funding staff salaries is not in that category (to me).

Anonymous said...

My kid went to Hale which has few HCC kids. In my kid's AP Calculus AB class, there were 45 kids. There were at least 2 other packed sections of AP Calculus plus a packed section of AP Environmental Science. These AP classes were filled with GenEd kids. My friend's non-HCC kid graduated Hale with credits (passed the AP tests) in AP LA, AP History, AP Calculus AB, and AP Env Sci. Hale also offers AP Japanese. There are a lot of GenEd kids taking AP classes.


Bart said...

The HCC program in SPS is totally optional. Referral for testing is optional. Participation in testing is optional. I would think it would be hard to show exclusion from an optional program. Not to mention that kids of color ARE in the program. There were 59 African American HC students last year. And probably quite a few others who would have been HC eligible if anyone had referred them and they had gone through the qualification process. African American students in Seattle are statistically more likely to attend schools with principals who don't understand or believe in meeting the needs of advanced learners. We should require training for principals.

Anonymous said...

For comparison, Garfield’s 2017 schedule (# of sections):

AP LA 11th and 12th
AP Calc AB (5)
AP Calc BC (1)
AP Stats (3)
AP Env Sci (5)
AP Biology (3)
AP Chemistry (5)
AP Physics (2)
AP World History (11)
AP Amer Gov (2)
AP US Hist (4)
AP Japanese (2)
AP French (1)
AP Latin (1)
AP Spanish (2)
AP Macro (1)
AP Computer Science (2)
AP Studio Art (1)

If HCC was to split into 5 cohorts (+ Ingraham), any course with only 1 or 2 (or even 3) sections could be in jeopardy. Again, where is a detailed analysis by the district? For each course, what percentage of the students are HC vs non-HCC?


Anonymous said...

@ HP, that's great. Yes, GE students do take AP classes, and they are open to everyone with the prerequisites. However, in order for Hale to work for my HCC student, it will need to offer higher level math and science classes than currently--specifically, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry and AP Physics. Do you know if Hale plans to add those?


Anonymous said...

HCC is not optional. It has entrance criteria, and the type that SPS uses has been demonstrated by research to result in the exclusion (or "inability to get in", if you prefer those semantics) of underserved students.

Whether to pursue the testing is optional. But even that is suspect since the communication about it is so lame.

About Time

Anonymous said...

Yes, the inability to meet the entrance criteria is what makes them underserved students. Did you think that was news?

Time’s Up

Facts aPlenty said...

HCC (highly capable cohort) is optional. You have to opt in during open enrollment. And becoming HC eligible, also optional. There is no requirement of parents or guardians or teachers to refer a child who might benefit from it.

Anonymous said...


"one thing that can be chosen from a set of POSSIBILITIES, or the freedom to make a choice"

When the possibility virtually doesn't exist--in this case because of biases and/or invalid scoring norms and/or lack of using multiple evidences--it takes the option out of optional.

Too bad concern about reaching the students who are being denied HC services in SPS isn't getting as much attention or energy here as word parsing.

History shows that the government or courts need to step in when systems don't do the right thing. We see that happening now with the WA state mandate about identifying underserved HC students.

About Time

Anonymous said...

About Time, are you saying that NO students have been deemed eligible for HCC in the absence of test scores that meet the published threshold? I believe some have. So wouldn't that be based on consideration of multiple evidences?

all types

Anonymous said...

Not nearly enough...

There have been some accounts here that the district has changed scoring norms for some populations.

However, it's too little (whatever it is) because the demographics remain totally skewed.

About time

Anonymous said...

@ About Time, so what are the "correct" demographics? How will we know we have the "right" proportion of each group, when race isn't the only factor? Or are you suggesting that cognitive ability is set at birth (not impacted by conditions) and is exactly the same for all groups?

All types

Facts aPlenty said...

@About Time,

Hard to see how any amount of commenting on this blog will move the dial on how SPS selects students for HCC. The increase in funding and threats of lawsuits are sooner likely to do that.

NCLB included no accountability for the achievement of advanced students. This resulted particularly in disadvantaged students not having sufficient access to gifted education services and other advanced opportunities. NCLB also did not address achievement gaps at the advanced level between populations of students. And it didn't provide teachers training in identifying the indicators of giftedness or having effective strategies for how to respond and support those students.

The Every Student Succeeds Act should help. Thanks to it:
* State and local report cards must now report on student achievement at the advanced level, disaggregated by subgroups
* Title I funds can be used to identify and serve low-income gifted and talented students
* State plans for use of federal Title II professional development funds must address how the state will enable teachers to identify gifted and talented students and provide instruction based on their needs.
* Districts receiving Title II funds must provide training to address the learning of gifted and talented students and may provide training to support the identification of gifted students, including high-ability students who have not been formally identified as gifted.

Seattle's HCC program as it stands today truly is an entirely optional system. True, the district has started screening second graders at title one schools. But that definitely leaves a lot of students in the district who are not being screened. The only way any of those other students get screened is for someone to refer them. Lord knows why a child who needs faster or harder schoolwork should need multiple adults to jump through multiple hoops on specific, cryptically communicated, dates to get the child the schoolwork the child needs.

Before high school in Seattle, HCC is just acceleration, and there's really no reason why any school couldn't just skip a student who needs acceleration ahead a grade or two. There is NO reason for this. And yet staff and teachers fight tooth and nail against this.

Hopefully ESSA will help. And the state funding for fairer identification. I have my doubts about comments on this blog, though.