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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

New Board Goes to Town Tonight on SATP and HCC Pathways

 Update: my understanding is that by voting down the SATP, vote for the amendment to end HCC high school pathways is now void.

What a mess.  I think someone was trying a power play and it didn't work.  Lack of true engagement NEVER works.

end of update

I was neither able to attend the Board meeting this evening nor view it on tv but from reports I'm hearing, it was a doozy.


First, there were elections for Board leadership.  Director Leslie Harris was elected president but by a 4-3 vote.  Director Burke was an uncontested vote for VP and won 7-0.  Director Geary is Member-at-Large.   Director Geary had apparently wanted to be president but it went to Harris.  At the Board retreat, only Director Pinkham wanted to be Member-at-Large but new director, Zachary DeWolf nominated Geary and it went to her.

But the agenda seems to have undergone change with multiple amendments for the SAP item in the last 24 hours.

The SAP which may have been voted down over these amendments (it's unclear to me at this point), two of which appeared sometime today.

 It appears that the Board voted to get rid of HCC pathways to high school by 2021-2022 school year amendment which was put forth by Geary, DeWolf and Patu.

This amendment gives significant advanced notice to families that this change is coming.

But without any notice of the amendment or engagement about it.  I smell the fine hand of staff behind this.  I'm pretty surprised to see Director Patu signing on.

By providing advanced course offerings in all neighborhood high schools, the district creates more demand for these courses in all schools, which will increase access to these courses to more students.

What? I'm sorry the directors didn't know that there ARE advanced course offerings in all comprehensive high schools.  It's true.

Having more of them will create more demand?  On what is that based?

By removing pathways, it will also remove a label from children, which currently has a negative effect on identity safety in classrooms across the city.

Which children are they speaking of? Odd that there is no specific explanation here.

Upon approval of this motion, staff will begin to create a long-term strategy for meeting the needs of every student in every neighborhood attendance area high school.

Wait, what? Isn't the district already doing this?  They have no strategy for meeting the needs of every students in  every high school?  That's quite a thing to admit.

I will have to sit down and view this meeting but I think this kind of action - so early on for a couple of new members - is problematic.  

178 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see their "plan" for how small numbers of HC students in some schools will get their needs met. I guess the social-emotional needs that were part of the rationale for a cohort model are no longer relevant needs? I feel bad for those kids who will spend high school out of sync with their grade-level peers.

I'm also looking forward to hearing how they will staff and pay for all the extra AP/IB/honors classes that will be needed to implement this eventual plan. If we're going to try to get every school to a Garfield-like level of classes, that's a big increase. Better start recruiting AP teachers now so we'll have enough in five years!

I hope they truly collaborate with the community this time--including HC families--and come up with the gist of the plan YEARS in advance so that families can actually plan. It's not enough to know THAT it's happening--we need to know WHAT is happening. Looking at alternatives and potentially applying elsewhere requires a lot of lead time.

DisAPP

observer said...

DisApp,

you do realize that the new Seattle School Board actually voted DOWN BOTH the SPS Staff 5 + 1 Plan AND the Geary Amendment 2 that would have assigned all HC students to their neighborhood school?

In fact the brand new Seattle School Board just passed their first test with flying colors -- voting down a bad staff proposal (because the proposed Franklin and West Seattle HC "pathways" were just too small), and also voting down a worse Geary (+ Directors Patu and DeWolf) amendment (because contrary to state law it promised fake HC "pathways" at every Seattle high school).

So in effect, the new Board even went beyond the alternative: "Amendment 1 -- Approval of this item would amend the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2018-19 to delete assignment pathway changes scheduled for implementation in 2019-20 and combine them with high school boundary approval to be implemented in 2019-20. (Directors Burke and Harris)." The new School Board has bundled not just pathway changes but the entire SATP into the pending high school boundary approval tied to the 2019-20 Lincoln reopening.  

Anonymous said...

A power play by whom? This is an interesting post, but more confusing than most.

Also, what is SATP again? There have been a number of acronyms used lately that are not in the glossary in the frame. Adding them there or typing out the full term once would help those of us who only check in every week or so and don't have every bit of jargon memorized.

ScrawnyKayaker

Anonymous said...

Scrawny,

Approval of this item would amend the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2018-19 to delete assignment pathway changes scheduled for implementation in 2019-20 and combine them with high school boundary approval to be implemented in 2019-20.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

"Isn't the district already doing this? They have no strategy for meeting the needs of every students in every high school? That's quite a thing to admit"

To be charitable, they could argue that this means implicitly that they have been planning to meet the needs of all the students *now* in the local schools, and after sending the HC students to local schools, they will make a *new* strategy to serve them there.

SK

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Wasn't there an amendment to include walkability as a factor in the SAP? This was the issue that pitted QA/Magnolia parents against Ballard/Phinney Ridge families. -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

Did they direct staff to come back soon with a different SATP proposal, or will families be left in the dark as to where their kids will go in fall 2018 and fall 2019? Open enrollment is supposed to be in a couple months, with school open houses starting even sooner...

HF

kellie said...

Yowza! I have seen a few crazy board meetings regarding the Student Assignment Plan (SAP) over the years, and this meeting seems to be no exception.

It is really poor form to do amendments on the day of, as the unintended consequences of those amendments have zero daylight. An unintended consequence of Geary's amendment would have been the dismantling of IB programs.

High School is fundamentally different than grades K-8. While it could "sound good" to make these sweeping pronouncements that suddenly every high school is going to do everything, for every student. For a city like Seattle, that is just not logistically possible, due to the State level funding model. The State of Washington funds high schools on a super efficiency model. There is a presumption in the funding model that the high school master schedule will be very standard, classes will be very full and that uniqueness is primarily limited to electives.

Seattle has 18 distinct high schools and Lincoln will bring that count to 19. Most schools districts in the State of Washington do not have 19 distinct schools in total. Across the State, most high schools do need to serve all students, just as this amendment would have mandated. That works in other districts because there is typically just 1 or 2 high schools. As such, the administrative costs of running high school is divided across a small number of buildings and there is no need to have an efficient high school SYSTEM, you simply need to have an efficient high school building and master schedule.

That is just not the case for Seattle. High school is DRAMATICALLY under-funded by the State of Washington. This presumption of 1-2 high schools in a district just does not apply to Seattle. Seattle is required to have an efficient SYSTEM of high schools. There just isn't money for anything else.

As such, any plan to add inefficiency to high school, will require that the money is taken from somewhere else. That is the problem with these sweeping pronouncements. They are completely disconnected from the reality of running day to day operations and actually providing appropriate instruction to the greatest number of students in this district.

Melissa Westbrook said...

SATP is the Student Assignment Transition Plan.

Well, I think that Geary running for president, losing and then coming back to run for Member-at-Large (when only Pinkham had expressed interest at the Board retreat) feels like a power play to me.

I also think trying to end the HC pathways to high school - sans any public notice or input - was a power play to end run parents. Again, see Geary as DeWolf is new. Also putting things in an amendment that are NOT true (they claim it would bring advanced learning to all comprehensives while ALL of them have AP or IB) is trying to put something out in the ether that is just not true.

If they want to win the point, start by being fair and honest.

Owler said...

Thanks, Fairmount Parent. Like ScrawnyKayaker, I wasn't sure what SATP stood for either. I skimmed too quickly.

I don't understand how the staff can honestly say that this proposal would work better across 18 schools versus the SAP they currently have. Why can't they use their expensive MTSS to strengthen the programs they currently have?

Anonymous said...

By providing advanced course offerings [well, some advanced offerings, but only a select few that the district will determine at a later time, and not nearly as many courses as Garfield offers now, and seniors may now be forced into Running Start, but whatever....] in all neighborhood high schools, the district creates more demand for these courses [you know, the most basic "advanced" courses, but the rest will go away] in all schools, which will increase access to these [limited] courses [that again, the district will determine] to more students [except those that need the advanced advanced courses, like Calc BC, because, you know, Running Start].

calling foul

Anonymous said...

So, do we know when the SATP and pathways (if they're now connected) will be decided? I thought it was to be done by January 2018.
Confused

Anonymous said...

Can Kellie or Melissa or someone else in the know unpack this board action for us? What does this actually mean for students and schools? When do changes kick in? Is this a "done deal"?" If not, who can we as a community contact to request change?

Thank you for shedding light where there is precious little daylight. I wish our daily newspaper would actually report on what's happening in our own backyard and impacts thousands of students.

Concerned Parent

HCC Parent said...

It is definitely worth watching this video. I was enormously disappointed to see DeWolf dismiss the HCC Advisory Committee. The HCC Advisory Committee is a parent group that formed to assure the needs of HCC students were met.

Anonymous said...

you do realize that the new Seattle School Board actually voted DOWN BOTH the SPS Staff 5 + 1 Plan AND the Geary Amendment 2 that would have assigned all HC students to their neighborhood school?

In fact the brand new Seattle School Board just passed their first test with flying colors -- voting down a bad staff proposal (because the proposed Franklin and West Seattle HC "pathways" were just too small), and also voting down a worse Geary (+ Directors Patu and DeWolf) amendment (because contrary to state law it promised fake HC "pathways" at every Seattle high school).


observer, but didn't they first APPROVE Geary's amendment (Amendment #2) before voting down the whole thing because they realized they may have created a problem for Garfield by removing Franklin?

Cargopants

GLP said...

HF - By voting down the 2018-2019 SAP, the current SAP (for this year) stands. There really were very few changes in the SAP, so it's basically status quo for next year.

The 2019 pathways will get rolled into the high school boundary process which is scheduled to go to the Board in January. So, I think decisions about 2019 can still be made before open enrollment.

-GLP

GLP said...

Cargopants -- In short, yes.

-GLP

Anonymous said...

I am with the board on this one. I saw the advanced offerings for Ballard High, and was disappointed. My very diverse high school 30 years ago was able to offer twice as many AP/Honors classes. I know nearby public high schools in other districts offer more advanced classes, using a combination state funding and other means. I am tired of hearing "You have enough and we do not have the money to offer more." I do not think we have enough and if other Washington district schools can figure out ways to offer more, so can we.

-NW Mom

HCC Parent said...

It was more than unfortunate to see Geary, DeWolf and Patu attempt to make sweeping changes - at the last minute.

Each director knows their high school, best. It seems to me that the voice of each director should be should carry a lot of weight...as it pertains to their own schools. They are the people that know and understand their high schools.

Anonymous said...

NW Mom-what options do you think are missing from Ballard High School? There are AP options in every dept, as well as College in the High School (CIHS). -TeacherMom

joanna said...

I was trying to watch and was interrupted. Thank you for reporting on it. I hope to get a chance to watch that second half myself to understand what they did and will be following your posts.

Anonymous said...

Melissa & Kellie-- You both have so much insight, could you please write the board (including Geary, Patu & new member DeWolf) your insights on this matter. I think that they do not truly understand what the potential impact could have been of what they proposed. They are understanding things on a very surface level, and in practice the outcome would mean HC kids not getting access to a basic seamless curriculum as defined by state law. Also, currently all general ed kids have access to AP courses, plus their basic education. What could work for program design in a smaller district (with adequate funding) does not work in Seattle.
-parent

Anonymous said...

If I am understanding this all correctly, my 8th grader will be fine through the end of HS, and she will go to Garfield. My 4th grader will not have the HCC pathway option, so he is the one we will focus on for private school. The difference between North and South Seattle high schools and offerings are striking, and as you can guess, I am a

-SE Parent

Anonymous said...

Hale has the demand for more AP classes but I haven't seen any added. The AP Calculus classes are bursting at the seams. More kids want AP Environmental Science than can get in. Kids were turned away from Physics which is not AP but the highest level science class.

I don't see how adding demand will increase the number of classes offered because it already doesn't.

HP

Anonymous said...

Thanks, GLP. I can't celebrate the new board when they were willing to pass a last-second amendment like that.

Melissa and Kellie are already doing the work and advocacy of 50 parents. Add your voice, parent!

Cargopants

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain the role of principals in all of this? I don't understand how the Lincoln principal gets to decide what Lincoln HS offers and who the school is designed to serve rather than the community that uses the school funded by their tax dollars? Similarly, how does the Hale principal get to decide not to offer additional AP classes if there is clearly demand for them?

Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

Did they approve the amendment or not? Introducing a big amendment that would affect so many students negatively by more than likely leaving holes in their curriculum. Not engaging with the the affected program's community & dismissing their representative advisory board is REALLY not cool. Would they dare to do this with any other state protected group like special ed or ELL? I am tired of the bullying behavior toward's these kids, because that's what it is!! Parents I suggest you write.
tired of it

Anonymous said...

The role of principals is that they are required to provide state high school graduation requirements- 3 years of most things, up to Algebra 2 in math, through chemistry in science. Aside from that SPS lets them do whatever they want. If this suggestion was made in tandem with a curricular requirement for a minimum number of X type of AP classes, 4 year pathway for kids who start in precalc provided every year, 4 year pathway for science starting in chemistry, AP options as an actual class in humanities (not just the ability to take the test if you are taking the gen ed class), sure, great. But that would be a dramatic shift in power, cost a lot of money (right there that's a dealbreaker) and several principals are unwilling to do that and right now can just say "no." Or "we have AP classes," nevermind what kind they are. There is absolutely demand for more AP classes at Hale, but that is only half of it. The other half is will from the principal. The Franklin principal's position at least seems a little more nuanced- she believes HC kids are not served by her one size fits all model (though it does fit most), and though I am sure she would welcome the individual students feels that on balance it would harm her program overall, which works well for most kids. I am not sure what she would do if they showed up at her door. I feel pretty sure Hale HC kids would repeat classes. They do now, with mixed results.

SE parent, write the board. I agree with you that the difference between northend schools and southend schools in terms of ability to serve HC students is striking, but I am a northend parent and the board thinks anything we say with regard to advanced learning is irrelevant. I really think they may listen to you. It seems like Patu listened, just not quite enough.

NJP

Anonymous said...

So my 7th grader in HCC will go to Lincoln in 2019 because that is her assignment school? No pathway next year or 2019? And she'll have to repeat a bunch of classes because they won't have advanced offerings when they open? She'd need pre-calc and Spanish 4, as well as honors LA, SS, and chemistry. How in the world will this work? Why offer advanced curriculum at all if you can't carry it through high school?

Is there still a pathway for 2018? 2019? Is this up for a later vote?

Looks like private

Anonymous said...

Would Garfield continue be the all city HCC default pathway until 2021? How will they continue to handle the overcrowding projections?

No solution

kellie said...

I am going to try to unpack this ... at least a little bit.

There are fundamentally three ways to run high school in a large urban district, with the current constraints of State Level Funding. All three of these options have positives and negatives.

1) The cookie cutter model, aka Sameness - every high school, needs to provide everything to everyone. This is the model that is used in the vast majority of districts, with 1-3 high schools. The model passes the "looks-like" equity sniff test, because everything is the same at all schools. But as we all know Equity is not the same as Equal or Sameness.

This model ensures that there is very limited unique programming at high school. (hence the "sameness model"). The high school master schedule is dominated by typical graduation requirements. The ability of the schedule to provide anything over and above the requirements is dependent on a sufficient cohort of students who need the same thing. The end result is the higher SES schools have more advanced classes and lower SES schools have fewer, because that is an accurate reflection, not of ability, but of poverty and wealth.

This model tends to work well for students in the middle of the bell curve but is a great disservice to the those in both the bottom and top 10% and only works modestly for those in the 10-20 and 80-90 percentiles. In this model, if the school does not work for a student, the only options are safety net programs and the State of Washington has multiple programs for both both ends. One group is sent to Running Start and the other is sent to credit retrieval and service schools and other alternatives.

2) The uniqueness model. In this model, you attempt to leverage economies of scale in order to provide the maximum amount of options to met a wide variety of learning styles. This model has at least one unique cohort at every school - HCC, IB, CTE, Biotech, Language Immersion, and other partnerships and services. This district has many of these unique programs.

The upside is that the system is actually able to better serve more students and produce a total number of better results. The downside is that it looks terrible on paper and there is always an imbalance between supply and demand. This can be managed with high responsiveness and flexibility, but there will always be a few kids who are unable to access something that would work better.

3) Find more resources! The first two models acknowledge a constrained resource model and attempt to utilize resources as efficiently as possible. The third option is to just be inefficient and simply give the schools the resources that they actually need to get the job done.

Some district manage to do this via levy funding and public-private partnerships. It can be done but once again, it looks inequitable on paper and there is a tremendous administrative burden to make this happen year after year. Additionally, there is structural instability in that "what if" the funding vanishes.

Anonymous said...

I suppose they could take Geary’s amendment 2 (HC students automatically assigned to neighborhood schools) and instead of having Magnolia assigned to Lincoln, they send Magnolia to Ballard and then send Laurelhurst to Lincoln. Yeah! That will work. Let’s do that.

What Sticks

Anonymous said...

I have read all the comments and the original post and I am still not clear what happened. Are kids all supposed to go to their neighborhood schools in 2019, or not until 2021? The Board really couldn't figure out that they need additional HC pathways in the north? I'm a S parent and I fully supported that bit of the proposal. Think 2021 makes more sense for S and SW though. Not sure what parents of 7th graders are WMS are facing as of last night's meeting.

- Not Clear

GLP said...

Looks like private: Nothing has been decided yet. The Lincoln attendance area hasn't even been determined yet. High school boundaries will get voted on in January, and pathways that start in 2019 will have to get rolled into that. Based on discussion last night there will be a pathway to another high school for HC students who live in the Lincoln assignment area. It was said last night that to open Lincoln, a brand new school, as a school that could be an HC pathway would cost ballpark $1 million in mitigation funds. Unless something changes drastically for how they open Lincoln, that's not going to happen.

No solution: I believe they are still very committed to relieving capacity issues at Garfield starting in 2019. What was in front of them last night wasn't fully baked and in the end they rejected it.

-GLP

HCC Parent said...

The student assignment plan was voted down. The plan will be voted on at a later date.

Unfortunately, there was enough votes to eliminate HCC pathways. This action was done practically in the middle of the night and without community notice and/or input.

kellie said...

HCC at Lincoln will actually reduce mitigation costs, not increase them.

This is because HCC will automatically mitigate the general education students. That means that only HCC will really require mitigation and because HCC is a cohort, the costs of mitigation is nominal as classes will be full.

Anonymous said...

Eden Mack articulated a clear argument that defends the educational rights of our HC children. Separating advanced learning opportunities from services needed for HC identifed kids. Bravo Eden.Eden will truly advocate for ALL kids.
GF


kellie said...

Opening Lincoln as high school is approximately a $150M investment. It is far more important to successfully launch the school and minimize the disruption to existing schools than it is to micro-manage potential-future-possible mitigation costs.

What will be the ongoing cost for over a decade by moving students out of walkable schools and into busses?

Anonymous said...

DeWolf's statements at this board meeting reveal his age to me ( millenial without kids). He does not understand complexities, yet wants to take a "strong stance" for what he believes to rectify racial equity, while hurting other kids. DeWolf, listen to Mack.
GF

Anonymous said...

The board was smart to vote down the whole student assignment plan, especially after adding those irresponsible last-minute, unvetted amendments that would only cause more problems, and appeared to cater to the agendas of one or two directors. Very hypocritical of Geary to chide against individual directors pushing their own agendas and then do that very thing later in the meeting. Can anyone explain Geary's disdain for a program/service (whatever they're calling APP/HCC these days) that her own kids benefited from and her ongoing attempts to 'disperse' or basically kill HCC?

I agree with HCC parent that Dewolf was offbase and clueless about the long history and role of the HCC (formerly APP) Advisory Committee. (Supe Nyland's dismissive disdain about the committee didn't help.) I also agree with GF that Dewolf's ignorance and inexperience with SPS and the issues was evident. He was also quick to butt in while others were talking and lacked respect for the chair and used an inflammatory quote from an old article from the Stranger as his research for some point he was trying to make. (!) His repeated comments about how he trusts staff and has confidence in their 'best judgment' was another sign of his naivete, and a red flag.

There clearly was some kind of power play going on. Poor Pinkham got broadsided by Geary who maneuvered to get the at-large position from him in her desperate attempt to get on the executive committee after failing to win enough votes to become president. She apparently sprung that on everyone. Pity they went along with it.

The other new director, Eden Mack, was solid though. She brought clarity and thoughtfulness to the discussion and was the only one with the sense to vote against the Geary/dewolf/patu amendment disbursing HCC.

I think this leaves the SATP back at square one. That may be for the best.

- What the Heck

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to get my head around the high school boundary implications of Amendment #2, which states that the long-term vision is serving all HC students at their neighborhood schools by the 2021-2022 school year. While I know the amendment died when the board voted down the SATP, the amendment itself received strong and broad support. As 'what the heck' wrote, only Mack gave it a "no" vote. I'm assuming staff will just put that "vision statement" in the next iteration of the SATP that the board votes on. If not, I think it will get added on as an amendment again. Is that how this will likely go down? Then does that mean two phases of high school boundary changes...one when Lincoln opens and a second smaller set of changes when/if all neighborhood schools are ready to serve HC in 2021?

-AB

Anonymous said...

"The board was smart to vote down the whole student assignment plan, especially after adding those irresponsible last-minute, unvetted amendments that would only cause more problems, and appeared to cater to the agendas of one or two directors."

Ummm...but Mack was the only no vote. It is apparent that the board fully supports the agenda of sending HC kids all back to neighborhood schools in 2021 with or without the proper services or curriculum. So stay tuned everyone.

Mack (part 2) pointed out how HC identified is different than just "smart kids" (which is why the state has a requirement) and advanced learning opportunities and that Garfield is the only school to offer a true honors AP pathway etc.

Seems to either have gone over their heads or the rest of them don't get it (not knowledegable about what gifted ed is) or....just don't care about this group of kids. I really would hate to think the latter. But one cannot dispute the innuendo and comments which do not ever discuss the needs of these kids.

Any attorneys out there with HC kids?
PT

kellie said...

I am trying to wrap my head around the notion that HCC students would be adding $1M in mitigation costs to Lincoln.

Let's just ballpark this and say that $1M represents 10 teachers. This means that staff is asserting that simply placing HCC at Lincoln is going to be mean that 10 teachers are required to mitigate the schedule. I honestly can't wrap my head around that assertion.

Here are some of my questions, as I am literally baffled by this.

1) How can it cost a million dollars to place HCC at Lincoln as a new school but yet it costs NOTHING to place HCC at an already existing school?

2) If HCC was placed at Lincoln, there are approximately 200 students in each of the various boundary scenarios who already live in the attendance area, and let's say for the sake of argument that there is another 100-200 who elect to go to Lincoln with the cohort. That is about 200-400 students, who are each generating full funding from the State of Washington. How on earth is possible that approximately 300 students would generate mitigation funding equivalent to an additional 300 students. That is a 1:1 mitigation requirement. The math on that is boggling.

3) Since high school is the master schedule, mitigation at high school looks different than K8. If there were 10 mitigation teachers at elementary school this would mean you had 20 classrooms that were each 1/2 full or 30 classrooms that were 2/3's full. That's a lot of inefficiency and that budget is typically spread across multiple schools. At high school, since each teacher is 5 slots on the master schedule, this would mean that 10 teachers would be adding 50 slots to the master schedule. So the same math holds, this means they would be expecting 100 classes to be only 1/2 full, or 150 classes to be 2/3s full or about 200 classes to have lots of wiggle room.

Anyone have any clues on how to interpret that remark?

Melissa Westbrook said...

To clarify, when there amendments to a BAR action, the amendments are discussed and voted on in order before the actual BAR item. Hence, the confusion.

Even though at least one amendment passed, the final vote against the BAR topic that the amendments are part of made them moot.

It does bear asking why the majority wanted to get rid of HCC pathways and what info/data did they use to form that vote.

Anonymous said...

@DisApp "I feel bad for those kids who will spend high school out of sync with their grade-level peers."

It is so apparent to me that someone needs to sit down with the board members (except for Mack) to explain this to them. They REALLY don't understand what Garfield has provided.

Regarding the Franklin principal and Patu's statements, I fear for HC students (some of whom may be low income, minority etc) who will attend that neighborhood school and "will receive nothing different from any other student". Because the principal does not "believe in any special programs" and all kids should be treated the same and take the same curriculum.

In practice because they are accelerated two years coming in, this means they would not be able to access appropriate coursework or guidance from counselors. The state law states that access to a seamless curriculum is a basic education for them. Someone please point this out to director Patu. It is not equitable for identified outliers.

G

Anonymous said...

@G - where did those statements of the Franklin principal come from? It is my understanding that she is not a fan of HCC but did she actually say that at the Board meeting? Or was Betty Patu quoting her? I am just trying to get a context for that statement, which I find problematic. (And reading what has been posted since my original comment, I remain ---

-- Not Clear)

Anonymous said...

The state law states that access to a seamless curriculum is a basic education for them.

Well, not exactly. One would hope districts would have some sort of sequential, appropriate curriculum and coursework, but the wording is much more vague. They are supposed to have a "continuum of services...from K-12."

WAC 392-170-078 Program services.
Districts shall make a variety of appropriate program services available to students who participate in the district's program for highly capable students. Once services are started, a continuum of services shall be provided to the student from K-12. Districts shall periodically review services for each student to ensure that the services are appropriate.

reality

Anonymous said...

"By removing pathways, it will also remove a label from children, which currently has a negative effect on identity safety in classrooms across the city."

Um...so what about the fact that these kids will be minorities without any support from their principals at some schools? Not only no support, but it seems with principals who don't even want them at their schools? In order to be on an appropriate pathway they will need to be taking classes two years ahead. You think this won't lead to bullying? Or is the expectation that they repeat classes they already took? Taking away their same age peers will be a terrible consequence.
G

Anonymous said...

"Once services are started, a continuum of services shall be provided to the student from K-12." Well making kids repeat courses or take inappropriate courses will not pass the bar. Neither is it very thoughtful to make them a minority in which they have to take classes with older kids and without same age peers like them. Not to mention the lack of socio-emotional support.
G

Anonymous said...

@Not clear-- Listen to part 2 video
G

Anonymous said...

@not clear-- Patu was quoting her about all kids being treated the same (same curriculum for all) at Franklin and not wanting any special program such as an HC pathway at her school.
G

Anonymous said...

"Would they dare to do this to special ed" You have got to be kidding. SPED is the most abused group in SPS. Get a clue.

Some people

Anonymous said...

Director Mack was unnecessarily curt with Director De Wolfe. It was uncomfortable watching her reprimand him with an “excuse me,” delivered with a glare. White privilege in action or just bad temperament? In addition she expressed no interest or sympathy for non HC identified students and seemed out of step with the district’s number one mission to deliver on equity.

For progress

N by NW said...

@ Kellie ... JoLynn Berge was asked to guesstimate the mitigation amount for placing HCC students at Lincoln. She said 8-10 teachers, costing around $1 million dollars.

She seemed to be saying that the HCC students would need different teachers - which doesn't totally make sense since LA/SS teachers often teach a combo of regular/honors/AP classes.

Plus, wouldn't the students come with state funding that would help pay for the teachers?

N by NW

Anonymous said...

@for progress—if a man interrupts and talks over another man and they have a back and forth to get their words out, it’s no big deal. If a man cuts off and talks over a woman and she has to stand her ground to speak truth and get her words out, people say she is “curt” or other bs name calling. If you’re for progress, why don’t you check your attitude at the door and accept that there are a variety of opionions and our board directors need to have time to speak and represent their constituents.

Real Progress

Anonymous said...

For Progress is About Time/FWIW.

@Ignore Trolls

Anonymous said...

Director Mack was not speaking truth. She was implying that the HCC advisory committee was a bonafide district committee rather than the ad hoc limited parental lobbying effort that it is. Director De Wolfe (no slouch in combating having the wool pulled over his eyes so to speak)asked for clarification and she didn’t like that and it showed.

For progress

In Time said...

For Progress, There are rules. The person conducting the meeting determines when an individual speaks. Individuals have to wait for their turn. DeWolf really needs to stop interrupting board directors.

In Time said...

For progress, Bonafide district committee? Are Thurgood Marshal parents part of a bonafide district committee? Why would the HCC advisory committee be any different?

Anonymous said...

The HCC Advisory Committee is essentially the PTA for the HCC Cohort. Because HCC is district vs. school centric curriculum and cohort, it works to balance and ensure consistency throughout the several schools hosting the program. It's not that hard to understand, notwithstanding Nyland's and others' indifference.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Then, the HCC advisory committee as described by WSDWG, has no district mandated authority. This was the clarification Director De Wolfe was looking for and which Director Mack was dissembling around. It’s surprising that a self described policy wonk would have difficulty with these distinctions.

For progress

Anonymous said...

The Seattle Public School's Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (SPS-HCS-AC) is a group of volunteer parents and teachers charged to make recommendations regarding the organization and service delivery model of the Highly Capable Services, which serves Seattle Public Schools’ academically highly capable learners.

http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=15314584

For Truth

Anonymous said...

From the district webpage: "The Seattle Public School's Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (HCSAC) is a group of volunteer parents and teachers charged to advise the District on behalf of identified Highly Capable Students." It appears the district has claimed it as its own.

As well, the committee performs the state-mandated community engagement function, which is required for our annual state highly capable grant.

It's not just a random group of parents, and it in no way, shape, or form acts as a PTA for the HCC cohort. WSDWG doesn't know what they're talking about on that one.

oy

Anonymous said...

Who are the members of the committee, what schools do they represent and where are the minutes of their meetings posted on the district’s website? On the HCC blog it is stated that many schools have no representation on the committee, including Garfield. Hard to give credence to a committee with low representation, which seems to exist purely for the sake of existing.

For progress

Anonymous said...

The district ignores the advice of its HCS advisory committee (as it does for other task forces and committees), so no wonder there are a few vacancies. Staff are likely not paid to attend the evening meetings, either. The district never listens, so why bother?

I'm not a huge fan of the committee because I have found them too willing to just go along with the district's plans in the past, but they are a district-sanctioned group. I'm also happy to see them finally doing some advocacy, although it's unfortunate that they need to.

Oy

Anonymous said...

Actually, Oy, I know exactly what I'm talking about having kids in APP/HCC since 2005, living through several splits and attending more APP/HC Advisory Committee meetings than any sane person would want to. Mine are now in HS and college, now, so I haven't been to a meeting in a couple years, and I'm not demeaning the function or importance of the committee by analogizing it to a PTA for the cohort acting as a liaison with the district. When HC has a strong advocate for AL in the AL office, the committee gets at least a measure of respect from the district. When the AL office is weak or not truly committed to the special needs of HC kids, the committee gets disrespected and ignored.

Hyper technical readings of what SPS might think of the HCAC or how it's described on their webpage is of little consequence or importance if the program doesn't have allies on the Board and a strong AL Director.

For progress:
The answer is parents, teachers, principals and AL office reps who direct, teach, preside over and support the program.
They represent every school with an HCC cohort.
Garfield's principal has slowly but steadily withdrawn support for the HC cohort and most will say the "program" doesn't really exist at the HS level, but the cohort of kids who need lots of AL and AP classes continues to exist, and is best served at one location, as it makes little sense to offer AP classes at other schools when only 5 to 10 kids might want or need certain AP classes which, at Garfield, will be full.

WSDWG

Frustrated Parent said...

If the board's goal is to get rid of rich white privilege, given there are neighborhood schools, it seems impossible. High schools like Roosevelt and Ballard and probably even Lincoln will likely have enough advanced students without being HCC pathways to provide a reasonable set advanced offerings to their richer, whiter, students.

But if instead, the board's goal is to get rid of the perception of rich white HCC privilege, getting rid of the high school pathways helps because the richer whiter students at the poorer performing high schools will be stuck, just like everyone else.

Perhaps by pulling back some of the HCC students to underperforming high schools, new advanced classes will be offered that would otherwise not be available. Perhaps the HCC students are envisioned as potential leaders and role models.

Will this be better for the HCC students that are assigned to underperforming schools? That seems highly unlikely. But since the HCC students that will now be stuck are generally richer and whiter than the overall population, perhaps some board members just don't care.

kellie said...

Thank you N by NW

That "ballpark" by JoLynn makes it clear that nobody on staff has done the actual hard work of calculating mitigation costs.

There is a reason why HC services have only been provided as a cohort. Cohorts are an unbelievable inexpensive model. As such, there are no additional costs to HCC, beyond what any other student would cost at a high school. As most people already know, there are no special HC or AP teachers at high school. The same staff who teach history, teach AP history. The same staff that teach Algebra, teach Calculus.

What JoLynn is most likely referring to is that there is a limit on the number of distinct classes high school teachers are required to PREP. In other words, you can't have one Spanish teacher instruct Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Spanish 3 and AP Spanish. While the staff person is certainly qualified to teach all 4 classes, that is a lot of prep work.

Because of this, I suspect there is an "idea" that HCC would cause mitigation requirements based on distinct class needs. However, HCC actually mitigates this problem, more than it increases it.

The work that need to be done requires pulling a sample of 30-50% of the schedules from both Roosevelt and Ballard of the current Freshman and Sophomores. This will give a good starting place for the most likely baseline needs of the future Lincoln cohort. If this data set is created, there will most likely be some great surprise at how many of these students are already enrolled in classes considered to be Junior and Senior classes - aka Chemistry, Physics, Algebra 2, Pre-Calc etc.

The general education students who will be geo-split will cause the need for Lincoln to offer Chemistry and Pre-Calc in year one at a bare minimum and most likely Physics and Calculus for the general education 9th and 10th graders. There will be a few other outlier classes. That will be extremely expensive mitigation and most likely be over the $1M range.

HCC students take those same classes as a cohort in 9th and 10th grade, as such it will then negate the gen ed mitigation. There will most certainly be some mitigation required for the HC students but it would be substantially less than gen education alone.

At high school the only classes that are "grade level" is LA and SS. There are no other truly grade level classes. There is going to be very expensive year one mitigation required for Science, Foreign Language and Math, no matter who is assigned to Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

Today's Seattle Times front page is all about gifted learning.
-NP

Anonymous said...

@NP, did you mean some other paper? I'm looking at my ST now and not seeing it.

unclear

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, just the HCC group was created ad how but has been part of the district landscape for a long time. And if you don’t think the district should listen to them, that should apply to the Thurgood Marshall group as well. Hey, why not PTA? If PTA didn’t raise so much money, would the district listen to them?

Anonymous said...

The article is about identifying gifted kids. Not so much about serving their needs. In fact, Federal Way is mentioned as a poster child for identification without remediation for the lack of academic foundations. I think when Seattle improves their selection and identification process they will also exhibit this lack of support. But the good news is that it will sell newspaper subscriptions. "Seattle sets up low income students for failure!".

-Cynic

Anonymous said...

Kellie is correct. My kid had the same teacher for Algebra 1 and AP Calculus at Hale. Math teachers, and other teachers, teach multiple types of classes. There was only one Physics teacher though and that is all he taught.

HP

Anonymous said...

Wow. Something the systems and high school know it all, doesn’t know? Teachers in SPS get a prep period for every different class they teach. So every new, exotic, one-off class actually costs twice as much, and puts holes in the master schedule.

staffer

Anonymous said...

The current contract limits the number to 3. A teacher could have 5 sections of Algebra I; or 3 sections of Algebra I, 1 section of AP Calc, and 1 section of Precalcus; or some other combination. They only get one prep period, period. They teach 5 periods and have prep for one period. I have no idea what staffer is saying.

fact checker

Anonymous said...

So every new, exotic, one-off class actually costs twice as much, and puts holes in the master schedule.

Just not true, is what I'm saying.

fact checker

Anonymous said...

Our elected school board needs to demand more than "guesstimates" on mitigation costs associated with HCC pathway at Lincoln. If they are asked to make significant policy changes that impact thousands of kids and families, we as Seattle community members impacted by this deserve to have these decisions made on solid evidence, fact, and argument about explicit tradeoffs being made.

Transparency. Transparency. Transparency.

SPS staff need to do what every kindergarten teacher tells their student: Do the math. Show your work.

Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

@ concerned parent-- The board meeting discussions and vote makes it clear that "pathways" (at Lincoln or anywhere) are not the ultimate direction they want to go. Why create a pathway at Lincoln for only two years? They voted (5:1) they want HC at neighborhood schools to be served by MTSS but with some principals (Franklin, Hale) asserting they will not offer HC any (special) service. Read no same age peers, nor access to appropriate curriculum.
P

Seattle Citizen said...

Concerned Parent asked about Principal's role in schedules. There is also a contractual role for building staff through their Building Leadership Team (BLT), Instructional Councils (IC), Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) committees. Those that whine that the union does nothing can thank the union and the district for negotiating the inclusion of staff in decision making in buildings some two decades ago. Here is the pertinent section of the union Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and, additionally, ALL bodies (District and schools) are, by policy, required to use the Race and Equity Tool (a lens) to view policy changes and how they impact race and equity through their Race and Equity Teams (RET).
PART I:
CBA:
Page 20:
ARTICLE II: PARTNERSHIP FOR CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
Cert CBA 2015-2018
12
a. For purposes of collaborative site-based decision making, each building/program will establish its own committee structure. However, at a minimum, each school/program must form a Building Leadership Team/Program Leadership Teams and determine a decision-making process that meets the needs of the school/program. The collaborative decision-making process will be communicated to the entire staff through a written document, which will include a decision-making matrix.
[…]
c. The primary function of a Building Leadership Team/Program Leadership Team is to promote and facilitate the collaborative decision-making process which affects academic achievement and to identify how to support the needs of students and staff in buildings. The more specific responsibilities of the Building Leadership Team/Program Leadership Team are to oversee the facilitation and development of:
1) For BLTs, a Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) including the configuration and structure of the school’s classes and/or program offerings, and the school’s efforts to ensure equity in discipline, learning, and opportunity for all students...For PLTs, a plan of moving and improving program delivery including the configuration and structure of the program’s offerings.
2) A school-wide/program-wide professional development plan to support the CSIP/plan.
3) The school’s /program’s budget.
4) Creation/review of the Decision-making Matrix (DMM).
[…]
e. The scheduling and assignment of teachers, the assignment of students to classes, and the
daily schedule of classes and activities shall be made with staff participation and be consistent with the CSIP, while recognizing that the principal has the right to make the final decision. In May of each year, employees may submit three choices in priority order for assignment of grade level/subject area for the following year. If the choice cannot be honored, a conference will be held to discuss why an employee will be placed in an area that was not requested. Programs will carry out assignments and transfers as outlined in their procedures and/or Policy and Procedures Manuals.
f. To ensure staff participation in collaborative decision making, buildings/programs need to establish processes for that involvement. Buildings/programs may wish to identify committees or other means to accomplish the work of the school/program (e.g., health, safety, hiring, and
budget) and assist with the responsibilities assigned to the Building Leadership Team/Program Leadership Team.
[…]

Seattle Citizen said...

PART II:
i. If there is a conflict between a decision made by the BLT, or building, program staff, (within the responsibilities set out above) and an instructional council or other faculty representative body (per 5 below), the decision of the BLT or staff will take precedence.
j. When a staff, following the school’s,program’s decision-making matrix, cannot reach consensus or at least a 2/3 vote on budget, the professional development plan, or CSIP, a representative from SEA and a representative from SPS will meet with the staff involved in an attempt to resolve the issues. If after a reasonable attempt the issues remain unresolved, the issues will be forwarded to the Superintendent’s designee for a final decision. Members of the decision-making body may submit a statement to the Superintendent’s designee before a final decision is made. SEA and SPS will strive to have a final decision within five (5) work days
from the date that the issues are initially raised.
Page 21
6. Instructional Councils, Cabinets or Faculty Representatives:
a. Instructional Councils, Cabinets or other faculty representative organizations in instructional settings are considered an appropriate means to encourage staff involvement in providing leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional strategies. In non-instructional settings where staff meetings are held, support personnel may place appropriate items on the agenda of their staff meetings.
b. The faculty representative organizations shall make recommendations to the building
principals/program managers in the following areas:
1) Goals, objectives and standards in instruction and conduct;
2) Program development, implementation and program evaluation;
3) Scheduling and allocation of personnel;
4) Budget allocations; and,

Seattle Citizen said...

PART III
5) An instructional program that is based upon input from local citizen groups, academic sources, SPS philosophy, and consistent with SPS goals.
The recommendations of the faculty representative organization within an instructional setting shall become the accepted rules, regulations and procedures for that building upon approval of the building principal/program manager.
d. The building principal,program manager shall respond in writing to all written recommendations of the faculty representative organization in meetings with that organization.
e. The faculty representative organization shall use established administrative channels of the building when recommending changes in existing rules, regulations and procedures.
f. Membership in the faculty representative organization shall be determined at the building level through consultation between the faculty and building administration. Membership in the faculty representative organization at the secondary levels shall include as a minimum the following: curricular department heads or team leaders, head counselor, head librarian, at least one (1) representative of Special Programs, Bilingual Education, or Special Education at the
building level, and the building principal/program manager or his/her designee. At least one(1) member of the faculty representative organization shall be an ethnic minority person.
g. In providing orderly procedures for the introduction and evaluation of building level experimental and innovative programs in instructional settings, the faculty representative organization shall be utilized and shall prepare recommendations for implementation and evaluation. In making the recommendations, the faculty representative organization shall ensure that the building staff has participated during the planning and development of this program. The evaluation of a program shall determine the effectiveness of the program.
h. Officers of the faculty representative organization shall be selected by members of the organization.
i. The faculty representative organization shall meet during the employee workday.
j. A representative from each of the categories of Special Education will serve on the SPS Teacher Advisory Committee subject to minority representation. These representatives are selected by the members for each Special Education category. These representatives shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Special Education Department. The members of the advisory committee may place items on the agenda. The SEA Special Education Committee may appoint a representative to serve as a member of the Committee.

Seattle Citizen said...

AND let's not forget, for scheduling purposes, that high schools are required to submit, BY NEXT FRIDAY, their proposed plan to meet the 24 credit requirement for next year. And then they need to figure out how to meet the 32 credit requirement the following year.
: )

Seattle Citizen said...

Staffer wrote that "Teachers in SPS get a prep period for every different class they teach. So every new, exotic, one-off class actually costs twice as much, and puts holes in the master schedule."
This is not true. Each type of class is called a prep, so a teacher teaching three sections of, say, LA9 and two of LA12 has two preps. But they DON'T have two prep periods; they still just have the one (five classes taught, one prep, out of six periods.) It's confusing that types of classes a teacher teaches are called "preps" (they have to PREPare for those types of classes) AND their free period is called a prep (time to PREPare,) but there you have it.
There are some exceptions, such as when a teacher teaches both regular and special ed classes, or inclusion classes, they might get an extra prep PERIOD because of the IEP workload.

Anonymous said...

There are also teachers who agree to teach all 6 periods, foregoing their planning period, in order to help with class scheduling and year to year fluctuations in course demands, school budget, etc. I'm assuming they get a small amount of compensation, but they are ultimately saving the district money by eliminating the need to hire more staff.

(thank you teachers)

fact checker

?at-large said...

I don't understand where Geary's coming from. She was ready to dump the school board to get that legislative seat that opened up, but now she suddenly wanted to be president of the school board she wanted to dump? That makes no sense.

kellie said...

Staffer,

That was a very unkind (as well as unclear) way to make your point. My statement was this there is a limit on the number of distinct classes high school teachers are required to PREP.

I made no comment what the limits actually are, or on the number of prep periods allocated to teachers. I simply noted that high schools teachers cannot be forced to teach 5 distinct classes. Because of this limit, mitigation dollars will be required at Lincoln, no matter what.

My overall point is still true. There is no way to calculate mitigation costs until a Master Schedule is built. There are some pretty simple ways to start this process, but it is clear based on staff comments that this critical foundational work, that impacts the actual education of high school students has just not happened.

IMHO, it is reckless and irresponsible to make sweeping decisions, without doing this baseline work, to capture all of the unique classes that will require mitigation dollars. A simple example is Latin. Roosevelt offers Latin. Will Latin be offered to geo-split students for a limited time or will Latin be part of the Lincoln master schedule?



Anonymous said...

If a student already has 2 years of a world language (the minimum graduation requirement), taken in high school, what would the district offer? These are the discussions we have not yet heard. I seriously doubt there will be Latin at Lincoln (where do you even find a Latin teacher?). If the numbers go down at Roosevelt, as they will when the boundaries change, will Latin even continue at Roosevelt (or Garfield, for that matter)? The same question needs to be asked for each and every class that is unique to a particular school.

forewarned

Ballard Resident said...

Where are the boundaries for Lincoln? If Lincoln takes students from Ballard and Roosevelt, there might not be enough funding to offer many advanced classes.

The Student Assignment Plan, HCC pathway and 24 credit requirement is coming to a head.

Ballard Resident said...

Geary, DeWolf and Patu made an amendment that would eliminate HCC pathways. They did so when high schools will be working on the 24 credit requirement. This is a perfect storm. These individuals wanted sweeping changes without any public input. Unreal.

Slap-shod Amendments said...

Geary, DeWolf and Patu's plan ("amendment 2") would have ended the IB programs? And advanced foreign language classes? And any form of cohort for HC high school students (and thus services for those students) at most of the high schools?

This would appear to be a crazy, ill-informed way to run a large school district.


NESeattleMom said...

"By removing pathways, it will also remove a label from children, which currently has a negative effect on identity safety in classrooms across the city."

This quote from the board meeting or the amendment does not ring true for me, who has been an APP/HCC parent for 14 years. I think students are not focused on what programs other kids are in. If your neighbor is in Immersion Japanese, or your soccer team mate is in IB or whatever, I really don't see any negative effect on "identity safety" . This quote sounds like a made-up thing that some adults just surmised from their own vantage point.

Anonymous said...

I attended the operations committee meeting yesterday. Directors Mack, Pinkham and Geary asked Ashley Davies to prepare new high school boundary maps for the following alternatives:

HCC pathways at Garfield and Lincoln

HCC pathways at Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield and West Seattle

Director Geary strongly prefers moving toward ending HCC high school pathways entirely as soon as possible.

Director Burke would like the plan to prioritize minimizing disruption to school communities. He didn’t express any objection to placing HCC at Lincoln.

It appeared to me that everyone in the room assumes that Lincoln will be opening with 9th and 10th grade students only.

Director Mack requested that the Board Action Report for high school boundaries include estimates of the mitigation costs incurred in the first several years if Lincoln is designated as the north end HCC pathway and of the ongoing increased costs of providing sufficient AP or IB classes for HC students at four pathway schools. Director Geary wants to see the cost of creating four pathways for a few years and then transitioning to no pathways.

The new maps will be discussed at a meeting of the high school boundaries task force on December 14th. The BAR on boundaries will be introduced at the January 3rd board meeting, followed by a work session on January 10th and a final vote on January 13th. Open enrollment begins on February 5th and runs through the 16th.

Director Mack stated that the district will need to push out the new set of maps to the community before introduction on January 3rd.

There was also a discussion of portable placement for the 2018-19 school year. They are expecting to place an additional four portables at Ballard, Garfield and Roosevelt.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

4 additional portables, total, distributed among BHS, RHS, and GHS?

please clarify

Anonymous said...

Four for each school.

FP

Amendment 2 said...

Amendment 2 would eliminate HCC pathways. According to the Amendment:

" While the District recognizes that it does not have the capability to meet the statutory
requirements for students designated as highly capable in all neighborhood schools starting in 2019-20, it can implement such a model effectively with two additional years of planning. This amendment gives significant advanced notice to families that this change is coming. "

Has staff stated that they have the capacity to put highly capable students in all neighborhood schools with advanced notice? Geary wants advanced learners to go to Running Start, Robinson Center and Aviation High Sending students to Running Start for advanced work prohibits students from enjoying the high school experience.

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/17-18%20agendas/20171206/A05_20171207_Student_Assignment_Transition_Amendment_2.pdf

Anonymous said...

"By removing pathways, it will also remove a label from children, which currently has a negative effect on identity safety in classrooms across the city."

Doesn't "identity safety" relate more to protected categories based on race, gender, creed, etc.? That being said, it seems HC identified students are most at risk from being harassed and intimidated by teachers adamantly opposed to the HC services they are supposed to be providing.

lived it

Anonymous said...

@NESeattle Mom

Identity safety has an entirely different meaning when you are a student of color in a school where many classrooms are almost entirely segregated, academically and visually. Then you feel the pain of this identification profoundly and you know exactly what it means. One deprived path for you, another privileged path for others. I could go on........but you are happy on the soccer sidelines. Plus ca change.

For progress

Anonymous said...

Geary wants advanced learners to go to Running Start, Robinson Center and Aviation High

Total bull@#$%. Not appropriate or accessible for all HC students.

And 4 additional portables? For each school?? Where? Where would they even be placed?

unbelievable

Melissa Westbrook said...

?at large, well she’s clearly ambitious. She never explained to parents and the public why she sought that leg seat and perhaps wanted to enhance her profile on the Board by running for prez.

Amendment 2 said...

Geary's entire goal has become to break advanced learning. DeWolf will follow.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fair mount Parent, thank you for the reporting. I have no idea where another portable could go at Roosevelt except the parking lot which means no parking for staff.

For progress has no real data to prove his/her point so feel free to ignore. Believe if you will ( with no evidence) that HCC kids get “more” but the district does not deprive other students.

Geary is wrong to believe Running Start can backfill for classes that should be in SPS. Might be worth asking CCs what they think.

Anonymous said...

There must be a limit to the capacity at our community colleges. 2018 graduates of Garfield, Ingraham and West Seattle High School join those at Rainier Beach, Cleveland and Chief Sealth in receiving a guaranteed tuition-free year at the Seattle (Community) Colleges. The mayor wants to expand this program to a second year. High school students are going to have trouble accessing the classes they need.

FP

Anonymous said...

Robinson Center classes are not officially accredited for use in the district. Our experience is that the principals have complete leeway in choosing whether to honor credit for those classes - and that comes down to capacity. That feature would have to be changed and standardized throughout the district for RC classes to be a reasonable alternative. And I have a feeling the district would be unable to do that - they are always wringing their hands over common core requirements etc. The RC classes are very good classes though. It is a shame, though, that this district is willing to abdicate all responsibility for this class of students. Similar to Running Start, many of these classes are on the UW campus so may be difficult logistically. It looks RC is developing online courses however. A 10-week course costs $1500 with some financial aid available. It is an interesting idea though - at this point anything that gets kids away from the district's insipid curriculum choices is a positive move in my opinion - based on my experience.

-Hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Frustrated Parent's comments from 1:24 AM today are well-taken. When the Board talks about equity, I think what they *think they mean* is taking steps to end or minimize the impact of white privilege. That to me is a laudable goal. But, to me at least, there's a difference between *actually* taking steps to end white privilege in SPS, and taking steps to paste up some window dressing that will give the right appearance and make certain Directors feel good about themselves.

I don't understand how dispersing the HC high school assignments will meaningfully change the impact of white privilege in SPS. As Frustrated Parent points out, if the pathway changes occur, a number of our high schools will remain mostly white and well-off, while others will be more diverse. If HC students are assigned to neighborhood schools, they will be served very differently depending on the school they attend. Some of them will have access to much more limited advanced class offerings than others. SPS will have made things materially worse for those students. But it will have done nothing to make things better for any other students. How is that a net positive? What am I missing?

I am asking honestly. Directors and staff, if you are reading this, please, share the rationale. Break it down for me. You might convince me. Because at this point it just looks like you're searching for someone to shove under the bus.

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

I should also say that the Robinson center is a trustworthy program and a good alternative, perhaps, to advanced learning online curricula developed by profit motivated publishers. It may be a good place for the district to turn to since the SPS seems to have made such a mess of Advanced Learning. I'd be interested in other opinions.

-Hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

One last thing - any kids that access RC classes in the library might be labeled "the Robinson Center kids" thus sparking envy in the rest of the student body (eyes rolling here). I think the district and board would be well advised to stop worrying about "feelings" and start worrying about fulfilling academic potential.

-Hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

@Fairmount Parent "Thank you for the operations committee report.

Viewing the previous Dec 6th school board meeting, it is apparent that although Geary may have introduced Amendment 2, nearly all school board members voted for it. Burke especially made comments about preferring to send HC all to neighborhood schools & a goal of no pathways at all. Providing any service with MTSS multi tiered support services.

Mack was the only no vote and the only member who expressed concern about be able to provide proper service to HC kids.

They are working on an interim plan for capacity. However, to be clear HC parents reading this account should be aware SPS staff express option 4 (HC at neighborhood schools) as ultimate goal, as well as majority of board.
parent

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ruthie & Frustrated Parent. They are seeking a scapegoat for appearances. In addition, this will hurt lower income HC kids who will be at schools that are not equipped to serve them. This does nothing about wealthier Roosevelt and lower income Rainier Beach or Franklin.
Parent

Anonymous said...

Amendment 2 said:

While the District recognizes that it does not have the capability to meet the statutory requirements for students designated as highly capable in all neighborhood schools starting in 2019-20, it can implement such a model effectively with two additional years of planning.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Laugh of the day. I guess they'll do it just like they "planned" for the 24-credit requirement with that 2-year planning waiver that supposed to lead to implementation for THIS year? Or how they've planned MTSS? Or how they've planned for capacity challenges that were seen years out?

I could

go on

Anonymous said...

I watched the board meeting. Geary, DeWolf & Patu want north-end HC students OUT of Garfield.

After the "mission statement" to send all HC students to their neighborhood schools passed - Patu expressed some reservations. She expressed that she didn't want HC "pathways" to ruin what was going on at Franklin, Cleveland STEM, and Rainier Beach IB. That's why Franklin was removed as a pathway. She doesn't want the cultures of these schools ruined.

Burke & Mack were the only ones to show concern about how making Ballard & Roosevelt pathway schools would make over-crowded schools even more over-crowded. It could lead to very small boundaries around those schools which would send neighborhood students to Ingraham, Hale, Lincoln. Geary just kind of shrugged off their comments.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Amendment 2 is yet another UNFUNDED mandate. Ironic how Geary is the one always complaining about unfunded mandates.

And on

Anonymous said...

@N by NW-- Geary does not show any concern for Roosevelt, and isn't that her district? It's not only the three who introduced the amendment. They all voted for it (except Mack) and Burke made several comments about how option 4 (neighborhood schools & no pathways) are ultimate goal and he was in favor. I am pretty sure each board member (including Burke) except for Mack does not support HC services or gifted ed at all, it was apparent. Mack tried to explain advanced learning opportunities being different from services for HC identified outliers, they either did not get it or ignored it.

If there is no longer an HC pathway at all, likely Ingraham's IB that relies on parent funding will have issues. Don't the other IB sites without parental support struggle and are reliant on soft money grants?
parent

juicygoofy said...

Wondering about Ingraham as an option? If enrollment was guaranteed for North End HC students (rather than lottery), would that not give Garfield more relief? With 500 new seats coming in 2019, it seems like an obvious transition solution to me.

Eric B said...

"They are expecting to place an additional four portables at Ballard, Garfield and Roosevelt."

As far as I understand, that can't be done at either Garfield or Ballard.

Juicygoofy, that's a great idea.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, just to add to the discussion, Geary has told several people,openly, that she is not running again. Maybe she wants to make a big mark as an equity champion before her next gig.

Anonymous said...

@NESeattle Mom

"Identity safety has an entirely different meaning when you are a student of color in a school where many classrooms are almost entirely segregated, academically and visually. Then you feel the pain of this identification profoundly and you know exactly what it means. One deprived path for you, another privileged path for others. I could go on........but you are happy on the soccer sidelines. Plus ca change.

For progress

12/8/17, 2:18 PM"

My child had exactly this experience when we toured Garfield. S/he asked me why all the Black kids were in certain classes and the white kids in others. So Melissa, here's your data point.
-NP

Anonymous said...

@NP, a data point that says what exactly? What's the answer to your child's question? We need to focus on the root of the problem and address things much earlier, not pretend that optics-oriented overhauls of high school will solve the problem.

All types

NESeattleMom said...

For progress, I was giving those examples as ways kids may cross paths with others. I think kids are living their own lives and not concerning themselves about what other kids are doing. But no, we are not into sports.

Anonymous said...

That last board meeting was a train wreck. I already long for the days when Peters ran the show...she seemed keep things tracking and was willing ask critical questions. Eden was a lone thoughtful voice during much of a long and unproductive evening. The others just went around in circles with Zack demonstrating disrespect and ignorance. Will wait and see...but not a good start. Get your act together Directors. You are a team and the sooner you figure that out the better it will be for the families you represent.
-- Distressed Parent

Frustrated Parent said...

Directory Geary essentially represents the Roosevelt Attendance Area. My understanding is that she lives in Laurelhurst. Why would she want Roosevelt designated an HCC pathway school to include Nathan Hale students? Her constituency is already assigned to Roosevelt, which as a richer whiter school will have a sufficiently large HCC cohort and plenty of AP classes. It seems unlikely her constituency would want the Roosevelt boundaries redrawn smaller in order to accommodate HCC students from Nathan Hale, or that she would want additional overcrowding.

Burke represents the new Lincoln Attendance Area. My understanding is that many of those students were to be assigned to Garfield which parents were unhappy with. No pathways and HCC assignment to Lincoln would seem to be a much better option for his constituency.

Director Mack has a child in HCC and in the north end. She represents Ballard and it would appear her child will go to Ballard which will likely have a solid HCC program with or without pathways. Her HCC advocacy seems to be based on the best interests of HCC.

It’s hard to understand why the directors in the south end would want to get rid of the HCC pathways, beyond simply getting the kids from the north end out. There are too many weak high schools in the south end and those HCC students will suffer the most if there is no south end pathway.

Perhaps they should make Ballard, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Ingram, and Garfield all pathways. Nathan Hale could be assigned to Ingram. This seems like it would be the best option for pleasing the directors, and maybe not that bad of a solution anyway.

Anonymous said...

Or surprise here. How about just Lincoln as the sole North pathway.

Problem Solved

Bad Nut said...

So, if the presence of HC students at your high school is what wrecks a student's "identity safety," then currently the students at Hale, Franklin, Sealth, West Seattle, and Cleveland must be experiencing a blissfully mostly HC-free school with, by this logic, complete identity safety. They must feel great!

So, really what Geary and DeWolf want is ONLY to protect the identity safety of some students at Garfield. Because if HC students wreck other students' identity safety, guess what? They want to dispatch HC students TO EVERY HIGH SCHOOL to wreck the identity safety of the students at all the schools in the city. They want to send more than 100 of them each to Hale and to Franklin and to West Seattle. They're not going to spare Sealth or Rainier Beach, either. They want to crowd more than 200 MORE of them into both Ballard and Roosevelt.

Why do they only care about the identity safety of students at Garfield? Plus, almost 200 HC students actually live in Garfield's assignment zone, so it's actually their school. They're still going to be there.

What the Geary/DeWolf plan SHOULD BE is to provide a stellar education to all students, all of them. That's what being on the school board should mean.

Plus, removing pathways will not "remove a label from children." The state says HC students need to be identified. So the label will still be there, no matter what school you put the students in.

If we break the city's students up by IQ instead of by race or SES or neighborhood, I want to know what Geary is doing for the students whose IQs fall between 1% and 97%. Her plan right now seems to be to make them sit next to HC students and hope for the best. She did manage to get a SPED pathways adjustment into the SATP but then failed to make the SATP passable with her seat-of-the-pants assault on 2021's HC high school students. I'd have far rather seen her stop harassing HC students, accomplish the improved SPED pathways deal, and DO something to improve the high school experience of students who feel like their identity is unsafe, something other than sending my student to Hale or Franklin or Lincoln, whose principals have all made clear that they don't want my student.

Anonymous said...

@NE Seattle Mom, I think kids are frequently comparing their lives with peers and aware of who has what. People see what others are doing on FB, Snapchat, Instagram, and what would have been private is now public and in a curated way that only shows the best. Or consider the recent NYT article on teen depression and anxiety. In today's day and age, optics do matter.
-NP

NESeattleMom said...

NP, I think we are making generalizations on our own personal opinions and experiences. In my experience, people accept when someone else is good at something—a good singer; a good actor; good at math, etc. Providing challenging and progressively achievable schooling for all students should be a goal. If greatly different levels of students are in the same classroom, how does that work with “identity safety”? P.S. please take my question at face value.

Anonymous said...

So interesting how some board members are "using" these kids to make a point for "show". That's exactly what it is as it has zero effect of reducing any achievement gap.

The harder work is identifying more low income, as well as kids of color for the HC program or changing how they select kids for the program. That's the work they should be focusing on. Period. End of story. Really when you think about it, what does sending kids back to Roosevelt achieve and the few ( quite possibly lower income kids) back to Franklin?

HC kids who are white or asian are not only a reflection of race or income or all kids in their demographic would qualify. In addition, our child does not exactly fit the stereotype (we are multi racial, first gen & one gen away from poverty), nor do some kids we know in the program who are F&R lunch.

Geary says she thinks they are not truly outliers because we have a large number of HC relative to population. The fact is that Seattle has skewed numbers of many groups of people for various reasons! We have more GLBT, we have more homeless students, we have more techie parents, I could go on & on. Fact is...so what, they are our public school students. You need to provide an appropriate education for them.
Public ed

Anonymous said...

We are in the Lincoln zone no matter how you slice it, and we would be very happy to keep Garfield as our HCC assigned school. We have 1 kid there already and she loves it. Our Hamilton kid would be thrilled as well. Looking at bus routes, going to Garfield adds about 20 min additional commute time vs. what they would have taking the bus to Roosevelt, so it is not that big of a deal. Driving down to pick her up when she stays late is the biggest hardship for parents in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

" The others just went around in circles with Zack demonstrating disrespect and ignorance."
He is young without kids and has zero knowledge about gifted ed and those kids needs and it shows. He actually read from a piece at the Dec 6th board meeting (so he apparently agrees) where gifted kids at Garfield were compared to slaveholders. Come on. If that's the case Zack, what about the rest of the white kids in SPS. Also your relatives as you are quite obviously not fully native yourself. You can read from that piece and just as easily make analogies about Roosevelt and Rainier Beach etc. It was a bad analogy and incites hatred toward innocent kids who actually need protections (why there is state law nationwide) if you knew anything about gifted ed.
yikes

Anonymous said...

P.S Dear DeWolf - You should also be aware there are also a large number of GLBT kids in the HC program. Get familiar with whom you are serving. They have peers in HC to whom they can relate. You are hurting them with your damaging analogies.
yikes

Anonymous said...

How many of you crying about DeWolf voted for him simply because his opponent was a charter school supporter/privatizer (but at least had experience in public education)? You get who you voted for. Deal with it.

This dude (DeWolf) is a political climber who does nothing more than virtue signal. On the bright side, he'll be gone soon from the school board after he gets a better gig lined up. This school board seat was/is nothing more to him than a resume booster.

Just deserts

Anonymous said...

This was referenced earlier but people on this thread should read the front page national story about HCC that ran in The Seattle Times. The issues discussed seem on point with what Seattle educators seem to be discussing in their professional circles. The actions of staff and board, at least, very much seem aligned to what the article discusses: worries about identification and inclusion of non-white, low economically resourced students. Looking at the SPS situation through the article's logic, I can see - I am not defending, just saying I can see - why the district is dismissing the HCC advisory committee, is not interested in making Lincoln a pathway, and wants to distribute HCC services to each high school.

The article also discusses the changing scope of discussion on what is considered "gifted" - not seemingly a top priority of SPS discussion. However, if SPS addressed this topic, also, it might more inclusively address the interests of staff and of HCC and potential HCC families. Certainly, the way identification, enrollment and programming are handled would all change substantially.

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

Front page national story? It’s a Seattle Times story.

Ballard Resident said...

I hope that Ballard high school enrollment does not take a drastic decline. There are a lot of advanced learners at Ballard high school. The school receives funding for many students and is able to offer many classes. It is not uncommon to find 9th graders taking math with juniors and seniors.

Director Mack makes a good point. It is critical for the board to get a hold of numbers to assure that certain subsets of students have the capacity to get their needs met.

Given the size of Ballard and the capacity of the school to meet the needs of advanced learners, I understand the district's desire to put advanced learners into this school. However, Ballard is over capacity. With Lincoln coming online...it seems the district would need to assure that Ballard does not loose too many students.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article EdVoter.

Our HCC family supports serving HCC students in all standard program high schools. SPS published HCC outreach to minorities results this fall. A big theme from the communities to having more participation is having the services for their students close to home. Imagine those without much money would feel the same. If a family doesn't own a car but we want parents involved in schools, the advanced classes need to be nearby.

Getting a more diverse HCC isn't just about identification. It's about family and cultural community buy in. So much of the blog comments are so myopic that I feel embarrassed for the reputation of this necessary program.Sometimes what's good for all is less good for me and mine. I suspect HCC pathways may be one of those instances. I could call our non-minority family a loser in the breakup of HCC pathways. Yet we still support breaking it up into home high school services because we aren't minorities and we have means and is it really the worst thing to let someone else get an advantage once in a while? So my students might have a few less options in their great high school. Life goes on. I know other families feel the same. They just aren't as loud as some of the posters on this and the APP blogs.

veteran family





Anonymous said...

@Veteran Family-- The reality is they simply cannot do it though. They don't have the money when you understand the details of what needs happen. That's the issue.

another family

Anonymous said...

They should focus on identifying more low income kids, regardless of race. Otherwise they are missing kids who should be identified. The article is interesting. Northshore is similar to Bellevue on which Asians are actually majority of kids identified, not whites.

Not all agree with everything in the article. On the HCC Middle Facebook page various people have corrected some inaccuracies, including that the article inaccurately states:
"Seattle schools, for instance, will not even screen students for possible giftedness unless they score at the 95th percentile, or above, on state tests in both reading and math."

The link given goes to the SPS page on identification for HCC. The article confuses *identification* with *screening*.The reality is that *all* students may be tested if referred by a parent / guardian or a teacher. No pre-screening involved.Further, SPS has been giving *all* 2nd graders in mainly Title I schools a universal screening, and this past year, due to better outreach, the numbers of newly identified students has increased dramatically, esp for students of Color."
Also " The caveat with such research is that while IQ is not static nothing I've seen has shown large increases from enrichment. For example: you'll see a study find a 6 pt. increase for being in an academic preschool etc. You'll often see the counterpart articles aimed at anxious parents advising don't panic and go out and buy gimmicks like Baby Einstein or think you have to start teaching kids calculus at age 5 i.e a stimulating environment generates most of the beneficial effects and you don't get much more from trying to over-stimulate."

data

Anonymous said...

@veteran family, well gosh, that would be great if they could serve everyone well at every school, but unfortunately it doesn't work out that way--largely due to funding issues, but also philosophical differences on the part of teachers and principals. It sounds like your HCC student would end up at a neighborhood school that still had a lot of advanced options, but many schools wouldn't. If a handful of HC students return, it won't make a difference in what's offered. Instead, it would l just mean those low-income or ELL or minority highly capable students you supposedly care about end up without appropriate options. I don't know where you got the idea that disbanding pathways would "let someone else get an advantage once in a while."

Your first paragraph also suggests that people, particularly low income people, aren't participating in HC services because they aren't at their local school. First, SPS provides transportation to HCC sites. Second, the survey results weren't specific to HC families, so it's not really a matter of staying local or going somewhere else anyway. They just wanted more advanced classes closer to home, for non-HC students. Unfortunately, the data didn't go into whether or not people are taking advantage of the advanced offerings already available in their schools, since there ARE options open to all.

I get the sense you think there are x number of advanced classes available, and that by eliminating pathways that number will be redistributed so that everyone gets their fair share. Unfortunately, that's not the case. A more likely scenario is that the offerings at Ballard and Roosevelt would increase a bit (due to more HCC students staying), the numbers at Garfield would significantly decrease (due to the loss of more than half the cohort), and the numbers elsewhere probably wouldn't change that much because the number of HC students forced to stay would not be that high. You mentioned your students are at a "great high school" already, so maybe they would even end up being winners in this scenario, not losers. But many of the HC students at not-as-great high schools would end up losing out.

vet2

Anonymous said...

We are also very much in the Lincoln zone, and we absolutely will not send our child to Garfield HS. I think that it is a great school, but I have looked up the bus routes from my house on the Metro trip planner, and it is a 45-50 min one way trip to Garfield (before factoring for traffic) versus a 13 minute trip to Roosevelt. That’s a huge difference and it’s just not worth 10 hours on a bus per week. Without a neighborhood alternative with advanced classes (assuming that Lincoln won’t be an option for my 7th grade HCC child)... we’ll need to try for Ingraham, but if that’s not a good fit, then we are forced to go private.

Wallymom

Anonymous said...

From the amendment: "By removing pathways, it will also remove a label from children, which currently has a negative effect on identity safety in classrooms across the city."

Total hogwash. There is no HCC in high school, so the students are already not labeled as HCC or not in the classroom, where they take classes with other non-HC students. They don't wear HCC nametags or brand HC on their foreheads. If kids know who was HCC and who wasn't it's because they talk about it, or they come in taking some different classes, or already know each other from HCC or GE programs, etc. The idea that eliminating pathways somehow hides all this is just silly.

How does it make any sense that an HCC middle school student following the Garfield pathway will make other students feel bad, but if that HCC student attends Hale or Sealth it won't make their fellow students feel bad? Are Garfield's non-HC students more sensitive than students at our other high schools? Or is this a volume issue--there are just too many of those annoying HC students at Garfield--they've hit the critical mass at which it threatens others' identity? If that's the case, an additional HCC site or two should easily solve the problem.

The only way that disbanding HCC pathways for high school solves this "identity" issue is if they also disband HCC at the middle schools, and if they decrease access to high-level classes so that nobody will be made to feel bad for not being in them when others are.

optical illusion

Anonymous said...

Optical illusion, After the tackling the high school situation I would like SPS to have the vision for putting the HCC pathway at every non-option middle school too. Comprehensive middle schools have the space and staff to serve advanced learners. Not so for grade schools where we have much smaller facilities and staff.

Putting HCC at every middle school would get rid of some of the 'identity issue' SPS is mentioning. It would also offer more opportunities to spectrum level students who appear to have been left high and dry. Advanced learning opportunities are limited because our system has been set up that way. Not because there are insurmountable barriers to offering more. I reject the idea that it costs "too much" to offer strong pathways in all high schools. Social justice is a matter of priorities. When there is will to make it a priority there will be a monetary way.

veteran family

Anonymous said...

veteran family, your statements do not jive with the reality of what we have experienced. When you see how the close to the bone the schools are at shaving off of FTEs each and every year - what makes you think there is space and staff for AL classes? We found that kids were denied proper math placement at our middle school due to capacity constraints and the schools overall were packed to over capacity. Where is all this space and staff of which you speak?

You are a "veteran family" so you must have experienced the many schools who label themselves as offering Spectrum or HC or AL opportunities but to students in the class (boots on the ground) the curriculum was non-existent. And this was at specified pathways. If AL cannot be overseen at limited campuses, how will accommodation be assured at all campuses?

GetPractical

Anonymous said...

I have a question about class ranking and college applications. When seniors apply to college, they are asked to provide their class rank (ex 72/410). School also ask, are you in the top 10%, 20%, 50% of your graduating class. How does this work at Garfield where, because it is the HCC pathway school, there are a lot of HCC kids? Do Gen Ed kids end up at the bottom in this scenario as opposed to at a regular school like RHS, Ballard, Sealth or Hale that doesn't have such a large HCC population?


Confused Parent

kellie said...

Issues around advanced learning and identification and access are dramatically different at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Simply put, high school is the master schedule. There is no identification issue in high school, in the same way that there are identification issues in elementary and middle. There is NO SELF CONTAINED in high school. Students from private school and students new to Seattle and students from Seattle public, routinely place into the same classes on the master schedule at high school as students who have been in the cohort for years.

Because high school is the master schedule, the priority for building the master schedule is very straightforward.

1) Graduation requirements
2) Remediation requirements
3) Advanced options.

Advanced options go on the schedule LAST, every time. Without additional money being added to the budget, advanced options will always be not sufficient at high school. The demand for advanced classes greatly exceeds the supply at every.single.high school. That is one of the reasons, there has been such a dramatic increase in Running Start enrollment.

A significant challenge at Garfield is that since there are many advanced classed that are "graduation requirements" for the cohort, the Garfield master schedule schedule looks like there are more options. However, there are simply not enough advanced classes, even at Garfield and seniors will be unable to access an advanced class that is a graduation requirement for someone in the cohort.

That challenge was discussed extensively at one of the open houses this year. That somehow pushing out the cohort was going to improved access to advanced learning.

The bottom line is very clear. If you don't add more money, you don't add more classes and more opportunities. This is yet another of SPS great plans to somehow re-arrange the deck chairs and provide magical results.

This plan will not create ONE additional advanced learning opportunity for any student in the district. The same amount of money will be divided across the same number of students and advanced classes will still be the last priority for scheduling. This plan will provide an on paper win of some sort, but it will not bring AL services closer to home.

Anonymous said...

This issue of offering advanced classes in responce to demand is only a problem due to current traditional practices, such as equating advanced learning with AP or IB specifically. If we disentangle advanced learning opportunities in high school from AP and IB, then we can teach more creatively and in depth, without these conservative academic strictures and both students and teachers will be able to engage in more personalized, challenging and engaging learning. This is what is being envisioned for Lincoln. It is the way of the future and not the past. Universities expect this to happen and are already moving towards more portfolio based admittance.


For progress

Anonymous said...

From Rick Burke's community meeting today ...

Rick Burke basically admitted that the board meeting was a total sh#* show! He also said that the board knows that this has been a flawed process and uniformed decisions are being made that will have unintended consequences which will need to be fixed in the years to follow.

In spite of this, Rick said the process is moving forward because they promised parents that a decision would be made mid-January. Parents pushed back a bit and said they would rather the board extend the deadline and take the time to develop a plan that was well thought out.

Rick said that “potentially 60% of N. end students will be moved”. So why would they move these students based on a half- baked plan?

N by NW

kellie said...

@ For Progress,

SPS has defined Advanced Learning for the purpose of pathways at high school as AP and IB. I personally think that is a pretty silly and narrow definition but ... that is those are the constraints dealt out by downtown this time around.

Regardless, there is a very basic premise that is constant lost in these conversations. If you want MORE of anything, you need to add MORE of something. If you are not adding additional time, money or energy, you are simple shuffling.

This is a plan to REDISTRIBUTE students without adding any more resources.

Anonymous said...

If we get rid of the pathways then we can expand those other options. Win win all round. Pathways are not set in stone as the last board meeting revealed.

For progress

kellie said...

And for progress has absolutely nailed the heart of the problem.

IF .....

There is this profound mythology that IF X happens, then Y will magically be addressed, NEXT. It never happens. This is why there is a litany of broken promises.

The bottom line is that public education is ALWAYS a resource constrained endeavor. There is one thing Superintendent Nyland says regularly, with which I agree completely. He regularly says we have enough resources to do something, but we don't have enough to do everything.

The ADDITION of advanced learning options at high school, is dependent upon the addition of resources. There is no reason to suppose that removing pathways will create additional resources. While in theory it is possible that by dividing up the existing cohort there will be more AP classes at some schools, there will be also more students who need those classes as a graduation requirement. This will be nothing to EXPAND opportunities, just some shuffling.

There is a reason why AL services have ONLY been provided as a cohort and that reason is money. To do anything different, requires more money. To do anything meaningful about Equity requires more money. There are hundreds of ways that equity in AL can be addressed and all of them involve spending more money.

I am strongly opposed to solutions that provide the optics of creating equity that don't have any dollars attached. If there is no additional money, there is no additional equity.


Anonymous said...

@Veteran Family - You say "Yet we still support breaking it up into home high school services because we aren't minorities and we have means... So my students might have a few less options in their great high school"

I'm curious - what high school will your HC student attend if the pathways are revised as you would like?

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

@ For progress, they could expand those other options now, even with the pathways...but they aren't. There's no reason to believe they would after getting rid of pathways, since the number of students needing/wanting advanced will be the same--they'll just be spread more thinly. And god forbid they ever offer an advanced class to a less-than-full class, because can you imagine the outrage?

vet2

Anonymous said...

Deliberate pessimism presented as fact is just a strategy to impede the change one is uncomfortable with.

Garfield Honors for all happened without any extra resources and greatly improved equity. We can do this. We can broaden equity, expand opportunity, serve students closer to home and become more innovative. Fear mongering is not sagacity and needs to be abandoned.


For progress

kellie said...

Deliberate pessimism??? That is an interesting way to attempt to refute a basic fact. And there is nothing to suggest "discomfort with change" in the process of pointing out the obvious fallacy that somehow shuffling the deck chairs is the same thing as adding resources. Platitudes do not equal results.

I would love it if pessimism was actually accurate in any way. If I was a pessimist, I could just walk away. I keep swinging at the fences on capacity issues only because of profound hope that if we learn from our history, there is a small chance that better decisions can be made. Only by telling the truth about resource allocation, will it ever be possible to get more resources directed to the classroom and away from theory.

The Garfield Honors for all is a very interesting "Theoretical Zero Cost" example. LA and SS are the only true grade level classes at high school, as such there is no continuum of services that would be required for either math or science. Honors for all was a label attached to a grade level in order to comply with the technical requirements of the state level HC grant and funding.

I am not going to address whether or not AL was actually created in those classrooms. For the sake of argument, I am going to presume the results were as advertised and just look at the cost side.

So was this really zero cost? This was a requirement for the teaching faculty to deliver a curriculum across 6 grade levels - a herculean task on the best of days. The simple fact that this was a huge increase in work load was acknowledged in the planning for this. Multiple emails to families stated that the building budget was allocated in order to create smaller class sizes and that professional development funds would be spent on building differentiated curriculum.

So this begs the question. The advertised plan, included more resources. If this did not have any additional resources, per your claim, then I am highly skeptical that teachers will be able to execute this year over year and provide quality AL opportunity across so many grade levels.

I do agree that we can "broaden equity, expand opportunity, serve students closer to home and become more innovative." That is certainly possible. Trish did a beautiful job of detailing the hard work done by TAF to truly execute on this. It is much more probable if there are resources directed at an initiative, rather than platitudes.

I also agree that sagacity is not fear mongering. No-one should be afraid of facts.

Oh MY said...

For progress,

Are you suggesting the board take away popular IB and AP classes? Take away something that communities want??

I'm still waiting for a report that states Honors for All has met the needs of all students.

Anonymous said...

Garfield Honors for All increased equity if your definition is ensuring that no student is in a class that meets their needs. Need a supportive place to catch up to grade level reading and writing skills? Honors for All isn’t for you - who wants to expose their deficits to classmates who’ve been able to read college level texts for years? Want to begin developing the skills you’ll need to be prepared for college with the support of a well-planned, organized curriculum? Sorry, your classmates can’t or won’t keep up with the necessary reading homework so the teacher’s only going to cover half the planned books. You’re an HCC student who hopes to read complex texts, participate in discussions of the art of writing, develop your writing skills and receive helpful peer feedback? Sorry, the only thing you’re intended to gain from this class is empathy.

Optics Only

Outsider said...

From a distance, this whole discussion seems puzzling. What is the value of the cohort in high school?

If HCC students would be taking the same AP courses at their nearby school, minus an hour per day of bus riding, what is the downside? If being in the cohort means being subjected to "honors for all" at Garfield, how great is it really? How much worse could it be in your nearby high school?

Kellie goes on at some length about how nothing is really created in the way of advanced learning opportunity by redistributing or dispersing HCC students and AP courses. But if they save a lot of travel time, isn't that valuable in itself? If I were a teenager, I wouldn't love the option of riding an extra hour per day in a bus just to have "honors for all" at Garfield and/or standardized AP courses that could equally be at the school nearby.

There would be a question of matching supply to demand for advanced courses at various schools, and what would happen if students didn't arrive in convenient 30-person blocks. But so far neither the board nor anyone criticizing them has tabled any data that would help analyze that issue.

Anonymous said...

>>>>While in theory it is possible that by dividing up the existing cohort there will be more AP classes at some schools, there will be also more students who need those classes as a graduation requirement. This will be nothing to EXPAND opportunities, just some shuffling.

HCC parents call it shuffling, everyone else calls it Equity. Of course there won’t be more resources. We just want the resources evenly distributed. Most people realize that public school isn’t going to be perfect and provide your every wish and dream. But HCC parents are unique in that they believe their kids alone should be maximized. Everyone else? Not so much. Actually not at all. Pearson’s Crap de jour, good enough for everyone else.

>>>>[Honors for All is Just Optics]. You’re an HCC student who hopes to read complex texts,

OMG. You’ve got to wonder about these advanced learners. If they sit next to certain other kids.... they suddenly, and mysteriously, become unable to read or write, or even discuss things at advanced college levels?!?! Wow. How easily all that advanced learning wipes right off! Something really odd is going on. Either the kids are just incredibly unmotivated, or they aren’t actually advanced, or these parental descriptions are just wrong.

With today’s technology, abundantly available in SPS, students can easily have texts read to them (in fact, that is a requirement under the ADA), or they can have alternative texts made available. There’s no reason someone else’s limitations should impede you or anyone else. Yet this outdated notion is repeated over and over by HCC proponents . It may be true that some students are so unmotivated that they wish to sink to the lowest level possible. That is a personal failing that parents should address privately with their own kids.

Did anyone else actually see the video? Wyeth Jesse spelled out what’s going to happen. Honors classes for all. APs and IBs. available for all. Exclusive access, extra classes and choices, it’s going to end. And it’s about time.

For Equity

Anonymous said...

What communities want is meaningless. We need what works and produces the best outcomes for the population at large. School families are only part of the equation; there are other stakeholders.

AP and IB driven curricula are holding back innovation and causing division. While dynamic teachers can breath life into these status driven modules, nevertheless they invariably drive limited understanding of and superficial engagement with the vast amount of content covered. Roman legions did not march as fast as students in AP courses. Over marching leads to exhaustion. Not good for emerging intellectuality.

Schools of the future, which is now, need to be research driven vehicles that are freed of the limitations of end driven course work. The social emotional aspects of the classroom both in terms of teaching and peer relationships will become of greater importance, as will personal passion.

Conditions that produce the best creativity and empathy (yeah for empathy) need to be designed and cultivated rather than the current reliance on manufactured curriculum that is mostly vacuous academic value signaling.


For progress

Anonymous said...

The value of the cohort is the access to a peer group. The social-emotional needs of gifted children aren’t resolved by age 14.

Before the principal at Lincoln decides not to offer AP classes, the district should survey the parents of students likely to be assigned there to see if that’s what they want. The school should serve its students, not its staff.

Fairmount Parent

Sad said...

A lot has been written about good leaders. Good leaders listen to all.

Anonymous said...

Amen For progress!

Once again. “access to a peer group” code for the most egregious breaches in equity. No way any district owes anyone a peer group, much less one determined in kindergarten and guaranteed for life, and for at least 30% of the “peer group “, bought and paid for with private tests.

Good leaders listen, but not to the same handful of people.

For Equity

Reality said...

For Progress,

"... need to be designed and cultivated rather than the current reliance on manufactured curriculum that is mostly vacuous academic value signaling"

Do you plan to take on Common Core, Federal Accountability Standards and SBAC?

Anonymous said...

HCC is not the reason the resources aren't equally distributed. The resources are unequally - inequitably - distributed because we live in Seattle, a city where the economic and racial/ethnic disparity between communities, and high schools, is stark.

If you really believe that eliminating the HC high school pathways will meaningfully impact the equitable distribution of resources between high schools... Why? That is what I honestly want to know. Why is this the solution?

Ruthie

kellie said...

SPS careens between naive idealism and brutal realism when it comes to policy. There are broad sweeping statements about how X will happen and then the reality that things are harder than that needs to be faced.

I call it shuffling because that is exactly what it is ... shuffling. Being realistic about the challenging is not an excuse for inaction, it is a call for meaningful action. I advocated on capacity issues for years with the notion that the "only way to solve a capacity problem is to add additional capacity." I made that simple statement for years in the face of plans that were designed to shuffle students to create better efficiency without adding any meaningful new capacity.

There will only be meaningful improvement with the simple acknowledgment that if you want more, you need to add more resources. Dividing up the same number of instructional minutes into 8 slots, not six, does not create more education, it is just shuffling the deckchairs.

Frankly, the thing that hurts the most high students is the way that AAFTE is calculated. That one change would create enough new resources to actually deliver on equity in advanced learning for in high school. Redistributing students who will need an advanced class as a graduation requirement, does NOT ADD ANYTHING.

And as for the notion that these students being closer to home adds something, tell that to the families will be losing their walkability. The current plan for 5 pathways will result in 50-60% of North Seattle families going to a new high school. That is a powerful amount of disruption.

kellie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie said...

@ For progress,

I actually agree with you that AP classes are overrated. But that is not the point. SPS has created the constraints for this conversation by the definition of AL high school opportunities as the number of AP and IB classes at a high school.

What you measure is what gets changed.

This "plan" is a plan to redistribute AP classes at high school. My point is that redistribution of AP classes is not the same thing as meaningful change. Redistributing classes that will be already full with the redistributed students, doesn't change anything.

But it sure creates the illusion of change. IMHO, that is the most dangerous of outcomes. The illusion that equity has been served is a distraction from doing the hard work of equity.

Anonymous said...

Eliminating HCC pathways would have the effect of keeping more HC students in the north end instead, making it easier to add advanced classes at north end schools and harder to keep the current slate of advanced offerings at Garfield. Is that the equity you want?

HF

Anonymous said...

The strength of Garfield is its diversity not the number of advanced classes. Colonialist attitudes about bringing north end wealth in the form of advanced classes to the central district are incongruous, to say the least.


For progress

kellie said...


What keeps getting lost in this conversation is the launch of Lincoln. The planning principal for Lincoln has been handed an unprecedented task, that is just way too important to fail.

The opening of a new high school represents a nearly $180 Million dollar investment. It also represents profound disruption to both the students and the teaching faculty of our current high schools as both staff and students are "redistributed" to the new school.

Lincoln is NOT a new OPTION school with the freedom to reinvent the philosophy of education. It is a new COMPREHENSIVE school that needs to deliver on the basics and right now SPS is defining the basics as AP and IB. While parents many not be the only stakeholders, in the opening of a new school, buy in from parents is a critical success factor.

Anonymous said...

@ For progress, then what's with the "we have to disband pathways because everyone wants advanced options closer to home" rationale that SPS is pushing? Their argument is almost entirely about "expanding" access to AP and IB classes, as capacity issues and cost issues could be better resolved other ways. The reopening of Lincoln, for example, presents a great opportunity to minimize disruption while addressing capacity and educational needs. The district, unfortunately, seems to be going for maximum chaos and uncertainty and, likely, unkept promises.

Colonialist attitudes? You're funny. Or not funny, if that's how Lincoln-area HCC students--kids--sent to GHS will be perceived/treated by adults at the school. I sincerely hope your attitudes are not reflective of the overall climate. If you have a beef with SPS about the value of AP, IV, and advanced classes, take it out on them. And you have a beef about advanced classes as a basic educational right for highly capable students, take that to the state legislature.

HF

HF

Outsider said...

Actually, there seem to be two separate issues mixed together in this discussion:

1) Whether it makes sense to concentrate all HCC high school students in one school

2) Elimination of AP and IB (which seems to be a priority of commenter "For Progress" and perhaps the new Lincoln principal and/or SPS bureaucrats, though the board seems not to have weighed in yet)

I can understand alarm at the latter issue, though it might be perceived as off-topic for this discussion. I appreciate the effort of For Progress to bring it up, assuming it is indeed part of the same broad package of reforms. AP and IB have external standards, and represent the last line of defense against dumbing down of public high school. It sounds like the PC social engineers of SPS might like to eliminate AP and IB and complete the dumbing down process. Perhaps PC insiders have given up on the idea that poor or African American students would ever complete AP courses at the same rate as white or Asian students, so plan B is to eliminate AP. AP courses "cause division," which seems to be PC-speak for adding a distinction to the transcripts of some students who are disproportionately white and Asian. Equity = equal outcomes, and the quickest path to that goal would be designing high schools with only "non-traditional" classes with no external standards where grading is fuzzy and everyone comes out with essentially the same transcript. Am I understanding that correctly? (Perhaps FP just wants to eliminate AP courses from Garfield, and getting rid of the HCC cohort is a necessary first step. Perhaps one motive for breaking up HCC is the desire of the Garfield attendance area community to be de-colonized, and why would HCC students or their families want to resist that impulse?)

I realize that AP courses originally had a different purpose -- saving students time and money by allowing them to do college-level work in high school. I realize that they are not ideally suited to being repurposed as a last line of defense against dumbing down public high schools. But what is the alternative?

Anonymous said...

"academic value signaling"

huh?

Anonymous said...

@kellie said "SPS careens between naive idealism and brutal realism when it comes to policy."

So, so true. So many "flavor of the month" decisions and pet projects. So exhausting for families.

Ruthie

kellie said...

@ Outsider,

"For Progress" has done an excellent job of representing the point-of-view of the "reinventing high school" task force. In typical SPS style, rather than addressing the nitty gritty of providing 24 meaningful credits, there has been this focus on "visioning for the future."

The results from that task force were presented at the School Board retreat last September. There was lots of sweeping vision in the report and a lot of great ideas, but no budget codes or allocation. My old mentor used to say that "if it doesn't have a budget code, it's not a real priority."

Outsider said...

Kellie, why does it take budget to dumb down high school? You seem focused on budget, but I don't get the connection.

FP's label for AP courses might perhaps be more conventionally rendered as "educational signaling," and it's a well known idea among economists. See:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/whats-college-good-for/546590/
(Relevant also to the other thread about Republican efforts to put a dent in the college industrial complex with their tax reform bill.)

The argument would be: probably fewer than 10% of students who pass AP courses ever take college credit for them. Students take AP courses mostly to signal to colleges and/or employers that they are the sort of people who can pass AP courses. If you are the sort of person who can master a lot of boring material under stressful conditions, you are probably the sort of person who can do a stressful and boring job later. The article above argues that most higher education is driven by such signalling, rather than the value of the learned material.

The ultimate goal of equity in schools would be to redistribute post-school opportunity. It sounds like the reinvented high school would be designed to give no students any opportunity to signal anything to colleges or employers that would give them any selection advantage (because if any such opportunities exist, the wrong sort of incorrect privileged students would take disproportionate advantage.) That makes perfect sense from a PC perspective -- the equity tool is going ding ding ding. But Kellie, why do you think it would be expensive? If anything, getting rid of IB and AP would be cheaper, wouldn't it? One size fits all is cheaper for socks; why not for education?

Mixed Messages said...

Although the plan ultimately failed, the board passed

— the amendment that would allow Franklin to continue to send it's 100 HC students (and Rainier Beach's 40 HC students) because the Franklin principal doesn't want those students and the board was listening to what the Franklin principal wants

AND the board ALSO passed

— the amendment that would then send those 100 students BACK to Franklin again in 2 or 3 years. The same students the Franklin principal doesn't want. This is the board NOT listening to what the Franklin principal wants.

What??? Does that not seem like a crazy mixed message? Since when do public schools get to refuse to educate certain students?

Also, someone made a great point above: Why would it be too expensive to have HC students to one new site in 2019 (Lincoln) but then it won't be expensive to have HC students at 8 new sites in 2021?

IMO said...

IMO, the Geary/DeWolf/Patu amendment would cause extreme disruption.

Anonymous said...

"the reinvented high school would be designed to give no students any opportunity to signal anything to colleges or employers that would give them any selection advantage"

Correct Outsider, except for the fact that this would only apply to public school kids. Rich, white private school kids will have a clear advantage under this regime. But I don't think that would matter to the likes of "For equity/progress" who is pushing the Trump agenda of "who needs college anyway?".
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/the-right-really-was-coming-after-college-next/

The public school graduates can then crawl at the feet of their private school overlords. I think the right feels that they are the only people who should go to college anyway.

-Cynic

Anonymous said...

@ Mixed messages " What??? Does that not seem like a crazy mixed message? Since when do public schools get to refuse to educate certain students?"

HA! Exactly what I thought. Does not make sense.If those kids get sent back to Franklin in a few years via the neighborhood plan, it is the state designating the label and it follows them. Franklin should then be required to serve them like they would any other student and would have to serve them. But in reality SPS will not have the budget to enact this plan. And there will be principals who have basically done so much as stated they will not support these kids.
-another cynic

Melissa Westbrook said...

Please do not comment on someone’s background unless you share the same. If you have real proof that someone has made up their racial or cultural background, please provide proof.

One size fits all in public education? Now I’ve heard it all.