Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

I am behind on stories but will be doing much more towards the end of the week including:

- charter school lawsuit
- departures from zoning ordinances for Green Dot charter group and possible ramifications for the relationship between the City and the district/Board
- Lincoln high updates

Is the Cat in the Hat Black?  That's the name of a new book and the interview in the Washington Post with its author is insightful and engaging.
WASDA (Washington Association of School Directors) is having a conference in May 2018 called Equity: From Boardroom to Classroom.  This as equity continues as the word of the year in public education (that's my call).

Here's commitment: Board President Leslie Harris will be holding a community meeting on December 23rd from3-5 pm @ Delridge Library.

Here's a great tool from GO Oakland about Oakland School District - a easy way to look up how board members vote on issues.   I'm interested in learning more about this org - it looks like a REAL parent/community association doing great things in service to their district.

Congrats to West Seattle Elementary's state-qualifying chess tournament.  They had over 100 participants.

From King County:
Students from Seattle Public SchoolsSalmon Bay School did an amazing job planting trees Dec. 6 at Big Finn Hill Park, part of King County Parks – Your Big Backyard. Hear why these students think trees are important — and learn more about why we’re planting 1 Million Trees by 2020, plus how you can get involved.
The Queen Anne area schools used to have an association several years back but it disbanded.  Now I see an association for West Seattle schools.   This follows on the heels of another group (this from KNKX):
A group of parents called the PTSA Equity Project Seattle has suggested creating what they call an equity fund that all PTAs pay into to redistribute a portion of money to high-need schools. It would be modeled after something similar in Portland that’s existed for more than 20 years.
There was more to this KNKX story about PTA fund-raising and Title One funds but I'll have a separate thread on that.

What's on your mind?


Book Recommendations said...

If you're looking for an interesting, though-provoking education-related book to give someone this holiday season, I highly recommend both:

G is for Genes by Kathryn Asbury and Robert Plomin (2013, Wiley-Blackwell)
They talk about everything from ways to cut down on teen smoking (high school sports) to just how much of students' achievement in reading, writing, math or science is related to genes and how much to shared vs. individual experiences. It's easy to read and the science is sound. And it raises a lot of issues to think about.


The End of Average by Todd Rose (2016, HarperOne)
He's the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Like the book above, this book will kind of blow your mind and keep you thinking for a long time about education and how the individual fits into it.

Anonymous said...

G is for Genes is a vile eugenicist tract by friends of arch Tory conservative Michael Gove. Decent people would not want to be associated with the outlandish racist and classist ideas that permeate this faux scientific delirium.

For progress

Anonymous said...

@ Book Recommendations,

Any mention of genetics or nature vs. nature will draw charges of eugenics from FWIW/For progress. Somehow genes seen to be a factor in all aspects of human biology except anything that has to do with the brain. FYI, environmental exposures are also OUT as a factor when it comes to the brain. Only racism and classism explain any differences in performance. Students are all blank slates!


Anonymous said...

I went to Rick Burke’s meeting Saturday.

He basically admitted that the board meeting was a total sh^* show! He also said that the board knows that this process is going badly and uniformed decisions are being made that could have unintended consequences which will then have to be fixed in the years to follow.

Rick couldn’t guarantee that SPS staff would have time to do a transportation analysis for Magnolia being assigned to Lincoln.

Nevertheless, Rick said the process is moving forward and decisions will be made in January because they promised to let families know the final maps before open enrollment. Parents pushed back and said they would rather the board extend the deadline and take the time to develop a plan that was well thought out.

The board (via the operations committee) has asked staff to draw up new maps that include HC students’ assignment.

These are the scenarios staff is supposed to research/develop:

1) HC @ 2 High Schools … Lincoln and Garfield
2) HC @ 4 High Schools … Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield & W. Seattle
3) HC @ 3 High Schools … Ingraham, Garfield, W. Seattle

Staff is also going to develop maps for their preferred proposal which is HC students assigned to 5 high schools. Option #2 from above + Franklin. Which seems to be a waste of time since the principal at Franklin refuses to have a HC pathway there and their board director (Patu) has promised that it won’t be placed there.

The board also asked staff to develop projections around the possibility of increasing the size of the IB/IBX programs at Ingraham, Rainier Beach & Sealth.

What a mess!

N by NW

N. Seattle said...

It seems to me that Ingraham, Garfield and W. Seattle makes the most sense. We would have HCC in the north and south end, and w. Seattle. As well, Ingraham has capacity.

I am concerned about Lincoln taking too many students from Ballard high school. Ballard has a lot of offerings due to it's large size.

Anonymous said...

@ N. Seattle, it seems like Lincoln would take fewer students from Ballard if it were an HCC pathway, not more. As a pathway school it would draw from a wider area and could thus have a smaller neighborhood boundary. As a neighborhood school without HCC or immersion, however, it will need a large boundary, much of which will come from BHS's current zone.


Book Recommendations said...

G is for Genes doesn't talk about race at all. The book talks about reading, writing, math, science, genetically-based disabilities, PE, and socioeconomic status based on what scientists have learned from twin studies.

The authors are quick to point out how little geneticists know even about what they know. There's a whole section on how people figured out there was this gene (the ACTN3 gene) that fast runners have. So they tested a bunch of elite athletes with the hypothesis that the better athletes would be more likely to have this ACTN3 gene:

In conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport, a research team took DNA from more than 4,000 elite athletes from a wide range of sports and compared it with that of a control sample. They found that power and sprint athletes did in fact tend to have two working versions of the ACTN3 gene (RR) but, perhaps more surprisingly, they also found that endurance athletes had two deficient versions (XX). In other words, they found that what was originally perceived as a deficiency (the X version) actually benefited slow, efficient muscle performance.

It's an interesting book.

ACertain said...

I just read the email that the SATP was voted down (clearly I'm less informed than most of the readers here!), so the current plan will continue until the 2019-2020 plan is finalized. Obviously there are a lot of things up in the air right now, but my reading of the tea leaves is that all bets are off for HCC program continuity between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

The reason I'm particularly interested is that I have an 8th-grade HCC student at Hamilton and a Junior in the IBX program at Ingraham. Obviously our junior is unaffected, but we were planning to put in for the IBX program for our 8th-grader come open enrollment. I understand that that the space at Ingraham for choice students is limited, but at least had he gotten in, under what I understood to be the proposed SATP (before amendments, etc.), HCC students in a particular program in 2018-2019 would be allowed to stay in their current program regardless of boundary changes.

Now, however, it seems likely that even if he is accepted to Ingraham in 2018-2019, he would be moved to Lincoln in 2019-2020 without consideration of his desire to enroll in the IBX program and we would have to re-apply under the choice process for him to stay at Ingraham (we will be in the Lincoln district under any conceivable proposal - also, I understand that the IBX program is on the chopping block every year, so I'm ignoring that for now).

Does anybody else have a reading on this interpretation? Does anybody know if this question will be definitively answered before the open-enrollment period ends?


Melissa Westbrook said...

ACertain, I suspect so. The Board does not want to keep parents on tenderhooks and I suspect the new timeline - it's up at the thread on meeting updates - will be key.

Advocate NOW for what you want because right after school comes back into session, the work will accelerate.

Anonymous said...

@N Seattle- Some people will disagree, but Ballard, Garfield, W Seattle & Roosevelt make the most sense to me. It serves HC kids in their neighborhoods. This is where majority live, programming is already in place and they are already attending. I don't believe we should move them all to Lincoln to create another segregated school. It's moves us in the wrong direction with that program's classes which should be accessible to many kids. We have a much larger population of HC now than when Garfield started, and I do believe we can move to more pathways. Ingraham and IB is also not for all kids & should not be the north end option. I don't like that idea. QA/Magnolia not having a high school creates issues as well.

Anonymous said...

@Acertain-- I clarified and the grandfathering would include both the current 8th graders who are at Garfield in 2019 as well as at Ingraham in 2019. He would not be moved to Lincoln. Also, Lincoln would open as a 9/10 with 9th grade HC.

Anonymous said...

@JK - I agree with you on Ballard, Garfield and Roosevelt but not West Seattle. WSHS isn’t already serving HC students - there are only 20 enrolled this year.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

@Fairmount Parent- Thanks for that clarification

Melissa Westbrook said...

"I don't believe we should move them all to Lincoln to create another segregated school. It's moves us in the wrong direction with that program's classes which should be accessible to many kids."

First, if you believe that it is just HCC that segregates schools, you would be wrong. Kids separate out for all kinds of reasons. To my eye, I think high schools in Seattle look a lot more inclusive than ever.

As well, "that program's classes" do NOT exist. There are no special HCC classes. That fallacy has to stop.

- there are AP classes at every single comprehensive high school
- ANY student can access those classes
- ANY student can access an IB class and indeed, at RBHS, they are required to take one. (Roosevelt and I believe West Seattle also require students to take one AP class.)

Grouchy Parent said...

As of October 2017 there are 1,407 highly capable high school students in the entire city of Seattle (many of them not white), spread throughout the city. Stop blaming this small number of students for segregation, which is a far larger, far more pervasive, and more important issue for our entire society.

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