Friday Open Thread

I wanted to note the passing of a long-time educator and public education champion, Mona Humphries Bailey.  I served with Mona when she co-chaired the Board's Closure and Consolidation Committee to decided on school closures.  She was a dignified and gracious co-chair.  From the notice when Governor Inslee appointed her to the Board of Education:
In her thirty-two year career in public education, Bailey has worked to promote equity and excellence for all students, especially for underachieving students. She has served as a science teacher, counselor, principal, personnel administrator, assistant and deputy superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, and Assistant State Superintendent for the Washington state Office of Public Instruction. She continues to serve in education as an educational consultant, as a volunteer with advocacy groups to reform education for K-12 students, and on several nonprofit boards of directors.
I also want to call attention to the members of our Seattle School Board as it is Board Member Appreciation month.  Thank you to Leslie Harris, Scott Pinkham, Rick Burke, Jill Geary, Betty Patu, Eden Mack and Zachary DeWolf for stepping up to do this hard work.
Longview SD is struggling with the explosion of high school students in Running Start. Their analysis is that it isn't about rigor but about taking college courses cheaply.

In a stark and blunt ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that their state's public education funding is adequate.
It is not the function of the courts … to create educational policy or to attempt by judicial fiat to eliminate all of the societal deficiencies that continue to frustrate the state’s educational efforts,” Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers wrote for the majority. “Rather, the function of the courts is to determine whether the narrow and specific criteria for a minimally adequate educational system under our state constitution have been satisfied.”
Based on the evidence presented at trial, all the justices agreed that the state’s funding to rich suburbs and poor cities is substantially equal. 
But the justices split on whether the state offers a minimally adequate education to every child. 
The problem came down to definitions. 
In the majority opinion, four justices argued that the state does enough by providing the inputs needed for a proper schooling, like teaching staff, buildings, textbooks and pencils. They concluded that the state can’t be blamed if absent parents, poverty, homelessness, hunger or trauma interfere with a child’s education. The majority argued that Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher had erred in his previous ruling in the case, which led him to order state officials to recalculate funding formulas, set strict graduation requirements, revamp teacher evaluations and overhaul special education programs. Judge Moukawsher improperly invented a new test for determining what constitutes a constitutionally adequate public education, the court said.
Chief Justice Rogers wrote the 53-page majority opinion. (Read it here.)
“Although the plaintiffs have convincingly demonstrated that in this state there is a gap in educational achievement between the poorest and neediest students and their more fortunate peers, disparities in educational achievement, standing alone, do not constitute proof that our state constitution’s equal protection provisions have been violated,” Rogers wrote. “The plaintiffs have not shown that this gap is the result of the state’s unlawful discrimination against poor and needy students in its provision of educational resources as opposed to the complex web of disadvantaging societal conditions over which the schools have no control.”
In great news, the Washington State Legislature finally passed the Capital Budget yesterday.  It had included funding for building new schools but was held up over a water use issue in Eastern Washington.
The capital budget contains more than $1 billion for school construction, money for mental health facilities and low-income housing projects. Last year was the first time in modern history lawmakers failed to pass a capital budget.
I attended both the Charter Commission meeting and the Town Hall for the superintendent search and I'll have a write-up of each by the end of the weekend.   Much to unpack and discuss.

What's on your mind?

Read more here:


Anonymous said…
Re-posting from another thread:
"I have some real problems with the search firm that has been hired to conduct the search for the Superintendent. I attended tonight's meeting at NOVA. This firm (represented by two white guys in suits) evidently spent the last 2 days downtown talking to, well, downtown. Tonight, they wanted to come out to the community. It seems that they did not conduct any prior analysis of the issues that are of concern beyond the walls of JSCEE. So, they relied on bland and (to my mind) pretty useless questions that (to my mind) were supposed to steer away from any real controversy and that did not really ask for more than boilerplate types of inputs. Very lazy. For the $$ they're being paid, they could have read up on the issues and asked for inputs on the types of superintendents that could address these issues. I feel that at the end of the process we're going to get a very bland outcome. I'm sorry these people were so uninformed in meeting "the community" in the evening that they dedicated to outside of JSCEE. OTOH as I walked into the meeting Phyllis Campano was handing out a flyer (she's the head of the SEA now?) stating that they (SEA, PASS) support continuing Nylund's contract. Well that blew me away.


From another reader
This is very disturbing. After Sherry Carr left us with a leaderless district after sliding Larry 'Figurehead' Nyland in the back door I had hoped the Board would have taken measures to ensure we get a true leader...
Anonymous said…
RS give students who want to avoid all the HS drama and bulling a wonderful alternative.

RS has kept many students from dropping out. STOP BASHING RS !

NESeattleMom said…
Running Start is a great option if a student wants to do that. Sometimes students do that because they can't get the classes they want, not to avoid the high school drama. My 9th grade student wants to do all his classes at his high school because he loves being in high school. I don't think he has any HS drama in his life (so far). Crossing my fingers.
Anonymous said…
Students that go to RS to fulfill a SPS shortcoming are in the minority.

There are many advantages to taking RS, accelerated learning, the ability to choose class times and days and 3 day a week schedules are just a few. Sure there are no pep rallies and many RS don't miss or want pep rallies.

Pro RS
kellie said…
I don't think anyone is "bashing" RS. RS is an amazing program and a great opportunity for many students. Running Start is one of many "dual credit" opportunities for high school students. Here is a link to the full list.

In addition to getting a running start for a 4 year college program, there are several other programs that have little or nothing to do with a 4 year college program. There are programs geared for technical skills, drop out prevention, etc.

The CEO (Career Education Options) program is great example of the many services our community colleges are providing to all types of students with lots of different interests.

At the moment, there are many reasons why students select one of the many Dual Credit options. Unfortunately, there is just no daylight on this topic. And when there is no daylight, you only have conjecture and innuendo.

Anonymous said…
No we have the words of the RS students. Maybe you should speak with a few? I know 7 RS students and they dont miss SPS.

Pro RS
kellie said…
@ Pro RS,

I am not following your comment. There are approximately 2,000 SPS students in RS. There are likely lots of reasons for their participation.

Anonymous said…
I was at the Nova meeting last night and agree with Reader's comment above.

The overwhelming majority of people there seemed to have similar concerns that they want the new superintendent to focus on. People said they want a superintendent and district that truly listens to families and staff. They want a strong focus on equity and the achievement gap and finally addressing the huge needs in special education. They want the superintendent to be willing to look at the entrenched bureaucracy, reduce the bloat in administration and channel those funds into classrooms - hire teachers, counselors, librarians, etc. And I also heard a lot about the amazing things that individual schools are doing that are really making a difference but aren't adopted in other schools or they're funded and focused on for a few years but then they gradually disappear.

But the absolute biggest concern I have (and this was said by others at the meeting) is the lack of transparency in this process. The timeline is aggressively fast, and the search firm seemed to not understand district issues and were defensive when asked about community involvement. Where are families, staff and the community in this process? Sure there's a survey and a poorly-advertised community meetings but that's it.

I'm so glad that there were some incredibly dedicated teachers, staff and parents in the room. But many of the voices we need to hear from weren't at the meeting. Think about who is likely to attend an evening meeting or fill out a survey - they are people who are already in the know. They're people who aren't working multiple jobs and can take an evening to attend a meeting. They're people who have a computer and the internet. They know how to navigate the system and how to make their voices heard. And it's important to hear from them! But we also need to make sure we're making it easy for marginalized communities to share their views. And I don't believe this process does that.

The consultants kept saying, "well you can go to open board meetings and voice your opinion, you can email us, you can comment on the finalists." But by the time they choose finalists it's too late. Even if the board is ultimately the only ones who can vote on a new superintendent, staff and parents should have seats at the table through all aspects of this - from designing our search priorities to giving input on applications to sharing opinions on who should be finalists.

- Laura
I don't think the timeline was fast; they HAVE to get this started early to get the biggest pool of candidates. Do I think enough people knew it was happening? Probably not.

I think PTAs might have done more; the president of the SCPTSA was there.

As for Running Start, I don't think anyone is bashing it. I think it's about two things. Some kids leaving for RS because SPS doesn't have enough advanced classes and that's a big issue. As well, the district loses dollars when those kids go and is that a good thing? Maybe the capacity issues balance it all out in the end but it would be good to track who goes where and ask why.

I'll have some thoughts on the Town Hall soon.
Anonymous said…
I would guess if 7 out 7 students I know share the same opions its a significant finding. Those 7 students are friends with many other RS students and I will ask them to find out others opinions and motivations about RS.

The idea that RS is harmful to public education is propaganda likley started and spread by WEA and SEA and their mouthpieces.

Pro RS
One laugh from the Town Hall for your Friday. They asked for nominations for people that the audience said might be good (I suggested former principal, Phil Brockman, who is now a superintendent elsewhere, and Everett's superintendent, Dr. Gary Kohn).

But one person nominated Stephan Blanford, calling him "sophisticated" among other things.

Never going to happen. Blanford burned far too many bridges. (Although if he does apply, I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall during the interview.)

Another person waited until Brent Jones, Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer, left the room, and nominated him. And then Michael Tolley.

No and no. But sure, they can apply like everyone else.
Anonymous said…
Why not Blanford? He would fit right in with Harris's ridiculous declaration of systemic racisum in Seattle and SPS.

He would base every decision on the cloudy equity lens. He would use the liberals favorite tool...the race card!

NESeattleMom said…
Dear Pro RS,
I don't think anyone is bashing RS. It is a good option for those who want it. My student is not into pep rallies. So in my sample of 1 out of 1, my student likes high school. I also know many students who have done RS for a variety of reasons and have like it a lot.

I wonder about PE credits for RS students, especially part-time. In the case of an academic waiver for having a full 6 classes, would RS count for that? Or do students have to take PE if they are off campus for first period?

Anonymous said…
It's the Board making the decision, yes? And some of them have worked with Blanford and Tolley. Let's hope some candidates come forward who can competently deal with the issues SPS is facing and rein in some of the misguided initiatives we've seen over the last few years. Are there more community meetings planned?

Open question: Will there be an evaluation of the schedule time changes we've seen this year? I don't know how it's going for others, but our child is having a much harder time with the later release and longer school day in HS, especially in the winter when it's dark by the time they get home. We were on that dreaded third tier in ES as well, but it's much harder with HS demands. If you have a kid who never was a night owl, how are they functioning? It has us looking into RS as a means to gain some more freedom over scheduling.

Anonymous said…
It is perplexing the hear of the names that were presented. Is there going to be a deficit of external candidates who have a pulse, which is basically all the current Supt has needed to demonstrate?

Definitely don't want the insiders who will not or haven't already addressed the status quo downtown.

Anonymous said…
What is with singling out "sophisticated" to describe Blanford? That is in keeping with the dog whistling that is very prevalent here.

It needs to be called out and stopped.

Oh, silly me! That was the moderator who did it.

Not Shocked
Anonymous said…
Not surprising that Melissa thinks it's a joke that three black men would be considered for the superintendent role while she advocates for two white guys.

She describes herself as an advocate for communities of color but no one in communities of color thinks she's an advocate for them --- just the opposite.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg on her race issues.

Anonymous said…
There are plenty of people of color around the state and country who would make an excellent superintendent without turning to an ed reformer like Blanford.

It does sound as if the board needs to step in and provide direction to the consultants. I hope Leslie Harris has done so, as board president.

Delridge Dad
Cizzy, no, they are casting a big net and going to two major education conventions to find candidates in person. Those were just audience offerings, probably based on people they knew locally.

Not Shocked, that was what the person who nominated him said. It's called reporting. You are welcome to go ask any number of people about that including Neal Morton of the Times who was present.

The joke was Blanford. I don't think Jones is ready (but could be someday) and Tolley is not appropriate at all. It has nothing to do with race. I think Carla Santorno, super in Tacoma, who used to be in SPS, would be good but she told me no. And she's black.

Again, I'll have more on the Town Hall this weekend. I actually thought it was pretty good and a VERY open forum which is not what you generally see.
z said…

I would guess if 7 out 7 students I know share the same opions its a significant finding. Those 7 students are friends with many other RS students and I will ask them to find out others opinions and motivations about RS.

Please do. But remember, it's possible you're poking and prodding in a limited social subset of kids. You talk about 7 like it's a big number. I've pushed 2 kids through APP/HCC and I personally know probably 20-25 kids at 4 different high schools, that have taken significant running start classes, and my data is very different than yours. And as Kellie said, there are around 2,000 students in RS now; clearly they are there for are a variety of reasons.

Most of the kids I know of ended up taking RS classes because either: classes they wanted/needed were not offered in their high school, or sections weren't available that worked with their schedule. Both are symptoms of district limitations, some by budget and space constraints and some by a lack of desire to serve students (yes, I'm looking at you Hale).

Of course you can add other social issues into the mix, like avoiding high school drama, but in most cases I'm aware of, that was just another element that weighed into the equation, not a deciding factor.

The idea that RS is harmful to public education is propaganda likley started and spread by WEA and SEA and their mouthpieces.

Here's where you're just spouting nonsense. I don't care what WEA or SEA says about this, it's a problem for many families, and the district is more than happy to not serve their students and let them fend for themselves.

And again, no one is saying that RS is harmful to public education. Those are YOUR words. What's happening is that SPS is not serving a lot of students, and they're being forced to look at other options. There will always be a few kids that just can't be served in a typical comprehensive high school setting, but 2,000? That's not okay.
Anonymous said…
Kids are overwhelmingly choosing RS and not being forced in to RS.

Anonymous said…
@ Pro RS:

My daughter liked her high school (Hale) just fine. She just wanted a higher level of instruction, and RS filled the bill perfectly. She took a full load at North all the way through, and front-loaded all her classes to early in the morning, then went to lunch at Hale, hung out with her buddies, spent the afternoon in the library doing her homework and reading assignments from North, then participated in extracurriculars at Hale. She did everything at Hale except take classes, and felt like she got the best of both worlds, academically and socially.

Running Start did something else for her. She made the Dean's List at North for six straight quarters, and that got her a full scholarship to UW, who told her bluntly that she had earned it because she had excelled at a full load of college work, while many of her competitors for that scholarship money in her age cohort were excelling at high school work. Today she says it was the best academic decision she ever made.

Our experience taught us that parents who are weighing RS as opposed to HCC, IB, or any other program that the high schools tout as "college level" should consult with college admissions people as to how they view each option, before deciding either way.

I also want to say that in our experience, at no time, and in no way, did any teacher, administrator, counselor, or anybody else in SPS try to talk down RS, or try to discourage us from that option. I hope this is helpful.

-- Ivan Weiss
Anonymous said…
The Garfield Messenger has a story about the eight-period schedule that reportedly will take effect in 2019-20.

Part of the article includes an interview of a student at Cleveland HS (which apparently already uses an eight-period schedule). The comments by that student show that each AP class requires two of the eight class slots.

If that is how it would be implemented across the district, the maximum number of AP classes each student could take would drop immediately. It would be very hard to take more than three per year, and the absolute max would be four. Now, by contrast, students can take more than four, which for some kids is helpful. Especially for those who took a high school level class in middle school, it is common to take four or more AP classes in their junior and senior years. For example, a junior or senior at GHS could be taking AP science, AP math, AP social studies, AP language arts, and AP language, plus an elective. Under the proposed change, it seems like that would no longer be possible.

GHS administrators probably like this change since last year they introduced a policy intended to limit the number of AP classes to three (without first seeking input from parents or teachers). Some students were able to still take more than three by signing a (poorly drafted) document. Under the eight-period schedule, that would be very hard to do. If the student were in orchestra or band, they could definitely take no more than three AP classes.

On the flip side, maybe it would allow the AP classes to be taught in greater depth. Given Seattle's late start date each year, the teachers are racing to cover all of the content by the date of the AP exams in May. And of course there are those kids who just do better overall when they aren't taking too many AP classes at once.

People should be considering this when looking at the whole picture with all of the changes coming in the next few years. It will make the master schedules that much more complicated to manage. Has there been any parent engagement on this issue? What are the teachers' views? How will this fit with the idea that the highly capable cohort pathways could be eliminated in a few years? How does this schedule fit with the new high school science curriculum sequence that is being adopted? Does this fit with the current teacher contract?

P.S. Congratulations to the Garfield Messenger for some excellent, useful reporting. Without it, we would have had nothing more to go on than the rumors our kids were hearing at school.

- Bulldog Parent
Anonymous said…
You really want to go there OK. Well SPS has had two terrible black supers. One woman and one man. They made terrible decisions which the district is still suffering over. So whip out your race card again!

Anonymous said…
As a participant in the NOVA meeting last night, I felt that the scholarship/opportunity gap was very well represented on the whole, with the caveat that speakers on special education pointed out that that community of SPS stakeholders is rarely, if ever, included in thinking and planning about equity and closing the opportunity gap in SPS. It is assumed that if there are special needs the opportunity gap is a given. One speaker described how her son's teacher high school) basically stated that if a student has an IEP that means that student is "the lowest of the low" in terms of students with special needs. I didn't think that anybody in the meeting disagreed with the concerns that were being stated and that, broadly, what the participants want is a Superintendent who will hold staff including teachers accountable for getting better results from our more vulnerable students. The gist from the meeting is that vulnerable students get a lot of task forces but that there is not a lot of accountability for upsetting the norms/conventions that contribute to their marginal academic performance. I didn't hear anything in the evening's proceedings that suggested that the new/incoming Supt would be relevant or effective if s/he could not demand and bring about better outcomes for our vulnerable students, across the board.

Town Hall Meeting Paricipant
Anonymous said…
Awesome reporting on the 8 period schedule proposal. How in the world did this get out of committee? Let's do a 5 minute analysis to show the fatal flaw - if done like Cleveland, where AP classes are blocked, it limits students to 2 AP courses and makes IB impossible (IB has hour requirements, even if SPS had done away with theirs). Hard to believe they were asking Garfield to pilot the schedule for next school year. Thankfully they were able to put it off until 2019 (and hopefully it's completely off the table by then).

Anonymous said…
There have been several comments and post on this blog claiming RS is hurting public school districts by "stealing funds" from districts.

Well the funds for RS come from the state and it's the state that is responsible for providing funding for education of minors in the state. The funds are technically the students.

RS does not steal educational funding from minors.

Pro RS
Anonymous said…
@ Pro RS, chill out. I did a search for the word "steal" on this thread and your 2 uses of it are the only time it comes up. I do, however, recall multiple posts that the district "loses" money on kids who do Running Start. If the district receives less money for kids who do Running Start, that seems like a factual statement. It also does not blame Running Start--if anything, the comments I've seen blame the district for doing such a bad job at making high school attractive to, or even feasible for, many students.

Anonymous said…
RS should be celebrated not labled as a negitive as in taking from SPS. Would you all prefer all the RS students be enrolled in a charter school?

Pro RS
Anonymous said…
New Research on
Opportunity Culture

New Research on Opportunity Culture: Multi-Classroom Leaders’ Teams Produce Significant Learning Gains

What if every student actually could have an excellent teacher?

According to a new study released through the CALDER Center, it might be possible. Study authors Ben Backes of American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Michael Hansen of the Brookings Institution found that students in classrooms of team teachers led by Opportunity Culture “multi-classroom leaders” showed sizeable, statistically significant academic gains. There’s interesting fine print, so read on.

Multi-classroom leaders lead a teaching team, providing guidance and frequent on-the-job coaching while continuing to teach, often by leading small-group instruction. Accountable for the results of all students in the team, multi-classroom leaders also earn supplements that thus far have averaged 20 percent (and up to 50 percent) of teacher pay, within the regular school budget.

In the study, the team teachers were, on average, at the 50th percentile in the student learning gains they produced before joining a team led by a multi-classroom leader (MCL). After joining the teams, they produced learning gains equivalent to those of teachers from the 75th to 85th percentile in math, and, in six of the seven statistical models, from 66th to 72nd percentile in reading, said the report, released on January 11 through the CALDER Center.

With these results year after year, students starting kindergarten one year behind can catch up by the end of second grade—and spend the rest of their school careers on advanced math. The haul is longer for reading, but a kindergartner starting a year behind can catch up by the end of fourth grade.

-- Dan Dempsey
kellie said…
@ Pro RS,

As far as I can tell, there is nothing in public ed that is either universally celebrated or universally derided.

That said, I have one student who did everything possible to avoid running start. This student described getting a math class at Garfield as a small version of the hunger games as kids waited for some kids to go to RS, so that they could backfill the spot. It was brutal.

My other student has been planning on RS, since middle school and I am thrilled that this will be a far better fit than high school.

I think this conversation about RS is a microcosm of the entire high school debate. High school is full of young adults, getting ready to launch into their lives. The needs of high school students are so markedly different than elementary. High School students need options and they need the ability to be able find what works.

Running Start works for lots of students.

There is very little actual data on RS. I have managed to cobble together some over the years. IMHO, about 5 years ago, it was pretty rare for students to be pressured into RS because of capacity reasons. But those stories seem to increase every year. It is possible both things are true.

I spoke to OSPI about this at one point and they also said they had very little insight into why students pick RS. OSPI hired the first “dual credit” program supervisor about two years ago. That person was charged with creating some insight into the program. I haven’t looked recently but I hope that OSPI will start some reporting on this soon.

In the meantime, without any real data, we only conjecture.

Anonymous said…
You're not listening to me! I know why all the RS students I know chose RS. I don't need OSPI or SPS or frankly you to enlighten me. You use the word "avoid" in the context of RS and that's interesting. Do you have any formal psychology education? If you did then you would know that the negative labels you and others are binding to RS is an attempt to bias others against RS. Do you realize your words are doing that? It's the exact same psychology the equity liberals use every chance they get to bind white students to privilege.

I also see that many commenters on this blog that bang the equity drum at every SPS issue claim to have or had students who participated in RS in Seattle, but those commenters have never ever claimed that our CC system in Seattle is racist or biased or full of white privileged students. So think about your broad claims that Seattle and it's institutions are racist, but Seattle's CCs somehow are not. Are you confused? I think your agenda has been exposed.

Pro RS
kellie said…
I use the word “avoid” because that is the word my student used. It accurately reflected the experience with course selection.

Thanks for the benefit of the doubt. Once again, I think high school students need options and RS is a great option.
Anonymous said…
One thing that is not conjecture: check with your favorite college admissions team: universities are "over" jam-packed AP transcripts as a reason for acceptance. In general, the pendulum has swung on AP as all pendulums do. Admissions is more interested in students who have shown growth over 4 years, students who are well rounded, and (sorry to say from my viewpoint) students who test well on the SAT/ACT. Students who are first-generation college attendees or are from communities of color also have a leg-up, and schools worth their salt are letting kids who fall into those categories know that colleges want them! Check with the private and parochial schools in the area: they are on the forefront of this wave. Racking up AP classes - some private schools don't even offer them - is not what any school pushes anymore. This is different from a decade ago.

I am not writing this to argue about the value of AP courses, which are a "standardized" way of showing rigor. It's more to reassure parents that their children by no means need to take 4 APs, 3 APs, 2APs a year. In fact, taking a class that extends their learning in an unexpected way - say a leadership course or an art course, or for LA kids a STEM course or for STEM kids an LA course, in many cases will tell a better story than an extra AP course. Having an 8 period schedule allows for those electives. Eight periods have drawbacks, but also advantages. And again, many many private and parochial area high schools make use of that very schedule.

Different note: I would like to give a "plus one" to Kellie around her Running Start points. We really do need both state and local information both on their efficacy and the reasons students are taking them. There is no reason OSPI couldn't and shouldn't take this on in partnership with UW/WSU. It would benefit both public high schools and colleges to better understand this trend. Who is going to get the movement started with Reykdal's office?

Anonymous said…

at the 9/20/17 board meeting, with nothing to do with hcc or hcc equity for that matter took speaker 6/20 coveted speaker spots on the board. i should add that this is not different from all the other board meeting this year, regardless if hcc was even a consideration before the board. this group (funded by a sps grant per their website) is in direct violation of school board rules. so the district staff has awarded them a grant that they then use to break school board rules.

5. Brian Terry Equitable Access to Advanced Learning
6. Devin Bruckner Equitable Access to Advanced Learning
8. Julie Popper Equity in HCC
10. Janice Blackmore Equitable Access to Advanced Learning
13. Vanessa Meraki Equitable Access to Advanced Learning
14. Briktawite Yimer Equitable Access to Advanced Learning

no caps
Anonymous said…
@Pro RS, we are listening, but you aren't making much sense. You know why a small group chose RS--great. But even if all your friends did it for the exact same reason, that by no means means all other students did so for the same. Your little bubble applies to your little bubble. Please have the decency to realize there may be diversity of opinion and experience on the matter.

@EdVoter, that may be true about what colleges value--and it is certainly easier to get into a good school if you have a hardship story to tell or are from an underrepresented group--but I don't know that trying to get a "leg up" is why most kids who take AP classes do so. For my student, advanced classes are about self-preservation--about not going crazy from the slow or pointless or waste of time classes. Very highly capable students often need challenging classes to get by. It's not about the prestige or extra credits--it's about feeling like there's a point to taking the class.

All types
I'm with others, Pro RS, you need to chill. My kids did RS and it's a valid part of SPS offerings. I have no idea why you are so touchy but I'm not hearing this bias against it that you are.

Anonymous said…
All types,

Amen. The drive to learn is the reason my students have taken multiple AP courses and summer university courses. 9th and 10th grade “honors” courses almost drove them from high school.

Fairmount Park
Anonymous said…
My kid took RS classes for various reasons, including incompatible class schedules, disappointing teachers at the HS, and perhaps a desire to get their feet wet in a college setting, where there weren't any kids who didn't want to be there, before heading off to college.

Regarding SPS losing money, it's mostly a wash in the big picture. As others have said, the money follows the student, but there are still plenty of teachers phoning it in, or treating kids like inconveniences as they burn their last few years before retirement. So, while I support and endorse most of SEA and WEA, and come from teacher parents, they also bear responsibility for their own damned selfish, egotistical and unprofessional behavior that puts students far behind their egos, interests and politics. My kid took geometry to learn geometry, not to listen to an irrational teacher go hysterical about social justice. Especially in the age of the internet and social media, Mr. Teacher. Get your hipsterness cred patch at your favorite bar. When in a math class, teach math. Is that too much to ask?

RS is an asset to SPS, not a drag upon it. And why not have a little competition between HS AP and RS? Would we rather have healthy competition with charters in every cluster? That will be the future if the schools and teachers don't step up their game.

Anonymous said…

Mag mom
kellie said…

I don't know if anyone has a good idea of the financial aspect of RS, because there just hasn't been any analysis. The State of Washington will fund a student up to 1.2 FTE for a combination of RS and high school. The formula is included on the verification form.

I have heard all types of "unsubstantiated" claims about how the district could either be making money or losing money on this program. I think the truth is that nobody really knows because there is zero information about running start in either the enrollment reports or the budget reports.

I suspect that someone at JSIS really does know. The budget department is full of good people who really know how things work. But if the information is not in a report to the board somewhere, then the community only has conjecture and this thread really illustrates how divisive conjecture can be in the absence of real data.

There are 4 additional portables planned for Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt for next year (12 total). Plus another 8 portables that are TBD with the strong implication that they are TBD for high school use. If RS, was a not a real and valuable option, that number would be much higher.
NNE Mom said…
I talked to a woman recently who had to switch districts to find a friendly administrator and when she did her child was able to start taking dual credit community college classes in 8th grade. It was a great fit and made all the difference for the child's happiness. The child has a couple of degrees now and is living happily ever after as a 20-year-old in the child's career of choice.

I think the thing about RS is that students shouldn't be forced into it. High schools should have four years of coursework to offer students. Optional RS is one thing. Forced RS is something different.
Anonymous said…
I need to once again clear a negative label someone is trying to stick to RS.

No one is FORCED into RS. The HCC folks need to settle down.

Pro RS
NNE Mom said…
Prove it. Where's the data?
ProRS, I think the word "forced" means that student cannot take a class that should be available to him/her and has to go to RS to get it. Of course, no one is being forced. But there are many accounts of students - of all kinds - not being able to get a rigorous schedule.

This is NOT about HCC. Both my sons took RS and neither was in HCC. And the numbers show that RS could not all be HCC students.

Pro RS, again, you have made your point and now you seem to be doubling down against HCC student. Cease and desist.
Anonymous said…
Pro Rs, of course nobody is "forced" into RS, and nobody is suggesting students are required to do RS against their will. If their school doesn't have the classes they need, they of course have other options (e.g., online programs). However, RS may be their best option in that case. If they wanted to stay and their high school but couldn't get what they needed, it's reasonable for them to feel "forced" out of their HS, and thus "forced" into RS. If 100% of students who participated in RS did so because they really wanted to and thought it was a better fit for them than getting equivalent classes at their high school, that would be awesome. But there's nothing to suggest that's the case, and plenty to suggest it isn't.

Pro reality
Anonymous said…
If a school doesn't have the classes they need? What a ridiculous notion. It's public high school. All this noise around rigor needs to stop. The HCC crowd is bulling schools, administrators and others to get what they think somehow their students are ENTITLED to. It's to the point that the board can't even control its meetings because of the HCC crowd. MW you seem to have have children involved in every issue that comes up here. How can that be? SPED yep, HCC yep, AP yep and now RS.

Ego much
Anonymous said…
"Cease and desist. " What are you talking about? It's the HCC folks that are claiming RS is a negative because it allows the schools an out for HCC. Did I read all the comments wrong? I don't think so.

Then you have some of the same folks trying to assign a monetary value of profit and lost to SPS due to the existence of RS.

These are the same PRO HCC commenters. Perhaps you should circle back and review the facts and the language used. Of coarse you have been the first explain away their negative language.

It's completely transparent what you're doing.

Pro RS
Anonymous said…
Where is the data for what?

You made the claim that students were being "forced" into RS not me. Why don't you back up your claim?

I expect the RS numbers to jump by a large % soon. If you check what the kids are saying on socials you will see nothing but positive experiences talked about.

It's also interesting to read the students comparisons between SPS and RS. The district would be wise to listen to RS students, that is if they really want to improve SPS.

Pro RS
It's to the point that the board can't even control its meetings because of the HCC crowd. MW you seem to have have children involved in every issue that comes up here. How can that be? SPED yep, HCC yep, AP yep and now RS."

That can't "even control its meetings" is complete nonsense.

Yes, I have a child who had an IEP, one that qualified for HCC (but both were in Spectrum) and both took AP and RS. It's entirely possible and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

The district does not have good oversight of its master schedule for high school. Kellie has outlined that well in other threads. That they are having this many students leaving for RS seems an indication of at least some kind of problem.

And yes, whether you want to believe it or not, the district loses some money when kids go to RS. You are welcome to verify this yourself.

ProRS, I'm now seeing your tactic and I'm not going to play along. That readers are saying, "Nothing wrong with RS" seems to point that you are trying to hijack the conversation.

We're done with that part of the conversatoin, ProRS. Last time I'm going to say it.
Anonymous said…
Here is a real example.

My senior was assigned the following classes this year. LA and SS are graduation requirements. In addition to the graduation requirements, she was offered two TA slots, swimming and jewelry.

She felt "forced" into RS. She loves it and is very happy but there was lots of distress as this was not her first choice and "forced" accurately describes her experience.

- bulldog mama
kellie said…

I don't see any connection at all between RS and RS being an "out for HCC." For there to be a connection, there would need to be some significant research into the students who are enrolled in RS and that research dos not exist.

Due to a change in reporting requirements, this is the first year, that I have seen school by school RS information.

kellie said…
Sorry Mel, I started to write my comment before I saw yours.

Anonymous said…
My non HCC, Non RS junior daughter was "forced" into being a TA this semester because that was all that was available when they had to switch her LA class due to her original teacher leaving for another school at last minute. This even though she had spent hours meticulously numbering her electives (none of which were being a TA) on her registration form. She is nervous about her counselor appt tomorrow as she was assigned an undesired elective for 2nd semester and had not been assigned PE which she needs to graduate but now has to take online? Or the theater class she wanted which gives her the same type of credit as the elective she was assigned. I never had issues when I was in high school so this is all new to me and extremely frustrating and can see how RS can work for both those who want it, but also be the only choice for some who would prefer to take classes at their school but cannot get into those classes.

NESeattle Mom3
Anonymous said…
I’m surprised the haters haven’t made an effort to claim those taking RS are terrible because they don’t want to sit next to a high schooler. I can hear them now: Just take underwater basket weaving and be happy! You think you’re so special to want a class you need to graduate. Oh, please. You will learn more sitting in a worthless class with some high schoolers than a RS math class any day. Get off your...

High Horse
Anonymous said…
@ Ego much, seriously?

If a school doesn't have the classes they need? What a ridiculous notion. It's public high school. All this noise around rigor needs to stop. The HCC crowd is bulling schools, administrators and others to get what they think somehow their students are ENTITLED to.

A ridiculous notion that kids can't get the classes they need at our high schools? Think again. You may think it's fine for a senior to get LA, SS, and then only TA slots, swimming, and jewelry making, but that's not ok to me. I want my tax dollars to support preparing students to go to college if they want. If it comes down to only being able to offer academic classes OR electives, I think electives need to go. After all, as you said, it's public high school. Kids can take electives and play sports and music as extracurricular. We could make HS 4-5 periods or core academic work, then give kids credit for independent study electives.

@Pro RS, yes, you read them wrong. People keep telling you that.

RS is not an HCC only issue--non-HCC students can and do take classes through RS.

I'm not an HCC parent, but if people ARE "claiming RS is a negative because it allows the schools an out for HCC," I would tend to agree with them. Schools should NOT HAVE an OUT for HCC. The district is REQUIRED to provide appropriate service for HC students. Telling HC students they can get services somewhere else doesn't cut it.

Anonymous said…
This discussion is raising the point that issues that result in some students "having" to take R.S.--namely, that there aren't enough A.P. sections for students and their schedules--isn't just about H.C. Other students are being shortchanged, too.

As well, many high schools haven't been offering enough sections of A.P. to qualify as comprehensive (especially when compared to others in the district). This became widespread knowledge only because it appears likely that H.C. students will be attending neighborhood high schools. As a result, it's an issue that HCC parents have made a focus.

Siloed arguments are not productive and reveal a lack of systemic thinking.

The best part of this HCC-to-local-high school debate has been the highlighting of discrepancies in high school offerings, and the lack of in-school options for many students. Another take-away has been the highlighting of how R.B. and Sealth IB are not considered acceptable HCC choices, while Ingraham is a-okay.

Great collateral information for all to see and ponder.

Silos'R us
Anonymous said…
Give me a break. An IB class with 20 struggling students, 3 students at grade level and one HC student is not the same as an IB class where there are 8 or 9 HC students.

The other thing you need to remember is that almost nobody wants to go to RBHS. The district has to shut down waitlist movement at Cleveland and Franklin just to get 40% of the attendance area students into the school.

Face Facts
Anonymous said…
RBHS problems are based in the local community. Its not SpS responsibility to solve RB dysfunction. Let it go.

KIm moo IJS
Kim moo IJS, that's partial true. But the district is responsible for:

- the least amount of BEX spending of ANY high school; that's a fact.

- not promising to keep up the IB funding at a school that cannot afford to fundraising do backfill
NESeattleMom said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
NESeattleMom said…
NESeattle mom 3, Be very careful of what your principal allows for online PE. Not sure what HS your student is at, but from my experience the online portion of PE/Health is Health. The 3 semesters of PE are physical. At GHS you have to take an online cognitive test for PE, and there are various waivers that have very specific requirements and deadlines with no late waivers accepted even if student qualifies.
Good luck!
Anonymous said…
As we’re hearing about a move to 8 periods at Garfield, I wonder if all high schools will be required to do this. If so, it will be the end of our IB programmes. Standard level subjects require 150 teaching hours and that won’t fit in an 8 period day.

Fairmount Parent
NESeattleMom said…
I don't understand why Kris McBride (as per Garfield Messenger article called "Get Ready for Eight") would state that the district is mandating that Garfield in 2018-2019 would offer 32 credit opportunities in order that students can earn 24 credits. I don't understand why they don't just offer summer school for credit retrieval instead of offering 32 credits in order to get the 24 credits. Is this really mandated by the district that GHS "pilot" this concept? Or is this one of those things where the district says it is the principal's decision and the principal says the district made me do it?

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