Seattle School Board Meeting, January 3, 2018

Update from SPS Communications:  about the superintendent search, the survey closes Jan. 19th and the Town Hall is January 18th, location still TBA.

end of update

I only stayed for four hours (but I thought that enough and felt for the Board who had about 16 Intro items - mostly BEX - to slog thru).

I am not going to discuss the Green Dot charter school issue - a LOT going on there - and it deserves its own thread.  But the Board voted 6-0-1 to pass their resolution against the City okaying zoning departures for Green Dot's new school in the Rainier Valley.  There was zero discussion; they just took the vote (although, of course, President Harris asked directors her usual "questions, comments, concerns?).

The abstention was Director DeWolf who serves on the board of the Seattle Housing Authority which sold the land for the entire project of which includes Green Dot.  He said he was stepping down from that work in March.

Naturally the big draw was the discussion on high school boundaries.

I'll try to expand on this thread later but here's some highlights:
- they rearranged how the Board sits which is interesting because that rarely happens.  Mack is between Burke and DeWolf and it's a striking tableau.  As a fellow short person, I think I'll get her a pillow.

- Deputy Superintendent Nielson sat in for Superintendent Nyland.  I appreciated his short superintendent remarks.  He said there were 10 new Race and Equity teams in the district; I'll have to ask which schools.  He also gave some stats on the district's partnership, Seattle Teacher Residency, with several groups including SEA.  He said most of the trainees are in Title One schools and 40% are POC (which is well above the district rate) and 91% are still teaching in Title One schools after six years.

- Nielson also noted the continuing upward trend of the numbers of students taking the SAT/ACT and the rising scores.

- There was a notable media presence from tv crews, there to cover the high school boundaries discussion.

- President Harris noted that there is now a live webpage for the superintendent search with a questionnaire.  She also stated there would be a Town Hall on January 19th from 6:30-8:30 pm (location TBA).  That date is also the deadline for taking the questionnaire.  (I see the webpage says the 18th for the Town Hall so I'll check which it is.)

- Great presentation with students from South Lake High School on the program they are part of, Standing Tall.  ST serves African-American males and it sounds like these young guys are on their way. Very moving to all and the Board especially so.

- The majority of comments, though, came from parents of Ballard students (current and future) on high school boundaries.  The issue is largely around those between 80th and 85th who would be assigned to Ingraham.  There were also Magnolia parents advocating for their students to be at Ballard.  There was good, bad, and ugly.

Good was the tone from some parents about trying to find best outcomes for more students.  Good was the explanation that students who live between 80th and 85th had always gone to Ballard.  Good was explaining that kids who walk to school together tend to talk and interact more than those sitting on a bus, buried in a cell screen.  And, that many of these kids lived less than a mile from the school.

The Bad was that, as one parent stated, the process felt like "the Hunger Games" with students vying to get into one school.

The Ugly was a couple of comments of a "sorry, not sorry" nature for Magnolia students and parents from Ballard parents- "We actually LIVE in Ballard."

Of course that's true and if our district had done the right thing - decades ago - and created a comprehensive high school for Queen Anne and Magnolia - then you could say that.  But in this situation, it comes off in shrill and unpleasant.

I cannot fault Queen Anne and Magnolia parents for wanting somewhere for their children to go to high school and it's not Center School.  For Magnolia, Ballard is the closest high school but it looks like most of Queen Anne could easily go to Lincoln (for 9th/10th graders).  But I'm not drawing boundaries.

Hard to say what will happen but a couple of directors did indicate they lean towards allowing those students in that 80th-85th zone to go to Ballard.

- There was quite the discussion over the Intro item to change language in SMART Goal 3 from "program review" to "program summary."  Staff is concerned directors took "review" as a fleshed out summary of how a program is working and think summary - which means a 1-pager with stats/date on each program is what they meant. The directors asked some very careful questions, worried that staff might not cover enough info and then try to end some programs.  Michael Tolley agreed with President Harris that it may be that the Board policy around this issue may need to be changed.

High School Boundaries
The Board had decided on one hour for this issue and stuck to it.  Director Mack led the discussion as she is the Chair of the Operations Committee.

I think the time was not especially well spent and I'm not sure how clear it all is.  But here's what I believe I understand:

- the Board has picked two scenarios for HC students.

1) West Seattle HS, Garfield HS and Lincoln will be the pathways (with Ingraham an option) as an interim until 2021 when ALL high schools will be required to serve HC students in their population.

2) Amendment 2 from Student Assignment plan will be created in a resolution form to be presented to the Operations Committee today. Meaning, leave pathways in place as they are now until 2021
when ALL high schools will be required to serve HC students in their population.

The Board requested maps from the district in order to see what that would look like with boundaries and hopes to see that by Friday's High School Boundaries Task Force meeting.

I'll flesh out the discussion in the next couple of days.


Anonymous said…
Option two: no additional expansion in "22 to all schools. Maintain limited pathways as the district could never fund the every school model.

kellie said…
Thank you Mel for covering this. It seems like a wide variety of very challenging issues were addressed thoughtful and reasonably. I am once again very impressed with the board governance. In the 15 years, I have followed capacity related issues, this is a rare experience.

That said, there is one huge implication for this notion of the 2018 school board, making a substantial decision about 2021 program placement and thereby impacting high school boundaries based on 2017 enrollment information. Program placement impacts boundaries. If this board codifies a program change for 2021 that will mean that boundaries will need to be adjusted in 2020.

When the 2012 board, enacted the 2013 Growth Boundaries, they were painfully aware that they were going to get it wrong. So they added "amendment 12" to the plan to empower staff to make adjustments if needed. The mess of opening Eagle Staff was because the amendment was so vague and it did not specify that there needed to an in-depth review of those boundaries, prior to the 2017 opening. The amendment was based on the known quality and integrity of Tracy Libros and her retirement and loss of institutional memory really crippled that implementation.

It would unfair in the extreme to expect new staff to have followed the muddled mess of the 2013 Growth Boundaries plan. Frankly at the end of that vote, with 12 amendments, I didn't even understand what had been passed.

IMHO, it is a terrible plan to send HCC back to every high school, because program placement is the primary tool to manage the inequities around historic housing patterns. In the north end, poverty is concentrated in very precise pockets and a rigid neighborhood assignment plan without thoughtful program placement, will intensify the segregation they are trying to address

Additionally, I think it is really beyond the scope of the 2018 board to hand such a whopper of a boundary problem to the next board. Because to return HCC students to Ballard and Roosevelt would mean shrinking the boundaries of those school even more. The boundaries for both Ballard and Roosevelt will most likely need to be even lower than 80th to make enough space for that to happen. And thousands of students will be taken out of walkable schools and put on buses. That is just too big of an implication to pass down the road.

Eric B said…
It seemed like the TV media was there for the charter discussion. Two of the three cameras were gone before the HS item even came up.

I think the plan is to adopt boundaries now that will work for whichever HCC choice they make later. Where I think this falls down is that there was sympathy for the students between 80th and 85th going to Ballard and a desire to have decentralized HCC. I'm willing to be convinced by data, but I don't think it's possible to do both and not overfill Ballard. If it is possible, it will probably involve similarly unpleasant boundary choices across Ingraham, Hale, and Roosevelt.

Good news on the Seattle Teacher Residency retaining teachers and recruiting teachers of color.

Anonymous said…
Watching on TV, I understood that option #1 was to draw boundaries now that would allow HC at all neighborhood high schools in 2021. I think it is meant to send HC students to Garfield, Lincoln and W. Seattle, plus the option at Ingraham, in 2019, but also supposedly have stable boundaries that allow a seamless transition to the dissolution of pathways in 2021. I can't envision how staff will be able to make this work and assume it will expose the fallacy in this plan.

For option #2, different than what MW writes here, I think the request was for boundaries that designate Garfield, Lincoln and W. Seattle, plus the option at Ingraham, as the *permanent* pathways for the services. I can't believe the board actually got here after everything. Kudos to Dir. Harris for her pointed questions on the bounds of the role of the Lincoln planning principal.

kellie said…
@ Eric,

Yes, I agree that the "theory" is to adopt boundaries that will work for whatever HCC they make later. But that theory crashes into a very hard reality. There simply isn't room at Ballard and Roosevelt for everyone who lives closest to those schools.

The thing that would assist this conversation, once again, is the geographic maps. If enrollment were to release the geographic maps that show where students live and their closest high school, it creates a vivid picture of the problem of geography. Ballard and Roosevelt are incredibly geographically convenient schools. The majority of students in north seattle live closer to these two schools than any other school.
Anonymous said…
Agreed H. And to all the directors who pushed back against this staff blindsiding. Well done.

Two lips
Anonymous said…
I agree with H that the second option the board is considering is to continue placement at Garfield, Lincoln and West Seattle indefinitely.

I believe the resolution Geary and DeWolf are writing will memorialize the board’s intention to decentralize high school HCC in 2021-22. Director Harris noted that it must include the caveat that this will only happen if the district can provide the financial support required to make the plan successful.

If Geary and DeWolf want this to happen, they should be asking Michael Tolley for a standard course progression for HC high school students, including the number of sections and how students should be grouped in classes. This will have to happen anyway before they add new pathways at Lincoln and West Seattle.

Fairmount Parent
Anonymous said…
Yeah FP. For those of you keeping score at home here is how I see it.

Wyeth/staff have said can't roll up a HC site in 2019 at LHS as it would be too expensive but not a concern to make all schools HCC pathways the very next year.

This is also being done for equity when the poorest HS have the fewest HC identified students and the least amount of money to pay for nearly empty classes.

We are adding 2000 seats to North while trying to decrease choice. Clearly staff has ulterior motives because lowering cost and disruption have not been seen in their plans.

Two lips
Anonymous said…
Oh god here we go again with HCC. It's HCC this and HCC that , it never ends. There is already a HCC dedicated blog and unlike this one it's run by a parent.

Anonymous said…
I thought HCC at Lincoln - an option which was bandied about when Lincoln was first announced at opening - wasn't possible since it would be 9th and 10th only, at first, and so it wouldn't have the staff to teach gen ed and HCC.

Anonymous said…
My personal direct experience with Michael Tolley is that he does not soil his hands with course progressions for any student, especially HCC students. He leaves it to "the discretion of the Principal". (His words in writing to me). I think we have to assume that there will be NO course progressions forthcoming from Tolley.

What he DOES soil his hands with is an open question in my opinion. Probably trolling blogs.

NO 1240 said…
Thanking President Harris for her comments related to Green Dot. I applaud her courage and conviction- especially since TV cameras were present.

I was disappointed when a particular individual singled out President Harris and publicly attacked her for her position. The entire board signed onto the Resolution opposing Green Dot.

It is worth noting that the city of Seattle attempted to push through a charter school in south Seattle and did so in a manner that is NOT consistent with their own laws. I find this very disturbing.
Anonymous said…
Seriously folks. Isn’t there already IB options available at RBHS and CSIHS for any HC student truly interested in learning? Have HCC students been denied seats in these schools? Love of segregation isn’t going to win out here.

Eric B said…
Kellie, I wasn't clear. By "later" I meant either adopting or not the Geary-DeWolf resolution in four weeks at the same meeting they adopt boundaries. As I understand it, staff will present to the Board a map for Option 1 (HCC at Garfield-Lincoln-WSHS-Ingraham for 2 years, then rolling up to decentralized) or Option 2 (HCC at G-L-W-I permanently). If the Board adopts the Geary-DeWolf resolution, they are choosing the map for Option 1. If they do not adopt that resolution, they are choosing the map for Option 2.

On the other hand, they could choose the map first and let that inform their vote on the Geary-DeWolf resolution.

I think some of the Board is still under the mistaken impression that you can have one map for both decentralized and G-L-W-I.
Anonymous said…
Director Harris asked an excellent question about administrative oversight vs. building based management:

Does placing an HCC pathway at Lincoln violate the cba in term of the Planning Principal's authority to design a new high school?

According to Chief of Schools, Mike Starosky, nothing in the past contract prevents the Superintendent or Board from making the decision on the design of a school and providing that direction to the Planning Principals.

She really pressed the district for an answer, and I'm gratified to know she is President of the Board.

Anonymous said…
How do SPS IB programs compare in terms of variety and number of course options and level of advancement for math and science? Even at Annie Wright in Tacoma (I know, not exactly comparable), the course options seemed more limited than what Ingraham offers. The IBX program also provides a pathway for taking those courses sooner.


Ghost Mom said…
I am so happy to see board members paying attention to things I believe could actually improve equity:
—taking demographic heat maps into consideration when determining boundaries
—contemplating how boundaries can work to counteract historical redlining
—considering program placement as a way to increase diversity at schools
—considering options that would ensure HC-identified students from all neighborhoods have access to appropriate course offerings with minimal remediation funds from the district

I was also thrilled to hear clarification that principals do not have the authority to decide who they serve and where programs are placed. Good for the board!
SPS HiJacking said…
The problem with the current school board is the lack of educational experience in the classroom or school buildings. The board caving to the kowtowing of the HCC activist will backfire. There's going to be a huge showdown with HCC activist vs equity activist.

I expect the race card will be used and HCC will lose. Makes you wonder why the board turns a blind eye to the violations of special education law, theft of special education funds and other special education abuses past and present. I guess you need to follow the money.

Who is behind this hijacking of focus of the board towards HCC.
Anonymous said…
But they are thinking of axing the IBX acceleration because the HCC aren't exactly acing the "doing it early" bit. Not to mention that there really is no plan for senior year when you finish early. IB is a fine advanced learning option, widely available. But that isn't what people want, it's segregation or bust!

Anonymous said…
To clarify, Ruth Medsker is NOT the planning principal at Lincoln. She is the permanent principal and was appointed to that role with ZERO community input.

As the parent of two SPS kids, one HCC, one not HCC, I take issue with reader's characterization of HCC parents as being pro-segregation. Divisive rhetoric isn't going to solve problems. Working together as a collective Seattle community is.

Concerned Parent
Anonymous said…
Most of the "best schools" make reference to students' being prepared for AP tests. Not IB tests, because their students aren't allowed to take IB tests, unless they have been enrolled in IB courses. Why, if you've taken AP courses, or been home-schooled, can't you take IB tests? On the 4000-word IB essay, I did these, working up from 3000 words in 6th grade. I doubt that the pre-IB programme does this. IB (public) lets kids take 3 college-creditable HL courses. IB private, 4. Why the difference? AP lets kids take, 5, 6, 8, 12 college-creditable courses. More importantly, non-IB schools let their most brilliant students take 12th grade linear algebra, diff EQ, third-semester physics, organic chemistry, and other second-year SS and humanities college courses, on campus, or through concurrent enrollment in local colleges, in 12th or even 11th grade. Impossible in the IB Programme.

AP student
Anonymous said…
reader, SPS HiJacking, Metoo

You have posted a hearty list of thoroughly baseless claims. Where did you go to school? Trump University? It appears you got your money's worth!

Reader, you are getting dangerously close to talking about students. Don't do it.

AP student, you'd have to ask the people who run IB but it's a program rather than selected courses as is AP. Very different.

"Oh god here we go again with HCC. It's HCC this and HCC that , it never ends."

FYI, that's because the DISTRICT and the BOARD have made it the central issue in terms of high school boundaries. Do keep up.

Anonymous said…
Concerned Parent, please ignore Reader at all times. He specifically trolls for any HCC content, baits a hook and is vitalized by negative attention. The angrier you get, the more pleasure he feels.

Anonymous said…
@Reader- Your segregation comment is not based on the reality that the majority send their kids on buses (some over an hour each way) down to Garfield or to Ingraham schools of majority minority rather than choosing their north end more affluent and white neighborhood schools.

I also think you have no clue who they are including that many are 2E, lag in executive functioning skills, etc. For reasons not quite understood very high IQ correlates. These kids are under the special ed umbrella in many parts of the country. IB and IBX (starting IB even earlier) require a high degree of organization. This is why it is not appropriate for many HC kids especially at younger ages.

There is a great post on the soup for teachers blog by Augustina DeBonte Dec 23rd 9:00AM about HC kids in relation to a post about a book about IQ. There is more to it than being "smart kids". You should read it
Anonymous said…
Ad hominem attacks disguised as Pop Psychology 101:

1) conflate opposing opinions into one moniker

2) Be like Trump and call any opposing voice a "troll" or "hater"

Along with the multiple deletes by the monitor of views that counter the blog narrative, this is the "by any means necessary" tactic that helps the privileged keep their power.

Good news: The word is out about how this blog operates and how the posts that are allowed to escape deletion are treated by the privileged mob.

Kind of takes the "Open" out of "Open Forum".

Que Sera
Anonymous said…
@Eric B, how is it possible for staff to "present to the Board a map for Option 1 (HCC at Garfield-Lincoln-WSHS-Ingraham for 2 years, then rolling up to decentralized"? Wouldn't option 1 require two maps to work--one for the pathways years, and another for the decentralization? Or are you thinking they will take a stab at what decentralized boundaries would mean, then provide projections that show how well (or not) that would deal with capacity/assignment in the meantime?

Anonymous said…
I think if you want a good start to a liberal arts based career it's worth taking IB but if not then go the AP route and have a life and get on the path to a good career with plenty of job good opportunities. Really good AP teachers are an endangered class, but IB teachers are sort of cookie cutter produced. They all seem to be trained in the exact same way which is I guess the whole point of the program. You're not going to be able to staff every high school with qualified AP teachers for every subject and don't try and use unqualified staff. AP students know when a teacher is not capable of teaching AP subjects.

Once you've learned the expected work product formats in IB then it's just all about the volume of work. I've see lots and lots of plagiarism in IB.

AP student
Anonymous said…
Don't take the bait, folks.

As far as AP vs IB, yes, an option with AP offers more flexibility and more opportunities for transferable college credit, especially if you also have access to advanced Running Start options (not all CCs have much in the way of 200 level LA/SS options). IHS does allow a student to take 4 HLs (you just need to get school permission and sign the IB paperwork).

fact checker
Anonymous said…
You have selectively posted from the research of De Bonte, who has written extensively about how historically underserved students are systematically being deprived of needed HC servcies and how HC services are perpetuating inequity by using identification processes that virtually shut these students out.

Have the decency to call yourself something other than "researcher" if you choose to use research in a such a blatantly biased manner.

Que Sera
Yes and former director Sue Peters valiantly tried to get the Board and staff to listen to DeBonte who had many sensible and doable actions to find students of color. Nothing has changed.
Anonymous said…
(okay, I'm taking the bait)

You're not going to be able to staff every high school with qualified [IB] teachers for every subject and don't try and use unqualified staff. [IB] students know when a teacher is not capable of teaching [IB] subjects.

Substitute "IB" for "AP," and the statement is just as true.

fact checker
Anonymous said…
It's my understanding that IB stops schools from padding AP grades? An IB test or coarse work are graded by another person outside of the school and district, not the teacher. Is the same true for AP classes?

Anonymous said…
Que Sera/DeleteMe/FWIW,

Your obsessive "thoughts", propaganda and repetitive themes are a virtual fingerprint.

Nose Knows

Anonymous said…
All this HCC limitations talk is just pure malarkey. Are you claiming at some point all these gifted students are running out of books to read, equations to solve, Lego models to build?

Really, Gifted kids just figure it out and can't be taught by laymen. Gifted means entering collage at 12 not IBX. Stop using the gifted term so loosely!

How about using the term academically focused?

Relax please

Study Abroad said…
One great thing about the IB model is that it is widely used in Europe, so it is easier to figure out where you place in a European context and start attending a school there. Since college is essentially free in a number of European countries, there is considerable appeal to exploring this option. You won't get football games, but you will get plenty of other benefits like learning a new language, travel opportunities, and being prepared to work in a global economy.

If that's not for you, there's always doing a study abroad program while doing Running Start.
Question: Can Running Start students participate in study abroad programs offered by their college?
Answer: Yes. Running Start students have access to all the classes offered in the college catalog. The student can be claimed for the standard Running Start reimbursement rate. Students are responsible for any additional costs. While the allowance for study aboard programs permits a student, who is resident of a Washington state district, to attend that college’s student aboard program, it does not permit a student who is not ordinarily a resident of Washington state to participate in a college’s online program while living outside of Washington state.
Anonymous said…
Amen Relax! Amen SA! Opportunity is everywhere!

So, AP is way, way better. More flexible. And that’s why our gifted have to have numerous choices, way beyond what everyone else gets? That’s the latest story? It’s not about providing a basic service? It’s about providing special and better and maximally flexible. Do kids needing Biotech Academy get that if they live in the Hale area? Most kids aren’t afforded infinite flexibility even it would serve them best. And it doesn’t matter that it’s available to some but not others. It’s clear that Advanced options are available all over the city, but the perfect segregated environment isn’t .

reader mobster

PS. Really? We’re talking about BC calculus being the big deal? So, taking 1 year of calculus spread out over 2 years is the big deal everyone is complaining about? This issue is clearly not about giftedness! Switch AB to BC and that problem is solved. If the kids are actually gifted, it isn’t a problem. Taking one year of college calculus (calculus BC) in one year instead of 2 isn’t a problem.
NNE Mom said…
I think Eric B is right. It seems like some of the board members still mistakenly believe that they can have one assignment map that covers high school HC both at Garfield-Lincoln-West Seattle-Ingraham (in 2019) and decentralized (in 2021). Can't wait to see the map(s)!
Anonymous said…
The IBX option was created to relieve overcrowding at Garfield. It was a way to guarantee HC students a place at the only SPS school designated for serving HC students - Garfield, without the district needing to do much in the way of creating a new program or further adding to capacity issues in the north end. IHS stepped up and made it work. IHS happened to be the place with capacity, closest to the area with the most growth. AP or IB, it provided a pathway without adding to Ballard or Roosevelt overcrowding. Now all 4 schools - Ballard, Roosevelt, Ingraham, and Garfield - have gone past their tipping point. Spin it as you like, @rb, but the reality is it's always been about capacity first.

"And that’s why our gifted have to have numerous choices, way beyond what everyone else gets?"

Nope, not academically because every class HC students can take, anyone else can as well.

"Do kids needing Biotech Academy get that if they live in the Hale area?"

I've argued - for years - about the lack of Open Choice seats given our high schools have diverse offerings. Biotech is not about HC and isn't all HC kids.

"It’s clear that Advanced options are available all over the city, but the perfect segregated environment isn’t .

Well, it's true except that some schools have more because of HC student needs. That's the way the district has interpreted and now the Board seems to say, "Do that in all the comprehensives." But, as President Harris pointed out, the district cannot undo 40 years of Seattle redlining. The district tried busing, with very mixed reactions and a lot of parents being unhappy about long bus rides. As Flip Herdon said, given today's traffic, bus rides would be longer and cost the district more.
Eric B said…
Unclear, The next 2 years are so totally jacked for the worst-case schools (next year: Ballard, Garfield, Roosevelt) that the map chosen doesn't really matter. One or the other would make some difference around the edges, but it's going to be something like 20% over capacity vs. 18% over capacity. The mere fact of opening some seats will start to relieve pressure. We may start getting back to reasonable building enrollments in 2020-21.

AP Student, it is to laugh. You know students taking DiffEQ and linear algebra in a high school classroom? Mind saying which one? Because that sounds like a load of horse hockey. Mind saying what schools you know of where there's lots of IB plagiarism going on?

The reason you can't just swoop in and take an IB test is that the IB diploma is a program. Each class has a number of major assignments throughout the year, not just a test at the end. IB scores depend on all of the submitted assignments, some of which are graded in house by the teacher and some of which are graded by the IB Organization. I believe that the ones graded in house are spot checked to make sure the teacher is grading them properly. It's awfully hard to inflate grades in IB.

And I would say that the opposite is true of AP vs. IB teacher qualifications. The College Board doesn't require any particular training to become an AP teacher. IBO does both before teachers begin teaching IB subjects and ongoing.

Assuming you are still a student, a piece of life advice. Don't make stuff up. You'll get caught. Right now and on this blog, it's just embarrassing, but in real life it has more consequences.
Anonymous said…
Director Harris’s comment that we can’t undo forty years of redlining seems to be an attempt to prejudice from the dais any plans to disperse privileged populations and to academically integrate classrooms. This is unacceptable. There is no justification for allowing the effects of redlining to continue to affect schools. There is a flexible instrument against redlining. It is the student assignment plan. Used creatively we can get to a much fairer play, reflective of the city we want to be and not one beholden to a shameful past.

For progress

Anonymous said…
Where is that privilege again FWIW? We all get one seat. That seat is no taller or shorter. It is district provided not from any other source.

We all get one teacher per class unless we are in sped or language immersion. Is that where the privilege lies?

We all get one building is an elementary school without a play field or WMS privileged?

We all get one cohort is having you spread across the city a privilege?

We all get one curriculum... Wait HCC doesn't and they are taught differently at lower FRL schools than at higher ones.

The privilege is being served at your neighborhood school hope you are enjoying it.
Anonymous said…
Ok, I'll bite. Which 40 years is Harris referring to? Certainly not 1978 to 2018? If so then she needs to resign.

Anonymous said…
And if you want more decentralized HC services build it and they will come as we see at RHS and GHS. Choice is a powerful motivator.

Anonymous said…
With such a drive for segregated HCC, it makes me wonder what type of social engineering might be going on in those secluded classrooms. They could be using the NYT social justice video series to bias these groups.

Anonymous said…
Don't worry there are no segregated class rooms in SPS. if there are, where? Details please. Is Tolley chief segregationist?

Lie much?
"Director Harris’s comment that we can’t undo forty years of redlining seems to be an attempt to prejudice from the dais any plans to disperse privileged populations and to academically integrate classrooms."

No, she voted at the previous Board meeting to "disperse" the HC kids. Do keep up.

What she is pointing out is that the city is segregated and that issue falls largely to what the City allowed over decades. The district cannot change that. They did try busing and it didn't work.

"Used creatively we can get to a much fairer play, reflective of the city we want to be and not one beholden to a shameful past."

Okay, I'll bite. What can you do to the SAP "creatively?"

There is no "drive" for segregated HC. It's done and the majority of Board members support changing that. You need to either listen or stop writing falsehoods.

Anonymous said…
"With such a drive for segregated HCC" by parents and advocates I should have wrote.

Is that a falsehood?

Anonymous said…
@ Eric B, aren't the new seats supposed to come online in one year (not counting current school year), so relief should be in 2019 not 2020?

@ Que Sera, it may be true that "historically underserved students are systematically being deprived of needed HC services" and that "HC services are perpetuating inequity by using identification processes that virtually shut these students out," but neither suggests that we don't need HC services, or that returning HC students to their neighborhood high school is an effective solution, so I'm not sure how that's relevant to this discussion. What you should be focused on are improving the identification process, and academic (and family) supports during the early years to help develop a pipeline for HC qualification.

@ Relax Please, that's just absurd that "gifted kids just figure it out and can't be taught by laymen" or that "gifted means entering collage [sic] at 12." Gifted children need teachers, too. And those kids who enter college early also had teachers of some sort along the way--and they'll have teachers in college, too. By your logic, why should they even go to college? They should just keep figuring it all out on their own, right? Sheesh. If you don't like the term "gifted," fine. They state, and the district, use "highly capable," so why don't you just go with that and relax (please).

@ reader mobster, FYI, for HC students, access to accelerated learning IS basic education according to the state. So yes, "beyond what everyone else gets" WOULD be "providing a basic service." However, these AP classes we're talking about are NOT only open to HC students, so the beyond what everyone else gets idea isn't valid. It might be beyond what students at some schools with low demand for AP classes get, but that's because they have low demand--and that's why a pathway is needed for the low numbers of HC students at those schools.

@ reader, reader mobster, and JS, show me one shred of evidence that what HCC families want is segregation and not academic rigor? The fact that many families choose a more-diverse HCC over their less-diverse AA school suggests academics are the driving force. The push for continued access to IBX (which includes classes with GE students doing IB) also suggests families want academic challenge. The push for more AP classes (open to all) does likewise. Your constant cries of segregation are misplaced, and would be better directed at our neighborhood SAP if you truly cared about the issue.


Anonymous said…
@ JS, assuming you mean racially segregated yes, that is a falsehood.

Here. How about I officially kick off a "drive for un-segregated HCC by parents and advocates? Will that make you happy?

Hey fellow HCC parents--Please join me in saying (yet again) that HCC should be more diverse! We know the importance of a academic acceleration and a cohort of intellectual peers for HC children, and we understand that the most cost-efficient way to deliver these state-mandated services is to do so via the cohort, so we still advocate for continuation of the cohort/pathway model, but we hereby state (again) that it is important for SPS to DO MORE and DO BETTER re: identifying and/or developing HC students from historically underserved groups. We understand that efforts may take time and may require more resources (i.e., the Rainier Scholars model), but we encourage you to devote resources to this efforts. Current HCC parents are willing to do what we can to help, too. Preserve access to appropriate academic challenge for current HC students, and expand access to HC for those who, for whatever reasons, have had trouble demonstrating that they, too, need HC services.

pro-HCC, pro-diversity
Anonymous said…
No, nothing I ever write is suggesting race base segregation. I don't believe there is any segregation based on race in SPS, period! There could be segregation based on skills very similar to scholastic sports segregation. Why don't people raise hell when a north-end basketball team is top loaded with imported black students. Shouldn't participation be equal based on race with each race being represented on the field or court? Of coarse not it's based on winning the game. It's based on skill and effort.

Can minorities participate in HCC?, of coarse. Are there social economics impacts preventing participation? perhaps, but those are not isolated to minorities.

There are countless social programs targeted at black students from K-5, MS HS and college. High FRL schools with a large minority population receive larger allocation of local funds, federal grants and charitable donations but some still claim various school are underfunded, simply ridiculous.

It seems to me it's time for impacted but well funded SPS communities to step up and perform their civic duties and get their children educated within the current environment which includes very generous funding. Stop listening to adversarial community organizers looking for votes. Clean up the bad influences in and around your school buildings and community and perhaps things will turn around.

Anonymous said…
Having been in self-contained classrooms for three years, my experience was that it was better than private school.

Small range of abilities, motivated parents, excellent teachers, much faster pace in reading and math, higher level discussions, kids more relaxed about stretching their intellectual wings, less behavior issues, etc.

It wasn't fair to the other other kids at the school, we decided, and we stayed out of the cohort for middle school, so we're at our local high school and happy.

I think the cohort should be reserved for the 99.5 percentile and up. I feel it does a disservice to keep the number of kids we have in the cohort from having to deal with their age peers of all academic levels in core classes.

They will need the social skills later in life that they are missing by being cohorted with there CoGAT peers.

Optional Segregation said…
Cleveland and Franklin are pretty "segregated". According to OSPI for 2016-17, both were 28% Black/AA but only 7% White (in a district that was 47% White.) And one of them is an option school, so the students chose the segregation. Of course, Ballard (75% White) and Roosevelt (69% White) are "segregated" in the other direction.

Actually Hale is about as close to un-"segregated" as you can get. Hale was 14% Black/AA students and 54% White (pretty darn close to the district's 15% Black/AA and 47% White). Great work, Hale! Shame on the other schools.
Anonymous said…

I think the cohort should be reserved for the 99.5 percentile and up. I feel it does a disservice to keep the number of kids we have in the cohort from having to deal with their age peers of all academic levels in core classes.


They will need the social skills later in life that they are missing by being cohorted with there CoGAT peers.


Anonymous said…
You would have to calculate in the local population by race to prove some sort of segregation conspiracy. I willing to bet that Ballard attendance area is more than 75% white. For sure Roosevelt area is 95% white. Why are you only concerned about black and white ratios? I like how you leave out Ingraham, why is that? is it because that non blacks/Latino are the minority and IB is 93% non black/Latino? Isn't the white student % in the low 40 percentile? So 57% non-white and IB is 93% non black/Latino, see the problem.

What stops people from buying a home in Ballard, it's NOT the color of their skin. It's money. Really sick of people playing the worn out redlining card.

Anonymous said…

Are you going to call out JS on their odious profiling?

Re. Director Harris. Yes she voted for the HCC at every high school amendment, but as the motion didn’t pass it had no effect. What she said at the most recent meeting was that she believes in equity, but we’re not there yet. This isn’t the first time she’s made such a statement. When it comes to equity and doing something concrete to address it, she equivocates and kicks the can down the road. Stalling in other words. She has no hesitancy, however, in voicing her concerns for those parents who flock to her meetings concerned about (her phrase), the college arms race.

So who exactly Is Director Harris listening to and representing?

For progress

Anonymous said…
How am I profiling?

haters hate because that is all they have said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
@ Bonnie,

So that was your personal experience, great. Ours was the opposite. Having spent more years than than you in self-contained classrooms, our experience was that private school is better. My student has learned more in private, has better teachers, is actually enjoying math and doing well in it for the first time ever, and has many fewer behavioral issues. The range of abilities in the classroom is larger in private, but the teachers handle it well, and even my HC student is sufficiently challenged.

I'm not sure how exactly you made that "fairness"-based decision to stay out of the cohort for middle school, but I expect your child didn't particularly "need" HCC-level challenge to make it through (otherwise, as the responsible parent you no doubt are, you likely would have chosen the cohort). Or maybe you really were willing to sacrifice your own child's well-being for this idea that somehow it would make things better for everyone else if your child was miserable.

As a previous poster noted, this isn't really about who thinks what level the cutoff should be. But I will point out that our testing can't reliably identify those at the 99.5th percentile, so we'd have to redo the testing entirely, probably going to a much more expensive process. It also wouldn't solve the diversity issue (and might make it worse). More power to you.

Also, enough, please, with the "HCC students have poor social skills because they don't spend enough time with GE students" garbage. To the extent that they do have poor social skills, it's probably more likely to be because they don't share the same interests, and/or they have Asperger's type symptoms.

Unusual Experiences said…
I'm surprised, Bonnie, that you find the teachers outside of HCC not to be excellent. That's a pretty harsh thing to say, and not my experience at all. Although, in my experience I believe the worst teacher my child had outside of the cohort was actually a pretty good teacher for most of the students and was only a bad teacher for my student because she wasn't able to differentiate sufficiently and didn't have any training at all in giftedness.

And you must have tried private school, too, to evaluate that self-contained is better than private school. Again, the reason private didn't work out very well for you might be because most of the private schools aren't really geared toward gifted kids either, with a couple of (very expensive) notable exceptions.

And you found a small range of abilities in the cohort? Really? What school were you at? What level were the kids at? Finding a room full of asynchronous kids who are all the same age and all at the same level has got to be near impossible. Likewise with the fewer behavior issues. Really? Which school? Sounds nothing like the HCC classrooms my child has been in.

And when you got to middle school you decided to repeat two years of math? That is a very unusual choice. But I guess not being with your friends from elementary school friends was pretty important to you in middle school? Did you pretend you didn't know them in the cafeteria and refuse to sit next to them in music and sports, too? A lot of families really want their kids to be able to go to middle school with the friends they made in elementary school, so you're pretty unusual in wanting nothing to do with them anymore. But if you believe they're being unfair by demanding SPS provide them with a basic education, maybe you didn't see eye to eye and the friendships were doomed anyway. Still, it's a pretty sad story.

I'm glad you somehow came through that and are happy in high school. That's actually amazing. And great. Good for you.

Kind of weird that you think you should personally get to decide how the district runs its HC services based on the experiences of one student, you. But, by all means, write to the board and give them your suggestions. They love to hear from their constituents.
Eric B said…
Why Bother, It depends on the map scenario. The capacity coming online in 2019-20 does make a big difference. For the most overcrowded schools, that means getting "all the way" down to 100 or so over capacity. That's a lot better than 300-400 (looking at you, Ballard!), but still not great.
Anonymous said…
I don't know about Bonnie but when my daughter started middle school at a non-HCC school, one of her friends was placed in Algebra 1 in 6th grade and finished Algebra II in 8th, along with several other students. That was 6 years ago, so I would assume it is still happening.

pro-HCC, pro-diversity, good comments. It's interesting that those who rail against the program don't seem to want to truly find students of color who could benefit from it.
Bottom Line said…
South Lake High School is certainly well funded: only 74 students and 9 teachers, funded at $18,197 per student! That's about three times as much as the district spends on a lot of HCC students. Which is as it should be. Cohorting HCC students makes it much cheaper to educate them, so the district saves money on the HCC students and use that money to provide personalized mentorship programs like Standing Tall to students at South Lake.

I do wish all the schools taught more (or any!) African history, though.
Anonymous said…
@Que Sera- Because I was directly responding to Reader's comment attacking HC parents and insulting HC kids. I completely agree with your other points regarding finding better ways to identify and serve underserved students. We have family members who were not identified due to some of these factors. But that was not the point of Reader's post. It was to blame and target HC parents and kids.
Anonymous said…
That is not the same Reader from prior post. Way too over the top logically.

Again, please, if you know someone else is using a moniker, do NOT post with the same one.
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