Seattle School Board Meeting, January 31, 2018

From the agenda, highlights:
  • Last Board meeting the student presentation was the Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Orchestra; this meeting it's their jazz band.
  • HC Resolutions
DeWolf/Geary - Adopting Resolution No. 2017/18-10 to establish an equitable vision for advanced coursework in all high schools by replacing highly capable pathways at the high school level with a localized assignment model by 2021-22

Pinkham, Patu, Mack - Substitute Resolution No. 2017/18-10 to affirm the vision for equitable access to advanced coursework in all high schools and develop the detailed plan for implementation by 2021-22.

The new Resolution is clearly better and that may be that time and discussion have made it understood the parameters of the work needed and who needs to be involved in that work.  This resolution is no slam against Directors Geary or DeWolf; but rather, as in cooking, sometimes things need time to develop and mellow.

The new Resolution brings in the Race and Equity tool before the original one gets there.  In fact, it mentions it in three specific paragraphs.

The new Resolution makes clear - from dates in it - that the work needs to start now to be ready for those deadlines.  It still keeps the early work at the high school level.

The new Resolution includes - and to me this is key because it is the first time, in a long time -
a move to change the identification processes for Advanced Learning.  It is a mystery how there is all this unhappiness over the lack of equity in the program and yet, no staff have made moves to change that (and that's in their wheelhouse, not the Board's).

Two key points in the new Resolution:
that the district needs to provide access to advanced courses for all students
regardless of if they have been identified as an advanced learner or highly capable; 

Rigor for all.

increasing identification in younger grades and providing more access to advanced courses in elementary and middle schools would prepare more students for advanced course work at all attendance area high schools, 

I urge you to let the Board know your thoughts before the meeting.
The BAR, from Flip Herndon of Facilities and Ashley Davies of Enrollment, favors Scenario F4.3.

It appears Lincoln is to open as a 9/10 roll-up "with a project enrollment of 747" based on the selected scenario.  They project the enrollment to be 1195 in 2020-2021 (although they will still only be at grades 9-11) and note that "additional mitigation funds may be needed." 

There is an Attachment N on the issue of opening Lincoln that I don't recall seeing before so I call it to your attention.  It's the last page of the BAR.  

Before discussing the four amendments, I note that the order of action is for the Board to take the amendments first, in order received, discuss and then vote on each.  THEN, they add whatever amendments that do get passed to the BAR and take a vote.

Amendment 1 from Mack and Burke:

This Board Action switches the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Pathway from Ingraham to Lincoln starting in 2019-20 school year. DLI students entering 9th grade who are not in the Lincoln attendance area will be provided a guaranteed assignment to Lincoln beginning in 2019-20. Existing DLI students at Ingraham would retain their assignment to Ingraham; rising 10th graders in 2019-20 could also choose to attend Lincoln during open enrollment.

This action also directs staff to develop a southeast dual language immersion pathway at the high school level. 

On the one hand, this action would prevent the district from transporting students four miles north to Ingraham to continue in the DL program.  

On the other hand, there are mitigation costs to doing this, probably around $100-150,000 each year. 

Amendment 2 from Burke and Mack:

This amendment would keep the area known as Reference Area B in the Ballard High School attendance area, instead of moving it to the new Lincoln High School attendance area.

This is part of the West Woodland ES and Hamilton MS attendance areas. All West Woodland is currently assigned into Hamilton, but then is split along Phinney between Ballard and Roosevelt at high school. If this area is maintained in Ballard, the smaller portion of the West Woodland boundary that is currently assigned into Roosevelt for high school would be the area assigned to Lincoln when it opens. The majority of this area is closer geographically to Ballard. The West Woodland attendance area will be split between Ballard and Lincoln High Schools regardless of whether this amendment passes.

There were 84 9-12th grade Seattle Public Schools residents in this area as of 2016, 11.9% of whom were non-white and 14.29% of whom receive special education services.

As both schools will continue to face comparable capacity challenges, and as Ballard High School has existing portables, this amendment would minimize disruption for families and allow many students to attend the high school closer to their home. 

Amendment 3 from Mack:

This one is somewhat attached to the new resolution about HC services from Mack, Patu and Pinkham:

If the substitute resolution passes, this amendment would clarify the Board’s intention that the planning, analysis and collaboration will be completed prior to determine if any additional changes are needed to high school HC Pathways in 2021-22.

This amendment amends the motion for high school highly capable pathways to set Lincoln, Garfield, and West Seattle as highly capable pathway schools starting in the 2019-20 school year until the Board takes any future action to amend them. It removes the two-year timeframe established in the main motion, and clarifies that the pathways are established in perpetuity. 

 This makes the amended paragraph in the motion read as follows:
I also move that the School Board approve the highly capable pathway changes for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, as shown in Attachment K, and that these changes continue in effect for all subsequent school years unless the Board takes action to adopt changes to the pathways. Upon approval, this information will be included in the next Student Assignment Transition Plan.
Naturally, perpetuity is not a word usually used in this district but, of course, any future Boards can always make changes.

Amendment 4 (I suspect is from President Harris but the amendment is not yet attached)

This amendment involves:
Allow current 7th grade highly capable students from West Seattle attending Washington Middle School to enroll in Garfield as rising 9th graders in 2019-20. Approval of this item would allow current 7th grade highly capable students from West Seattle attending Washington Middle School to enroll in Garfield as rising 9th graders in 2019-20.


I agree with Amendment 1, given Lincoln's location right next to Hamilton, a dual language school.

Amendment 2 is one I don't have a lot to say about except that I'm sure many other parents will say their home is "geographically close" to Ballard. 

Amendment 3 is one I see as an enforcer to the new Resolution on HC services.  I'm glad someone thought about doing this because sometimes resolutions are not much more than the paper they are written on.

Amendment 4 I see as a kindness to students who have been moving as a group in HC at Washington to continue on at Garfield (if they so choose and, as we have seen, that is not always the case).
  • Approval of Capacity Management Actions for the 2018-19 School Year
I move that the Board authorize allocation of up to $4,510,000 from a combination of the BTA III, BTA IV, and BEX IV capital funds to implement annual capacity management actions in spring semester 2017-18 and summer 2018 to support projected District homeroom and program capacity needs for the 2018-19 school year, and authorize the Superintendent to take the necessary steps to implement the actions as detailed in the attached Capacity Management recommendations.

- K-5 & K-8 schools projected to grow by 0.9%
- Middle schools projected to grow by 5.3%
- High schools projected to grow by 2.9%

This growth forecast translates into a projected need for twenty-seven (27) new homerooms across the district, primarily at the secondary school level. This includes eight portable classrooms as a contingency. Including the contingency will allow the flexibility to address unanticipated changes that may occur in projections or program needs over the next few months while still ensuring the spaces are ready for the 2018-19 school year. 

The recommended budget authorization will address enrollment growth needs for 2018-19. It does not fund any changes that might be needed for K-3 class size reduction or Special Education program changes. The recommended budget authorization will fund the following scope:

- School-to-school relocation of existing portables
- Remodeling and systems infrastructure work needed to develop new homerooms in both permanent and portable spaces
- Permitting, design, portable installation and site work associated with portable placement and reconfiguration of existing space
- Appropriate furniture, student/teacher technology and curricula for all new homerooms and program spaces 

  • Adopting Resolution No. 2017/18-14 to declare that the lives of black students matter, as well as the lives of all of our students of color, and that we encourage participation district-wide in the national Black Lives Matter At School Week from February 5-9, 2018
This is an Intro/Action in the same night BAR from Directors DeWolf, Geary, Harris, Mack and Pinkham.

The BAR is quite strongly written and I think that's for the better.

As a public school district, the Board recognizes that district staff are facilitators of the limitless growth potential of human beings, with a charge to guide our youth in finding and achieving their purpose with a belief that every human being deserves to live with dignity. The Board also recognizes that the killing of unarmed Black men and women, particularly queer and trans persons of color, has left young people searching for answers to incredibly complicated and infuriating questions. 

Throughout our nation’s history, systems of oppression and injustice have led to deepening racial disparities across all sectors of society and have lasting negative consequences for our communities, cities, and nation Shouting loudly that “Black Lives Matter” does not negate our commitment to ALL of our students, but rather elevating Black students struggle to trust that our society values them, we must affirm that their lives, specifically, matter. Historically, when Black people have fought for a more democratic society, the lives of all people have improved and, conversely, each time barriers to Black people’s potential have been erected, our whole society has suffered.

This resolution makes the unequivocal declaration from the School Board that the lives of our black students matter, as well as the lives of all of our students of color. It also encourages participation district-wide in the Black Lives Matter At School Week from February 5-9. This week is being recognized by educators nationwide as an opportunity to promote racial justice and identity safety in classrooms. 

I will point out these two passages with a question and a promise for another thread:

 WHEREAS, educators nationwide – including Seattle Public Schools educators – are organizing a week of action and education to promote the message that black lives matter at school; NOW THEREFORE,

RESOLVED, that the School Board encourages participation district-wide in the Black Lives Matter At School Week from February 5-9, 2018 through discussions in classrooms and in homes.

What have you heard about what your own school might be doing for Black Lives Matter at school week?  If you haven't heard, I would ask.

I will have another thread because while I believe this is important work and I support this resolution, I will say what I said last year - parents need to know what their children are going to be told in their classrooms.  

When you are talking about social justice, identify safety, LGBTQ issues, etc. - the district or school need to let parents know.  

It was a very modge-podge of activities last year with some parents not even being notified about it.  One child, whose parent is a police officer, saw her class being told that police officers were doing bad things and killing people.  There are ways to convey important information to young children without confusing/frightening them.

Recently, I have seen a couple of lesson plans around this from local noted social justice educators.  One includes a K-2  lesson plan where children see hoses being turned on kneeling black people and police dogs going after black people.  Of course this happened but I believe there are ways to introduce little people to some of the horrors of the history of our country without frightening them.  And I think the photos would be scary to a small child (if only scaring them about dogs).

One last note - you may recently have seen some abusive comments that are racist and anti-LGBTQ.  I delete them forever without comment.  Some of what I have written about in this thread might engender more of that.  Please do not engage with these people.  I will delete the comments.

And, if you are a person who harbors those thoughts in your heart and mind, go find someplace else to be.  Your thoughts are not welcome here. 


Anonymous said…
I support Substitute Resolution No. 2017/18-10, because the removal of pathways will require substantial district-wide boundary shifts with no actual change in the master schedule.

1. Advanced courses are already available at 100% of our comprehensive high schools.
o Academic acceleration via AP or IB is the primary structure for delivery of Highly Capable services at the high school level in SPS. AP or IB courses are offered at all SPS comprehensive high schools.

2. Advanced courses are already open to anyone, since over 90% of students who take an AP or IB course are not HC qualified.
o Non-HC eligible high school students may self-select acceleration, since HC qualification is not required to take an AP or IB course. Advanced courses are open to anyone who has completed the pre-requisites. Not all AP courses have pre-requisites. HC is not self-contained in high school.

3. While a variety of AP courses are already offered, course offerings are inconsistent across schools and eliminating Pathways may exacerbate the inequities for select schools.
o Hale offers comparatively less Science and History/Social Science.
o Pathway students returned to some assignment schools (Rainier Beach, 38*, Hale, 27* & Chief Sealth, 21*) may not provide sufficient critical mass to increase AP courses, and they’ll lose access to the depth of courses they previously had on a Pathway.

*estimated # of Pathway students grades 9-12 returned to assignment area high school based on SPS 2016-17 Actual Enrollment, HCC Enrollment by School.

Advanced offerings are a function of the master schedule, and students returned to certain schools will not be returned in sufficient number to have a meaningful impact on the schedule.

I applaud this resolution, because it considers the district-wide impact on all high school students while also focusing on key issues of increasing identification and access in younger grades in order to prepare for high school.

Anonymous said…
I would add that community input from underserved communities clearly indicated a lack of awareness that advanced learning courses were already accessible close to home at all of our comprehensive high schools.

Wyeth Jessee realizes there's a need to develop a comprehensive communication plan to address this awareness gap, but I'd like to know a timeline and hear the details on outreach.

Doctor Hu said…
"The HC eligible heat map shows where eligible (not HCC enrolled) students live. There are not 329 Ballard students at Garfield. 126 of them attend [Ballard] and many [104?] attend Ingraham [so only about 97? Ballard HC are enrolled in the Garfield HC pathway + 2 attend other schools]."

Fairmount Parent makes a vital point about correctly reading the recently released "Student Density: Eligible for HCC Grades 9-12" heat maps which include AA HC numbers. Because so many HC eligible students are already enrolled in the Ingraham IB/IBX HC option or in their own attendance area and other schools, e.g., probably less than 100 HC enrolled Ballard AA high school students can actually be redirected from the Garfield HC pathway to Lincoln or to any other new north end HC pathway; while slightly larger, about the same figure for Roosevelt.

Garfield Pathway 652 HC enrolled
109? Roosevelt AA + 118? Ingraham IB/IBX + 155 Roosevelt + 5 others = 387 HC enrolled/eligible (28 ft RS)
97? Ballard AA + 104? Ingraham IB/IBX + 126 Ballard + 2 others = 329 HC enrolled/eligible (46 ft RS)
36? Nathan Hale AA + 63? Ingraham IB/IBX + 21 Hale + 5 others = 125 HC enrolled/eligible (43 ft RS)
20? Ingraham AA + 76? Ingraham IB/IBX + 2 others = 98 HC enrolled/eligible (48 ft RS)
170? Garfield AA + 9? Ingraham IB/IBX + 3 others = 182 HC enrolled/eligible (74 ft RS)
85? Franklin AA + 4? Ingraham IB/IBX + 9 Franklin + 9 others = 107 HC enrolled/eligible (28 ft RS)
73? West Seattle AA + 2? Ingraham IB/IBX + 20 West Seattle + 1 other = 96 HC enrolled/eligible (64 ft RS)
32? Rainier Beach AA + 2? Ingraham IB/IBX + 0 Rainier Beach + 4 others = 38 HC enrolled/eligible (21 ft RS)
30? Chief Sealth AA + 1? Ingraham IB/IBX + 13 Chief Sealth + 0 others = 44 HC enrolled/eligible (49 ft RS)

652 HC enrolled Garfield Pathway
379 HC enrolled Ingraham IB/IBX Option
344 HC eligible local AA schools (155 Roosevelt + 126 Ballard + 21 Hale + 9 Franklin + 20 West Seattle + 0 Rainier Beach + 13 Chief Sealth)
32 HC eligible other schools (12 Center, 11 ft RS + 10 Nova, 0 ft RS + 9 Cleveland, 24 ft RS + 1 Middle College, 0 ft RS)
1407 HC enrolled/eligible (436 ft RS)

The total figure of ALL north end students currently enrolled in the Garfield HC pathway who can be reassigned is only about 262. Another 220 HC enrolled south end students can also be reassigned leaving 170 Garfield AA HC enrolled (262 north end HC enrolled + 390 south end HC enrolled = total 652 HC enrolled in Garfield HC pathway, 2017-18 numbers).

At every Seattle high school, HC enrolled/eligible numbers must also be reduced by all HC eligible students who are enrolled in full-time Running Start and therefore do not occupy high school seats.

What Size Would 10 + 1 HC High School Pathways Really Be?

High School HC Enrolled/Eligible Heat Map by Attendance Area

High School Open Choice Assignments by Home Attendance Area (includes Ingraham IB/IBX HC Option), 2016-17 Data, Table 6C

Students in High Schools by Attendance Area, 2016-17 Data, Tables 4D & 4E

High School Full-Time Running Start Numbers, January 1, 2018 Data, ("Total Student Count" - "P223 Total Count," note ft RS numbers include ALL students, not just HC eligible)
HCC Parent said…
I just read the board agenda and resolutions. It is clear that Director Mack is a hard working and conscientious board member.

The Geary/DeWolf resolution seeks to dismantle highly capable pathways and admits- " While the District recognizes that it does not have the capability to meet the statutory requirements for students designated as highly capable in all neighborhood schools immediately..."

Mack, Pinkham and Patu have sponsored an amendment to assure the district works with principals to establish a solid plan. Thank you.
kellie said…
I concur with the many positive comments on the Mack, Pinkham, Patu amendment. It is a very thoughtful and functional option.

@ Dr Hu, I'm having a hard time following your very detailed analysis. If I'm reading you correctly, is you assertion that there just aren't that many HC students who will be redirected to Lincoln?

Anonymous said…
I’m deeply appreciative to Directors Mack, Patu, and Pinkham for taking the “get rid of the pathways and cross our fingers that the staff will start to care about AL and also work some magic without funding in the meantime” approach of the Geary/DeWolf proposal and adding some guidance and requirements.

I also appreciate that many want to believe that Geary and DeWolf were simply naive to believe that all the right magic would happen for kids in SE and other lower-income neighborhoods, and equal HCC coursework would automatically appear in all schools. I’m hoping they don’t run for the Board again so we don’t have to consider whether they’re just naive, or if they were OK with north-end families having access to higher-level coursework that no south-end kids would have. But I did write to them multiple times over the last couple months to point this out, and they never responded to the concerns.

SE Parent

Anonymous said…
I don't think they think AP classes would suddenly appear in the south end. I think they would prefer to also get rid of them in the northend, and without pathways it is easier to do so for "equity's" sake. So they absolutely think it is possible to have equal access in the north and south end. That access would just be zero in both cases.

Meeting watcher
Meeting watcher is correct and gets at the heart of the issue. If there was sufficient access to advanced classes in all schools - north and south - then that solves several problems:

1. Equity. Artificial scarcity is a key vector by which white supremacy is reinforced. When SPS says they won't offer advanced courses everywhere, or limit the availability of advanced courses, it's impossible to deliver equity. In order to get more kids of color into advanced courses, more advanced courses must be offered and advanced curriculum - like IBX at Rainier Beach - has to be fully embraced and supported by SPS.

2. HCC. HCC's growth is fueled primarily by the decision, which took place without a board vote, to end advanced learning options at neighborhood schools. So there's broad support for the concept of doing more of this at neighborhood schools and maybe even ending pathways entirely - but that only materializes if there is confidence that SPS will support advanced learning at the neighborhood schools.

So much of this issue is fueled by the basic hostility of staff at the JSCEE to advanced learning options (and other specialized programs) in and of themselves.

The Pinkham/Patu/Mack amendment seems to me like it'd be the basis of widespread agreement on a path forward because it says clearly that equity is the priority here while also offering actual steps to getting there.
Doctor Hu said…
"If I'm reading you correctly, is you[r] assertion that there just aren't that many HC students who will be redirected to Lincoln?"

kellie, thanks for your question. The character limit for my detailed post above did not allow explanatory notes, so I do appreciate the chance to clarify anything you ask. The gap in the data I am trying to fill is this:

For the current 2017-18 school year, we know that there are a total of 1407 HC enrolled and HC eligible high school students; we know that the 1031 "HC enrolled" students include 652 students in the Garfield Pathway plus another 379 students in the Ingraham IB/IBX option; and we know that the remaining 376 "HC eligible" students attend their attendance area high schools and a few option high schools.

From the HC heat map, we know the total number of HC enrolled/eligible for each of the current high school attendance areas, and within that total we also know the number of "HC enrolled" meaning those attending EITHER the Garfield Pathway OR the Ingraham IB/IBX option.

But while we have these combined "HC enrolled" numbers, what we do NOT know for each attendance area is the exact proportional split in that combined number between those students who are enrolled in the Garfield HC Pathway and those who are enrolled in the Ingraham IB/IBX HC Option?

This missing public information is critical: first, because due to Seattle geography there are huge variations between all the high school attendance area enrollments in the Ingraham IB/IBX HC Option (eg, Rainier Beach v. Ingraham); second, because we must logically assume that HC students who would attend the Ingraham IB/IBX option would still do so despite the existence of Lincoln as a closer HC pathway than Garfield. Even after Lincoln opens, Ingraham will still fill its 379 (or 360) HC IB/IBX Option seats with predominantly north end students.

Based on slightly older information from the 2016-17 annual enrollment reports, my table seeks to supply that critical missing information. My above table offers reasonable estimates, as indicated by ? for each existing attendance area, showing its likely split between those HC enrolled students in the Garfield Pathway and those in the Ingraham IB/IBX Option. Read horizontonally, my detailed table also shows for each current attendance area all the additional HC eligible students who attend local high schools or other option high schools, and a full-time Running Start number for each high school.

For each of the current attendance areas, after subtracting all the estimated Ingraham IB/IBX HC enrolled students (total 379 mainly north end) from the HC enrolled number, all the remaining HC enrolled students (mainly south end) make up the Garfield Pathway (total 652).

So to answer your question directly, based on existing boundaries: YES, my estimates do suggest that only about 262 north end students (from 107? Roosevelt, 97? Ballard, 36? Hale and 20? Ingraham) currently attend the Garfield Pathway. As do 390 south end students (from 85? Franklin, 73? West Seattle, 32? Rainier Beach and 30? Chief Sealth, including 170 Garfield), making up the 652 total HC enrolled students in the current all-city Garfield HC Pathway. So grandfathering aside, only those approximately 262 north end Garfield HC Pathway students would really be redirected to the new Lincoln HC Pathway. Another approximately 103 HC enrolled would also be redirected to the new West Seattle HC Pathway, leaving approximately 287 HC enrolled in the Garfield HC Pathway.

Exact figures for all the FUTURE high school boundaries and HC pathways after Lincoln reopens in 2019 could be extracted from the newly published maps including Fv4.3, whose notations do now include change area figures for "Receiving HCC" and "HCC Eligible." Maybe another close reader can explain the precise significance of those terms? If so, I would be happy to crunch the numbers for the new high school HC pathways that will result from tomorrow's school board meeting.
Anonymous said…
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Zella917 said…
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J. Lardizabal said…
The Board just approved Substitue Resolution 10 and voted down the values-based statement that Dewolf and Geary tried to add.
Anonymous said…
Another win for APPartheid!

Anonymous said…
I hope Geary/DeWolf and staff take their passion to mandating acceleration in elementary schools and every middle school offering the science and math currently found at our HCC and STEM middle schools.

Pipeline Now
Anonymous said…
APPartheid brought to you by a grant by Michael Tolley and Wyeth Jesse. To be clear this is a full body slam to District Staff that tried to sneak LHS out of the equation when it should have been all along and to homogenize the HS offering i the North with zero concern on South. How many Votes did the two options get? Did Geary do they big old pouting head throwing gesticulations? They were so smug at the last meeting. Glad calmer heads prevailed.

Hippie Hooray
Anonymous said…
You can't pin this institutional racism on two people. It takes a nation of millions to hold us back. Last night most of the school board cowed to parents of kids who essentially have their own private school system that is paid for by the rest of us. Privilege is what gets kids into HCC rather than giftedness in most cases. Otherwise, how would a program that is supposed to serve the top two percentile be serving around 9% of the students - who, oh, by the way, tend to not be so diverse.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. There has been no demand yet from most of the privileged parents of HCC other than asking that other communities remain in their place, so nothing is conceded. And the sycophantic school board directors did their job and kicked the can down the road. They talk about listening to the whole community, but it is obvious who they are listening too. The district finally made an honest effort to do outreach to all communities in this case. Kudos to them and sorry you wasted your time. The voices of the majority were ultimately ignored by most board members because they ultimately just care about those coming from a place of institutional power.

DeWolf was spot on with his MLK quote last night. I thank him and Geary for being the only two people who have the courage to stand up against institutional racism on the board. And thanks to the HCC parents who are woke and testified in support of change. I appreciate those fighting the good fight against the evil of racism. But last night is just another example showing the gains won't come easily. I won't be holding my breath that any of the board members who voted against the amendment are actually going to effect the change that they promise they will in the future. There will also be some compelling excuse to keep this separate and unequal system exclusive to privileged communities. So I'll just have to keep sitting here at the back of the bus with my kids where they want me.

- Waiting
Anonymous said…
If DeWolf and Geary's proposal had gone through, you would not get more AL opportunities in the southend. What you would get would be less AL opportunities in the northend and the southend still left with a big bag of nothing. HCC is the only way for many kids to get advanced learning (AL) because the other schools don't support it. If we had true AL in all schools, there would be less people going the HCC route.

Instead of continually attacking HCC, which is not a private school like situation by the way, why don't you fight for more advanced learning in the southend schools? More support of RBHS and the other high schools on the southend to add more AP options.

Anonymous said…
Sorry, @Waiting, but you are wrong.

"Private school system"? Not at all.

"A program that is supposed to serve the top two percentile"? That's inaccurate in a few ways. For one, it's a program that is supposed to serve those who score at least at the 98th percentile on at least two subtests of a nationally normed test--which means it can be more than 2 percent locally, if local scores tend to be higher than national. Additionally, since we're talking about subtests, that gives more "opportunities." You only need two scores at the 98th, so that broadens things a bit. In addition to that, you can re-test annually, so that further expands things. For anyone to think the SPS program should only identify 2% of students is silly. Even the state seems to recognize this. Funding was originally based on 2.3% of students, and they just increased it to 5%.

HCC have demanded "communities remain in their place"? Huh? Please show me where.

"The district finally made an honest effort to do outreach to all communities." Seriously? That was one of the most biased, misleading, and poorly conducted surveys I've seen, and based on the data collected through the survey there's no way they could have done any meaningful analysis. It was clearly only window dressing.

"The voices of the majority were ultimately ignored by most board members..." Ok, I'll grant you this one, but I argue it's a good thing. Majority doesn't always rule. The job of SPS directors is to look out for the best interest of all students, which sometimes even includes groups of students you don't like. If "majority rules" was our MO, we wouldn't have SpEd services, ELL services, etc. Thankfully there are people in charge, and legislation, that protect the interests of protected groups, too.

A "separate and unequal system exclusive to privileged communities"? EXCLUSIVE to privileged communities? Are there no minorities or FRL or other non-privileges students in HCC? And FYI, at the high school level--the focus of the board action--advanced learning classes are NOT restricted to HC students. How is that separate and unequal, when the classes are open to all? Nice try.

I'm not sure what, exactly, you think would have been different had the flawed Geary/DeWolf resolution passed instead, but I'd be interested in hearing it, with specifics. The details are important, because there seem to be a lot of misperceptions and inaccuracies out there that need to be cleared up. We don't need "feel good" approaches to addressing these problems--we need strategies that are likely to work. Having a clear and shared understanding of the facts is a better place to start.

Anonymous said…
Sorry, its hard to hear all your excuses and justifications for racism from the back of the bus here. I wouldn't expect anything else from you to attempt to see the big picture but you benefit from the system. We know our voices and future don't concern you. We are, understand, invisible simply because you refuse to see us. - Waiting
Anonymous said…

I understand that you're upset, but I'm asking you to revisit the content of the Substitute resolution and realize that the overarching goal of equity and increasing access are shared by all Board members.

They just disagreed on how to get there.

The difference between the Geary/DeWolf resolution and the Substitute is that the Substitute develops a PLAN of action with FUNDING attached and includes input from PRINCIPALS/STAFF at these schools. Those three factors were missing from the Geary/DeWolf proposal, but they're are critical if we want to be successful in achieving our equity goals.

Let's 1) advocate for full district funding of IB at Sealth and Rainier Beach, and 2) discover what the principal at Franklin needs to expand their AP classes beyond the 10 courses they currently offer.

When you paint all the children in HCC as privileged, it deepens divides and erodes good will.

I hope we can find common ground as a community.

Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Waiting, the ultimate irony is you are a racist ("Asian Supremacists") while accusing others of racism, yet, remarkably, you don't see it or just don't care.

Anonymous said…
@waiting-you’re probably right because Geary/DeWolf need to be replaced so there will be board members who will promote actions that will achieve outcomes, not smoke and mirrors. Close the opportunity gap by bringing opportunities to kids who need it. HC students are not opportunities—classes, teachers, enrichment...these are examples of actions that will bring students closer to opportunities, not a handful of HC students tossed into a school without AL classes.

Fix AL
Anonymous said…
Wow - Certain populations are over-represented in HCC relative to the population. To suggest that there is no privilege with that reality is to say that you think those over-represented groups are just naturally more gifted. If you actually read the statement, you would see that I was not making that argument but illuminating what a farce it was. I am glad you agree with my position.

FIX AL - They are not trying to bring opportunities with this action. They are just kicking the can down the road and prolonging a system that is designed to cater to certain classes and deny those same opportunities to others. They will always find a way to say just wait a little longer. Just a little bit longer. We'll take care of this injustice some day.
- Waiting
Anonymous said…
@ Waiting, clearly you are upset, but you're not understanding me at all.

The district outreach I was referring to was the ThoughtExchange survey, which anyone who knows anything about survey methodology and analysis can assure you was a disaster. Outreach to immigrants and in native languages is/was a good thing, assuming the message was clearer than the survey, which conflated terms to the point you can't tell who wanted what (e.g., "Advanced Learning" office, "advanced learning" as advanced classes like AP, "advanced learning as HCC", etc.); wasn't clear about the current state of "advanced learning"; wasn't clear about what the implications of decisions could be, etc. Outreach to underrepresented groups is a good thing if it helped the district understand why people have been hesitant to apply to HCC, and if it helped increase awareness of HCC in such groups, although neither of those has to do with the whole "we want 'advanced learning' services closer to home" outcome that apparently resulted from all the outreach. For the record, I support all types of outreach to all types of people--but I only support doing it if it's done well and if the data can be meaningfully interpreted. If the people conducting the outreach are confused about the distinctions and what "advanced learning" means, or if they are going into it trying to build evidence to support their position, it's a waste of time and breeds confusion, bad decisions, resentment, etc. Implying I'm a racist because I can see through the sloppy job SPS did on this issue is inaccurate and offensive.

Most kids who qualify for HCC do so without private testing. Really.

The issue before us was HIGH SCHOOL and HCC pathways, not elementary. My comments pertained to high school HCC. You're talking about Cascadia like it IS the HCC program. It's one of many HCC sites, and the only one that is standalone (and that was only done for capacity/logistics). High school HCC isn't a cohort anyway, and the HIGH SCHOOL proposal wasn't going to help non-HCC students at the schools that want more advanced learning services. I really don't know how you think the Geary/DeWolf proposal was going to help anyone.

Where do we "squeeze out CD kids from their neighborhood high school to enable HCC kids to go there"? Are neighborhood kids being turned away from Garfield? It sounds like it's the HCC kids at Garfield who are being squeezed out, with many needing to take Running Start in order to get appropriate classes. And many HCC kids will soon be directed away from Garfield to different pathways. What are you talking about?

To the extent "the system is rigged", it's the overall socioeconomic system that's rigged, not HCC. HCC demographics reflect what's happening in society, and the solutions to the disparities observed in HCC largely need to happen early--before school age and in the early grades. Is you more likely to be HC if you have grown up with advantages? Sure. But that doesn't mean those advantages are bad (we need to extend them to everyone), and it doesn't mean those kids don't also deserve to learn.

Finally, this was not attempt to "realign the system"--unless by "realign the system" you mean reduce access to advanced learning so that everyone has the same level. The old "not as many kids at our school want or are ready for advanced classes, but regardless, if we don't have a lot then you shouldn't either" approach to equity. Which isn't actually equitable... Once again, I challenge you to specify what you think would have been different--better--under the Geary/DeWolf resolution.


Anonymous said…
At a high level, I don't understand how anyone can think that taking immediate, drastic measures that penalize or disrupt the education of the current HCC students is somehow "equitable". Being equitable means for everyone, and that includes the current HCC students. The logical, rational approach is to first and foremost address the outreach, recommendations, and screening to make it more equitable, to work and shape the program going forward. THOSE THINGS should be changed as soon as possible as they're waaaaaay overdue to the point it reflects shamefully on SPS priorities. The current HCC students will benefit from increasing diversity.

For once, I think the school board did OK. I mean, they set the bar so low, that this was surprising in itself! :-)

- An HCC Parent
Anonymous said…

First, you didn't apologize for your racist statement that Asians are "Asian Supremacists".

Then, you tried to justify your prejudice by saying "certain populations are over-represented in HCC relative to the population".

The truth is that Asians are under-represented in HCC per the data presented by the district early last year (15.8% of SPS pop vs. 12.74% of HCC).

Take responsibility for yourself.

Anonymous said…
Private testing is available to everyone. SPS will pay for it for FRL kids. The main testing takes place in a large room with lots of kids. Many kids do not do well in such testing environments. Private testing allows a kid to take the test one on one in a quiet setting.

I remind readers - do not name call as Waiting did. Because your comment will be deleted.

Again, how Asians - "some Asians" - stopped being a minority is a mystery to me.

"They are not trying to bring opportunities with this action. They are just kicking the can down the road and prolonging a system that is designed to cater to certain classes and deny those same opportunities to others."

Anyone reading the two resolutions would see that the one that passed DOES have timeline expectations and there is no "kicking" anything down the road. What it does is keep to the Geary/DeWolf HCC pathway at every school AND get the district to start the work on that AND create a better system of finding and serving ALL gifted students.

There is no way the district can keep the system they have for testing under this resolution so yes, it represents change.
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