Monday, May 14, 2018

Parsing the Curriculum&Instruction Meeting Agenda

Here's a copy of the agenda for tomorrow's Curriculum & Instruction Committee meeting with documentation attached.  There are some notable issues that have a deep dive.
The largest part of the documentation is devoted to the 2018-2019 Student Rights & Responsibilities book. It stars on page 8.
This year’s document contains minor editorial changes, detailed information regarding discipline responses and appeal rights for students who possess a firearm, and continues to shift the tone from a compliance document to an aspirational and values-based document. In addition, (within the Discipline Matrix Guide for Administrators) an Expulsion Review Board process has been established.
Advanced Learning (starts page 134) - for all the calling out here at the blog by a few, I see very little change especially around student identification.  That's surprising because it would seem that change - real change - is needed.  I have to wonder if the district doesn't want to find the money to do this and is content to allow the program to carry on weakly and act as the programatic whipping boy for the district.

Also, last year, right after the Board elections, Director DeWolf called out from the dais about who/what the Highly Capable Advisory Committee was about.  Staff seemed to express little interest in the group and said it was not part of the district.  Well, it's something because it's on their official submission to OSPI.  Hmmm.

I was surprised to see that under "Assessment Measure By Grade Level for Academic Achievement" that the district is using the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) along with the state assessment and MAP assessment.

I was also surprised to see "curriculum compacting" left out of "Instructional Strategies and Curricula Modification." It was in use when my sons were in Spectrum but that was, of course, a long time ago.

There was also this under "Monitoring: District Records That Demonstrate Compliance"
  • Description/documentation related to program exit
 So it does exist and I'm sure anyone could do a public disclosure request for stats.

As for equity and identification: I see universal testing of all 2nd graders at Title One schools (but that's not new), the AL office working with Rainier Scholars (which may identify more kids of color but it doesn't really put them in HCC classes), "focused recruiting" by sending individual letters home to students of color with high achievement scores and that's it.  Why no school-based outreach for non-English speaking parents?

24- Credit Update and "Secondary Re-visioning" - excerpt from page 165 from Caleb Perkins,
Director of College and Career Readiness
I am writing to update you on the progress that we are making with regards to secondary re-visioning and the 24 credit high school graduation requirement. John Stanford Center staff, principals, and educators are all engaging in this work, with the dual goals of implementing new schedules at all high schools for the 2019-20 school year, and improving teaching and learning across those schools.

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and the Seattle Education Association (SEA) have convened a joint committee of central staff members, principals, and educators to examine secondary re-visioning through the lens of collective bargaining. The committee is tasked with examining schedules that best address the needs of students and educators while balancing financial considerations. The committee has already met for 4 full day meetings, and is in the process of developing a “straw” proposal on scheduling to explore at meeting 5. The purpose of these meetings is to develop a mutually agreeable “wood” proposal for the SEA/SPS Joint Bargaining Team, which will be engaging in contract negotiations this summer.

In light of the engagement we are doing with educators through the joint committee, we continue to believe that we should not move forward with an educator survey at this time. A team of educators from nearly every high school, chosen by SEA to represent teacher voice to the district, is devoting considerable time and effort to building knowledge and expertise on secondary re-visioning. The work is deep and the engagement is authentic. Releasing a survey to a wide audience that is neither as invested in the work, nor as knowledgeable on the topics, would not honor the efforts put forth by SEA committee members. However, as I shared at the April C&I Policy Committee meeting, we will review this question at the end of the joint committee.

As we push forward with scheduling changes for 2019-20, we are also devoting resources to another critical component of secondary re-visioning, professional development (PD). PD is central to our mission of improving pedagogy, and work is already under way provide PD in every high school next year.
Then, there's the Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy section, starting on page 172. I like the checklist for Digital Citizenship, Media Literacy, Electronic Resources, and Internet Safety on page 176.  It's a good start.

On page 193, there's a review of the Equity Analysis Tool but with no real definition of equity.   Below is a helpful paragraph but it's not a definition:
  1. At a broad level, racially equitable outcomes for Policy 2090 would be defined as using a conscious equity lens in all program evaluations. Practically speaking, this might involve the following: selecting programs that might benefit from deeper inquiry into effective practices for improving student achievement for Historically Underserved students of color; examining outcomes by race/ethnicity/language learner status; and valuing student voice at all stages during research design, data collection and analysis. 
  2.  
  3. Page 193 starts a chart about the Civics for All initiative.

  4. Page 208 starts an update on the use of the Naviance system for counselors to help students with college/career thinking. 

  5. To note, you CAN opt your child out and that student will be given paper resources.  This starts on June 4th and again on September 4th.   In June you have until June 22nd to submit an opt-out form but in the fall, right when school starts, you have a week.  I'm thinking this is very much by design.

    1. Opt Out Info

      For staff, students, and families to have full access to the tools in Naviance, some student data needs to be shared with the program. And while the district thoroughly vetted Naviance’s policies and practices with respect to preserving data security and student privacy, families can still choose to opt their students out of using this tool. Read more about Naviance’s commitment to data security and student privacy [ADD LINK]. 
    2.  
    3. Page 211 has the form and I will print it out in a separate thread.   The Board only gave permission for Student name, User ID, Proxy ID and school but Naviance also wants ethnicity, gender, GPA, courses, transcripts, etc.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
Advanced Learning (starts page 134) - for all the calling out here at the blog by a few, I see very little change especially around student identification. That's surprising because it would seem that change - real change - is needed.

If they don't change the program, I don't see why they would change the student identification. We could do this backwards - take any student of color (maybe low income too) who is 95% achievement and just put them in HCC regardless of their COGAT scores. Those are the students who are most likely reasonably well prepared. I haven't been able to dig out results at that level of detail, but I suspect HCC isn't missing too many of those kids. As it stands, Spectrum is dead, enrichment and acceleration is minimally available at many elementary schools and HCC is a simple acceleration program using "aptitude" AND achievement as the qualifying criteria. Why we're ok with that and yet surprised that the program is predominantly non-FRL white and Asian kids is beyond me. Those are the groups that (as a whole) start schools ahead and those are the groups who are able to help their students prepare and retest and who do, because for the most part, their kids aren't well served in a non-differentiated class.

NE Parent

Megan Hazen said...

"I was surprised to see that under "Assessment Measure By Grade Level for Academic Achievement" that the district is using the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) along with the state assessment and MAP assessment."

Sometime during the fall the district decided to require the ITBS for reading evaluation for applying kindergarten students where it had previously used MAP scores. The reason given was that the MAP is pre-reading for Kindergarten students, while the ITBS tests reading. (And HCC requires reading.)

Its worth noting that this change was made after the application process for the year had begun, and there were some snafus about how students were scheduled. To qualify kindergarten students now needed MAP, Cogat screener, Cogat, and ITBS. The last three required scheduling and attendance at a remote school on a Saturday. Scheduling was far easier this year than in previous years, but adding a test doesn't seem to be moving in the correct direction.

Combined with the obscene last minute changes to appeals processes, the over all sense is that the district has made it much harder for (particularly young) students to qualify for HCC. This seems like it *may* be intentional, but who knows.

I think it is directly against what should be happening, which is that it becomes easier to qualify for AL services, while those services may be expanded to be easier to access.

NNE Mom said...

The board did pass resolution 2017/18-10 this January: http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Resolutions/2017-18/Substitute_201718-10_HCC.pdf

in which the board:
RESOLVED that Seattle Public Schools will implement, by school year 2019-20, more equitable identification practices for advanced learning and highly capable services that may include, but are not limited to, universal screening in elementary and middle school in the home school during the school day, revising the testing criteria to allow identification of students who demonstrate high cognitive ability or high achievement in one or more areas (e.g. math only, reading only, or math and reading), and assessments in the native language or non-verbal instruments

Those changes would take effect for 2019-20.

Also adopted into state law is section 105 of E2SSB 5362:http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Passed%20Legislature/6362-S2.PL.pdf
Equity advocates have not yet been able to get universal screening, a ban on Saturday testing or professional development into the WAC, but this was still a huge step forward toward more equitable identification for HiCap throughout the state. Following the 2017 mandate to improve identification of low-income students for the highly capable program, these are great steps forward.

I was thrilled to see that they are doing targeted universal testing of 2nd graders at all 32 Title I schools and they have adopted the Naglieri Nonverbal Aptitude Test to help ensure identification of low income and ELL students. A nonverbal test and some universal testing is also a great start toward evidence based best practices.

If you want to see universal screening, a ban on Saturday testing and/or professional development, tell the school board. If you want to see the testing criteria revised to allow identification of students who demonstrate high cognitive ability or high achievement in one or more areas (e.g. math only, reading only, or math and reading both), and assessments in the native language or non-verbal instruments, tell the board. If you want PD for teachers tell the board. If the district needs to fix the way it thinks about 2E students, tell the board.

OSPI is not the "gifted police," our school board is.

Anonymous said...

There’s no point to administering the Naglieri Nonverbal Aptitude Test in Title I Schools as it doesn’t replace any of the other required tests.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

Can you post the link to the document itself? I don't see it.

Thanks,
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Releasing a survey to a wide audience that is neither as invested in the work, nor as knowledgeable on the topics, would not honor the efforts put forth by SEA committee members.

Is this about egos or actually working toward sound decisions? The schedules put forth so far (7 periods + advisory) seem like non-starters from both a course coverage stand point and a collective bargaining standpoint.

not optimistic

Anonymous said...

A NE parent- "take any student of color (maybe low income too)". I don't agree. Asians are also overrepresented as a group of students of color. On the Eastside whites are actually underreppresented in their program. However, low income kids of all races are likely underrepresented in these programs in Seattle, on the Eastside & elsewhere.

Income is a strong determinant, but not the only determinant or we would see all/only affluent kids qualifying which we do not. There are plenty of middle class kids in HC and plenty of affluent kids not in HC. There are likely not many F&R kids, although I know of at least a couple. If they increase identification for low income kids of all races, that is fair and in Seattle would also serve to greatly increase identification of kids of color who are underrepresented.
A NW parent

Anonymous said...

"Releasing a survey to a wide audience that is neither as invested in the work, nor as knowledgeable on the topics, would not honor the efforts put forth by SEA committee members."

This is a massive schedule change that will affect all high school teachers and students in multiple ways. It may affect access to Running start etc. They will likely not have the "buy in" to move forward without pushback if they don't figure out a way to engage all stakeholders. There have been many concerns with the favored schedule that was proposed, as well as good alternate schedule suggestions.
JK

Eric B said...

"Releasing a survey to a wide audience that is neither as invested in the work, nor as knowledgeable on the topics, would not honor the efforts put forth by SEA committee members."

Also keep in mind that they are using this logic to avoid releasing a survey to all HS teachers. You know, the "wide audience" who will actually have to implement this. Yes, SEA should be taking the pulse of their schools when in the meetings, but they should have a survey of teachers to inform decisions. Or at least narrow down to a couple of options and then put it out to teachers.

NNE Mom said...

@Farimount Parent,

I agree that the benefit to the Naglieri won't be seen yet. Not until the state law changes from section 105 go into effect. And maybe not until the school board's new equitable identification practices (whatever they may end up being) go into effect for the 2019-20 school year. But just the fact that the district is open to a nonverbal test is a huge step forward in my opinion. It's one tiny scrap of evidence that the district actually IS open to seeing potential in students. And seeing potential in students is the first step toward nurturing and educating that potential.



Anonymous said...

Just because it "looks" like SPS is doing something, doesn't mean they are:

"First, one cannot assume that nonverbal tests level the playing field for children who come from different cultures or who have had different educational opportunities. The ELL children in this study scored from .5 to .6 SD lower than non-ELL children on all three nonverbal tests. The lower performance of ELL children could not be attributed to economic factors, to the student’s age or grade, or to other demographic factors. Nor could it be attributed to an inability to understand the test directions, because directions were given in Spanish whenever necessary."

http://faculty.education.uiowa.edu/docs/dlohman/comparing-raven-nnat-cogat-.pdf?
sfvrsn=2

Deleted

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, thanks for letting me know about the link; it's there now.

mkb said...

First, I agree with Eric, et al. re the survey. Given that secondary teachers are actually in the field and will be required to implement whatever is decided, it seems that they would be an invaluable, in fact, necessary resource. Then there's this:

"As we push forward with scheduling changes for 2019-20, we are also devoting resources to another critical component of secondary re-visioning, professional development (PD). PD is central to our mission of improving pedagogy, and work is already under way provide PD in every high school next year."

It seems to me that the district has pretty much gutted PD. Does anyone know anything about the PD that will be provided in every high school next year? Why does the 24-credit scheme require PD? what would it look like? and who would provide it??

Melissa Westbrook said...

MKB, I think you might find some of the answers in the documentation attached to the agenda.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the documentation, MW.

All professional development plans must meet the following required parameters:

1. Ensuring content area and practice standards are woven into professional development.
2. Student attainment of 21st century competencies of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, citizenship and character.
3. Targeted teacher acquisition of specific instructional/pedagogical strategies that increase student involvement and ownership of learning—examples: project-based learning, STEM, engineering, technology or career-connected learning/CTE strategies.
4. Must help high school teachers improve their teaching practices, including teaching in extended blocks.
5. Must have a learning goal with a specific change of teacher practice plus focus on content area standards.
6. A connection to equitable outcomes for student success or in de-tracking in-school systems.
7. Leadership development: Plan should include PD for principal/assistant principal to develop capacity to support teacher learning and best document student learning.
8. Proposal must be the choice of school, through site-based process.


another reader

Anonymous said...

Families need to be engaged in this scheduling change, too. All HS teachers need access to what they are considering/proposing, as do all students and parents. These committees and task forces get it wrong all the time, because they cannot possibly represent--or understand--all the diverse needs of those who may be impacted. Parents daylight issues frequently, forcing revisions or sending staff back to the drawing board because they overlooked something important. You only have to look to the last 24-credit task force, which recommended something that wouldn't work and is the reason we're still working on this and are looking at a four year delay in implementation (2 yrs with a state waiver, 2 more yrs of just being lame). The original task force didn't know that their recommendation wouldn't work because they were focused on the general, not the specific. Parents are great at looking at the specifics, because they consider things in relation to their own unique students, their friends, etc. By putting that info out there for families, you can essentially test the feasibility of a proposal across many groups and subgroups at once. By continuing to keep the info and planning under wraps, however, they are virtually ensuring that many of those to be impacted by the changes--both teachers and students--will not be sufficiently considered in the process, with an end result that many may get shafted.

Typical SPS

Anonymous said...

Unions regularly survey their members during bargaining. I know because I've served on a bargaining team. It's a best practice to do those surveys. The fact that SEA leaders aren't surveying right now is a serious problem, it should set off red flags among the rank and file, and suggests a need for new leadership.

Union Guy

Sandor said...

Yeah, our PTA surveys families to find out what they want before advocating for things. Weird that union leadership isn't interested in finding out what the members think. How can the leadership advocate for what the members want if it hasn't asked what they want?

Just sayin said...

SEA did send a survey out to all SEA represented staff, last week.

Anonymous said...

It's important to note that the unchanged procedures for Advanced Learning are not fully in compliance with the new Section 105, but OSPI has not issued new directives on it, so nothing is actionable at this time. It would be sensible for the board to table consideration of Advanced Learning to a later point when the new directives come out rather than to have to re-consider it or consider it again unnecessarily. It is regrettable that the current administration with its alleged "equity lens" has only tried to keep wealthy white kids out with a statistically indefensible appeals standard rather than to identify and include other kids. This does nothing to serve all kids who are actually highly capable and who need these services. As another poster pointed out, OSPI has no enforcement power - that must come from the board.

There is a current HC "Advisory Committee" that was created by the office of the superintendent and that has met monthly for the past several years - all or nearly all of its recommendations having been ignored in that time, to the point that the current superintendent actually and incorrectly denied that this advisory committee has any official standing during a board meeting earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Equity in HC group is widely thought to have official standing but in fact does not (it is a parent/teacher activist group). In the past month, Advanced Learning has also been seeking applications for a new HC task force. It has not been clarified if this will replace/supplant the advisory committee (which is what I suspect). These multiple competing and similarly named groups actually create less transparency rather than more because of the widespread confusion.

I think something that might be helpful is the board empowered the new superintendent to appoint a new executive director of Advanced Learning, someone with certificated experience in HC, so that efficient and effectual decision-making can finally come to AL. Like many problems in SPS, the problems in AL are largely structural at their core.

-Simone

Anonymous said...

Just as OSPI has little enforcement power, AL can do little to maintain standards for services in schools. Individual schools have an unusual amount of say in how services are delivered (or not). Consider the HC Annual Plan - it refers to IBX and has older language about an "intensive" 9th grade year, but IHS dropped the IBX language and now refers to it as "early entrance IB." The intensive 9th grade year is debatable. Yes, some of the issues are structural - I would not expect improvements without a change to the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.

not optimistic

Anonymous said...

@ Simone,

The current HC "Advisory Committee" is a renamed version of the earlier APP Advisory Committee that goes back at least several years before that. I don't know when it was created, but it goes back to at least 2012. And yes, as an official, superintendent-created group. Its recommendations have often been ignored to some extent, and, in my opinion, the group often seems to water down their comments and recommendations to some extent, probably trying to make them more palatable to the district. The fact that the "current superintendent actually and incorrectly denied that this advisory committee has any official standing" either shows a disdain for highly capable students, ignorance on the part of the super, or some combination of the two--hard to say. The fact that the "Equity in HC group is widely thought to have official standing but in fact does not (it is a parent/teacher activist group" also really irks me--it is a group of anti-cohort parents pushing their agenda. I think Ann Dornfeld (KUOW) fell into that trap about a year and a half ago, seeming to consider the "Racial Equity in HCC Team" as THE district group, with no apparent consideration of the ACTUAL district committee or its recommendations.

You mentioned that "in the past month, Advanced Learning has also been seeking applications for a new HC task force" and that you suspect the new group "will replace/supplant the advisory committee." Interesting. The new group seems to be vaguely focused on a more broad definition of advanced learning--as in "Advanced Learning for All!--so I'm very concerned about it potentially replacing the HC group. Especially since the make-up of the new group seems likely to consist of a minority of pro-HC representatives, skewed toward those who are philosophically opposed to providing services designed to meet the unique needs of HC students.


You mentioned that "it's important to note that the unchanged procedures for Advanced Learning are not fully in compliance with the new Section 105, but OSPI has not issued new directives on it, so nothing is actionable at this time. It would be sensible for the board to table consideration of Advanced Learning to a later point when the new directives come out rather than to have to re-consider it or consider it again unnecessarily." As I understand it, this "annual plan" is a required document that needs to be submitted to the state by a certain date in order to get our HC funding. I don't think OSPI looks at it very carefully, and I don't think it really drives SPS services anyway--it's more a reflection of what we're doing. We need to get it in by the deadline, and it's more of a formality than a guiding light. There's no reason we can't continue working our plan, and there's no reason we can't make changes based on the guidance that OSPI ultimately provides--and then those changes would likely be included in our next year's annual report/plan.

I ABSOLUTELY agree that the AL Dept needs a real leader, and the dept needs some authority for enforcement. The dept needs someone with a strong vision for how to FIND and SERVE HC students, and needs to--separately--contribute to broader decisions and strategy re: how to provide all students with sufficiently rigorous academic experiences. The provision of rigorous opportunities and advanced classes to all students is NOT the same thing as appropriately serving HC students who need something different, and we need someone who understands the difference, sees the importance of both, and is willing to push back when the district tries to conflate things.

all types

NNE Mom said...

One of the OSPI program specialists for Highly Capable and Advanced Placement recently explained to me that AP or IB classes per se aren't a highly capable service. They're available to all students. What makes AP classes or IB a way to meet the needs of highly capable students is allowing them to take the classes earlier or faster or something. So regardless of the language used to describe what's going on, AP and IB classes can only serve as HC services if some other adjustment is made to them (acceleration, available to younger students, etc.)

Eric B said...

Just sayin, thanks for the clarification. The important thing to me is that there's a survey out.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who need an opt out form, which includes Naviance, please go to the pinned post on the Seattle Opt Out fb page:

https://www.facebook.com/Seattle-Opt-Out-430265387124998/

AS

Anonymous said...

@all types

"advanced classes to all students is NOT the same thing as appropriately serving HC students who need something different"

You are conflating the term "HC" with "gifted".

In fact, the entire model of HCC is "advanced" as opposed to "gifted", including identification. SPS misses many actually gifted students due to their skewed eligibility process.

Most gifted students should be receiving sevices that are different from the APP/HCC model.

For HC students who are academically advanced, but not gifted, advanced classes are in fact an appropriate service.


Deleted


Anonymous said...

@ Deleted, yes, I understand that HC and gifted are not the same thing. They may overlap, but often not. However, that doesn't make my original statement untrue. SPS's apparent push for increased access to advanced classes for all students does not represent appropriate services for HC students, precisely because many of those HC students are gifted and need something else. They may get a little of that "something else" by being in a cohorted program that allows for faster pacing, less repetition, deeper coverage, fellow students who "get" them, etc., but those things are often happening to a limited degree.

I used the term HC because that's what the district, and the state, use.

all types

Anonymous said...

@all types

Thank you for clarifying, since your original post was unclear. The elementary HCC service "model" is completely based on advancement, as well.

The district, state, and the overwhelming response to parent surveys all indicate the need to broaden identification and services for underserved students who are currently excluded from all forms of advanced learning, including HCC.

The fact that the district may seat parents who are representative of the district's parents and who support research and best practices should be celebrated, not maligned, even if you disagree.

Your quote: "Especially since the make-up of the new group seems likely to consist of a minority of pro-HC representatives, skewed toward those who are philosophically opposed to providing services designed to meet the unique needs of HC students."

In my opinion, and based on the overwhelming evidence on this blog, a minority of parents whose self-interests are being served by HCC have had an out-sized voiced about maintaining the HCC status quo for too long.

Thankfully, that is in the process of changing, albeit too slowly for the students who are currently excluded.

Deleted



Anonymous said...

@ Deleted, again, you are misunderstanding me. I'm all FOR having an advanced learning task force that is representative of the district's parents and focused on providing advanced classes to all who want them. HOWEVER, this should not be a replacement for a group focused on the needs of gifted students. Current and previous APP/HC efforts have not been great in terms of outreach, identification, service delivery, or curricula, but at least they were ostensibly focused on meeting the needs of gifted students. This new group is not, and will likely advocate for a more one-size-fits-all approach. Even though it doesn't.

all types

Anonymous said...

In other words, with past efforts the problem was one of implementation--which can be fixex. If the new group is a replacement rather than a complement, it's a more fundamental problem of mission.

All types

Anonymous said...

@ all types:

Huh? "...but at least they were ostensibly focused on meeting the needs of gifted students."

APP/HCC has not even focused on identifying gifted students, much less servicing them. It has been a model for advanced students that happens to scoop up gifted students collaterally.

Also, the task force hasn't even been selected yet! How do you know what they will propose?

Seriously, please don't feel so threatened by change, especially when
it's so long overdue.

Deleted

Melissa Westbrook said...

All Types, I'll be doing a write-up of the C&I committee meeting yesterday as many important things were said on the subject. I'm astonished at the snail's pace of change. As well, they have only received 20 applications for the AL taskforce and I worry it might be packed one way or another.

Anonymous said...

@MW

You may be one of the few people surprise by the "snail's pace" of change in SPS regarding advanced learning.

They are only changing because they HAVE TO (state involvement; school board showdown, etc.).

Were it up to them, they would not change at all, as evidenced by their by their behavior for years on this topic--contrary to research and best practices for over a decade.

Again, the HCC parents who continue to throw "warnings" about this new task force speaks volumes about how self-interest and a minority of well-connected parents have helped preserve this disgraceful enclave for way too long.

Delete Me

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm surprised because of all the high-minded talk by both staff and Board members. It seems almost nothing will change for a year or more. I'll have more on this from yesterday's C&I meeting where it was discussed.

I find it odd because of your remarks, Delete Me, and it sounded like the wrath of OSPI was coming down on the district and yet....not really.

There is no "warning" about the taskforce (except from me to say that most of them are time-sucking exercises where the staff and the Board ignores the taskforce). But I suspect with the low number of applications, it may be packed one way or another.

Growth 4All said...

"A minority of well-connected parents"- bwa ha ha! If we were so well connected and powerful, you would think any of us would have been able to convince our assignment area schools to give our kids harder school work. And then we wouldn't have had to do the referral, Saturday screening, Saturday testing, second Saturday testing... wait, did that include the ITBS? I've lost track now. All to try to get schools (schools!) to give students work at the level they should be working at.

The schools should be giving all students work at an appropriate level, d*mn it. Parental intervention should not be necessary. Students shouldn't have to change schools to learn. What a load of bull cr*p.

You're deluded if you think we're well connected and powerful. So many of us have had so many meetings with teachers, with intervention teams, with specialists, with principals and they've all put on that fake smile and choked out their legally mandated line about how our "child is welcome here" but then winked at us and showed us the door.

Why are parents begging for harder math for their kids? It is so messed up. If we were well connected or powerful it wouldn't be like this.

What do we want? Growth for all students every school year! School is for learning. Let kids learn! Stop rationing their educations!

Anonymous said...

If you weren't so well-connected, then this behemoth of a program wouldn't exist outside of neighborhood schools (except for outliers) and the pressure would have been directed at schools collectively.

As it is, those who aren't well-connected still have students who are actually gifted, unidentified and without services--many in schools that are highly impacted to boot. They are the actual ones who are suffering.

The victimization of the privileged approach has run its course.

Melissa, thanks for the compliment about my insights. You must have missed the parts where I have made the point about how the district and board keeps getting pressured by this bloc to not expand services to the underserved.

I have, in fact, never estimated how slowly the district changes when confronted by powerful parents. Of course, that's why the state had to virtually direct this change of policy to SPS. It literally took state law.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

They had their own director in Sue Peters, allegedly.

HCC is a cruel farce, in my opinion.

A disgraceful joke masquerading as a gifted program, as I see it.

Bad for kids in the program especially - the kids are stressed and often bully each other, so I've heard from parents in the program.

A sop to white parents with enough money to go private, I believe.

une

Anonymous said...

une should be deleted.

delete me should delete themselves imho, for what it's worth.

'You must have missed the parts where I have made the point about how the district and board keeps getting pressured by this bloc to not expand services to the underserved.'

proof please? wanting services for those identified (my job as an advocate for those in hcc) isn't pressuring not to expand services to the underserved. not even close. prove to me where any of my post hasn't said that more 2e, ell and frl students shouldn't be given scaffolding to get into the program. notice i didn't say of a certain race, like fwiw claimed was what was the problem of the hcc services. all appartheid. as if there was such a thing. or others who are pressure for less services for students. it is really just you trying to eliminate services for students.

why whine about the tf? well it is the third one in less than five years. when was the last tf on language immersion, sped, ell and transitional housing students? the committee makeup is important (would sped have only 4 -at most- of 20 reps?)

this is all being directed by w. jesse and kari hanson. they are the same ones that gave completely blew the hcc hs pathways and tried to sneak it through a capacity task force. completely underhanded. thankfully the board members without obvious further political aspirations put a stop to it. they are looking to get 20 members to rubber stamp their thoughtexchange farce.

no caps

Anonymous said...

@ Deleted,

Uh, yeah, they were ostensibly focused on meeting the needs of gifted students. SPS might not have done a great job of it, but that was part of their charge--because that's partly who the state's "highly capable" legislation is designed to protect--those students who need something different. Those new changes might help a little with identification (I don't think they will help with equity as much as you do, but that's another issue and I'd be happy to be proven wrong), but they don't pertain to how the state defines "highly capable." It still uses language that include those who are high achievers as well as those with the potential to do so. The TARGET of the legislation remains unchanged--the changes are more about how districts go about finding them and what the results should be. In other words, if the new legislation is designed to do a better job at finding the gifted and highly capable kids who are missed by the old legislation, and if the description of the target HC students in that legislation is essentially unchanged, then the old legislation was similarly intended to find gifted and high achieving kids. You can't have it both ways and argue the new law is focused on gifted while the old law isn't, when they essentially define the target population the same way. SPS's implementation of that intent clearly failed, and the state muddied the waters by also including high achievers in the definition, but clearly part of the intent was to serve gifted students.

If SPS shifts to a focus on "advanced learning for all"--as it seems to be poised to do--I'd like to hear how you think that approach will really serve all gifted students and outliers. Because I don't think it will. At all. If SPS decides to straight-up shift the focus toward a one-size-fits-all approach, gifted students will suffer. While it's true that some gifted students have already been suffering from lack of identification, it's also true that many who were id'd also suffered (due to lack of appropriate gifted services.) Is your intent simply to shift the burden of which gifted students suffer? Me, I'd prefer to see gifted services that work for all gifted kids, as well as advanced options for all kids who need them. Those are often two different things. Re: gifted services, the key is to create better services and better identification practices--not to pretend that generic advanced opportunities for all will do the trick.

You're right that I don't "know" what the new TF will propose. I think I was clear that my expectations and suspicions were just that. But given the way the district has conflated "advanced learning" and the services of the Advanced Learning dept in the recent past, and given the specified make-up of the group, I feel comfortable sharing my opinion on that.

all types

Anonymous said...


oh and put a fork in hcc. this really started a few years ago when the hcc ac became a feckless sps stodge. should have known after the last tf. none of the recommendations signed into policy in '14, happened. oh well. devin bruckner's false statements crowding out others. this lead to dewolf saying hcc is 90 white (never corrected - must be, right?) and geary saying self contained is proof of industrial racism (even though she sent her kid to ibx - hs self contained classes and the only self contained hs classes for hcc) only a hypocrite would do that, right?

why is that date the failure point? because hcc parents are given up or moved on. fool me once shame on you. fool me every chance you get, shame on the district. call me racist and my kids racist c'mon. the district did nothing to support this program. why? michael tolley has had a seemingly inexhaustible attack on hcc.

oh and there used to be a there, there. but s. martin just let it go. now it is a mix of honors for all in the south of the sc because there really is an equity issue once you get south of the ship canal (unless you are in qa and magnolia) but that also means you get a golden transfer north of the sc. martin was given real recommendations from the tf to make the delivery of hcc better. he did nothing. nothing. nothing. nothing.

martin could have pushed to support the program. instead he ate the poison apple of devin bruckner (board speaker stuffer and issue conflator). godspeed on that. there really isn't an equity problem with hcc. it is the equality issue. not enough blacks in classes in the south and none in the north. so the south is racist in comparison to the other classes there. that is just what prior board sup mgj and michael tolley wanted. appartheid right? bring on the divide and conquer. we started with 3 schools. there are now 12. yet there are only twice as many kids in the hcc.

no caps

Anonymous said...

hcc is getting dispersed, slowly but surely. the self-contained model will eventually be for outliers only, as it we when the program was called IPP and served students able to work four grade levels above standard.

now that's a gifted program we could all support.

today's hcc is not really a gifted program, i don't think.

two years ahead in math could be handled at most local schools if they wanted to do it.

they are required by law to do it, so it seems that parents just need to be more demanding of their local principals when they have an identified hc student.

it's the law that they be served and sps policy that it be available at their neighborhood school.

if, as many parents state here on the blog, they want to stay local, then work with your school to make it happen.

that's how it's going to change, when parents work with staff at their schools.

jjj

Anonymous said...

"this behemoth of a program"

Remember Spectrum? The program that served students in their neighborhood cluster? How many of those families are now opting for HCC? My guess is that percentage wise, the total of Spectrum + HCC, then and now, has not changed significantly. But more families are considering HCC who would have stayed in their neighborhood Spectrum program. HCC really is the new Spectrum - the number of sites is similar to that of the Spectrum of old, and the curriculum compacting and advancement of APP has morphed into more of a Spectrum level advancement. The only thing left is some science advancement, as math is supposedly not tied to HC identification.

This conversation will go nowhere as long as the district has a lack of clarity in what it's trying to achieve. It needs to extend beyond identification practices and begin to address the range of services provided. Some vague promise of differentiation and "deeper learning" doesn't cut it. The original intent of the IPP/APP program was to serve the outliers, but the district continues to dilute and diminish what's left of HCC. Based on the high school PD guidelines, de-tracking seems the ultimate goal. There seems to be little interest in serving outliers.

"that's how it's going to change, when parents work with staff at their schools."

...outright delusional.

no there

Anonymous said...

"hcc is getting dispersed, slowly but surely. the self-contained model will eventually be for outliers only, as it we when the program was called IPP and served students able to work four grade levels above standard."

- If de-tracking is the ultimate goal of SPS, then why would you expect there to be support for any self-contained options?

"now that's a gifted program we could all support."

- Yet, that's exactly what is being challenged - self-contained cohorts.

"today's hcc is not really a gifted program, i don't think."

- Well, SPS is working darn hard to offer less and less.

"two years ahead in math could be handled at most local schools if they wanted to do it."

- Really? If only 3 students in a grade need that level of advancement, a school will offer a class for them? Not realistic.

"they are required by law to do it, so it seems that parents just need to be more demanding of their local principals when they have an identified hc student."

- Parents shouldn't have to "demand" services. And how has that gone over for parents who have gently and respectfully asked for "more?"

"it's the law that they be served and sps policy that it be available at their neighborhood school."

- Sure, they can offer "services" that amount to maybe an extra few worksheets or additional (not different) assignments based on the same level work, but how appropriate is that?

"if, as many parents state here on the blog, they want to stay local, then work with your school to make it happen."

- It's just not that simple.

"that's how it's going to change, when parents work with staff at their schools."

- Just laughable.

la-la land

Growth 4All said...

Principals should be supportive of acceleration and other best practices when it is appropriate for their students. They should allow walk to math and advanced reading groups. Grade skipping should be one of a variety of ways the district meets students' basic educational needs. This would allow students to progress while staying at their neighborhood school. There could be a variety of options for families to pick from so that the services met the needs of the child in question.

Parents and guardians of hc kids have been trying to get local principals to provide acceleration and pacing modifications for eons. Even when the classroom teacher completely agrees it's necessary, the teachers' hands are still often tied. It is a seriously Sisyphusian effort. Teachers are often unable to provide even one year's worth of acceleration let alone two or three or four.

This is how there came to be gifted ed laws in the first place. The changes to state law that have been happening recently were driven by the Washington Coalition For Gifted Education and its partners NWGCA, WAETAG, and NAGC, with support from the state PTA. Mostly teachers and parents in those groups--fighting for what's best for students.

Anonymous said...

nocaps, IBX classes are not self contained.

FHS85

Anonymous said...

MW, you mentioned some data on HC from a recent public records request. Do you still plan on sharing?

Thanks,
curious

Anonymous said...

Neither in-class differentiation, nor walk-to-math, nor grade skipping are likely to cut it when a student is several years ahead in math or whatever subject. A teacher can't teach six different grades' worth of material at the same time, nor do they even have access to the curricula to do so. Grade-skipping is socially inappropriate if it's more than a year or maybe two. For very gifted students, neighborhood schools are simply not really an option--even if you COULD get teachers and administrators to work with you on trying to get appropriate services. Which you usually can't.

Here are a few of our experiences.
1. Teacher refused to assess student beyond grade level standards. Met standard? Cool, you're done for the year.
2. No books in classroom at the appropriate advanced reading level. That's ok, read stuff that's too easy, and go ahead and read appropriate stuff in your free time, after you're done with our busy work.
3. Student is bored and not paying attention in class. Better keep them in for recess.
4. Student needs more challenging math? We'll send them out into the hallway to work with an IA who doesn't know how to teach advanced math.
5. Teacher realizes student is very much advanced, so tries to get 4-yr-ahead curriculum. Principal says no, because "then what will that student cover in 4 years?" (Uh, since they learn so easily, they will probably be more like 6 years ahead by then...)
6. District official agrees student needs something else, so suggests elementary school student takes part-time classes at the middle school students with students who are 4 grades older, even though not developmentally appropriate.
7. Student resorts to online/independent study to finally get right level, but middle school won't let them do that at school, so forces them to take an unwanted elective and then do their very rigorous independent, core-subject work in their free time. This even though a teacher specifically requested that student be allowed to do their independent study work in teacher's classroom.

And so on. The idea that working with your school to get appropriately leveled work will somehow "make it happen" is magical thinking. For students who need something a little more advanced, sure. There are probably many students in that same boat, and teachers and principals and even administrators should be able to make that happen. After all, it's spelled out in their CSIPs how they are to serve advanced learners. Those same CSIPs do NOT, however, address how they will serve HC students--probably because they don't want to and don't have the time or resources or even political will to do so. That's part of the reason we have HCC--so teachers can send those kids away and not have to deal with them, and so parents can finally stop fighting at every step of they way.

Constant Struggle

Anonymous said...

All of these examples involve schools where HC law is not part of the equation.

Since HCC has been the only district service, schools have not been mandated to serve HC eligible students.

There is, however, a large contingent of HC identifed students who are attending their neighborhood schools (without state mandated services).

District records show that those students are making better progress than those who are part of HCC.

What does that tell you? (Let's leave the speculation that they are paying for tutoring at the door. Evidence, please?)

The Bellevue district model looks good. They have five service area schools (even though they have a much smaller population than Seattle) to have cohort services. They also provide differentiated services in neighborhood schools.

In the meantime, your children have services now, right?

The discussion currently underway in SPS (thanks to the state who targeted SPS HCC) is about all of the underserved students who have never been identified and don't receive services.

The demographics in HCC are so bad that the state of WA had to clarify the laws in order to get them to do something.

Where's your outrage about that?

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't assume the examples are non-HCC schools.

"District records show that those students are making better progress than those who are part of HCC."

Based on what metric? Grade level tests (are you referring to the data from years ago when they didn't even separate elementary from middle school?)? Grades in grade level classes? If you have actual numbers, please share.

I would not doubt that some portion of identified students are doing as well or better than those in the cohort. They had to test at the same minimum level to be identified in the first place. A couple of points: 1) It's somewhat of a self-selecting sample. Families who think their children will be alright without the cohort probably manage without the cohort. It would be interesting to know which schools retain the most HC identified students? 2) SPS has effectively eliminated most of the APP curriculum and SPS has not been adopting advanced texts for HCC. They are de-tracking as best they can. If coursework is only minimally advanced, how are students to show progress?

what's what

Anonymous said...

'nocaps, IBX classes are not self contained.

FHS85'

yes 9th grade classes are. duh. why would they call it ibx if it is not different from ib.

'The Bellevue district model looks good.' so do their class sizes and teacher salaries. apples to grape comparison i am afraid.

'The demographics in HCC are so bad that the state of WA had to clarify the laws in order to get them to do something.'

yeah just like all the lawsuits you claimed were being filled. the truth of the matter is you see this as a black/white issue and the state rightly sees it as a frl and ell issue. but the state has NO concern with sps. you make things up i am afraid like all those lawsuits that were coming... but crickets.

why no outrage that parents (and kids) who are seeking the best practices for their highly capable students education are called racist? why no outrage that district staff like michael tolley who should be supporting increased rigor for all has allowed for the dismantling of spectrum and yearly diminishing of hcc.

no caps


Melissa Westbrook said...

JJ, that's just sweet but delusional thinking about "just ask" at your school. It has never worked.

"Since HCC has been the only district service, schools have not been mandated to serve HC eligible students."

That's not true. CSIPs are there to make sure that schools have services for all kids, even HC kids. That they don't all do what they write is another topic.

Curious, I'm going to put that thread on what I heard at the C&I committee meeting AND what was in my public disclosure packet together soon.

Anonymous said...

@ Delete Me, "HC law" is part of the equation in all schools, throughout the state. HC status follows a student, whether they are in an HC pathway school or not. And schools are mandated to serve al students who show up--HC or otherwise.

There is, however, a large contingent of HC identified students who are attending their neighborhood schools (without state mandated services). District records show that those students are making better progress than those who are part of HCC.

By "district records" I assume you mean that evaluation that was done long ago, the one that never bothered to investigate what was behind those outcomes so they could be meaningfully interpreted.

What does that [evaluation] tell me? Actually, not much-because of the many reasons for self-selection that were never investigated (e.g., students staying local because their neighborhood school did a good a decent job with differentiation/acceleration; students staying local because their parents were able to pick up the slack and teach them on the side; students staying local because they needed more than what even HCC could provide and so parents had made other arrangements that could be just as easily--or perhaps more easily--be implemented at the local school; etc.) While it's very cute of you to ask for "evidence, please?", you know darn well that those data aren't available because the district has never bothered to collect them. They simply don't care to really understand what's going on--especially since this allows people like you to make a lot of conclusions about the data that aren't really supported.

I'm really not sure what you mean by "In the meantime, your children have services now, right?" The comments above seem to have been in response to the multiple suggestions that parents should just work with schools, when most of us have already been down that road and it didn't work. So now you're implying that lucky for us we have HCC so can finally get services--all the while you're complaining about HCC and suggesting that we shouldn't have it?

Yes, there should be discussion in SPS about students who are missed by the identification process. As I have said, over and over, we need to find a way to better ID--and serve--all students who need these different services. Underrepresented students who qualify may need different services, if they enter with a large gap between abilities and past achievement. Or they may not. We can try some different things and see what works best. But we don't have to stop serving other kids to make that happen.

For the record, I'm outraged about a lot if things in HCC: the poor testing signup and scheduling process; the use of bad tests; the absence of an appropriate curriculum; the lack of HCC teacher training re: working with gifted students; the way HCC is used a capacity management tool; the level of animosity toward these children and their parents displayed by teachers, administrators, and other parents; the apparent lack of leadership coming out of the AL office; the powerlessness (and often complacency) of the APP/HCS Advisory Committee; the misuse of unbelievably poor quality survey data to justify what seem to have been predetermined decisions; the use of Cascadia-only data for results reporting to OSPI; the recent change in appeals criteria that will disproportionately (and probably illegally) impact students with special needs; and, yes, the inequitable representation in HCC--which is likely due to SES issues more than race. So if you're keeping an "outrage" tally, go ahead and count me in a whole lot of columns.

all types

Anonymous said...

That's so funny, the comments by jjj, and me by extension, were called "delusional" at least three times, as if we are ill in the head.

My experience is that teachers and principals are more than happy to cooperate and meet the needs the my HC child and others in their neighborhood schools.

It was as simple as "please demand a higher level of work from my student; she has said that other kids don't do as much as she does, but I told her that she needs to work as hard as others, not do the same amount."

The teachers were happy to keep her busy and give her high marks only when she put in the same effort as others getting the same grades.

When talking to the principal, I asked if we could have walk to reading like we had for math and group kids by ability for one more period a day. After consultation with staff the school adopted a walk to for reading as well starting in third grade.

Changes were made that teachers wanted and were comfortable with making. Grouping was done in ways that minimized recognition by the students that they were being grouped by ability, because in fact, they weren't. There were lower capability students mixed with the HC and high achieving students, but they were students who enjoyed the challenge and were not discouraged by the placement.

Math was by necessity more aligned with ability but kids just shuffled back and forth each day and everybody had challenging work, although the struggling math students were still woefully neglected.

It takes a coherent staff and good principal and cooperative parents, but it worked well and now we are at our local high school and it's increasingly popular with kids coming out of the HC middle school because it offers a range of challenging courses.

The social benefit of staying with friends in the neighborhood cannot be overstated.

I understand the reasons people go to the cohort, but I think they are misguided. I spent a lot of time volunteering at the school and came to realize that parents of HC students can be overwhelming. They are usually somewhat gifted themselves and tend to discount the staff because the staff usually aren't gifted individuals. And the teachers who are the most intellectually gifted are preoccupied with helping the neediest students because they see the potential they have to offer if they can be taught effectively, hence they get annoyed and dismissive of demanding parents of high achievers and gifted students.

It's really a big misunderstanding that the district can't address well due to funding and staffing restraints, but at our schools it was made to work quite well.

I hope the Al department is spreading this model around the district, but it takes parents who are able to get heavily involved with their school and truly understand the problems teachers face day to day. teachers want to teach these HC kids, but not at the expense of the rest and frequently,in my opinion, it's parents who get very panic stricken about the potential harm to their children that creates friction.

Please show a little respect and stop calling people who have experience different than yours "delusional". It's insulting and rude.

ANNE

Sandor said...

Anne, which schools did your student attend? What you describe is night and day opposite from what my daughter experienced. If there are schools dealing well with HC students, thousands of people in this city would like to know. So far, I've pretty much ONLY heard good things about option schools, which often have very, very long wait lists.

Anonymous said...

anne will not tell you the school as they describe a fantasy.
no caps

Anonymous said...

The shared anecdotes reinforce the issue of individual schools deciding when and how to deliver services. One family was somehow able to work with their neighborhood school (or was it an option school in the neighborhood? TOPS?), but students from many, many other schools have joined the cohort because there was little to no accommodation. We had one principal disparage HC students and parents, while a teacher discouraged parents from having their children tested. Thankfully there was a teacher who encouraged us to take advantage of district AL programs at other schools.

night&day

Melissa Westbrook said...

Anne, my apologies for using delusional. You are misguided.

And yes, please tell us what school you are at because it would be good to have an example for the Board.

You said this:

"...it takes parents who are able to get heavily involved with their school and truly understand the problems teachers face day to day. teachers want to teach these HC kids, but not at the expense of the rest and frequently,in my opinion, it's parents who get very panic stricken about the potential harm to their children that creates friction."

To gently note, not all parents have the ability to be "heavily involved" in schools but that doesn't mean they should be able to access services for their children.

I have heard that before about HC parents but I'm not sure they are that much worse than other parents who are advocating for their children. But I'm just one person with one experience (except that I've talked to hundreds of parents over a decade and a half).

Anonymous said...

@ Delete me, FWIW, I am not "speculating" that some people who keep their HC-eligible students at neighborhood schools are paying for external instruction instead, because we did it. Neither our AA school nor HCC could provide the right level of instruction, so we were forced to find something else. In the end, it made more sense to attend the AA school right across the street, since we were going to be paying for independent instruction regardless. Our child ended up excelling with the independent instruction--and the neighborhood schools (elementary and middle) got the "credit" for the resulting test scores, even though they had nothing to do with creating them.

There aren't official data on cases like ours, but I know for a fact we aren't alone.

Constant Struggle

Anonymous said...

@ANNE,

Glad you're feeling good, but it doesn't sound like it worked as well as you think. Having teachers just give your daughter larger quantities of work below her level simply to "keep her busy," and give her high marks only for doing greater quantities of un-challenging work, are not recommended strategies for educating gifted children. That can teach kids school is a waste of time (and they may start to hate it), and they don't learn to push themselves and may instead avoid challenge. Probably not the outcomes most HC parents are looking for, and it shouldn't be considered "meeting the needs of HC students in neighborhood schools."

The social benefit of staying with friends in the neighborhood cannot be overstated. Uh, I think you did just that! Many highly gifted students have a hard time relating to grade-level peers, and they often find FEW friends until they are placed with other gifted students. They are often socially isolated at neighborhood schools, in which case the "social benefit" of staying there is non-existent. But if kids DO want to stay, they can.

That statement about HC parents and friction with teachers was loaded and full of all sorts of personal biases. HC parents dismiss teachers/staff? How so? Teachers and staff aren't usually gifted? Statistically that's likely true, but then it raises the question of their understanding of, and training to deal with, child giftedness and appropriate educational strategies. The most intellectually gifted teachers are preoccupied with helping the neediest students? What's the evidence for that? One of the most outspoken gifted advocates in SPS was in gifted ed as a child, and I suspect that many others who choose to work with HC students do so because they are gifted themselves and know the importance of receiving gifted services as a child--or the harms associated with not. Finally, you say that teachers get annoyed and dismissive of parents of gifted and high achieving students for trying to get their students' needs met--and you seem to condone that? So only some students deserve to have their academic needs met?

Finally, for the record, HC parents ARE often heavily involved with school and DO understand the problems teachers face. We absolutely do NOT want teachers "to teach...HC kids... at the expense of the rest." But if the only way teachers can adequately serve HC students is "at the expense of the rest," then doesn't that argue AGAINST trying to serve everyone at once? If they can't serve all and have to pick and choose the "neediest," doesn't that argue FOR a program specifically for HC or gifted students?

I'm glad you were clear it's only your opinion that "it's parents who get very panic stricken about the potential harm to their children that creates friction." In my opinion--and my experience--it's the ACTUAL harm seen in our children that creates the panic--and at that point teachers should share in the panic, not push against it. If a student is depressed about school, is manifesting physical symptoms of stress, is bullied for not fitting in, or is starting to avoid school altogether, these are legitimate red flags. If a parent brings these up with a teacher, they should be cause for smooth collaboration to address it, not a source of friction.

We all have different experiences. Glad yours worked for you, but please respect that many other parents have spent years trying and have gotten nowhere. The "model" that your school used won't work everywhere (because many teachers and administrators wouldn't buy into it), and it won't work for everyone (because it is a very limited and not evidence-based approach).

all types

Anonymous said...

dearest anne

we all know that many hc students are happy at their local schools because 1/4th to 1/5th choose not to enter the cohort and an unknown number who would qualify don't even request testing

the mere fact that your comment is attacked, ridiculed, dissected and point by point analyzed means it probably threatens a certain sps segment

the cohort is attractive to parents and that's fine as long as it doesn't adversely affect others students or the students who are in the cohort

i'm sure the al dept has reams of data that could shed light on the subject of student performance, well-being and behavioral issues for hc and other high intelligence students who are both in and out of the cohort

perhaps some day that data will available to the board and even the public so we can all judge the efficacy of the cohort model

until then i guess we'll just attack and disparage other's experience in a attempt to maintain the status quo, simply because some people believe it is best

knot

Anonymous said...

...and now said child is at a neighborhood school that's "increasingly popular with kids coming out of the HC middle school because it offers a range of challenging courses." Would that be Roosevelt or Ballard? It takes a critical mass of students needing a range of challenging courses in order to offer a range of challenging courses...kind of like the cohort.

circular discussion

Melissa Westbrook said...

Knot, that's a big leap to say parents of hc students at their local schools are "happy." You have no way of knowing that. People stay local for all kinds of reasons but it doesn't necessarily follow that they are happy. Satisfied might be a better word.

This is a blog and people respond to comments. I'm surprised anyone didn't know that and thought Anne was being attacked. But she made a blanket statement about "just go talk to your school" and the majority of parents HAVE done that with no success. Again, I'd love to know what mystery school this is but apparently she's not going to tell us.

I'm always taken aback at how sensitive Seattle folks can be to open discussion.

And if the AL department has "reams" of data, why don't they release all of it? According to an email I read, they had only in recent years gathered it all up.

The point isn't whether the cohort model is the thing - it's whether there is a "there there" for advanced learning students. Are they getting anything that meets their academic needs? Hard to judge.

Anonymous said...

@ knot, I don't know about those "reams of data." (That kind of sounds like Trump's Comey tapes!)

Where would these data come from, since SPS never surveys families about such things? It would make complete sense for them to try to understand why some people stay at their school and others leave, as well as how such choices might impact student well-being and behavioral issues (controlling for prior well-being and behavioral issues, since those likely impact the decision to stay or go)... but they have never collected the data they would need to meaningful analyses like that.

It would also make sense for them to compare test scores and academic results in the context of what educational inputs HC-eligible students are actually receiving (GE with/without appropriate differentiation, Spectrum, HCC, extracurricular enrichment, independent study, etc.), but they don't bother to collect data on those, either.

If SPS had "reams of data" showing that self-contained wasn't working, you can be damn sure they'd present them. However, all they have are superficial analyses that are clearly insufficient to those willing to think critically about the issue, so they don't spent too much time trying to make that case.

To flip your pronouncement how about this? "The GE model is attractive to parents and that's fine as long as it doesn't adversely affect HC students who need something else." The idea that only one group of students can get their needs met is a premise I simply don't buy.

Oh, and FWIW, if we're really to the point where analyzing and applying critical reasoning to comment is somehow considered proof that original comment was right on, god help us all.

all types