Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Open Thread

 Happy 80th birthday to public education champion, Diane Ravitch.

This weekend sees the opening of the Special Olympics in Seattle.

I will have that Waitlist Work Session thread this weekend.  However, fyi, there was no real discussion about waitlist movement.

I'll also have a thread on what YOU can do if you do not like what is happening in our country.  Good news - there ARE things to be done but like most of what you want in life, it's going to take much hard work.

News from Pathfinder K-8 that students found, in a mural at the school, an image of slaves on a ship coming to America.  From the district's story:
The mural in their school hallway, documenting the early history of the United States, alarmed students who noticed an image of a ship sailing on open waters, filled with representations of enslaved Africans being brought to America. With the guidance of eighth-grade teacher Ami Pendley and Seattle University graduate intern Maria Abdullahi, the students leapt into action to make a lasting change to their school environment. After conferring with school administration, the young scholars voted unanimously that the theme of their end of year service project would be to modernize the mural in their school building with the focus of “Black Excellence.
I know that Pathfinder moved into Cooper Elementary when it was closed; I don't know when the mural came into the picture.

Sand Point Elementary's community also had an event about diversity and inclusion especially around Native Americans.  From the district's story:
On June 3 in the auditorium of Eckstein Middle School, the culminating work of the full Sand Point Elementary school body was on display during a night of singing, dancing and storytelling to bring the legend of the “Salmon Boy” to life.  

The schoolwide musical collaboration, the first of its kind for Sand Point Elementary, employed the school’s Huchoosedah Native Student After School Program, educators, teaching artists, PTA and students.
Tammy Waddell Funeral Backpacks
 Here's a teacher who loved students even after her death.  From Southern Living:
Even after Tammy Waddell’s death, the lifelong Georgia educator still had one more lesson left to teach.

The beloved Forsyth County teacher died on June 9th at Northside Hospital-Forsyth following a prolonged battle with cancer. After decades spent touching the lives of local elementary students, Waddell has one last request: that instead of flowers, people bring backpacks full of school supplies for students in need.
Community meeting with Director Patu tomorrow at Raconteur, 5041 Wilson Ave S, from 9:30-11am.

Laugh for the weekend:

J.K. Rowling Retweeted Isaac Walton

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Hale alum and former Hale cheerleader is going for gold in paddle board!



Richard said...

I heard the ALTF (Advanced Learning Task Force) had its first meeting this week. Someone tell us that Kari Hanon and Jesse Wyeth don't already have a plan in place to dismantle and destroy all that remains of advanced learning, or to relegate it under MTSS that no teacher will ever implement it? Assuming that this is their agenda, I hope the task force won't be as amenable and malleable as they thought.

Anonymous said...

I’m on the ALTF and Kari’s opening presentation seemed so much that she was directing us to disband the cohort. She started by talking about MTSS, and talked about how many kids choose to stay at their neighborhood schools (hinting that she would soon be telling us how well they perform there), and then spoke disparagingly about “labels.” I felt it was so over the top that I straight out asked her if she was trying to lead us to a foregone conclusion. Because the time commitment we’ve committed to is immense, and if they aren’t even going to pretend that this is nothing more than a dog and pony show, I would rather step out now than 12-18 months from now.

She said no, of course, but I hope she tries harder going forward to hold her bias in check.


Anonymous said...

God, l hope they do go to something else. The current service is absolutely horrible and is against so many best practices it’s ridiculous. Gifted students need and are deserving of much better.

Anonymous said...

It has been a long march to nothingness. The plan seems to offer less while calling it something more.


Anonymous said...

jva, i don't trust kari or wyeth further then i can throw them at the same time. it really does seem that they are stuck with nyland/tolley over reach and geary and now dewolf (used to be blandford) finger wagging. nobody likes labels but they still call it sped. they still call it ell. they still call it alternative hs students. they will still call it comprehensive high school. they will call it junior band for the next ten years. those are labels. bring that up please.

as for mtss, where is their proof that it will work for kids 2-4 std. deviations above the norm. should be well documented somewhere. right. otherwise wyeth kari show brought us the thoughtexchange debacle. and claimed solid results. you couldn't get anything from that complete waste of time and probably money. garbage in gives you garbage out. especially when you have staff with their butts on the scales.

no caps

Anonymous said...

and jva please consider asking dr. herzog if she thinks identification, is needed, (also known as labeling). and if so how we could teach students on either side of norm - including those up to two to four standard deviations in both directions in a district that likes a lot of staff downtown and very little money going to schools.

sup nyland
michael tolley
wyeth jesse
kari hanson
stephen martin
matt okun

six layers of staff and we still aren't into a school. oh and those schools have autonomy. but before we get into a classroom we have an

building admin
and perhaps a dept. chair.

so before we teach a kid we have 9 layers (with many supporting staff). we alson have ancillary departments (race and equity, outreach and communication. most departments also have folks that serve that purpose in the individual departments too.
seems like we should have a pretty consistent set of classrooms and results. but do we? in the north you can choose from a few hs schools with rigor developed over years taking the hc kids with glee that aren't hc. now lhs is to have hc pathway but for ap you have to a zero period. unless that is false news. i know that jams isn't hims. no way for sure. and then you have tm and cascadia: self contained program in the north. and optically disparate classrooms in south. identification is irrelevant in the north and the only thing that keeps many kids in school in the south.

tons of things that make you say hum. nothing is done the same. we even test high frl schools differently.

now we are having the third altf in less than 5 years. kari and wyeth are hoping to roll out the big change tf. fools?

no caps

Anonymous said...

taking the hc kids with glee that aren't hc.

Should have said:
taking the hc kids with glee that aren't going to continue with the hcc.

also madison is not wms. especially the last two years and should have never been opened with so few hcc kids.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Kari said that this ALTF is different from the last ALTF in that the last ALTF didn’t have the benefit of Racial Equity Policy 0030. As she said it, I was certain she was wrong (and she was — Policy 0030 was passed in 2012). But she also said the mandate of this group is larger than the last, and that is true. She told me to call her out if she ever says anything that sounds to me like it’s biased, and while I didn’t need the invitation, I appreciated the gesture.

Another staff member gave a presentation that had suggestions about how groups could work well together, and it included a line about “respect for confidentiality,” which struck me as inappropriate in the context of a set of public meetings. So I asked for and received for confirmation that the meetings are public and there is no expectation of confidentiality beyond interpersonal respect.

After the meeting, I looked back at the charge document for the group, and I noticed that it said in boldface type that no one who had a financial interest in the outcomes that the recommendations may lead to is allowed to serve. I asked for clarification on what a disallowed financial interest might look like, as I’m not totally clear on how many of the ALTF members are representing groups that sell advanced learning support services to school districts and whether that counts as financial interest.


Richard said...

Thank you so much JvA for your insights. It is incredibly helpful!

Anonymous said...

@JvA, thank you for serving, thank you for sharing, and THANK YOU for speaking up. I am very concerned that these biases at the district level exist, and are being injected into the process...as suspected. I plan to write to district staff to express my concerns, and hope others will as well.

I also hope that Dr. Herzog is willing to step up and speak out strongly in support of these students’ needs. I fear that the Robinson Center’s prior work with the district—and their interest in continued and/or future work—may cause her to be more accommodating and conciliatory in an effort to preserve their relationship with the district. I don’t know whether RC work for SPS in the past has been pro bono or via paid expert services.

JvA, as a member of the task force, are you willing/available to talk with members of the community to hear their stories/concerns, or would this just put you in an awkward position? If you are willing to meet/talk, please let us know how best to share. I’m hesitant to share our story directly due to public record act issues and the potential to expose my children by name.

Thanks again for your work on behalf of our kids,

Serve HC

Anonymous said...

"She said no, of course, but I hope she tries harder going forward to hold her bias in check."

Are you also going to hold your own biases in check?

Yours are very obvious.

I thought a task force was to bring new perspectives so that people can learn from each other and find the best solutions.

You have an important job. Please don't use this forum to rabble rouse your fellow HCC parents after one introductory meeting.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

wow a twofer

fwiw = uses projection as part of their argument. you are racist / need to keep white kids out of the program. you are biased / but i have never posted anything that hinted of fair and common sense approach. no tracking is best. robust rigor for all in every classroom. race is most important and hcc is merely an extension of eugenics and appartheid. anyone who is involved with this program is a supporting institutionalized racism. everyone knows this based on the extended legal battles that have ensued with the district and the state.

outsider = elite cheaters are controlling the system to keep everyone else out. not based on race. perhaps based on hygiene. regardless you can't get in unless you cheat and you are well connected. of course you should consider private. or at least that is what you expect in your elite little mini district.

no caps

Anonymous said...

but back to my prior post:
-school board
sup nyland
michael tolley
wyeth jesse
kari hanson
stephen martin
matt okun
-executive director
---dept. chair.

gets us two years without a promised report on wholesale change of hs delivery for freshmen, in the ONLY hs designed to meet the needs of hcc - ghs. choice was eliminated with this change. this, meanwhile up north at ibx you can chose a self contained accelerated program to prepare you for ib one year earlier. water must be something special north of the ship canal to allow kids to accelerate (if they can get in) up there but we HAD to get rid of honors classes down south. why again. oh because it looked bad. it wasn't bad. it just looked bad.

want to talk equity? let's speak to the fact that franklin has so few ap offerings and bhs has so many. as does nearby rhs. how about no black history month at language immersion schools - too busy teaching their kids another language to teach them about hateful slavery. or the tremendous benefits that have propelled our country from all immigrants/slaves. how about a native american month. the lessens there could be endless.

want to talk mini districts - private school experience and expensive? language immersion and ib is really expensive folks. every time we have a new ib school that means dollars are going away from a gen ed school. state doesn't pay for it like it pays for some of the hc program. imagine if all that li option school family pta money and (and requested additional fees for language aides) were spread out across the district how strong each building would be. certainly might make it easier to have hcc in every school. but with self inflicted gerrymandering (see wms versus meany maps) and legacy option schools we will never be there. the money and the ptsa are just not there to support all three.

so for best practices we have self contained 1-5 hcc classes. it works and it is the cheapest way to have it. ptsa do raise money too and pay for playground equipment that every other elementary school has. and yeah you can put those elementary school kids into a high school, a fragile sped school a high frl school and they will get it done. would mcdonald have survived at lhs? my spidey sense says, hell no. also you can split best friends a few times to solve your capacity conundrums. the program will roll on.

in fact, the district knows this and yet they use it to bolster a narrative of the have and have nots. but it is the li/ib schools that are really the haves and hcc is the have nots. but let's look at as a matter of race instead. why is hcc held to the race standard when ib/li is not held to that standard? to keep them in check always splitting (4x the schools twice the number of kids in ten years and more splits are coming at fairmont and rems). always task forcing - 3rd taskforce in 5 years. when was the last li taskforce?

no caps

Anonymous said...

@ Checkmate, I didn't see anything in JvA's posts to indicate a particular bias. Unless you're talking about a bias toward fact and best practices and openness and critical thinking rather than preconceived notions, in which case I say @JvA, please do NOT check those biases!

@ Satirical Parent, please provide links to research that shows that highly gifted students are not harmed by lack of access to gifted ed, then I'll listen up. I'm not talking about research that says students "overall" (i.e., HC and GE combined) don't do worse when schools are integrated and lower performing students enter, nor am I talking about SPS's old, methodologically unsound evaluation that suggested HC students who elect to stay at their local schools (for reasons unknown, but important) do similarly well to students who elect to move to HC sites (for reasons unknown, but also important), since self-selection is a huge bias that was never looked into, making it nearly impossible to draw conclusions from the resulting data. The "evaluation" also didn't look at the program (AKA intervention) itself (i.e., whether there is any THERE there), nor did it tease out long-term participation and effects (since students new to a program that required them to leap ahead a couple years would be expected to show poor results for a couple years due to skipped material).

Serve HC

Anonymous said...

@ no caps asked: "when was the last li taskforce?"

Uh, it just wrapped up. Per the district's website, "the Intl/DLI Task Force completed its work in June 2018." Here's the link: https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=9140705

As to why LI schools aren't held to that same standard, aren't they just option schools? Why are you singling out LI schools and not all option schools? And for that matter, why not neighborhood schools, which are often more segregated and wealthier than LI and other option schools? Why make LI schools the scapegoat, when the issue is really the distribution of wealth and racial segregation in Seattle itself?

Serve HC

Anonymous said...

well said serve. imo after years of reading their post that unfortunately cement cerebellums will hinder any movement on hcc for these two. why? my guess is white guilt for fwiw and an uphill battle for outsider to get the basic needs of their child(ren) met at their neighborhood school. both too bad. i feel for them based on my perceived plight they endure. but for them it is us against them mentality and facts, logic and sometimes grammar be damned. (not one to talk i know on the last item).

no caps

Anonymous said...

JvA has posted here many times and has a track record of opinions.

Bias for "Self-contained for All" is Exhibit A.

You might not have recognized the bias in this thread by JvA since you obviously share the same biases in favor of the HCC model as an fellow HCC parent who has benefited from this unfair program. It is very hard to be objective when advantages for your own child are at issue.

It is probably not a good idea to try and defend the SPS approach to HC via HCC.
HCC is against best practices on multiple levels. That is widely acknowledged at this point, starting with identification.

Also, rabble rousing to get public support for your own biased position after one meeting is a good way for fellow task force members to know who they are dealing with quickly. Character traits and all that.


Anonymous said...

Also, this "whataboutism" regarding LI, IB, etc. Is a poor P.R. strategy.

Those programs have their own issues, as do highly impacted schools, underperforming neighborhood schools, PTA inequities and many more.

The issue here is the fact that SPS, by state law and new board policy, is required to make long overdue changes to H.C.


Anonymous said...

well said fwiw - more lawsuits coming/filed. oh my. and the board policies are all over the place, so don't count on that calming your poor disposition.

oh and do the math i have been posting on this blog since... well the beginning and would have to had a half dozen kids in hcc to be concerned about my own self interest. i am about the future of the program and not about my own self centered interest. refreshing no?

whataboutism is very trump of you too. see i'm using your projection trick. can't beat them on the facts distort the truth... or creative alternative facts. lawsuits, ospi sanctions and board rebukes - oh my. you do know that the board sits on top of that long list of folks who write the policy and, hum, they are fine with the hcc.

so for you keeping score at home. i post for the future and not because of my kids. the board and state have zero issues with hcc. staff especially michael tolley do. that is why staff supported devin bruckner's efforts regardless/despite/because of take over board meetings. funny after all those hijacked meetings dewolf made the infamous 90% white comment.

oh how nice of you to admit hcc is an unfair program. i take that coming from you that you are involved in an unfair program. like perhaps you tried to sway policy unfairly. just sayin'.

as for you fwiw = uses projection as part of their argument. you are racist / need to keep white kids out of the program. you are biased / but i have never posted anything that hinted of fair and common sense approach. no tracking is best. robust rigor for all in every classroom. race is most important and hcc is merely an extension of eugenics and appartheid. anyone who is involved with this program is a supporting institutionalized racism. everyone knows this based on the extended legal battles that have ensued with the district and the state.

no caps

Anonymous said...






Anonymous said...

@ DeleteEUd/Checkmate/DeleteMe/etc.,

I don’t think ANYONE is saying SPS’s HCC and HC services are perfect as is. Should changes be made? Absolutely—and many of us who have or had a kid in HCC or otherwise receiving HC services have said that for years. However, fighting for improvements in HC identification and services does not require the elimination of HCC, as you seem to think. For students who are so far ahead, and/or who think and learn so differently, andor who are so out of sync with their peers, etc., self-contained programming is a best practice, and given our large class sizes and lack of supports for differentiation, often the only feasible option (aside from parent-led differentiation, which is generally a product of hignparent education and/or financial resources, so not equitable). There is very little chance of most HC students getting what they need in a GE environment—and at some level you know this and actually agree with me, otherwise you wouldn’t e arguing for HC services for those from underidentified groups, who are currently part of GE, right? The key is to not throw out the baby with the bath water—but to better find all the babies, and to make sure the bath water is the right temperature.


Anonymous said...

I do have biases, and as far as I can tell, all the members were supposed to bring biases. For instance, there was a specific quota for parents of HCC kids, so only 7 of 21 members were supposed to bring that bias. When the staff opened up discussion, we were supposed to introduce ourselves with an explanation of which subgroup of children we were representing, as if we weren’t intended to represent all the children. Instead of pretending I don’t have biases, I want to be as transparent about them, and my goals, as possible.

And my bias/goal is that I want the district’s advanced learning procedures to map to racial equity policy 0030 — to raise achievement for all students while narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest achievers. In the context of advanced learning services, I believe this will mean focusing on how to best raise achievement for advanced learners while increasing participation from underrepresented groups, perhaps with a target of AL reflecting the racial composition of that age cohort of Seattle’s population.

Another bias I have is that I believe that the same advanced learning opportunities should be available in poor areas as rich ones, eg AP Calculus should not be a north end class only. For instance, I disagree with Jill Geary when she says that schools without these offerings are “good enough.” I strongly disagree that SPS children’s education ceiling should be determined by the wealth of their parents.

And, no, I am not going to keep these biases in check. If I am supposed to be open to the idea that the most advanced classes should only be available at wealthy attendance area schools, I don’t think I can pretend to do so.

However, I think that the staff, which selected the task force members specifically to represent a range of viewpoints, should be using their personal biases to direct the discussion. I’m just one of 21 participants, while they are setting the agenda, assigning the homework, and scoping the overall inquiry. I strongly believe their role is different from ours, and they should not be directing us to specific conclusions. I understand that, as a commenter here suggested, that all this transparency may make me unpopular in the group, and I’m OK with that.

To someone’s question of whether I’d take input — I wonder if the discussapp.blogspot.com blog might be a good forum for comments. I read the comments there and I can suggest that anyone else who may be interested do the same.


Anonymous said...

Correction: Staff should NOT be using their personal biases about task force outcome to direct the inquiry.


Trailblazer Grandmas said...

Newport News, Virginia third grader, Na Kia Boykin who is the great granddaughter of Katherine Johnson (of "Hidden Figures" fame) scored perfect score on her math "standard of learning test."

After setting and achieving her goal to earn a perfect math score, she asked to be allowed to address the awards assembly crowd to express gratitude and acknowledge Katherine Johnson’s influence on her interests in math and science. Na Kia closed out her speech by saying:

"I would really like to give my great-grandmother Katherine Johnson a special thanks for inspiring me and a whole generation of young people to achieve our dreams. And by being a trailblazer and role model to all of us; thank you grandma."


Anonymous said...

SPS HCC service is better than staying at local schools in almost every instance, IMO. It's a no-brainer that concentrating the high achieving who are also high aptitude students in self-contained classrooms gives those kids an easy way to work above standard.

Sure, it would be nice for the next 7% of highest achieving/aptitude students if they could also have self-contained classrooms, as those kids can and would also easily work above grade level.

I think the next 7% after that could also work above grade level and would benefit from a cohort.

To me that is problematic. I want the best for every kid and I admit that our cohort model provides substantial benefit, but don't advocate for three levels of self-contained classrooms.

We used to have a few schools with self-contained classrooms(Spectrum) and the district eliminated it due to majority opinion in those schools. Hence tons of kids left for the cohort, I think it doubled.

The benefits of being in the cohort appear to give those kids an advantage in college prep, better learning environment(which is narrower ability and even more important - actual recorded achievement),better teachers, etc.

Having kids with evidence of achieving, doing the work, at a very high level. is a huge advantage for the kids in the classroom. Ask any teacher.

I'm in the boat of HC qualified stayed at local schools. The schools were very good, all top level SPS neighborhood schools,of which I think there are many, but still all the types of kids who aren't in the cohort and devoid of almost all of the students who were in the top percentiles of ability as well as achievement.

Would my kid have done "better" in the cohort. I would say that things worked out but would have probably worked out in the cohort. It might of worked out better.

There were lots, in fact over 99% of the kids in our elementary, after the demise of Spectrum, through middle and into high school, who were below my kid's level with the average student two years behind mine. That is a challenge to keep them challenged, but staff did a good job.

It just would have been so much better to have a number of kids who were at that HC level in his classes, and being in the cohort with all the kids in his classrooms capable and doing the same high level woulda,coulda been very good indeed.

My impression of the cohort is that it is much stronger academically but a lot of kids don't like the social scene as much as the kids who stay local, which weighed heavily on our choice. Plus seeing the benefits of inclusion. I felt our kid could still do well and get a broader life experience. Like many kids mine was not focused and still isn't. College is where it takes off for many kids and that's my kid.

Now will an HCC kid beat out my kids for a college spot? You would think so at a very competitive school, but mine is only interested in UW and that looks like a slam dunk.
For Stanford or Ivy League schools I think people should do the cohort.

rising senior

Anonymous said...

For an HC kid who would do fine and be just as happy in a neighborhood school, the cohort usually doesn’t provide an advantage in college admissions. (They might actually be better off being a top student at a neighborhood school rather than one of the masses in HCC.)

However, an HC kid who does NOT fit in at all in GE, who is ahead beyond what teachers can handle, who is bored and a potential dropout risk, etc., the cohort does provide an advantage—not because the cohort gives the kid something other kids can’t get outside the cohort, but because it alllws the kid to actually do what others get to do—learn, grow, take risks, have intellectual peers, etc. For those kids, the cohort provides equity. (Yes, there are still kids who are missed, and yes, we need to improve our ID process).

Can we please stop trying to make these square pegs fit into round holes just because most of the others pegs are round?

All types

Melissa Westbrook said...

Checkmate (among your many names), you do know that you write the same way no matter the name? Yeah.

"We used to have a few schools with self-contained classrooms(Spectrum) and the district eliminated it due to majority opinion in those schools."

No, it was the opinion of the principals mostly. There were some parents who advocated for the change but it was coming from the principals and some teachers.

Anonymous said...


"Now will an HCC kid beat out my kids for a college spot? You would think so at a very competitive school, but mine is only interested in UW and that looks like a slam dunk."

that means your test scores are in line with acceptance with the uw. congratulations. no surprise though right? hc qualified says a ton and that piece may have fallen into place just about anywhere.

i am not sure what you have heard or experienced but the kids in the hcc are just kids. some hcc may not make it into the uw. that may make fwiw and outsider salivate and say then why have the program? cuz it isn't about college prep. sorry. it is about k-12 survival. the number of suicides for hc kids is shocking. the number of dropouts is shocking too. there is a social emotional component that sps ignores. as they ignore it for the homeless. as they ignore it for sped. as they ignore it for everyone. social emotional support is not their job i guess.

hc kids are just kids. kids with challenges and kids that can make it anywhere. just like in most schools. but we all know based on fwiw and outsider they are all in the hcc because their parents are all connected cheaters striving only to keep those with poor hygiene or wrong pigment color in their skin out of their kids classes. sucks hard to be a hcc parent.

no trump

Anonymous said...


i agree with you that getting into a top 40 school is more likely from ghs than hhs. everyone admissions officer has heard about the decades of well qualified students coming out of there.

no trump

Anne said...

HCC only exists for 1st through 8th grade in SPS, so I have my doubts that it would matter much for college admissions. What college even cares about what kids did before high school?

Any adult who was once an HC-identified student knows exactly what it means to receive your HC services in the regular classroom. There are thousands of SPS parents who know exactly what that was like. We get it. That was state of the art back in the last century when most of us were educated.

But time moves on and the state of the art moves on. Just because it was considered the best way to do something in the 1970s doesn't mean it's the best way to do something now.

I hope when they apply their own equity tools they will see very clearly that HC students who live in lower income neighborhoods are the most harmed by this approach to HC services in education.

Anonymous said...

One thing for sure is that a student rising from HCC middle school to any of the high schools with ample AP classes is they will have a much higher ranking on weighted GPA. Each AP class gets an extra 1.0 points on weighted GPA.

So for the valedictorian award and for schools that use weighted GPA, it's unfair to HC kids who don't join the cohort before high school and can't get ahead two years or more in math and can take Biology in middle school.

The district says all schools offer service to HC students, but the ones who stay local for whatever reason, are put at a disadvantage when it comes to honors like valedictorian, salutatorian and the many, many colleges that use weighted GPA.

If I had a student who was HC I would be very worried about not joining the cohort, at least for middle school, whether the student was happy or not with the challenge at the local school.

Yale, Cornell, Stanford, etc. don't give hoot about altruistic motives, they want the highest achievers they can get.

promises promises

Andrew said...

According to Wyeth Jesse, 90% of students who take AP courses aren't HCC students (http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2017/11/seattle-schools-2018-2019-assignment.html), so I think you've got the crazies on that one.

Math Walker said...

Kids can easily get one year ahead in math with walk to math at any school where the principal cares about students having access to that -- principals have the power to allow walk to math. Teachers have the power to allow walk to math. You don't even need test scores. They can actually just let a kid who is a real classroom leader jump ahead a year. Once students have made that leap, if they are thriving, their achievement scores in math will be higher since they're a whole year ahead of most of their peers. That makes it all the easier to qualify for Spectrum/Advanced Learner or HC status.

Anonymous said...

Enough with the scare tactics about suicide and H.C. students since it is fake information:


Low-income gifted boys who aren't getting services are more likely to wind up in prison. That is an actual impact of the unfair SPS HC "program."

Gifted CREATIVE students, which SPS doesn't even recognize, are more at risk for depresion and bi-polar disease, which can lead to increased suicides.

Also, JvA, you noted that your bias is to include more underserved students in AL but not HC.

That is a big difference, even though it *sounded good* on your campaign type of post above.

Btw, task force members are supposed to be open to learning from the perspectives of the experts and other points of view.

You continue to seem fixed on your own admitted biases.

As a citizen, I expect more.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

Kids cannot take Bio outside of the cohort.

Geometry, yes, at some K-8's and middle schools, but Algebra II, not that I've heard. Some HCC kids even get pre-calc and can enter high school taking AP Calc!

So, yes, HCC middle schoolers have a clear advantage in weighted GPA.

got crazies

Andrew said...

If 90% of AP classes are being taken by nonHC students, the AP-weighted GPA benefits are overwhelmingly going to non-HC students.

The far bigger problem in this city is that the number of AP Calc courses very so much between high schools. So if a student does want to take AP Calc AB, what are their chances of getting the class?
Here are the number of AP Calc AB classes offered at each of the high schools:
Garfield 5
Ballard 4
Roosevelt 4
Franklin 3
Hale 3
Ingraham 3
West Seattle 1
Sealth 0
Rainier Beach 0

And for AP Calc BC, things are even grimmer in many neighborhoods:
Garfield, Ingraham, Ballard and Roosevelt all offer 1 session of AP Calc BC
Franklin, Hale, West Seattle, Sealth and Rainier Beach do not offer AP Calc BC

So, if a student is supposed to take 4 years of math in high school, and starts high school in pre calc because that's next in sequence, then that student is going to need access to AP Calc AB as a 10th grader when Running Start is not an option yet. If that student happens to go anywhere but Sealth or Rainier Beach, maybe they're in luck because at least the course is being offered at their school.

If a student enters high school taking AP Calc AB as a freshman, though, they would need to be going to Garfield, Ballard, Roosevelt or Ingraham in order to even have a chance of taking AP Calc BC as a sophomore. Because the class isn't offered at Franklin, Hale, West Seattle, Sealth or Rainier Beach. Students who want to be advanced in math and live in those neighborhoods either need a program like HC (which would allow them to attend a non-neighborhood high school that did offer more advanced math courses) or they need to tell their parents to move?

Anonymous said...

@ Delete Me, it's an AL task force. AL as an umbrella term. Not that I suspect JvA cares if you want to spout off about their use of the term.

@ got crazies, which SPS schools provide pre-calc in middle school? Never heard of it. And even if they do, it's not an HCC-specific thing, since math isn't part of HCC in middle school. Most students I know who are that far ahead in math are taking classes independently, not through SPS.

Also, the issue is whether or not that "clear advantage in weighted average in GPA" actually provides much of an advantage. It's not clear that colleges prefer weighted GPA over overall GPA, and most tend to look at the context for the GPA, not the standalone number. For example, if you took Physics B/Chemistry B in 9th grade (the new HCC sequence), then took your first AP science class in 10th, they might like to see more AP science in 11th and/or 12th, instead of non-AP versions, unless you had a lot of other AP classes at the same time, which is another part of the context. However, it you were not HCC in middle school and instead took Phys A/Chem A in 9th (per the new sequence), Bio in 10th, then elected to take AP science in 11th and 12th, and did well in them, that's going to look good, too. So will doing really well on AP exams, not just "passing." It's the trajectory and performance that are more important than the sheer number of AP classes and how they impact weighted GPAs. Iff kids are really, really worried about it, they can always take lots of science through Running Start, too--and perhaps enter with actual college credits that many schools don't grant for AP classes.

If the district had a gifted program that provided a different type of classes to HC students instead of just the same classes ahead of schedule, that would solve this "problem" (to the extent it's a problem). That would require more of a "gifted ed" type approach, where the pace of learning, depth of coverage, flexibility to allow for independent investigation in areas of interest, etc. were more tailored to the learning styles and needs that are unique to academically gifted students. But we don't have that, we just have a form of acceleration instead, whereby GE curricula are accessed earlier. It's not much, but it at least gives HC students a little extra challenge.

crazy making

Anonymous said...


Weighted GPA is super important when coming from public schools.

See College Confidential.

As to the Andrew's comment. Huh? (90% doesn't mean that HCC don't take more INDIVIDUALLY.
They do have the choice to take more AP classes because they start high school, whether Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield, etc., with advanced coursework that let's them start AP classes earlier.

The only way a kid from a gened program can hope to meet the weighted GPA of a kid coming from a HCC middle school is with on-line or Community College summer courses.

Are you HCC die-hards really going to deny even this most obvious of inequities of the service?

The district screws over kids who are HC but stay local and rewards those who join the cohort.

Pure and Simple


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Replies to: How much do colleges care about weighted GPA?

Registered User Posts: 3,850 Senior Member
06-29-2014 at 2:11 pm
"Every college states that the single most important factor is curricular rigor, and so weighted GPA means everything. If you are coming out of a typical, public high school, then I'd say that your weighted GPA will matter a lot."


Anonymous said...

I understand Delete Me’s concern that I was trying to pull one over by saying AL and not HC. That’s because there essentially is no AL outside of HC at SPS. In this case, I actually meant to say that I want to work with the Task Force to make HCC racially equitable.

While I bring biases such as believing that kids who are ready for AP Calculus shouldn’t have to live in a wealthy neighborhood in order to take it, I am still open to other perspectives on this topic. I can’t imagine that I’d be swayed into thinking the availability of math classes should be based on parental wealth, but I’ll listen to the arguments and try to understand that perspective.

As to whether Delete Me deserves better representation as a citizen — sure, our kids deserve top-tier talent. But realistically, if you’re going to ask members to attend four-hour-long meetings during business hours in a windowless room once a month for up to 18 months without compensation just for the privilege of being one of 21 votes on purely advisory matters — you may end up with a few flawed individuals like myself.


Anonymous said...

Another bias I have is that I’m not OK with assuming that kids will always be able to access Running Start to get the classes they need if their Attendance Area school doesn’t offer them. I don’t trust that the Legislature will always fully fund Runnjng Start.



Anonymous said...

HC is part of AL but not all of AL. HC is the only designation that is part of state law and offers protections to students.

JvA was very specific about wording so it is probable that saying AL rather than HC, when talking about their campaign plan for underserved children, was no accident.

Many on this blog have wanted to have a separate program for underserved students who have a lower achievement level: In other words, to not identify them as HC.

As this thread is making abundantly clear, the horse race for parents to get their kid identified as HC and then into the HCC cohort is highly calculated to maximize future prospects.

It continues to be interestinng how few NMSF and elite college entrants this program produces, despite all of the parent maneuverings.

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

Just read your response, Jv a.

Excellent news!

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

in all my experience with college applications ghs DOES NOT RELEASE WEIGHTED GRADES. so no outsider: "Are you HCC die-hards really going to deny even this most obvious of inequities of the service?" i am not as it doesn't exist and, as with race, there is nothing we can do about it. nothing. we just subscribe to the paper we don't write the articles. we just eat the pizza we don't cook it and deliver it. get it? we are the consumers. sps is the producer. what does outrage get us anyway? not much. should be be outraged about non-hc kids getting into college or the fact that it has been two years and no honors for none/all report? i can tell you where my outrage is. just because i order dominos doesn't mean i am pro life. and just because my kids were in app doesn't mean i am appartheid.

outsider = elite cheaters are controlling the system to keep everyone else out. not based on race. perhaps based on hygiene. regardless you can't get in unless you cheat and you are well connected.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Stop the Trump b.s.

The are plenty of posters here who challenge the HCC status quo besides myself and outsider, who happens to be very random and has a very distinctive, literate writing style. Outsider hasn't been back since the hilarious post about picking nose, throwing backwards and poor hygiene post as a definition of asynchronous babble.

This Trumpian conflating of the multiple people who challenge the HCC parent narrative would be laughable were it not coming from such a position of privilege that has helped kicked the equity can down the road for far too long in this district.

Likewise is Melissa's lame attempt to act like I am trying to be some kind of sci-fi morph by using different monikers.

If she hadn't been deleting ad hoc when it countered the power base of the blog narrative, I would have gladly kept my original name and used it consistently.
Instead, she hit delete whenaver it hit a nerve.

Welcome, Superintendent Juneau!

Delete Me

Anonymous said...

you know you just said... nothing. wow what a waste of consenants and verbd you are.

no trunmp

kellie said...

@ Delete Me,

Your justification for your constantly shifting monikers does not hold any weight.

You behave as if this blog has some monolithic voice. As someone who has posted with her actual name since the time this blog originated during the closures, I can say with conviction that is simply not true. This blog has always welcomed a variety of view points.

Welcoming does not constitute agreement. At the very beginning when I posted on capacity issues, my voice was very much a lone voice during the early closures. My point of view about larger system issues was not very welcome in a sea of upset about how individual schools were targeted.

You cherry pick from a variety of mostly anonymous comments, a theme and then repeat that theme over and over again.

There are many reasons why people can't use their real name in blogging. Solvay girl is a person that I have never met but I have deep respect for her insightful comments, including her profession reasons for not using her name. Her moniker holds weights.

Equity issues are complex and there are many more people on this blog who care about these issues. I have been very clear that I support BOTH improving identification for the cohort AND creating additional program to SUPPORT historically underserved groups. Many people are capable of holding complex thoughts.

If you ever bothered to build a moniker, and stuck to it, you would have more credibility. The credibility that comes from the accountability of owning your voice.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again.

WA state law mandates 4.0 as the max. GPA so schools get around that by ranking order which uses weighted GPA.

Ranking order is available to colleges.

Why do you want to hide this?


Anonymous said...

@Mopnado, equity—distinct from equality—does not necessarily mean providing all students the same thing. Sometimes equity means providing unequal things (e.g., FRL for students who need financial help, special ed services for those who qualify, etc.). The presumed idea behind offering classes (including AP) a year or two earlier in (or coming from) HCC is that HC students need access to acceleration in order to meet their basic educational needs. (Note: We know how SPS tries to do this, so if some HC-identified students opt not to participate in the district’s version of services it’s not really fair to say they are being screwed over.) Acceleration is relative—it’s aceleration compared to something else, in this case the GE curriculum. As the legislation lays out, HC students often need something different (AKA not equal) in order to receive a basiic (AKA equitable) education. HC students are different, and need something different.

Whether the district provides for this “difference” in the best way is debatable. Personally, I think they could do much better on both the services AND the identification fronts, as I have said for years. There may be ways in which the district could provide acceleration without early access to AP classes, I don’t know. Maybe HCC students could be accelerated into higher grade levels instead—i.e., if they are taking some 8th grade classes as a 6th grader, make them 8th graders instead; that way they start high school with all the same access to AP classes as everyone else. Unfortunately, however, they would start high school—and later college—at a big social disadvantage by being 2 years younger than everyone else (not equitable), and given the asynchronous development common in gifted individuals, this age and executive function difference would often be compounded.

We’ve all seen the equity image of the kids looking over the fence, with boxes of varying heights under those who need them to see over. The image does not also include a ceiling, so presumably there is some variation at the top, unless holes are then dug under those whose view is from “too” high. Is the goal to allow all students to see over the fence, or to get all students to the perfect height—no shorter, no taller—to peer through a fixed pair of binoculars?

There is no easy solution here, no clear path that includes equity for all. Most attempts to provide equity for one group result in apparent inequity for others (e.g., there’s no evidence or likely basis for thinking that Honors for All classes provide similar levels of learning and challenge for all). It’s important to be clear about what we mean by equal vs. equitable. It would also be helpful if those on both—or all—sides of the HC issue think about equity from all perspectives. Clearly, the status quo is not working well for some. What are some feasible ideas for how to equitably (not equally) serve HC students appropriately, while also serving GE and other students equitably?


Anonymous said...


So you admit it is unfair to HC kids who won't join the cohort, but if they aren't willing to uproot their lives, spend hours a day on buses and lose the opportunity to play club sports in the neighborhood, spend time after school at the playground, walk to school, walk to friends' houses after school, have their parents support their local school, stay with siblings, etc....

then they are at fault when they can't get into a selective college because they didn't "opt" into the cohort.

That is pretty dismissive of those students and their parents.

You are justifying excluding other HC students from achieving their potential simply because they can't or won't leave their neighborhood to join the cohort.

Equity for all HC students!

monica moniker

Greenwoody said...

These HC/AL discussions tend to go in circles because people aren't really grasping what the district is up to.

The district (the central staff) want to eliminate *all* forms of specialized instruction. Option schools, dual immersion schools, things like EEU, Middle College, and so on. The trend is clear as day. Why do they want to do this? The evidence suggests it is because a single standardized curriculum is easier for mass conversion to computerized learning.

The district doesn't care about the equity concerns raised regarding HCC. Those concerns are just a useful cover in order to destroy all advanced learning programs and put all kids into the same classroom, with differentiation coming through the iPad app rather than a curriculum or a program or a teacher.

The result is everyone spends their time arguing with each other because you don't see what the district is actually up to. It's nefarious as hell, but as long as everyone is pitted against each other, they can't unite to stop the district.

Both racial equity and advanced learning require smaller class sizes and a district that is committed to meeting the needs of every child, rather than putting every child in front of an iPad. Until those underlying issues are resolved, this endless argument will just go on and on and on and on...

Anonymous said...

Colleges recalculate gpas. It’s plain and simple. Some countries and high schools have a 10 point scale. Some, like the HCC schools, have a 5 point scale. Some have a 4 point scale. Elite colleges know how to figure it out, and what constitutes rigor. UCs. Not so much. Wonder why HCC doesn’t get any kids into Ivy's? Ivys and the very most selective schools, aren’t looking for manicured credentials from whites OR Asians. Harvard is actually being sued by a group claiming Asian discrimination. There are simply too many similar HCC type resumes to get them in. Ingraham had 0 Ivy-bound last year. Bloggers huffed and puffed... and said they really didn’t want their kids at an Ivy after all, not worth it, Ivy’s aren’t good enough, UW was better, excuses galore. It’s pretty hard to believe that the very same people who would saw their arm off to get their kid into HCC, petitions, rants, private testing, etc would then eschew most elite colleges. Not credible!


H. Yard said...

Repeat after me: Where you go to school from 1st grade through 8th grade does not determine whether you get into selective colleges.

One of the biggest factors in getting into an "elite" college appears to be legacy status more so than any kind of merits based on the student. From 2010 to 2015, Harvard’s admission rate for legacies was 34%, while its admission rate for non-legacies was 6%. In other words, legacy applicants are nearly six times more likely to be admitted than applicants who do not have a Harvard-educated parent. The advantage is even greater for double legacies, or those with two parents who graduated from Harvard.

Not surprisingly, legacy applicants are likely to be white. More than one-fifth of white applicants admitted to Harvard between 2010 and 2015 were legacies. By comparison, only 4.8% of African American students admitted were legacies. The rate was only slightly higher among Asian American students (6.6%) and Hispanic students (7%). The number of white legacy students admitted to Harvard exceeded the number of African American, Hispanic and Asian American legacy students combined.
Harvard’s preference for legacies places almost all non-white applicants at a distinct disadvantage as they vie for a spot at the university, where the overall admission rate recently dipped to a historic low of 4.59%.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. Harvard is full of rich, white, legacies and you can pay your way in. Wow. This should sound familiar to most HCC Illuminati. After all, HCC proponents have made the same case over and over. And the poor aren’t cognitively capable of HCC, being removed from the pool by natural selection.

Not fwiw

Anonymous said...

AL service in SPS is completely against best practice and should be revamped ASAP.

Singled subject gifted are not allowed service!

High aptitude but not high achievers NOT served!

Many 2E students NOT served!

Non-cohort HC students NOT served!

Fix it

Grouchy Parent said...

There is little to no AL service in all of SPS. This is by design. The district's primary objective has been to close the gap. By not providing any advanced learning services whatsoever, they have done their best to provide a more equitably low level of education to everyone.

Single subject gifted are allowed service. They get an extra worksheet of busywork in math. They get to sit and read a book in the corner in ELA if they have a kind teacher. The mean teachers make them sit and pretend to pay attention but definitely not doodle, because then it looks like they're not paying attention.

High aptitude students and high achievers are all served the same way as gen ed students. With ample access to grade level and remedial material for all. Many principals fervently believe that allowing students to work at different levels makes them feel as though they're different. Students cannot differ, must not differ.

Schools view 2E students as noncompliant and lazy. Schools believe that if MTSS's wait-to-fail approach has not resulted in a child failing despite waiting to fail, the child cannot possibly have a disability. Intelligence is only considered if it is low. If high intelligence is masking the deficits caused by a disability, SPS says too bad, so sad. Stephen Hawking could not have been disabled in SPS because his math scores were too high for him to have a disability. SPS says that you cannot have high math scores AND a disability. Impossible. Lazy, noncompliant students are to be punished with 4 hours of homework a night. It should only take 20 minutes, they say. Unless the student has a disability, which they don't because they would have received a low test score. You cannot punish a disability away. Keep trying, SPS, keep trying.

Non-cohort HC students are sporadically served by some teachers in some schools. But, shh, it's a secret which ones. Shhh.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget outliers, single subject or otherwise.

These kids are extremely vulnerable yet very poorly served, even when in the cohort.

I remember the original IPP which was designed for students who were capable of working FOUR grade levels above standard.

These very capable, very high IQ kids are not reaching their potential.

I agree that HC and HCC students are just the tip of the gifted iceberg. Many more students are HC but excluded due to the faulty ID process, particularly single subject and moderate achieving gifted.

How can a student who works four years ahead in math but doesn't meet the language CoGAT and/or achievement be excluded? Do they get in based on Committee recommendation? Who knows.

It all seems so disorganized and unfair, as if SPS wants to limit its responsibility to serve the gifted.

SPS has created a one-size-fits-all "service" that excludes deserving students and forces any student who wants service to ride a bus and leave their neighborhood because it disadvantages students who stay local in regards to college entrance.

Could the Board and the AL dept. please try to come up with a more fair and more effective plan?

best practice

Anonymous said...

@ monica moniker, I said nothing about "fairness," and your argument is kind of silly. The specific case you mentioned (HC kids who won't join the cohort because they don't want to "uproot their lives...") could just as easily be applied in the opposite direction--that it's unfair that HC students who aren't receiving appropriate services at their local school are forced to "uproot their lives, spend hours a day on buses and lose the opportunity to play club sports in the neighborhood, spend time after school at the playground, walk to school, walk to friends' houses after school, have their parents support their local school, stay with siblings, etc." Different components of the same argument could probably also apply to any student in any school, regardless of HC, AL, or any other designation. After all, other kids have to spend time on busses, and not all kids can play club sports, have free time after school, have parental support, etc.

Nothing is going to be 100% "fair" all the time. There are a lot of decisions and priorities that go into various decisions, as well as a lot of areas in which we have no control. If an HC student's family prioritizes all those other things over the academic challenge of HCC, that's a fine decisions for that student/family, and that's probably about as "fair" as we can get for now, since they have the option to go for the academic route instead--and plenty of kids who take that option manage to participate in some of those social components you mentioned, too.

I have seen no data to suggest that only HC students who opt into the cohort can get into selective colleges. One of the frequent posters here seems to suggest, over and over, that HCC students actually don't fare well when it comes to selective college admissions, using that as an argument for the ineffectiveness of HCC. I don't think there are sufficient data to make either case, but certainly not both!

I am not being dismissive of students and parents. I believe one of the most important things is for students and parents to be able to weight their options and make informed decisions based on their priorities. There are constraints, however (e.g., financial, logistical). If an HC parent prioritizes multiple factors equally, they are in more of a bind. It can be a tough decision, and it's hard to predict what will be best for your student in a year, in five years, in ten. I'd wager these are challenges all parents face.

But seriously, by NO means am I "justifying excluding other HC students from achieving their potential simply because they can't or won't leave their neighborhood to join the cohort." That's absurd. If a student is being well-served at their neighborhood school, there is nothing stopping them from achieving their potential. Plenty of kids who don't join the cohort do amazingly well. (Don't forget that frequent poster who like to point out that HC students who don't join the cohort score better, right? There are problems with that logic, but it's an oft-cited piece of evidence for the claim that that non-cohort students outperform cohort students.)

Your cry of "Equity for all HC students!" seems to have missed my earlier point. If you want to talk about equity for all HC students, you need to think about both cohorted and non-cohorted students (as well as HC-but-not-HC-identified students). What does "equity for all HC students" look like to you? Is it really just about what HC-identified students who don't want the cohort want?


Anonymous said...

Hello? Money.

Ivies aren't the be all and end all, and they generally don't award merit aid. They don't have to. Even if high performing students get admitted to one of the top tens, finances surely factor into the ultimate decision (especially for public school families, yes?). Many families do the math when putting together the initial list of colleges - does it make sense to apply to a college if the financial burden would be more than a student/family can incur? There are colleges offering high achieving students full ride scholarships, or admission to honors programs within public universities. It's a big country. There are many respected colleges - that aren't Ivies - that will launch students, HC or not, into a fulfilling career or pathway.

"...excuses galore. It’s pretty hard to believe that the very same people who would saw their arm off to get their kid into HCC, petitions, rants, private testing, etc would then eschew most elite colleges. Not credible!" @NotFWIW - Do you seriously believe the ultimate goal of HCC is entry into an elite college? Sure, that may be true for a small subset of families (HC or not), but you would be wrong to assume that's the norm.

getta grip

Daimon said...

@Best Practice,

Check out the film "Rise" by the Daimon Institute in Surrey, BC. They serve profoundly gifted students. They look to be significantly better funded than SPS, though...

Anonymous said...

I don't think HC students who stay at non-HCC schools are are being served as well as the cohort.

Parents stay for non academic reasons and their kids suffer academically, especially in Middle School.

Not just from the lack accelerated classes, like BIO and AlgebraII, but the lack of a critical mass of HC qualified students in their core classes.

Due to the popularity of the cohort, there are but a handful of HC students left at non-HCC Middle Schools.

As somebody pointed out, if all things were otherwise equal between two HC students, the one who cohorted for Middle School could take more AP classes, have a higher ranking and get the spot in a selective school instead of the non-cohorted student.

I agree that the Board needs to take a good look at the HCC service.

Long Overdue

Jet City mom said...

I always thought HC was to provide the most appropriate rigor for the student.
After graduation, there are even more choices, than in K-12, some of those choices are schools that meet 100% full need but offer no merit awards.

Well funded schools actually can have very generous financial aid policies, including the Ivy colleges.
Our oldest attended a school that met 100% need, and it was about the same cost for our family as if she had attended an instate school.


“Around 60 percent of Harvard families pay an average of $12,000 per year.”

Anonymous said...

For example, Caltech requires completion of first year college level Calculus(AB and BC in high school) to be accepted. Unless a student completes Geometry in middle school that isn't going to happen without outside classes. I don't know if all non-HCC middle schools offer Geometry, but I can't believe they all do and I know all the K-8's don't.

So Caltech is is out as well as MIT, I'm pretty sure and probably Stanford and others.

But the HC students who go to an HCC middle school can easily meet the requirement without going to Community College or to an online course.

It's poorly thought out system that can have severe negative impacts for many students.

I'm one for keeping the baby but this bathwater is filthy.

Clean Up

Anonymous said...

Jet City Mom is right. If they want you at an Ivy, you pay little more than for UW unless you are loaded.

Even Lakeside is cheap if one makes regular salaries.

Red Herring on the Ivy problem. They go to Lakeside if that's important. SPS's HCC is more like Lake Wobegon.


Cappie said...

The great news is that according to SPS's own web site, the district offers "Spectrum Middle School Programs" at all SPS middle schools and at Broadview-Thomson K-8 and Hazel Wolf K-8. So all middle school students have access to SPS's stellar, state of the art advanced learning programs. So, go SPS!

Also, you don't have to do geometry in middle school to complete AP Calc AB and BC in high school. All it takes is one summer school class.

Don Chipotle said...

"SPS's HCC is more like Lake Wobegon."

Ha ha ha! You have a hilarious fantasy image of what HCC classrooms are like that is completely unrelated to reality. Talk about tilting at windmills!

Anonymous said...


you're saying the kids aren't above average?

How dare you!!


Melissa Westbrook said...

"As this thread is making abundantly clear, the horse race for parents to get their kid identified as HC and then into the HCC cohort is highly calculated to maximize future prospects."

Complete nonsense. And how is the cohort "highly calculated" and by whom?

"According to Wyeth Jesse, 90% of students who take AP courses aren't HCC students."

I keep meaning to ask for his data. I'd bet that half of them are "HCC qualified" but never attended an HCC program.

"If she hadn't been deleting ad hoc when it countered the power base of the blog narrative, I would have gladly kept my original name and used it consistently.
Instead, she hit delete whenaver it hit a nerve."

Yes, and thank you, Kellie, for your cogent remarks on this. I am amazed that people thinking - after I have been doing this work for two decades and writing this blog for almost a decade for free - that I worry about a power base. If I had wanted power, I would have gone another direction. 95% of the time, I delete because of name-calling or insulting talk. If you can't be civil, that's on you.

"We’ve all seen the equity image of the kids looking over the fence, with boxes of varying heights under those who need them to see over. The image does not also include a ceiling, so presumably there is some variation at the top, unless holes are then dug under those whose view is from “too” high. Is the goal to allow all students to see over the fence, or to get all students to the perfect height—no shorter, no taller—to peer through a fixed pair of binoculars?"

Excellent point. Again, when is the district going to define the meaning of equity as it applies here?

"The district (the central staff) want to eliminate *all* forms of specialized instruction. Option schools, dual immersion schools, things like EEU, Middle College, and so on. The trend is clear as day. Why do they want to do this? The evidence suggests it is because a single standardized curriculum is easier for mass conversion to computerized learning."

National news on that front coming soon here. I think you are probably right. Easier AND cheaper. Because it's always about the money.

"Ah yes. Harvard is full of rich, white, legacies and you can pay your way in. Wow. This should sound familiar to most HCC Illuminati. After all, HCC proponents have made the same case over and over. And the poor aren’t cognitively capable of HCC, being removed from the pool by natural selection."

Really harsh and not true. I find it interesting that a few people want to always circle back to the "natural selection" or other kind of wording that we all know to be wrong but it serves your purpose to demean others. Cut it out, not FWIW.

Anonymous said...

If your kid is a high-achieving math student, two years ahead with a marginal curriculum in a slow-moving class is not going to do much for them. If you are in SPS, you should look into an alternate, on-line math curriculum. This will keep your kid interested in math, and preserve the option of a STEM career, should they ultimately decide to go in that direction. Maybe "preserve" is too strong. If your kid is very bright and really wants it, they can sweat it out in college and get there. But a solid foundation would make it much smoother sailing.


Anonymous said...

Getta Grip,

You swallowed the bait.

Hello? The reason people don’t go to top 10 colleges? Helloooo? It’s because they didn’t get in!!! Well duh. Pretty darn simple. No private tests or anything else can help you. All the Ivy’s and Stanford and MIT and UChicago, cover 100% of financial need. Period.

It ain’t the money!


Anonymous said...

-"According to Wyeth Jesse, 90% of students who take AP courses aren't HCC students."

I keep meaning to ask for his data. I'd bet that half of them are "HCC qualified" but never attended an HCC program. - mw

1./ wyeth jesse has shown he doesn't care that he is untrustworthy. see thoughtexchange. see stacks of cards in support of an initiative. none of that info has ever been released. see the honors for none/all report. oh you can't because after two years there is none.

2./ we know that the hcc is a tenth of the students in sps and with other programs like running start (big pain - suggest avoiding at all cost). we know that many hc students haven't gone to ghs opting to go to rhs and ghs for instance. so how are they coming up with 90%?

3./ i have no idea why that 90% number is relevant. can anyone tell me? is that too high or to low does that include kids who were in the cohort and now have chosen another high school. i am open to exploring the numbers validity (but base on its source i doubt it) but first why is it a talking point for an admin who likes to deceive / manipulate the debate? i can't wrap my head around it.

i think it was to say, look they already have services for all these kids so we can just get rid of the pathways with no consideration to the academic needs for hcc hs kids. as 9 to 1 aren't in ghs hc. but they clearly disregarded that 90% wasn't at hale or franklin less likely to be at rbhs or ihs because of the ib focus. they cooked the books with rhs and bhs just say you don't need pathways when in fact they were default pathways. oh well. i wonder if the 90 is just like the 90 % white kids in hcc. guess numbers don't matter as long as you just offer them up.

no caps

Anonymous said...

"All the Ivy’s and Stanford and MIT and UChicago, cover 100% of financial need. Period."

Guess you don't have much experience with "Ivy's" as you call them.


Anonymous said...

From Princeton:

"Financial aid covered 100 percent of tuition, room and board for students in the most recent freshman class whose families earned up to $65,000. This aid was provided in the form of grants, which do not have to be repaid. Princeton was the first university in the country to eliminate loans from its financial aid package."

Not all Ivy's are the same but money usually isn't the problem, it's getting accepted.

Returning the discussion of HCC advantage, I would think a student who was NOT in the cohort and did the extra work to get a high ranking would be more likely to be accepted.

Who knows

Jet City mom said...

A school that covers 100% need does so, but they determine what your need is.
They may decide those rentals you own and were counting on for retirement to be assets worth tapping for your families expenses.
They also might ( probably) decide that loans meet need, particularly subsidized or low interest loans like Stafford or Perkins.
Someone they want more, may be given a better package and they don’t often use numbers to determine desirability, but interviews and references as well as expectations that they will make the most of their opportunity.

We were damn lucky my oldest attended a school that met 100% of need, because just weeks after she began her freshman yr, 9/11 happened.
Her dad worked at Boeing and like thousands of other workers his pay was sharply cut.
Her school instead of saying, “ well, we already gave you what we could”, increased her aid to make up the difference in loss of income.
It was great. That was at least one less thing to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Don't know who said they don't use weighted gpa,

Board Policy No.
Policy No. 2420
November 15, 2017
It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that its high school students receive
grades and credits in a manner that is understandable, accurate, and consistent
across the District.
The District shall employ a uniform eleven
point weighted grad
ing system at the
high school level, awarding the following marks:
A “D” mark is the lowest passing grade; an “E” mark indicates failure. The
Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee shall establish and post a
School District Uniform Grading Scale, which details the corresponding
percentage grade range for each of the eleven grade marks, with Honors courses
receiving an additional .5 Quality Point and
courses eligible to receive college
credit from an accredite
d institution, such as
Advanced Placement
, College in the High School and Running Start
courses receiving an
additional 1.0 Quality Point. The marks of “P”, “N”, “W”, and “I” may be used
only under specific circumstances in th
e manner set forth in the
12 Counseling


Anonymous said...

I am sure most of the 90% who take AP classes are not HC qualified, but many may go to schools where one AP class is required. Every kid at Roosevelt, Hale, and some other places takes one AP class whether they like it or not. If Garfield has this policy that might be most of the high school students in town right there.


Anonymous said...

"95% of the time, I delete because of name-calling or insulting talk. If you can't be civil, that's on you."

So, I guess you're admitting the other 5% of the time you delete because you disagree with the opinion of the writer?

That time during the board debate over HCC in all high schools? You deleted about 30% of the time in order to try to influence the debate.


Delete Me

Anonymous said...

fwiw. you conflate, conflagrate, you argue against logical conclusions and when that fails finally you lie. yes you do. because dewolf saying 90% white is not enough. you want everyone to say well why not say hcc is racist. but why? what gives?

no caps

Anonymous said...

the other 5% is because of spam or no name or other direct issues with the blog. doxing might be near and dear to your and outsider's heart. stay cool mw runs a clean platform here.

no caps

Anonymous said...


Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Btw, people here know that Melissa was on a delete sweep during the school board debate regarding HCC and high schools. She worksnaround that inconvenient fact when it gets addressed.

Delete Me

kellie said...

The creative number crunching regarding the 90% of high school students comes from the simple fact that most high schools student take at least one AP class.

The 90% number does not represent the total participation but rather the entire population of students who have taken at least one AP. At several high schools 100% of all students take at least one AP.

Several high schools, use AP Human Geography as part of their STANDARD social studies curriculum. APHG is typically a one semester class and the high schools teach it over two semesters to encourage students to stretch into other AP classes, like AP US History, where again 100% of students are required to take US History so why not try the AP version.

Melissa Westbrook said...

“So, I guess you're admitting the other 5% of the time you delete because you disagree with the opinion of the writer? “

You make the inference you want in order to attack me. How does that further any discussion?

The other 5% is getting rid of spam or anonymous posts or repetition. Readers don’t need to read the same comments over and over (and no caps, you are getting close to that).

Delete Me, you need to also move on from the same comments, over and over.

Fluffy Progress said...

That Think Progress article was pretty fluffy.

First of all, it discusses a random nation-wide hodgepodge of school districts and makes it sound like demographics don't vary from place to place. They discuss Hawaii and Florida as if the differences in the local demographic makeups had no influence on education in those states.

Second of all, to read the article, you would think that gifted and talented programs throughout the country identify students the same way and that there is no difference in urban, suburban, and rural districts. That's ludicrous.

Third of all, the article was written with what is becoming a weirdly familiar agenda--to improve the academic outcomes of certain groups of students (especially Black and Hispanic) with the single-minded solution: get them into gifted and talented programs. These articles often reference low-income as a factor in reducing students' probability of being accepted into these programs, but show no concern for low income students across the board (like low income White or Asian or Native American students) and show weirdly no concern for low income students who are not a good candidate for gifted and talented programs.

Fourth of all this article says that teachers shouldn't rely on their "gut instincts" about students' intelligence when referring students for gifted and talented program because that can be biased. Instead the article wants recommendations for these programs "from teachers who have observed students for a certain period of time and can use specific criteria to judge academic prowess that may help mitigate bias." Um, what? Say what you want about Seattle Public Schools and our gifted and talented programs, but you cannot claim that our teachers haven't observed students for a certain period of time. And you certainly can't claim that our gifted and talented program doesn't use "specific criteria to judge academic prowess." Boy, do they use specific criteria!

Fifth of all this article says, "The problem, however, goes past disadvantaged students’ access to gifted and talented programs. It’s about lack of access to a high quality of education in general." Bingo. So, by citing this article, are you saying that some SPS schools are better than other SPS schools? Are schools with low standardized test scores bad schools? Does SPS have bad schools? Do we have bad teachers? Maybe the "low-performing" schools aren't so bad. Maybe kids can get a decent education at any SPS school. There's got to be a reason why Wayne Au sends his kid where he does. People actually really like that school even if Great Schools isn't sure about it. Read this article from Oakland and maybe think about it differently:
There's been a slew of articles very similar to this about Seattle schools, too.

This article doesn't address the actual solution. We need to do a much better job of challenging all the students at all the schools. Programs like Spectrum and walk to math and flexible reading groups can help that happen. We need a school culture that allows and encourages students to excel. All of them. We need to stop viewing acceleration as an evil. Any student who could benefit from acceleration should have access to it.

The article says one of the advantages of gifted and talented programs is higher teacher expectations. There is no reason why we can't start having all teachers in every school in every program with every student have higher expectations. Take away the ceiling. Allow students to study skills that are above grade level once they've mastered the grade level skills. Stop education rationing. Measure academic growth and maybe principals will start caring about it.

Anonymous said...

"Not all Ivy's are the same but money usually isn't the problem, it's getting accepted."

This is an example of the complete garbage that is dragging this blog down. All the people I know who are graduates of the "Ivies" as FWIW idiotically calls them have spent between 10-15 years paying off the loans that allowed them to attend these schools. In many cases they delayed following their true career dreams for up to 20 years, in order to work at jobs they didn't like that paid sufficient salary to pay those immense costs down. Many savvy families of college-bound students have decided that this life trade-off is not worth the sacrifice. The salaries you "reference" are at or close to the US poverty level for a family of 4. And it is great that these Universities provide support for these families. But everybody else - meaning most incoming students pay top dollar to attend these schools.

The poster here who argues under many monikers has thoroughly drunk the Trump Koolaid that tells us all to keep loudly lying, keep loudly denying any facts, keep screaming fake memes and blanket assumptions and you can change policy from something that is flawed but working into something that is stupid and promotes your own career as an "activist".