Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Open Thread


There a new survey from SDOT called Safe Routes to School Racial Equity Analysis.  Plus there is a separate survey just for high school students.  They also have:

  • Partnered with 10 schools serving at least 85% students of color to promote the Racial Equity Survey and to conduct in-depth conversations with students and families about the lived experiences and challenges of getting to and from school
  • Attended over 50 community events catered specifically for communities of color, immigrants, and refugees
  • Partnered with nearly 40 community organizations to promote the Racial Equity Survey, and conducted focused outreach such as focus groups and coffee chats at over 10 community organizations
  • Received nearly 250 survey responses from guardians and high school students in the 2017-2018 school year
  • Refined our survey outreach practices to make survey participation is more accessible and equitable for the second round of surveying in the fall of 2018
I'm sure they will find that neighborhoods that have sidewalks feel safer sending their kids to school than neighborhoods who don't.

Apparently the district is threatening teachers at Garfield over the recent walk-out.  One issue that troubles me; were parents ever truly told what happened and why? The number of differing stories here certainly make it sound like students got caught in the middle of it all.  From The Stranger:
GHS students and teachers gathered in the gym for two hours on that Friday in September. They are losing pay for that two hours.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Clover Codd, Executive Director of Schools Sarah Pritchett, and Garfield High School Principal Ted Howard sent a "Memorandum Letter" (sic) to GHS informing the teachers involved in the sit-in of their punishment. To them, this was a violation of the teachers' contracts.

"The decision to suspend the normal student class schedule, regular instruction, and normal student supervision was a unilateral action not sanctioned by the GHS administration or the District," the letter read. 

Every teacher involved in the sit-in received this notice. Teacher leadership is currently drafting their response. 

"Any future unilateral and unauthorized absence from your classroom will result in progressive discipline," the letter concluded. "At this time, the District has decided to not pay you for the time you were absent from your assigned classroom."
end of update
Do check out my latest post on my opposition to the newest Families & Education levy; yes, charter schools will get levy dollars if it passes and the Mayor and City Council seem to not care.

A reader is reporting that he/she called the Superintendent's office to find out where the Friday memo from the superintendent had gone.  Apparently, Superintendent Juneau is not going to keep up this tradition, preferring a journal and tweets.  (She's a big tweeter.)  I'm disappointed because it means not seeing regular reports from different departments.  The Friday Memo was an early canary in a coalmine for many issues.

Her latest journal says she's coming to the end of her Listening Tour.  You can read the lengthy list of groups she has met with, both by district program designation and ethnic/racial background, and note one thing; not one with parents of students in Advanced Learning.

As I tweeted to her, if that remains the case, it will speak volumes about what the JSCEE administration thinks of the program and the children in it.  There is one more Town Hall meeting and I would tell AL parents that they might considering going to that and taking it over a la the Nova students at the North Seattle CC meeting.

Mon., Oct. 15, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
NE Regional Town Hall
Co-hosted with Roosevelt PTA
Location: Roosevelt High School
1410 NE 66th St., Seattle, WA 98115

From SPS Communications:

Congratulations to the Ten Seattle 2018 School of Distinction Recipients

The distinguished schools place a heavy emphasis on impactful teaching and learning, data-informed instruction, and racial equity. Some schools have won the award multiple times. 

CEE’s School of Distinction award honors the highest improving schools in Washington state. This award measures the improvement for all students over a sustained period, (five years), in English language arts and mathematics.
  • Jane Addams
  • Alki
  • Cleveland
  • B.F. Day
  • Hawthorne
  • Leschi
  • Madrona
  • Rainier Beach
  • TOPS Kp8
  • Hazel Wolf K-8
There are no director community meetings this weekend.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Her latest journal says she's coming to the end of her Listening Tour. You can read the lengthy list of groups she has met with, both by district program designation and ethnic/racial background, and note one thing; not one with parents of students in Advanced Learning.

That says it all. HCC and AL are often scapegoated for whatever the issue is, yet she makes no effort to listen to this particular community? Even when AL (and HC) programs/services are being re-envisioned by a "superintendent task force" that does not include a truly representative group of HC/HCC teachers and community members and that is not doing its own community engagement? I had a feeling when Juneau was up for the position that she did not really support HC services, and unfortunately this seems to be true.

C'mon, Juneau...

...Be Best!

Anonymous said...

Her Deputy superintendent did an all out attack on the HCC AC. Washington Middle School is a complete wreck. Anyone who's holding out any hope that Juneau is impartial hasn't read the emails from Washington's principal or her Partners post on this blog. Both could be a firing offense.

From my perspective she is Nyland in a skirt.

Kayne Worst

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind Juneau has inherited a staff that seems to have an agenda anti-HCC. She is new at her role, still learning and also needs to have a positive relationship with those who work with her. I did not expect big changes right now. However it would be nice for her to recognize and meet with families from all the programs, especially those the state is required to serve. Its not like they can abandon services completely for HCC students. Did she meet with dual language program, GLBT families and special education program families? Quite a few of those kids are also HCC qualified.


Grouchy Parent said...

The district is full of anti-HCC employees and most teachers appear to have zero training on this. Who knows where Juneau stands on the issue. That said, she completed a master's degree at Harvard and earned a JD from the University of Montana Law School and she's been smart enough not to say pretty much anything about advanced learning the whole time she's been here. So, that's pretty smart. If she's here to run a school district that does its best by all the students, maybe everything will be okay. The ESSA requires schools to start measuring growth, right, and breaking it out by group? If so, the district will have to stop warehousing kids who are ahead of grade level one way or another.

Maybe people can finally start disapproving of rich kids for being rich and gifted kid for being gifted. If we have to disapprove of kids at all. It's not like they asked for any of it.


Anonymous said...

Docking them two hours pay? Sounds like they got off pretty easy. If the teachers faced no consequences or reprimands, the district would be giving their tacit acceptance of future "sit-ins."

Thanks SPS

Anonymous said...

Her website listening & learning tour states "The tour will include regional town halls and language-based and/or culturally focused community meetings to ensure diverse perspectives and ideas are gathered. All meetings will be hosted or co-hosted with community partners.

Ultimately, community discussions will become the foundation of a revised strategic plan that maps the district's course for the coming years.

ELL families were reached out to in specific ethnic/racial meetings. With the exception of special education, there were no other meetings specifically scheduled with any other parents with kids in other programs/services.


Outsider said...

A four month listening tour is complete, and amazingly, the overwhelming sentiment of the community was to do exactly what the career bureaucrats planned to do anyway. Isn't that an amazing coincidence!

Seriously, ask her six months from now to name a single thing that changed as a result of the listening tour, compared to what the deep district planned to do anyway. My prediction is: the non-answer will tell you all you need to know, assuming anyone even remembers to ask. Didn't Nyland also visit every school? Listening tour = meet the new boss, same as ...

Anonymous said...

As it was stated above here are some of the unbelievable letter from the first year principal (under the first year sup) at WMS:

In reviewing course requests developed in the spring based not only on student interest but also the school's staffing capacity, world language courses were to be taken almost exclusively by students in the Highly Capable program. 83% of the 220 students were slated to take world language were in the HCC program, despite that group representing just over half of our student population; only thirteen were black (20% of our population) and nine Hispanic (just under 10% of our population). Given the inequity in these figures as well as budgetary issues in other areas, we pushed all enrollment in first level world language to the 2019-2020 school year, and will spend the next budget and scheduling planning year identifying ways to ensure 100% of our 8th graders have access to world language.

((100 percent had access to first year world language. This is honors for none all over. Students preferred to not sign up for the class are now going to be forced into it and hcc kids in the 7th grade who signed up for it get PE. Rigor? No. Stephen Martin has a commitment to these students? No.))

When you view your child’s schedule next week, keep in mind that we are not only a public school, but also a small, public school. Washington lost over 500 students in the last year and a half, which was almost half of its general fund or baseline budget. Additionally, almost 20% of our budget comes from additional Levy and LAP funding, which is exclusively for serving our students living in poverty and not meeting grade-level standards. That is funding that has not always gone towards that purpose, but in making this year’s revised schedule, it was.

((So Follmer was cooking the books?!?! That is one hell of thing to accuse someone of.))

Given our advanced learning programs, we are a middle school that not only needs to offer intervention courses for more than a third of our population that is not meeting grade-level standards, but we also have offered upper-level high school courses atypical for middle school including Algebra 2, Chemistry, and Biology, all without receiving additional funding for students identified as ‘gifted’.

((She didn't know that when she applied? This is not a zero sum gain. Kids that are in Geometry aren't in 8th grade math. You have students and you have teachers with some kids needing different teachers than other. With half your population in each group you need to be able to schedule them ALL.))

The school may not be able to honor all requests to waive PE courses as was done in the past. Aside from music, our second largest elective department is PE/Health, with two teachers, and getting physical activity during the school day is beneficial to learning in middle grades in particular with the absence of recess.

((Recess. Right that is what HCC kids need in MS. What a joke. No they NEED WORLD LANGUAGES.))

All of this has been either approved or ignored by Nyland 2.0


Anonymous said...

Everyone take note of the fact that Jane Addams is a diverse school with a higher FRL percentage, it has 30% HCC, and yet they amazingly are a School of Distinction while offering a truly superlative music program and two superlative world language programs to everyone who attends. They also have a huge no-cut Ultimate Frisbee program with three ABC teams and a fourth (sixth grade) team with two squads, so literally anyone who wants to play Ultimate and not do a PE elective can do so.

But obviously Washington Middle School can't have those things because it's all beyond the ability of a principal. Unless you are the superlative Jane Addams principal.

The original Sheesh

Anonymous said...

Well said Sheesh! There might also be the racial optics that are inherent with north/south the ship canal. FRL doesn't matter after all - it is all about the percent of brown kids who CHOSE classes. Again this is anti choice. This is also based on RACE not need. This is also anti HCC. Glad to hear they can execute at JAMS. Pretty sure that wasn't Nyland who opened that school.

The indignant and original: SHEEEEEEESHHHH!

Anonymous said...

And then there was the unbalanced response from her spouse:

Sarahthetree said:

Good afternoon Washington families!!

This is fun. While we're on the subject of policies, do note that "It is the policy and practice of this blog to delete unsigned anonymous comments." However! This very clear opening disclaimer is followed by an even more detailed account as to how one might indeed remark anonymously, which I see that many on this post string have chosen to do.

Are you proud?

My name is Sarah Butler Ginolfi and I am the wife of your new principal. My position is the one that led us to this city. I'm a young, lesbian priest in an institution that old men have dominated for centuries. We eat comments like these for breakfast, so keep 'em coming!

((Right. Very immature.))

My wife doesn't need my on the defense as she's quite able to handle that on her own. My comment will very well be deleted or run through the mud just as my wife's name has since there's a very clear bias in these assertions. Especially the anonymous ones.

((Where is that mud? I have heard nothing other than factual concern. Victim much?))

I supposed I'm bias too, though. After all, I did marry a firecracker who lives with a passion far greater than the likes of most people.

I own it.
With my name.

With love and prayers,

((Really, I find that hard to believe.))
The Rev. Sarah Butler Ginolfi


Anonymous said...

Not to throw mud but perhaps the good reverend should sit through some of those ELA classes. Yikes. Sad.

Sayit Proud

Anonymous said...

I am very deeply concerned that Denise Juneau, widely believed to have been a finalist for Secretary of Education had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election and generally seen as a progressive State Superintendent of Education in Montana, has decided to ally herself with the corporate and Gates-backed power structure at the JSCEE and in the Mayor's Office. I am hopeful this is not the case, but if it is, she is in for a very rough ride.

Helena Bozeman

Anonymous said...

i would say she is over her head and relying on mt to show her around. too bad. mt is a survivor; but wears everyone down. she should cut all the ed-s and every other staff member starting with mt. then actually meet class size limits with more in school staff. we also shouldn't have a fascist president. kavanaugh is the victim. funny i would think the president would say that khashoggi is the only victim we should be talking about.

no caps

NESeattleMom said...

No caps, who is my?

Anonymous said...

Michael Tolley

Anonymous said...

We were told Naviance would go live for 8th-12th graders on or around September 24th, accessed via the student accounts. Weeks later and I still don't see it when logged in as either of my kids. Does anyone else? It's certainly possible I'm looking in the wrong place.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Helena Bozeman, yes, we've had many a superintendent who thought he/she could come in the district and rule rather than lead. We don't need a ruler, a figurehead or a puppet. We need a leader.

Anonymous said...

That graphic they show for equity, with the kids looking over the fence at the baseball game, and showing that equity is providing blocks for the shorter kids to stand on to see over the fence, applies to this world language at WMS situation. Not enough short kids wanted to watch the game, so SPS raised the fence so no one could watch. Meanwhile, 13 black kids who wanted to watch the game, don't get to.

That's messed up.

Anonymous said...

@Messed up

To further your analogy~

It’s like the WSM principal or Tolley sees some kids watching the game, but Tolley can’t or won’t give the short kids blocks to stand on so they too can watch the game over the fence like the tall kids, so rather than doing what is necessary to provide blocks, Tolley and SPS knee-cap the tall kids so they can’t watch the game - equity is nobody gets to watch!

BUT the reality is the game is still going on, that’s the part Tolley or the WSM principal or anyone else for that matter can’t control and don’t seem to get or want to get - and some families will react to ensure that no matter how many obstacles the district devises to ensure those who could watch the game don’t get to, those education-thirsty families with resources who aren’t too exhausted from making ends meet will make sure their kids are not preventing from watching - so Tolley’s schemes will go down in flames - and yet again it’s the short kids who still won’t get to watch no matter what.

This district must focus on growth for every child and delivering that growth based on real evidenced-based best practices. It may be difficult and costly to support some learners to grow — BUT THATS TOLLEY’S JOB!!!

My dream is the WSS formula is titled hard to support title 1 schools; that each F&RL student is weighted 2x AND each SpEd student is also weighted 2x (they bring additional resources such as an IA depending on their IEP) AND each ELL is also weighted 2x PLUS each building gets another teacher (not administrator) for every 150 F&RL students. Because I believe in direct instruction and direct teacher-student interaction time, that is how kids with the short legs get a leg up: by teachers teaching. Teachers are the blocks to stand on to watch the game.

Make no mistake: as Tolley kills gifted education, which is his end game, his obvious agenda wrapped in the glorious coat of “equity!”, it is the gifted kids in underrepresented groups who will be harmed the most. One year, there were 75 enrolled HCC rising 6th graders, who if couldn’t go to Hamilton, would have landed at Eckstein, where the median performance for the entire 8th grade was 90th percentile in math. In contrast, that same year, there were only 2 rising 6th grade HCC students in the Aki Kurose middle school service area. Without HCC feeding them to Washington (at the time a thriving school under Halfaker as principal) they would have gone to Aki, where their educational experience would have been very different than their 98105 peers. How Tolley thinks this is equitable is beyond the beyond. It’s those two kids he’s throwing under the bus, why he wants to deny them is incomprehensible. Differentiation is a joking. It just is. And it has negative impacts for all involved. Some of which are unseen: such as the kids who DON’T enroll in a school in order to avoid the fiction of “their needs will be met because we differentiate! So come along and enjoy the classroom with kids reading at a 4th grade level and kids who’ve been reading at a college level for the last 6 years!”

Tolley and his followers may think they are winning, but it’s the kids who are loosing. You can’t close an opportunity gap by taking away opportunity for all. That will never level any playing field.

Blue Bus

Anonymous said...

I’d like for Tolley and SPS to, in their never-ending talk about equity, identify specific, measurable outcomes they’d like to achieve in the next 1-3 years, as well as the strategies they are going to implement to get there. We need to see that the strategies align with the intended outcomes, and we need to see if they appear to be working.

What are the key measures that demonstrate increased equity? We hear a lot about equitable access to advanced learning, but if we’re really talking about ZhCC that’s a fairly small group and doesn’t impact overall SPS equity that much. If we’re talking about increased access to advanced classes in general, what’s the strategy for getting there? Is SPS providing mitigation funding for schools with lower demand for advanced classes? Are they talking about allowing only a set core of advanced classes at all schools? Are they talking about transfers for students who need more rigorous classes? What is the equity goal, and what are the specific measures that will tell us if we met it?

If the goal for a HCC is that equal percentages are id’d from each subgroup, does that make sense given different early childhood and other experiences? Does it make more sense to try to beef up efforts to find and intensely support minority/FRL/ELL students who MAY be good good fit, so they can qualify in 3rd or 6th grade instead? Whatever the goal, and the target outcome measures, are the strategies likely to lead there?

What are the strategies and goals re: 2e students? Surely that’s an equity issue? What’s the specific target measure, and how do we get there?

And so on. A little transparency re: what we’re trying to do, and how—and how we’ll know if we’re there, would go a long way. It requires thoughtful actions, based on actual plans. Personal biases, fuzzy goals, and unmeasured targets are no good.


Anonymous said...

"Make no mistake: as Tolley kills gifted education, which is his end game, "

no he wants to kill and replace just like obama-care. right? replace with "mtss." a protocol used for SpEd kids. it makes sense as that is what hcc was before it got the uppity name. it was ipp. which is individual progress program. the robinsons thankfully gave us the benefit of the research that taught bill gates' kids at ucds. each kid is different and the will be taught to meet the limits of their education capability. they then went on to evergreen with the same modality. to do this practically you need to have a cohort of kids because class sizes of 10-12 at ucds are not possible in public schools. as ipp, john stanford said no mixing of low ses with the program as it doesn't serve anyone well. so did an independent study just before mgj arrived. but...

bring in mgj. and then MICHAEL TOLLEY. and they say, you won't believe this, stanford was wrong and proceeded to put 1-5 app kids in hawthorne and thurgood marshall with tm being the north site. let that rest in your head for just a bit. 10 years ago mt said thurgood marshall should be the NORTH site for app. so on top of i-90 is a convenient place to get to from ballard or sand point. calmer heads prevailed but not before the tm principal saying i have never been confronted like i have been on the playfield at tm. there were many immigrants who's experience was in war torn area and they didn't understand the fuss.

that is the first sign of what we are dealing. identity politics and we are paying for it. look at the brazen excerpts from the post above by both the wms principal and her spouse. so it still lives. do kids in wms 7th grade have world languages? nope. why because not enough brown kids signed up for them? yep. and some did but that doesn't matter because choice matters and not enough chose them. too bad. and i didn't say not enough frl students chose them; who the hell knows their family background. but denying access based on race seems ok in this school district. not sure if the aclu will see it that way.

MTSS IS COMING MTSS IS COMING. MTSS is coming and we should all who have kids that are being met in the cohort be very afraid. the no hs pathways is an example of that it solves so many problems except meeting the student's need. school assignment, schedules, curriculum and capacity can all be managed by ineffectual blobs downtown. a win.

nothing will stop juneau but the board. nothing will stop the board but you. call. write. email. go to the meetings. demand devin bruckner's cheat. speak at every meeting regardless. they let her and she wasn't at all forthcoming/relevant to the day's issues.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Denise Juneau needs to decide whether she is going to stand by the Tolley regime at the JSCEE or clean house. That is the number one issue she faces and what she chooses will determine whether she is a leader we can all work with or a figurehead we must oppose.


Anonymous said...

@Blue Bus- I agree with your assessment. There are indeed low income as well as kids of color who would not have an equitable experience (to their HCC peers) if they were to remain in neighborhood schools that cannot serve them due to very low numbers. Unfortunately I think that this gets ignored in the bigger picture which seems to be striving for "mediocrity" for all.

Anonymous said...

One assumption that is often made in these HCC equity conversations is that as long as there are "enough" HC- or AL-qualified students at a particular neighborhood school, HC students will be fine there. That's not true. For the majority, maybe--IF teachers are in fact teaching to that higher baseline level and if they are adept at differentiation. In our experience those are often not the case, but I suppose if they were, HC students might actually do "fine." Assuming fine is the goal.

But for those at the upper end of the tail--the most HC of the HC, so to speak--this model denies them access to other extremely gifted students. It denies them access to the intellectual peers they might be able to find through a program that draws from a larger number of schools. HC students are not all the same. There can be a huge range even within that HC category. Students at both ends of the HC range deserve a chance to find intellectual peers at school. For equity.

If MT and crew DO succeed in effectively killing HCC, I hope they at least have the decency to create a small program for HC students who truly don't fit into whatever more general HC services are created. Since the Advanced Learning Task Force is already subsuming HC into their larger AL term, I'm sure the needs of the most extremely HC students in our midst are being totally overlooked. For equity sake, naturally.

all types