Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Open Thread

Tick tock.  We have 60 days to give input on Secretary Betsy DeVos' desired changes to Title IX.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to put in a comment as DeVos wants to make sweeping changes that would give almost more help to the accused than the victim.  Almost worse, it relieves institutions from responsibilities that they should be accountable for in order to protect students.

From the New York Times (an opinion piece):
The new proposed rules lighten the burdens on institutions. First, the rules significantly narrow what counts as sexual harassment. Under the Trump administration’s definition, harassment must be “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access” to education. Some courts (though fortunately not all) have said that even a rape does not count under this standard because a one-time act of violence is not “pervasive.” That means a victim of rape (not to mention other less severe forms of sexual misconduct) might never see her school investigate her claims, let alone remedy them.

Second, under the rules, a school need only respond to sexual harassment that occurs within a school program or activity. A 12-year-old raped at a park by her classmate? The proposed rules wouldn’t require her school to provide her support, like assigning her to a different homeroom than her alleged rapist.
Seattle Schools announced that head of Athletics, Eric McCurdy, will be leaving the district at the end of 2018.  This comes after the district paid out $500,000 to an employee who said McCurdy bullied her.
So that makes the head of Facilities, Flip Herndon, gone, the CAO, Michael Tolley, leaving and now the head of Athletics is exiting.  Whether by coincidence or because of Juneau's leadership, the top leadership at SPS is changing.

Snohomish School District just had an issue where wifi networks were created at Glacier Peak High School with racist/anti-Semitic/hateful namesFrom the Times:
During an assembly at Glacier Peak High School, attendees began receiving notifications about available hotspot networks with “highly offensive” names, according to an email from Principal Jeff Larson and three assistant principals to parents Thursday afternoon. Students told administrators about the network names, the assembly was canceled and students were sent back to their classes. Police and school officials determined there was no direct safety threat, the email said.

The names of the hotspots “contained words and symbols that were highly offensive, discriminatory, divisive, inappropriate, anti-Semitic and, in some cases, racially motivated,” Snohomish School District Superintendent Kent Kultgen wrote in a second update to parents, students and staff Thursday evening. The network names included racist slurs and swastikas, according to screenshots posted on Facebook.
Hate-motivated crimes have increased across the country in recent years, according to a recent FBI report. A 2017 report from the Anti-Defamation League said anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 schools, including vandalism, harassment and assault, had increased by about 100 percent each year for the previous two years.
Read that last sentence.  It's horrifying.  I urge you to talk to your own student about what he/she or others may think is "funny" and how this kind of action is both hurtful to other students AND could follow he/she around for a long time especially if law enforcement gets involved.   Of course, it's not just a matter of saying "don't do this" but asking if your student has been hearing this kind of talk at their school and what your student thinks.

This ties into an update on the story about a prom photo taken of a group of boys going to prom in Wisconsin last spring.  They will not be punished for what looks like a group Nazi salute.  From The Atlantic:
Hateful, frightening, disappointing—but ultimately unpunishable. That’s what the Baraboo School District concluded after an investigation into the incident this month. In another letter, Mueller said that students’ actions were protected under the First Amendment, explaining that “we are still unclear about some key details” and reiterating that “we cannot know the intentions in the hearts of those who were involved.”
Read the whole article and again, talk to your kids.  It's an interesting conversation about the reality of our Constitution in our daily lives.

The Board has its retreat tomorrow from 9:30 am to 3 pm at JSCEE.  It's open to the public but there is no comment time.  The topic will be primarily about the Strategic Plan planning.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

It's not up uniformly across all races, religions and ethnicities. I had heard a report on NPR that although hate crimes for certain groups (Jews, Middle Eastern descent and others) have indeed exploded past few years, they are down for some other groups such as African Americans and others.

NPR listener

Seatte Times said...

Seattle Times publishes an article about Garfield's Honors for All (HFA). HFA has extended into other schools. The article was written by a sophomore at Garfield that does not feel served.

Has the district done a report to show that the needs of all are being met? I don't think so.


Anonymous said...

The article is written by a current Garfield student and his experience and suggestions for K-8. However it repeats something that is untrue about IHS, Truax was in error when he wrote there are self contained gifted classes at IHS. There are no self contained HC classes at the high school level.

The IBX program, now dwindling in numbers in favor of regular IB, is only open to HC students. However the caveat is that the individual classes comprising the program are also taken by older students who are not HC.

The article does not clearly differentiate between the cohort model of K-8 versus high school which is only a pathway with no cohort classes. At high school anyone can choose to opt into an honors class and AP is also open to all. What Garfield has done is eliminate the general ed class, to eliminate choice, and placed all 9th and 10th grade students into so called honors English classes, but those classes according to some, are not as rigorous.

In addition, for various reasons including our traffic, Garfield has greatly ceased in practice to be the only HC "pathway" school in recent years. One half to three quarters of former cohort students, mostly in the northend, have chosen and are enrolled at various other high schools in large numbers.


Anonymous said...

Ingraham used to provide two or three self-contained classes for 9th grade students who were preparing for IBX.

Truax’s daughter is (or was) a non-HCC student at IHS. I believe this was the reason for his outrage. While I’m airing my grievances, I’ll just say that his classroom was a horrible environment for my gifted/anxious/ADHD student.

Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

@Bulldog parent I was told that more than 3/4 of HC students are now choosing IB over IBX. Each year I am told that number gets higher, but as of yet I was told no plans to eliminate IBX. The numbers of those preparing for IBX is very low. There are no self contained classes (any longer at least) according to the administration.


Melissa Westbrook said...

So this issue about Honors for All DID come up at the recent work session on Advanced Learning (I'll have a wrap-up by tomorrow). The question was asked about different schools doing different things around honors and no reporting back to the Board on how it is going.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Kellie's comment on the other thread about promise scholarship, She said "While the (college) program was designed to support low income and historically underserved students, the new program (city) is universal. There are no income, background or gpa qualifications."

Yes, that's correct. Another intent of the promise scholarship as first initiated by the Seattle colleges was to continue to attract and support their low income students from Seattle high schools, particularly students from predominately African American and diverse high schools who have been somewhat displaced as Seattle has gentrified and the demographics of the college population have also been changing.

For those who are unaware which are probably many, Seattle dropped the "community" designation when they added the 4 year degrees around 5 years ago. The "Seattle Colleges" (Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College) are simultaneously enrolling record number of international students, mostly from Asia. Those whom I know who work for the colleges have said student population has changed drastically over the past 6 years or so, and they are serving many international students.

The New city based program is based somewhat upon the former, but it is open to all Seattle high school graduates regardless of income, race etc. It is following a trend nationwide in this regard and a policy touted by progressive candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in their former campaigns.

New York State (Excelsior program) offers free 4 year university tuition to high school graduates, it targets low and middle-upper income students from families who earn less than $125,000 per year. https://www.ny.gov/programs/tuition-free-degree-program-excelsior-scholarship. It will serve nearly 1 million students.

Tennessee also offers a free community college program to residents : https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2018/02/15/tennessee-reconnect-tuition-free-college/342665002/

Background Info

Anonymous said...

Also to add the BA degrees being offered by (former) "community colleges" are carefully designed with statewide input and with various stakeholders to meet the needs of the current economy to better ensure students will find living wage jobs. Bellevue college is also offering 4 year degrees. They are also designed to be different and not in competition with what statewide universities are already offering.

Background Info

Anonymous said...

IBX was envisioned and described to parents as a *4 year* opt-in HC pathway, loosely modeled after Bellevue's Interlake program. The original intent was to provide earlier access to IB coursework, along with a 12th year of CIHS (College in the High School) LA/SS. The program provided needed relief to Garfield's overcrowding (Garfield was the default assignment for all HC enrolled middle school students), but unlike Garfield, it was open to HC qualified students who had not followed the HC pathway in middle school.

Those 12th year courses were dropped for the 2018 graduating class (around the same time as the HFA change). In recent years IHS has been strongly discouraging the IBX pathway, in part by offering little in the way of appropriate 12th grade coursework. With a dwindling IBX cohort, those HC students actually get split from their grade cohort within the school, kind of negating some of the benefits of enrolling in a pathway school - course scheduling is more difficult and they lack the critical mass of students needed to offer some of the more advanced coursework. Despite students opting into a HC pathway they believed would offer 4 years of coursework, IBX students may be left with Running Start as their only option for a continuum of coursework. If they don't follow the IBX pathway, they are in a holding pattern of honors coursework until 11th grade when they can access IB coursework. It's no wonder more HC students are opting for neighborhood schools (BHS or RHS) over IHS.

more info

Promise Jobs said...

South Seattle College offers AA degrees and about 3 BAS (Bachelor of Applied Science) degrees in:
Professional Technical Education & Instructional Design
Sustainable Building Science Technology
Hospitality Management

These sound like vocational training programs. With the hospitality management degree, "you will be prepared to enter positions in tourism, hotel operations, restaurant management, catering, cruise ship operations, casino operations, managed services and many more."

Do Seattle students need 4 years of college to work in catering or a casino?

Seems like there would be a lot of other non-theoretical fields that might pay better (plumber, electrician, longshoreman...) And what about the kinds of jobs that there are actually predicted to be a bunch of:
App developer.
Computer systems analyst.
Nurse practitioner.
Physical therapist.
Health services manager.
Physician assistant.
Dental hygienist.
Market research analyst.

If you want the Promise program to help you become one of those, you get an AA degree from a Seattle College and then transfer?

Well, it sure beats all the paid universities (Trump, etc.)

Anonymous said...

@Promise Jobs-- You want to know one reason why they are not offering degrees in some of the fields you listed? I can answer some of the reason is politics as I know someone who was tasked with creating the degrees at one college. The 4 year universities blocked the initial attempts by (former community) 2 year colleges to offer degrees that may be in direct competition with them for students.

In addition, the 4 year degrees are different as they many university 4 year degrees in other ways. They can incorporate the two year technical degrees as well as certificates so students can build upon them. Historically unless students complete a "transfer" AA degree they would lose many credits if they tried to transfer to a university 4 year program. This historically also has caused alot of confusion at the 2 year schools which offered both types of two year degrees, technical/professional as well as transfer. In addition, many non-traditional students do not do as well when they transfer to large universities. Many prefer to attend and finish at smaller public schools.

They do have partnership programs with some universities for transfer as well.

BCC for example offers :

Bachelor’s degrees

We offer bachelor’s degrees through our college and through our partnerships with Eastern Washington University, University of Washington, and Washington State University.

• Applied Accounting, BAS
• Computer Science, BS
• Data Analytics, BAS
• Digital Marketing, BAS
• Health Promotion and Management, BAS
• Healthcare Informatics, BAS
• Healthcare Management and Leadership, Healthcare Management General Concentration, BAS
• Healthcare Management and Leadership, Radiation and Imaging Management Concentration, BAS
• Information Systems and Technology, BAS
• Interior Design, BAA
• Molecular Biosciences, BAS
• Nursing, RN to BSN, BS
• Radiation and Imaging Sciences, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Concentration, BAS
• Radiation and Imaging Sciences, Medical Dosimetry Concentration, BAS
• Radiation and Imaging Sciences, Nuclear Medicine Concentration, BAS
• Radiation and Imaging Sciences, Technology Concentration, BAS
• Eastern at Bellevue College

Also they offer Baccalaureate Certificates

Baccalaureate certificates are excellent options for students with jobs and families who want to take a first step toward a degree or learn specific skills to further their careers

• Breast Ultrasound Certificate of Completion
• CT Imaging Certificate of Accomplishment
• Healthcare Data Analytics Certificate of Accomplishment
• Healthcare Informatics Certificate of Achievement
• Intermediate Business Intelligence Analyst Certificate of Accomplishment
• Intermediate Business Intelligence Developer Certificate of Accomplishment
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate of Accomplishment
• Medical Dosimetry Certificate of Achievement
• Positron Emission Tomography Certificate of Accomplishment
• Vascular Interventional Certificate of Accomplishment

Seattle Colleges have three sites (South. Central & North) Central for example offer Bachelors in IT networking, Dental Hygiene, Respirator Care, Health Services Management and others. These are also high demand fields.

Background Info

Anonymous said...

@Promise Jobs - Also, want to add that many fields are requiring more schooling. Fields that used to require a BA now may require a Masters or even doctorate, example Physical Therapist. The same has been happening at the 2 year college level. Many fields now require more training. When my mother (in another state) was a special ed paraprofessional in a high school, she entered with a high school diploma. The last I heard the requirement is now a 2 year degree.

Background Info