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Friday, December 07, 2018

Seeking Parents to File a Federal Complaint

I've been working with a mom from Kent School District on this story about a King County survey, developed by UW and Seattle Children's Hospital that has been given/is slated to be given at six Seattle Schools middle schools.    Here is my previous story.

The schools involved are Hamilton, World School, Whitman, JAMS, Meany and Madison.

I am seeking any parent (or parents) who would be willing to file a complaint with the Department of Education.  If you have a child at any of these schools (whether they took the survey or not).  In my previous thread, one parent, Wildcat, said his son had taken the survey.    sss.westbrook@gmail.com

If you do have a child at one of those schools, I urge you to write a letter to your principal and tell them your child is NOT to take the survey called Check Yourself or SBIRT.

I also urge you to contact the Board and request that implementation of the survey be stopped immediately.  spsdirectors@seattleschools.org

I am now convinced that the district is violating federal law (PRRA) and their own policy on surveys.  There are rules about asking questions about sexuality, mental health issues, religion and other sensitive subjects.


If the survey is optional and touches on these protected areas then prior parental notification and opt out is required. 

Both the district and the federal PRRA require this and I am certain it did not happen.  Why?

One, out of the six schools, I heard back from four PTA presidents.  None of them had heard of it.  None of them had been asked to put something in their newsletter nor make an announcement at a meeting. One said it was not at their curriculum night.  SPS told King County that parents would be notified via PTA announcement and/or curriculum night.   World School has no PTA. 

As I previously reported, only a couple of schools even mention it at their school counseling pages and then it is only a link to the King County flyer about it.  Which doesn't mention the type of questions nor the possibility of opting out.    

This is NOT parental notification and it certainly doesn't meet PRRA.


Again, to note, this is NOT King County's anonymous middle schools survey, Healthy Youth Survey.  This one is called "Check Yourself" or SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral To Services) and is NOT anonymous, the questions are invasive and parents were NOT notified about the survey.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the girl at Aki who was murdered by her uncle who had been molesting her would be alive if this survey had been done. Sometimes kids need a push to ask for help and there are parents who should be scared about the facts coming to light about how they treat their children. The students are citizens and are entitled to protection, their parents don't own them. Shouldn't children have protection from harmful parents?

Poppy

Anonymous said...

The use of the survey still has to follow the law. I suppose you'll trot out an "if we could have murdered baby Hitler" argument next, and the survey will still need to follow the law.

Godwin

Melissa Westbrook said...

Poppy, I'll go with Godwin; no one gets to circumvent the law or policy on their own judgment.

I'm sure there are parents who are terrible but I'm also sure that parents who don't go to church or who have a drink in their own home are not terrible. But putting that in as your answer could put them in a bad light with this survey.

Parents don't necessarily have to know the questions but they sure get to know that their child is taking a non-anonymous survey at school. Parents don't lose rights to their child when that child walks into the school.

Anonymous said...

@ Poppy, I guess if you have confidence that the (a) schools have the necessary tools/systems to keep all this FERPA-proteced information safe (despite numerous past lapses); (b) counselors have the training to appropriately interpret the results even though many of the questions are very ambiguous and there could be both positive and negative reasons for a particular response; (c) SPS middle school counselors have stellar skills in dealing with student mental health, substance abuse, family problems, and other issues; and (d) school counselors had a boatload of free time to spend following up with students to conduct individual screening anytime a little flag comes up; then I guess it would be a good idea--provided parents were informed of the survey and offered the opportunity to opt out.

For example, say you have a kid that you know has mental health issues, and you are working on this as a family. Maybe the kid sees a psychiatrist, takes medication, is in family therapy, etc....and maybe the kid is doing very well on this plan, so well that teachers have no idea of these challenges. Should the student/family have to disclose this to the school, when they have no confidence the school will (a) do anything beneficial with the information; and (b) keep this private information safe? For some kids, disclosing this type of information to their school, and then having to talk about it with a counselor they likely don't even know, and then worrying that all their teachers may know, would greatly exacerbate the problem.

If you ask me, if middle schools want to focus on promoting mental health among their students there are a lot of much less invasive and risky things they could do. Give kids some time to socialize. Reduce stress loads. Encourage them to be themselves, not fit into little boxes. Give teachers tools/resources to differentiate. And so on.

all types

Anonymous said...

I think I remember the Hamilton Principal sending out an email notifying parents that their child could opt out of the survey a few days or the week before they took it. Mr Manza is very good about communicating directly with the parents. I asked my daughter if she wanted to take it, and she said sure.

However, I also think the district needs to take a strong look at 3rd parties collecting student data. Class Dojo is liberally allowed which allows a private company to collect student data in exchange for free use of the program.

Helen

Curious George. said...

Is there a difference between PRRA and FIRPA?

If you are referring to FIRPA I don’t think it would apply. If the surveys are from another governmental entity and they are not school records or records kept by the educational institutions why would there be a FIRPA violations?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Helen, if you have that email, I'd like to see it. If not, could you let me know when the email was sent. Also, not all parents have email.
Yes, Class Dojo is a problem.

Curious George, yes, FERPA and PPRA are two different things.

FERPA would somewhat cover this because any health record done at school is covered by FERPA, not HIPAA. It is then a school record, not a health record. But yes, the district can gather data to give to another governmental entitiy.

However, PPRA is a direct protection to parents and students. If you read my post, you will see the language that states (and this is in both PPRA and Board policy), that if the district is asking questions of a sensitive nature, they have to let parents know. Was that done across the Board in all these schools? The evidence doesn't seem to be there.

And the Board policy says that parents will "directly" be notified. Again, I don't think that was done.

Satisfied Monkey said...

Thanks!

Arg! said...

So, can a 13-year-old take the SBIRT and report something that would make it less likely for that child or someone in his or her family to get a loan, health insurance, life insurance, get hired for a job, etc.? Many psychiatric disorders tend to run in families (including autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia). So if you reveal on a middle school survey that your parent has one of these on a non-anonymous study, then you are also revealing that you have a higher than average risk of possibly developing one of these conditions. Just what you want your future potential health insurance company or employer or landlord to know about you. This survey could be used to perpetuate intergenerational opportunity gaps.

Jet City mom said...

I’ve been talking to parents who currently have kids in SPS about the surveys and other things, and I am very disheartened.
Not only are they given invasive questionnaires without parents being informed, but middle school students are reading books that parents should be aware of. Books where the narrator is a mentally ill teen for instance who thinks they are a sociopath. When the parent asked for a reading list, the teacher refused.
Students are also being humiliated as a form of discipline.
What the hell are the people supervising the schools doing?

Anonymous said...

No, you can’t be denied health insurance because of a form. Lordy. Somebody violated the volunteer board’s policy? Phone the neighbors. This is quite the white people problem. With any luck, you’ll be counter sued.

Reality Check

Arg! said...

No, you can't currently be denied health insurance because of a form. This was not the case a few years ago and the leaders of one of our two main political parties would like to return to that, a system where people can be denied health insurance because some actuary thinks you're not a good risk. Or denied a credit card. Or not chosen by the landlord as the winning renter. Or not hired for a job despite being qualified.

To the extent that there is bias in this society, there is no reason for preteen students to be calling that bias down upon themselves to be permanently entered into their file, which as we know may be left lying around in a hallway at any time by an SPS employee. Or purchased by a data aggregator and sold to the whoever wants to pay for it.

It's a civil rights issue.

Anonymous said...

@ Reality Check,

"White people problem"?

Low income and minority students are going to be those most likely report that they move frequently, often do not eat family dinners together, do not always know they'll have a place to sleep, often have to take care of other family members, have a family member in jail, etc. The types of things on the question, in addition to a lot of questions re: substance use/abuse (self and family) and mental health. Will those items flag them for intervention? Is that good or bad, if there's nothing the counselor can to do about that family environment? Or are those simply background questions that can help inform future discussions with a student who is flagged based on other questions? We simply don't have enough information to know.

While it's great if some students get some support and referrals to needed services that they might not have otherwise received, it's not so great if students and families get red-flagged in often poorly-protected data. If a student gets flagged as being a potential mental health concern, will that information go in their school file? Will that information then be sent to their high school as well, and any other districts to which they may transfer? And while the tool (screening instrument) itself is may be considered FERPA-compliant, what about any data stored or shared at the school or district level? Will a counselor email a teacher about a student, and if so, is that secure? Will counselors have paper notes on their brief interventions with students, and will these potentially be seen by students who TA in the counseling office? I've personally witnessed incidents of middle school students helping out in the office and being able to see confidential information that they absolutely should not have seen. Middle schools are not run like HIPAA-compliant organizations. Nor is the district, with its routine breaches of special ed data.

Data sharing is also a concern. From the King Co website:

In 2014, King County was one of five sites selected to partner with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Reclaiming Futures to pilot test the SBIRT model in five middle schools. Funding from Best Starts for Kids will bring the effective approach to scale, expanding it to 13 of King County’s 19 school districts.

The initial funds will support training and technical assistance to create an SBIRT implementation plan. In early 2018, schools that complete a plan will be invited to apply for Best Starts for Kids funds to provide SBIRT services to students. Best Starts for Kids will use the model through a license agreement with Reclaiming Futures and Portland State University.

Also, from the Reclaiming Futures website:
We are collecting data on demographics (e.g., race/ethnicity; age; sexual identity and orientation), substance use and mental health symptoms, age of first use and frequency of alcohol and marijuana use, school difficulties, legal involvement, placements (e.g., group homes; foster care), beliefs about alcohol and drug use, and perception of and satisfaction with the SBIRT process. These data will help us answer these four evaluation questions:
Does RF-SBIRT allow program staff to provide accurate mental health and substance use referrals?
Does RF-SBIRT lead to positive behavior health, youth development, and juvenile justice outcomes for youth?
Does RF-SBIRT shift program staff views of behavior health problems among youth?
Is SBIRT an effective screening, intervention and triage tool for youth in juvenile justice diversion meetings?

Our kids are the guinea pigs. I hope it works out ok.

all types

Anonymous said...

@All Types

Wow!!! The guinea pig thing means that a medical ethics review/institutional review of the survey/questionnaire should have happened, which would again required informed consent of both students and parents. If they had approval to conduct the survey from an IRB, I would like to know what it approved them to do, as I doubt they did what they were approved to do. More likely, they had no such approvals.


For me, the issue is not the individual reporting of this or that, though. The issue is the widespread data collection by third parties through naive school districts. SPS is contracting with various third parties and is sharing children's and families' information, in many cases highly personal an confidential information, with third parties.

Information disclosed that way tends to make its way to data brokers, where it is kept on permanent file. This has all kinds of repercussions down the road. What kind of a credit risk are you? What kind of a loan should you get? Should I hire you? (Yes: potential employers nowadays make use of data broker files that cover far beyond what a mere credit report might disclose.) I agree with Arg that there could be impacts on insurance if we move away from the ACA at some point, which is entirely possible given the political climate.

Kids nowadays are using all kinds of apps on their phones that track their every location. Any time a child uses anything owned by Google, from Youtube and Hangouts to Google Apps on a Chromebook, Google logs location and other information, unless extraordinary measures are taken to prevent that kind of tracking. This survey is just one in a series of third party contracts where data is going to third parties with questionable claims (Naviance etc.). Office 365 undoubtedly also has a ton of tracking involved with it.

School districts accept lowball bids from third party contractors to help them data-fy student information ostensibly to help the district administer education, yet those companies turn around and use that information to make money passing that data on in one way or another.

Even anonymized data isn't really anonymous. Just today in the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/technology/location-tracking-apps-privacy.html

Privacy policies are all well and good, but do I really need to remind you of the failings of various sites, including Facebook, despite privacy policies?

What commenters are saying about the need for mental health and other supports for teens and preteens is valid. But the way a public school district should be going about getting that information should not be exposing students' and their families' personal information to third parties where there is a risk of public disclosure or sale to data brokers and the like. There are ways of addressing mental health issues without risking permanent disclosure of personal information.

The fact that the district already violated the law with the way this survey was handled (and there was likely new IRB approval) shows that data privacy is not foremost on the district's mind. The ends do not justify the means.

Godwin

Melissa Westbrook said...

Arg and others, YES the government would like to track kids from birth to age 20 in a huge database and this kind of data would go into it. Health insurance companies would absolutely love to get their hands on this kind of data.

JetCity Mom, tell the school and the teacher and I will get the reading list for you. That is outrageous and yet, we are seeing more of this "leave your kid at the door and we'll take over." Send me the information to sss.westbrook@gmail.com.

Reality Check, that's a lot of punch in a few sentences:

"Somebody violated the volunteer board’s policy? Phone the neighbors. This is quite the white people problem. With any luck, you’ll be counter sued."

First of all, that "volunteer" board? A duly-elected governing body. They make the policies that guide everything in SPS so no, it's not some garden club board. This is NOT about white people; it's very much about black and brown kids whose parents probably have NO idea this is happening and would not be happy about it. If it's so great, why not tell parents? There's nothing to sue over but parents certainly can file with the Dept of Education over violation of PPRA (which this does).

All Types is right - the kids of King County ARE being used as guinea pigs. In fact, one of the creators of the survey had done past surveys but not at schools. In that case they HAD to ask parents and did talk with parents as well as kids. But she says, in a research paper, that kids in schools are "captive" audiences (so to speak) and it's easier. Oh.

Godwin is right on. This is one more app to track your kid. And, it's about money. SPS got $1M for this.

The short 9 question test used in pediatric offices is the gold standard; these people with Check Yourself are the in the data-gathering business.

The district is going to find itself in a heap of trouble if they don't halt this and restart it with job one is making sure every parent/guardian knows it's happening.

I'd bet most parents would shrug but they would also be glad to know what is happening to their child during the school day. And some would ask to see the survey as is their right under PPRA and district policy. And some would surely opt out.

What's so scary about that? Probably because the district has to have X number of kids participating to get the money.


Anonymous said...

Hamilton posted this on their website on 9/21:
https://hamiltonms.seattleschools.org/about/calendar_and_news/news/washington_state_healthy_youth_survey_2018_

The principal also sent an email alerting parents that their kids could opt out of doing it. Unfortunately, I do not still have the email.

Helen

Melissa Westbrook said...

Helen, I've said this before but you missed it; this is NOT the Healthy Youth Survey that I am talking about. That is a long-time, anonymous survey.

This is Check Yourself which is NOT anonymous and that they are piloting on kids throughout King County. Read my blog post and look at those questions. Should the district know your child is in therapy? That you drink at home? That you don't go to church?

That's what they are being asked that I object to. That I think parents have a right to know is happening.

Jet City mom said...

Thanks Melissa, I will do that.
I will say that I have been volunteering at Broadview Thomson twice a week, and while they have some challenges there also seem to be a good group of volunteers, and when I asked the PTA for help with something, they were right on it.

So sunlight still gets through.

Unknown said...

I agree that this is very concerning!
I might have missed something, but before anyone does anything, this would be good to double check. I asked my husband (who is an attorney), and he noted that the US Dept of Education website says for PRRA to apply, the survey must be funded by the Dept of Education. Does anyone know whether the survey is US Dept of Ed funded, or if PRRA would apply for some other reason?

Divamom

Anonymous said...

I believe FERPA protects the privacy of student records and applies to educational records for any schools funded by US Dept of Ed. Health records collected by a school are considered "educational" records.

According to US DHHS and US DOE, "an educational agency or institution subject to FERPA may not have a policy or practice of disclosing the education records of students, or personally identifiable information from education records, without a parent or eligible student’s written consent."

Also from DOE: "Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):" [Note: None of these conditions/exclusions seem to apply here.]

- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Also, if you look at what's on Reclaiming Futures' website re: how the notification protocol is supposed to happen, it doesn't look like that's how it played out in Seattle. Oops. But Reclaiming Futures doesn't seem to have a lot of experience with this (something like only 500 surveys done previously, so getting King Co was a big win), and they say they are still learning.

One more note--this was all done under King County's "Best Starts for Kids" initiative. They have the agreement with these partners. It might be good to get a copy of the relevant agreements to see what they county put in place re: confidentiality of records and data sharing.

(continued below)

Anonymous said...

(continued from above)

From the Reclaiming Futures website, a few additional concerns...

RF-SBIRT is expanding in King County, Washington. Under the Best Starts for Kids initiative, King County has established a license agreement with Portland State University, Reclaiming Futures to implement RF-SBIRT in more than 100 middle schools. The aim is to identify and intervene with young people who may have substance use and mental health concerns. As indicated, we will use our manualized brief intervention to work with young people and their caregivers and, if necessary, provide referrals for assessment, services, or supports.

It is important to recognize that the evidence that supports SBIRTs efficacy and effectiveness for adolescents is limited. Yet, we have designed RF-SBIRT based on the most rigorous evidence available, which shows the importance of multiple sessions that are longer in duration as compared to typical brief interventions, and includes caregivers. We also anticipate that RF-SBIRT will offer schools a greater understanding of substance use and the related issues and provide alternatives for disciplinary actions to keep young people in school, families involved, and additional services and supports.

King County has taken a strategic approach for expanding RF-SBIRT by first engaging with schools to seek their interest and then requesting information. Subsequently, schools will be engaged in planning and implementation workshops resulting in actual implementation. As we have learned, implementing RF-SBIRT in settings such as schools and juvenile justice requires deliberate planning and coordination to work through many of the initial issues that arise with implementation. Questions that arise vary from policy and practice to logistical issues. For example, questions such as: Do we screen all youth or a sub-set of youth? How do we know if they would benefit from a brief intervention? How do we engage families? What room/office do we use to conduct the brief intervention? How do we comply with privacy and confidentiality laws? How do we make a referral and to what organizations? These types of questions are important to work through, prior to implementation, and we look forward to collaborating with King County and the participating schools.

all types

Melissa Westbrook said...

Divamom, as I said before, the roll-out of this survey violates Board policy:

"Seattle Public Schools will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys in the protected areas noted above, and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. Seattle Public Schools will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year if the District has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys, and will be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys."

This survey covers protected areas under PPRA.

How can parents opt out (or not) if they don't even know about the survey? And that's no error. I suspect that the district will not get the money from the grant if they don't have a certain number of students (maybe per school).

Melissa Westbrook said...

As for PPRA, the survey is not funded by the Dept of Education (although other U.W. government agencies are funding the work) so your husband is right on that point. However, PPRA also says,

Surveys Funded by Sources Other than U.S. Department of Education

The new provisions (contained in subsection c) apply (as does FERPA) to educational agencies or institutions that receive funds from any program of the Department of Education. Thus, public elementary and secondary schools are subject to the new provisions of PPRA. Here are the new requirements:

"Schools are required to develop and adopt policies - in conjunction with parents - regarding the following -
The right of parents to inspect, upon request, a survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed by a school to students.
Arrangements to protect student privacy in the event of the administration of a survey to students, including the right of parents to inspect, upon request, the survey, if the survey contains one or more of the same eight items of information noted above.
The right of parents to inspect, upon request, any instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum for students.
The administration of physical examinations or screenings that the school may administer to students.
The collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or selling, or otherwise providing the information to others for that purpose.
The right of parents to inspect, upon request, any instrument used in the collection of information, as described in number 5.

Local educational agencies (LEAs) must "directly" notify parents of these policies and, at a minimum, shall provide the notice at least annually, at the beginning of the school year. The LEA must also notify parents within a reasonable period of time if any substantive change is made to the policies.

In the notification, the LEA shall offer an opportunity for parents to opt out of (remove their child) from participation in the following activities:
Activities involving the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information, or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose.
The administration of any third party (non-Department of Education funded) survey containing one or more of the above described eight items of information.
Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is: 1) required as a condition of attendance; 2) administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance; and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student, or of other students.

In the notification, the LEA shall notify parents the specific or approximate dates during the school year when these activities are scheduled."

The Board did create such policies but again, these are being violated. If they are using a survey that asks questions covered under PPRA - and they are - then parents were to be notified.

I believe none of the schools directly told parents, not even thru PTAs (and they could have done that). Two schools have nothing about the survey and the others have the King County flyer that says nothing about opting out or viewing the survey.

And so, I'm going to continue on until someone gives a solid answer why this is happening.

Melissa Westbrook said...

All Types, this whole initiative is multi-pronged and extensive. They want to do this in all middle and high schools. It's been quite the job trying to untangle it all and I'm still not done.

However, I don't really need much more at this point - parents have not been notified and therefore, it violates policy/law.

Anonymous said...

@Reality Check,

"No, you can’t be denied health insurance because of a form. Lordy. Somebody violated the volunteer board’s policy? Phone the neighbors. This is quite the white people problem. With any luck, you’ll be counter sued.

Reality Check"

White privilege checking as self-indulgent performance art?

You're missing the forest for the trees.

Insurers increase price and adjust plan coverage based on data they've purchased from miners to assess risk. Those two factors alone are enough to render many people's insurance as next to useless.

Data miners collect race, social media posts, TV viewing, net worth, online orders, food consumption, etc. Whole swaths of adjacent households can be labeled too high risk. There are data mining companies that specialize in ethnic determination.

Who do you think is most negatively impacted by data mining?

Data


https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/07/17/629441555/health-insurers-are-vacuuming-up-details-about-you-and-it-could-raise-your-rates

https://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/student-file-privacy-beyond-the-nsa-106687

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, oh. You’re not suing! I got it wrong. You’re complaining. It’s a complaint to the good ole DOE. Storm the palace! We’re complaining to Betsy Devos at DOE. She will save of us from the evil data miners, and uphold the dilettante’s well meaning dictates. Right? Great! Let us know what she says.

Reality Check

Anonymous said...

I'm a Hamilton MS parent, I looked back for messages from Principal Manza about this survey and didn't see it. Nov 27th he sent to parents a notice about the "...National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on March 5, 2019...." I could've missed it, but this is the survey notice I recall, and that I found when I searched my deleted folder for Manza.
-Ham parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reality check, luckily for my readers, I know people who know people at DOE. The DOE folks are encouraging people to file a complaint about this. While both PPRA and FERPA are pretty toothless, a scold from DOE to a district, particularly when it is public, is a good thing.

Ham Parent, well, there is nothing at the Hamilton website (and I have a screenshot for anyone who thinks they can throw it up there after the fact). So Hamilton didn't do its due diligence.

Anonymous said...

...middle school students are reading books that parents should be aware of....When the parent asked for a reading list, the teacher refused.

This has been true ever since my kids were in SPS (high school, too). There is no set LA curriculum, teachers are given a good deal of academic freedom, and principals are many times just as clueless as parents when it comes to what's being read (or watched) in a particular class. And there are some teachers who have very, very poor judgment about what is age or classroom appropriate.

Teachers cannot refuse to share materials used as part of class. Parents have a right to view the material and can contact the administration if a teacher refuses. Yeah, it might mean a trip to school and can get you labeled as a PITA parent, but sometimes you gotta do it. The principal may very well review the material themselves and suggest the teacher reconsider their choices. You also have a right, as a parent, to request alternate reading/viewing material for your child.

been there

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm not sure 6th graders (11 and 12 years old) really need to be reading books on many of the mature topics HIMS teachers have assigned. Our experience in HCC was that teachers made some "questionable" decisions re: reading material. I don't know if this is an HCC-specific problem or more widespread. Maybe teachers are under the incorrect impression that HCC students are ahead academically so they must also be more emotionally mature? If that's the case, they have it backwards--these students are actually often less mature, and are also often much more sensitive. In the absence of an actual curriculum, maybe SPS needs to provided a fully vetted list of books that LA/SS teachers can choose from, since they don't always seem to exercise good judgement.

HF


Anonymous said...

Prior to Common Core, there was an approved list of supplemental books specific to APP middle school LA/SS. Perhaps it was part of the high school LA adoption - APP/HC middle school classes were not supposed to use texts that were adopted for high school, so maybe they created an additional list? As we're talking about parent notification, classroom viewing of rated-R movies also requires written parent approval. Many students are still 16 in their junior year of high school.

picky parent

Anonymous said...

Student privacy is on many thoughtful people's minds right now:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/opinion/children-privacy-online.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

NW