Tuesday Open Thread

From Garfield, juniors there took the SAT on March 6th and never received their scores.  It appears the school may have created double accounts for each student.  Here's the latest I could find on the issue:

The latest update from the College Board is that they are working on a technical issue that should be resolved before April 27th. In the meantime, students can retrieve their unofficial SAT score by meeting with their advisory teacher during advisory period.
As well, well-known Garfield teacher and author, Jesse Hagopian, was forced to leave Garfield because the school did not want to have him there part-time.  He requested to work part-time because he is writing a book.  Not sure where he has landed.

No photo description available.SPS Waitlist info available here.  Interesting how all the north-end high schools including Lincoln have a waitlist but Hale doesn't.  It also shows the decline at Garfield and Washington Middle School.

Only 12 days left in this year's Legislative session - will we see some school budget relief for districts throughout the state?

SPS Family Survey 
The 2019 Family Survey opens April 16. All Seattle Public Schools families should receive a survey by email no later than April 17. To complete the Family Survey, please respond by May 17 to the survey link that was emailed to you. Thank you for your participation!
Let us know some of the questions. 

What's on your mind?


Okay JS, he made the choice to leave because he was unable to work out a schedule with GHS. And that $100K? He gave most of it away to various good causes.
kellie said…
Wow. Lincoln has a sizable waitlist. 55 9th graders and 6 10th graders.

There is ZERO reason to not enroll every one of these students. There is plenty of physical space and an additional 60 students will bring extra enthusiasm and resources.

Anyone who have been involved in the start of new schools knows, you really want as many people who want to be there to be actually be there.

And once again, Cleveland has a huge wait list for 9th grade with 130 9th graders on the wait list. When STEM at Cleveland was introduced as an option program the "plan" was for cohorts of 300 students in 9th and 10th grade. It has been a long time since that number was respected.

kellie said…
@ JS,

I don't know if your comment is very accurate. Because of the change regarding the accounting for medical benefits, where medical benefits for part time faculty are charged to a building's discretionary fund, part time staff have been downsized at nearly every building in the district.

kellie said…
EricB has done some brilliant work in the past where he requested the wait list information by school via public records. He then built a beautiful spreadsheet where you could see the most likely impact of wait list moves by school.

In Seattle's defense, there are over 100 places where students can be assigned. I think the total number of schools for 2019 is 110, but frankly Seattle has enough schools that it is hard to even get an accurate total count for the number of schools. So there are reasons why downtown is often reluctant to move wait lists.

That said, EricB's work is another great example of how many credible resources there are in the community to hep. I hope Eric is able to produce this again and I hope downtown uses the data this time.

kellie said…
Does anyone know if total enrollment numbers are posted anywhere?

The waitlist information is interesting, but without the corresponding actual enrollment, there is little way to know if the wait list is truly reasonable or if once again "staffing capacity" is the driver here.

For option schools like JSIS and Hazel Wolf, it is really clear that the wait list is the wait list.

But Franklin and Garfield both have lengthy lists and both schools were projected to take significant cuts due to decreased enrollment. Stevens and TM were also slated to take budget cuts based on declining enrollment and those schools also have healthy wait lists.

Anonymous said…
Yellow bus service in Seattle is adding to the cause of global warming. It's time to kill yellow buss service in Seattle. Students need to attend their local schools NO exceptions.

Green deal
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FNH, I don't have anger or bitterness (?) towards Garfield. It has been a fine school in many ways and I know many, many (mostly) happy parents. But the amount of issues it has compared to other high schools is troubling.

I didn't say all juniors didn't get their scores; I'm reporting an issue. And it is an issue if (as it seems) Garfield created it.

Also, no name-calling.

And you know what? I missed that 68 kids on the waitlist (it was at the bottom of the page and I jumped to the next page) so I was WRONG about their waitlist.

I passed no judgment on Mr. Hagopian but he is a well-known teacher in Seattle so I was reporting about the change.
Anonymous said…
SPS did not use legal names when they signed juniors up for the SAT this year. Example Jennifer who goes by Jen. This was why some students did not have scores in their college board accounts at my kid’s high school (not Garfield).

HS parent
Anonymous said…
The prejudice here against Garfield was plain to me well before we moved to Seattle (for kids to attend Garfield, specifically) and this blog peddles outright "alternative facts" about the school. Here's another: it is absolutely not true that all Garfield juniors are still awaiting their scores. Many did receive theirs but some did not and the school and College Board are working to resolve. Meanwhile the scores ARE available, just not officially. While that is understandably disconcerting to families, it happens every year somewhere.

(Speaking of College Board, last year's French AP exam administered at Roosevelt was delayed by over an hour. Should those scores be invalidated since the test was administered inappropriately, giving students an opportunity to cheat? Hmmm.)

Garfield's wait list is 80 students and that signifies something alright, but it's hardly flight.

Like Roosevelt and Ballard, Garfield is facing a big budget cut and choices have to be made. Mr Hagopian, while a dedicated teacher, chose not to accept the full-time position offered him so that he can work on other interests. I'm quite certain that were he indeed accommodated at part-time, with attendant benefits, during a staffing budget crunch, Melissa would be shining a big ol' light on the supposed crookedness of it all.

Anonymous said…
My child attends Garfield and received his official SAT test results in a timely matter. We checked CollegeBoards.org and they were posted as was majority of the country. We had no idea that idea that some students did not receive their scores. My son is extremely happy at Garfield. Personally Garfield gets bad press at times for no reason. I know that those families involved in the school are very happy. Please careful to not judge unless you have all the facts.
Blessed parent
Big eyes said…
Garfield seems to have some sort of crisis every few months and then students or activist go running and screaming to board meetings or to the press. They have several activist teachers that have stirred things up with mixed results or the years.

Gentrification of the area has caused a big jump in the number of white students at the school, above the usual HCC draw. RBH is now known for being the black high school in the district. Many blacks in the CD resent that Garfield is slowly turning mostly white and that they are being forced out by property valuations/taxes.

I believe there are more black students attending Ingraham high school then are attending Garfield. Blacks are being pushed out of the city's core and to the north and south ends.

Seattle in general will be too expensive for most people I'm seeing fewer black people in almost every area of this city.

Anonymous said…
Garfield has no greater share of crisis than any other high school. The student body is very engaged, and they know how to think critically and take action. Good for them! It's a valuable skill to have.

I'm the parent of one Garfield graduate and a rising ninth grader who never considered attending any other high school. My years as a Garfield parent and close follower of Seattle education reporting have taught me this - if you want to know what is going on at Garfield, ask the students, parents, and faculty. What's reported here, and in the local media, is often quite inaccurate.

Read the Garfield Messenger, it's available online.

Anonymous said…
Totally rookie question here but the students on the waitlist at elementary non-option schools - are these people who applied during the choice period but do not live in the zone for the neighborhood school? Also am a little confused about the Gen Ed waitlist at Dearborn Park, do they not break out the immersion language tracks from Gen Ed? Would the students on a waitlist be from in or outside the zone for the school? I am concerned for our move this summer - what happens to summer moves and neighborhood school capacity? Thanks for any insight to this total rookie question as looking at the waitlist numbers, and not being sure where we are landing in a couple months makes me super nervous

Moving South
Old Schooler said…
You are guaranteed a seat at your assignment school. If you move to another assignment area, you will be guaranteed a seat there.

The students on waitlists for non-option schools applied from outside the assignment area.
Ruthie,at least 75% of what I write about Garfield DOES come from Garfield sources including the Garfield Messenger. I expect different parents/staff have different viewpoints. I'm glad many juniors did get their SAT scores but it you were a student who didn't, you might be sitting on pins and needles wondering.

Anonymous said…
Some schools are starting to see the light. This is what I observe in schools I work in too:


NW Parent
Anonymous said…
Not just sitting on pins or needles, but missing sign up deadlines not knowing if you would want to retake the test. That was the frustrating part, not knowing if scores would be released or invalidated if there were inconsistencies in some of the student results.
GF junior
Anonymous said…
The Washington MS administration was “excited” announce that they didn’t fulfill their obligation to teach kids science during the school year and may be offering summer school so they can finish doing their jobs. (See below.) Too bad for kids who may have to work over the summer, don’t have transportation, or need to watch younger siblings, but exciting and thrilling for those who are able to give up their vacation to finish the school year over the summer!

—SE Mom

From: "Murphy, Devin L"
Date: April 11, 2019 at 12:29:21 PM PDT
To: "Murphy, Devin L"
Cc: "Butler Ginolfi, Emily A" , "Cohrs, Kurt G"
Subject: Science 7 Update - Ms. Matson's return & additional supports

Hi All,
Happy spring break!
I am excited to share a few updates with you.
We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Matson back ‪on April 22nd.‬ We hold a great deal of gratitude for our guest teacher Ms. Wang as well as Mr. Vigil and the rest of the science team for the assistance they provided during her leave of absence. Upon her return, Ms. Matson will be taking over all teaching responsibilities and will be the primary point of contact for the day-to-day operations of these classes for the remainder of the year.
Given the unforeseen challenges that have arisen with regard to these classes, we are partnering with the district to provide additional supports to best prepare our students for success in their future science studies.
* We are working with the district on designing and offering a potential summer school course. Currently, the district is looking to secure a trained and certified science teacher to teach this course which will be held here at Washington Middle School and will take place during a window of time ‪from 7/8/19 – 8/2/19‬. As this potential course may have an impact on some of your summer plans, we will be providing you with updates as we continue to move forward.  
* We are also partnering with the district to provide our families and students with the central topics, key concepts, and sets of resources to support self-study for our learners.
I look forward to being in touch with you to provide additional information as it becomes available.
Thank you,
Devin Murphy
Assistant Principal
Washington Middle School
Pronouns: “he” “him” “his”
‪2101 S. Jackson St; Seattle, WA  98144‬
‪PH 206.252.2600 |  FAX 206.252.2601‬
Anonymous said…
As the parent of a current Garfield 9th grader, I'm not surprised there is a sizeable waitlist for 9th grade for next year. I hope they allow those students to attend GHS, especially given their current GHS enrollment projections and corresponding teacher reductions. My student has had a great experience, even with the usual SPS bumps and bruises. Highly recommend. Wish I could say the same for my child at Washington. Incompetence reigns. WMS is a shell of its former self and it's only getting worse as the good teachers understandably abandon ship.
JLardizabal said…
@FNH @Blessed parent
The majority of juniors at Garfield have not yet received their official SAT scores. We called the College Board several times and all they could tell us was that It looked like our children hadn’t taken the test. My child wondered: Am I being investigated for cheating? Was my answer sheet lost or damaged? Will I have to retake the test? Garfield made no statements to affected students or parents for two full weeks. Calls and emails to the school went unanswered. Now, finally, after some press, Garfield has reached out to reassure juniors, and is providing unofficial scores upon request. But students still can’t submit these scores to colleges until they are official. As is often true in Seattle schools, a lot of anxiety could have been alleviated through open communication and transparency.
Anonymous said…
Some positive news the Ballard First Robotics team made the cut to compete at the world championship event again this year. There are 4000+ First robotics teams from 25 countries. 400 teams are chosen to compete at the world championship. They lost their teacher who is needed to travel this year, so were unsure that they would be able to attend even though they qualified. We are grateful they are able to attend. The club is run entirely by students, parents and mentors. They welcome students from other schools who do not have access to a club at their school. They also conduct outreach to local middle schools and welcome and recruit girls and special ed students.

Anonymous said…
No Science taught in 7th Grade at Washington Middle School, for an entire year?? Where were MaryMargaret Welch and Kyle Kinoshita (SPS Science Directors)? Wasn't Amplify supposed to be taught this year, as part of the District's Amplify pilot-program? Parents should send the School Board an earfull about this Gross Incompetence. WMS Students are going to need Science Tutors next year to catch up with their peers. Just another example of the District's definition of Educational Excellence and Equity. What a mess. Board Members, wake up to what is going on in the SPS Science Department, and higher up.

Can it Get Worse?

Anonymous said…
That science (or lack thereof) news from WMS is incredible. What went wrong? Was this a complete failure of leadership at multiple levels? Will there be accountability? This is

Anonymous said…
Anyone else notice that the students on the high school waitlists at Lincoln, Garfield and Ingraham include few to none HCC students? Example, for 9th graders, 1 HCC and 32 general ed at Ingraham, 0 HCC and 53 general ed at Lincoln, 4 HCC and 67 general ed Garfield. However HCC are separated from general education students only at schools that have an "offical" pathway. Roosevelt and Ballard now have very large HCC populations, almost as many kids this past year for 9th as Ingraham. Since the designation follows the student now it would be interesting if they broke down HCC on waitlists at those two schools as well. Since the enrollment is going down across the district they should find out more data about students staying and leaving the schools.

Dont Cave said…
Enjoyed reading Danny Westneats piece in the paper this morning. Especially his willingness (and support) to point out the complicity of the teachers' union and the local school boards for creating the financial mess we are in now.

"We (the union) went in saying let's grab all we can grab. we knew it would contribute to these budget deficits, but we did it anyway, to try to put pressure on the state Legislature to make this funding permanent."

The legislature should not cave to this pressure. While the ramifications are unfortunate and potentially devastating, to cave will only invite similar behavior in the future.

There were promises made that local levies would be capped so that the tremendous tax increases would not become even greater.

School boards and superintendents have shown that they can't say no in the face of union demands, will the legislature?
Anonymous said…
WMS administration made the decision to overload a newbie science teacher (36-37 kids in a classroom, not enough workbooks/materials for students to use/share, etc.) and it predictably did not work out well. The teacher went on leave, there were issues with subs, sometimes science class completely unsupervised, etc. has led to roughly half the year without a teacher for 7th grade HCC science. Administration hasn't really seemed concerned until lately and so now this summer school option.
Anonymous said…
OMG. This principal should have been fired months ago.

Fairmount Parent
Anonymous said…

Lincoln is the official north-end pathway school for HCC students. It is automatically the assignment school for HCC students, so the only HCC kids on a waitlist would be those trying to move from Garfield to Lincoln. (Ingraham is an HCC pathway option school for IBX, so that's slightly different, and I'm not sure how that would look waitlist-wise.)

The HCC populations at other schools in the north end are students opting out of Garfield, often just because it's so far. Garfield is city-wide HCC high school currently and will continue to be a pathway in the south end.

Another Name said…
I was glad to read Westneat's article, too. Astonishing that the district's budget has increased $200M within a relatively short period of time. The district now has a budget of approximately $1B per year. Wow.

Last year, educators got a big win. Seattle Education Association will open their contract up again, this year. They have already begun working on their next contract. I find this very disturbing.

The legislature must NOT allow unions to access unlimited amount of levy dollars. School boards must fulfill their fiduciary responsibility and not allow the union to push us into further debt.

After WEA's effort to obtain unsustainable raises, I do feel confident the union will push to levy dollars in a way that may not benefit themselves and continue to create budget crisis. I can hear their rhetoric..."The Voters Approved These Dollars." Don't buy it.
Another Name said…

After WEA's effort to obtain unsustainable raises, I do feel confident the union will push into levy dollars and create another crisis. I can hear the rhetoric.. "The voters approved these dollars.!"
The teaching of science at WMS should be grounds for principal dismissal. Where's the money coming from for summer school?

Thank you for that update, PN, and yay BHS!

Anonymous said…
There is a similar situation at Meany Middle School. For most of the year, there has been a long term sub teaching 8th grade math, Algebra 1 and Geometry. To put it mildly, he's been a disaster. Despite efforts from many parents and the PTSA, we don't even have a syllabus from which parents could try to figure out what topics were (sort of) covered and what topics haven't been covered at all. The kids are frustrated as they have expressed their concerns about the lack of learning going on in class and nothing has changed. My kid has reported that the principal came to class and told the kids it was their fault that parents were complaining and sending emails.

The kids in families who can afford to hire math tutors will probably be ok; the others, not so much. It's shameful.

Meany Parent
Eric B said…
Historically, Ingraham has been limited to 90 incoming HCC 9th graders. I believe that with the addition, this was going to be bumped up to 120. That was a year or two ago, so it's possible that has changed. Garfield should only have an HCC waitlist for people coming from out of its assignment zone (likely from Lincoln).
Anonymous said…
Historically, the district did not limit the IBX/HCC enrollment at IHS. They were trying to grow the program and alleviate overcrowding at GHS. It's my understanding that not until the incoming class of 2016-17 did enrollment (not the school) impose a limit. Even then, the cap was eventually raised as contradictory info was posted on district websites. For the 2017-18 school year enrollment (just 2 years ago), it was made clear that space constrained enrollment was more likely and there was no guarantee of HCC placement during the choice enrollment process.

For the 2016-17 incoming class, the split of RHS/BHS/Lincoln and the assignment for HCC/GHS was still under discussion. It was still unknown what students would be grandfathered and what would happen with the HC pathway for HS. Some families opted for IHS to avoid a possible split in HS (after having gone through splits and moves in both ES and MS). Since then, more north end HCC students have been opting for BHS or RHS if they live in those assignment areas. I'd guess choice assignment for IHS is now mostly students from the Lincoln or Hale assignment areas. HCC waitlists for GHS, HIMS, and other HCC pathways are most likely those applying to schools outside of the default pathway, such as RESMS=>HIMS.

HS parent
Outsider said…
What did the sup't say in her State of the District speech last night? Was it a benign parade of platitudes, or was there anything significant? I checked the district website, but there was no transcript of the speech posted anywhere easy to find.
Eric B said…
HS parent, thanks for the correction. It's easy to forget how recently the cap was enacted.
Anonymous said…
To add to the above, the IBX pathway is not exactly being encouraged. The school refers to it as "early entry" IB, as there really is no 4-year program as originally envisioned. HC students are now encouraged to start IB in 11th, rather than 10th. The advantage (for some) is they are not required to pursue the full IB diploma if they start IB in 11th. The disadvantage is they have limited advanced course options until then. If they choose the early entry pathway, they must pursue the IB diploma, and 12th grade most likely involves Running Start. With fewer students choosing the IBX pathway, there aren't enough students to fill some of the more advanced courses that were offered in the recent past...which almost forces some students to RS. It almost seems like a concerted effort to end IBX without outright ending it. With larger and larger HC cohorts at BHS and RHS, many students probably look at IBX and think, why opt for IBX when AP programming at BHS and RHS offers more flexibility and potentially more advancement?

HS parent
Anonymous said…
The increase in wages was mandated by McCleary. It is not the teachers fault for taking the wages that the court required. The legislature still hasn't fulfilled the McCleary funding issue and in this last contract it was the one win we got. Unless you think we should again trade wages for working conditions rather than getting both as the court demanded? As a teacher I felt a minimum of 18% raise would have fixed the wage issue for good as long as it had a decent COLA attached to it. We took basically 10% because we were concerned about sustainability due to the continued lack of funding making it's way down to the classrooms from the state and district.

Frankly, all who complain about the wage increase are complaining about us taking about half of what would have fixed the issue. I can always go back to project management and triple my wages because my skills are in demand. Which is why the court ordered staff wages to increase. Which happened as was ordered. The issue now is still that the state tax structure isn't enough to meet the McCleary demand as it wasn't when the court ruled back in '12.

Mr. Theo Moriarty
Careful Listener said…
Listened to some of the Superintendent's speech last night. She's proposing longer tables. I think for the lunch rooms? Not sure.
Anonymous said…
@Eric B "Historically, Ingraham has been limited to 90 incoming HCC 9th graders. I believe that with the addition, this was going to be bumped up to 120. That was a year or two ago, so it's possible that has changed."

Ingraham has 125 HCC this year for 9th and we were told that is due to them lifting the cap temporarily from 90. They allowed all who applied this past year to enroll due to grandfathering HC kids who would have moved to Lincoln.For comparison, Ballard has 91 HC 9th graders this year and Roosevelt 79. Both schools also have a very large majority of spectrum eligible students taking AP classes.

@ Jon "The HCC populations at other schools in the north end are students opting out of Garfield, often just because it's so far." Technically there is no HC in high school. It is most important for kids who have neighborhood schools that cannot offer them a peer group or coursework. Ballard and Roosevelt allow roughly the same access to AP classes as Garfield. The principals also openly welcome HC kids as inclusive of all the kids in the neighborhood. I believe kids are choosing Ballard or Roosevelt because they have learned this information and each year the numbers increase drawing more kids. Those schools offer the same pathway as Garfield for the HC students who reside within their boundaries. Increased Seattle traffic limits a reasonable commute to Garfield. If their neighborhood high school is just as appropriate as Garfield and can offer the same classes, clubs etc and is only a few blocks away why should they send their kid across town. In addition, HC peers are choosing those schools as well.

With the addition of Lincoln in the north end it will probably draw HC kids if majority of peers from HC middle schools migrate to that school over neighborhood schools. The next couple of years though I speculate the HC cohort from middle may be split amongst Ingraham, Roosevelt, Lincoln & Ballard.

Anonymous said…
We went on the Ingraham tour this year, and one of our student tour guides was in IBX. She said she had a really great experience with IBX. Now, as a senior, she is spending mornings at Ingraham taking certain electives and afternoons/evenings doing Running Start for more advanced stuff. North Seattle College is so close, she said it's not that much trouble. She is also on sports teams after school all year, and has no trouble.

Later in the tour, we met with the psychology instructor. She is from Germany originally and was so friendly and open and well spoken, and the students in the hallway clearly adored her. What she said about IBX was that they discourage IBX for kids who aren't developmentally ready for it in terms of executive function and social skills, and she said (I'm paraphrasing) it's typically boys they steer away from IBX since they are developmentally usually still behind the girls in these areas still in the mid- and late-teen years. This made sense to us just comparing the young woman who was tour guide to most of the senior boys we saw.

What was unclear to me, though, was if you have an HCC student but want to attend IB and not IBX at Ingraham, do you apply the same way? Not sure about that.

We still have a year to go until 9th grade. We are actually in the Hale zone, but we don't like how that school is set up, so IB or IBX really appeals to us.

I'll have a review of the State of the District event in a separate post.
Anonymous said…

You're sort of right in terms of HC-specific classes, but there still are official HCC pathways you're guaranteed a spot for in terms of school assignment. If you're HCC and in the Hale zone, as we are, then your assigned school next yr is Lincoln by default, and you'll go there unless you opt back into Hale. High schools with HCC pathways have to be set up to offer 2+ yr advanced course sequences that other HSs may or may not offer, although Ballard and Roosevelt do. (Hale does not.) Our student's HCC friends attending Ballard and Roosevelt already are doing so mainly to avoid the commute. Their social circle mostly went to Garfield, but it can take quite a long time to get to school so Ballard and Roosevelt made more sense for them. Since those HSs have the course sequences they need, it works out. The opposite is true for Hale folks, almost all of which go to Garfield this year/Lincoln next. But you're right neighborhood HSs can sometimes meet those needs, just not always.

Elsa said…

Courts don't mandate wage increases. Neither did McCleary.
Eric B said…
Jon, if your student goes to Ingraham as an HCC student, they will be given the option of going into the IBX program, but they can also go ahead and do the regular IB program if that suits them better. IB takes a lot of writing and a lot of time management.
Anonymous said…
@Jon Yes I agree and mentioned that although there is no HCC in high school, the pathway is most important for kids who have neighborhood schools that cannot offer them a peer group or coursework. Overwhelmingly also our students HC peer group from this north end middle ended up at Roosevelt or Ballard or Ingraham. The students we knew went to Garfield from this school were in neighborhood school change zones. I think peers and distance factored heavily into where the kids end up attending this past year, along with taking grandfathering at Ingraham or Garfield if in the Lincoln zone.

Anonymous said…
And again a thread digresses into a HCC bitch session. Poor little HCC students.

Wah Wah
Anonymous said…
Since Ingraham has been mentioned I would warn parents to avoid the school unless your student is in HCC or IBX. There are so many issues there that both my kids left for running start and never looked back. The recent drive by shootings in the U district were perpetrated by several Ingraham students, there is a massive drug problem there to boot.

The walking routes are littered with needles and lurkers. Don't be fooled by there phony open houses.

Ex Ram
Anonymous said…
Thanks to Obs and EricB.

In fairness, Wah Wah, the district is constantly moving HCC kids from one school to the next, changing pathways, changing rules and not announcing them, ignoring IEPs, saying one thing but doing another (hence the IBX IB confusion), the district never replies to e-mail questions (maybe that's changing?), some schools technically have HCC but not really, and families are often at schools where you can't even ask basic questions because the answer will be Wah Wah, You Don't Matter, We Don't Like Your Kid, so you're ostracized and can't find anything out, you don't know where your kid will be going to school from one year to the next... This is sometimes the only place you can find stuff out, and you can tell from the long and multiple responses the school district has made it so complicated no one really knows all the rules or the whole picture. It may be frustrating, yes, but with a little compassion you can maybe see why it happens from time to time. Not trying to be a frustration, just trying to figure stuff out.

Anonymous said…

The courts absolutely included increased teacher compensation as part of the state funding model changes. Hence why we bargained it. Staff pay was being made up by local levies and the state needed to step in and provide that funding as part of maintaining the public school system. SPS got a 20% hike in funds and we got a 10% hike in funds leaving 10% to fund other needs until McCleary got fixed. Yet there was extra and now there isn't enough though we left plenty of money on the table for the district. Blame them if you're going to blame but also please go back and read the various announcements from the Supreme Court. You'll find it abundantly McClear.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Anonymous said…
Mr. Theo Moriarty -

Teacher pay was being funded by levies and that needed to stop for anything outside of true extras. But there was never 20% more funding. There were more state funds and less levy funds (after the first year). So teacher pay needed to move from being funded from levies to being funded from the state funding. Not go up by 10-20%. But it did. Then PASS took more money. Then central admin probably did too.

And oops, this was all too much money. The pending deficit from the loss of levy funds was clearly known back in August when all of the negotiations happened, even just with the bargained teacher raises. SPS and many districts SAID there was no long term money with the levy cliff. WEA and SEA said no, no, it's there and the legislatures will fix it (i.e. more levy taxes, the opposite of what McCleary was about). Turns out, so far, they haven't. So, now there's no money. Who suffers? The kids. And the librarians and APs who are now out of jobs. But mostly, the kids.

NE Parent
Watching said…
Both Elsa and NE Parent are correct.

McCleary was about weaning teacher salaries from local levy dollars. Teacher salaries were comprised of approximately 20%-28% levy dollars. State dollars were intended to take the place of levy dollars.

A couple years ago, many worked to prevent the legislature from throwing us over the cliff. The following year, a state wide movement threw us over the cliff and created chaos. I was told the fight this year was to "deal with the levy".

It appears Senator Wellman seeks to create state oversight. Wellman is looking at audits and district paybacks. It appears that the state realizes that they need an accountability measure.

Anonymous said…
" ignoring IEPs" please don't conflate SPED and HCC there's very little over lap. Yes 2E gets screwed on both ends depending the disability but HCC is not even close to the disaster called SPED.

SPED Parent
Anonymous said…
@SPED Parent

While you are very right that special education is a complete disaster in terms of funding especially, I want to point out a factual inaccuracy: there actually is fairly large overlap of occurrence of disability in highly capable populations. Some studies show highly capable students have higher rates of disability than the general population, and other recent studies show that a large percentage of students of color who are in special education programs should also be in highly capable/gifted programs, but their high capability is overlooked or not recognized. Professional development would allow clinicians and educators to recognize what disability and high capability look like when the co-occur in the same child and what they look like when the child is a person of color. In Seattle, HCC students who have disabilities usually have to choose between inadequate special education services at an HCC school and full special education services at the designated neighborhood but without any accommodation of their high capability. Schools like Cascadia and Decatur do not offer full ACCESS level services onsite, which is a misguided choice the school district makes and that harms 2E students and leaves them without services. The result is that the population at Cascadia or Decatur may look like it is lower in special education students (504s + IEPs), but that is because of the lack of special education services there are not because HCC students are less likely to have disabilities. 2E students, of whom there are many in Seattle Public Schools, suffer the disaster of special education as well as that of HCC, and they are among the most underserved students in the entire system, which is why parents in Seattle so often choose homeschooling for 2E students. That does not make them needier or more deserving of those services than others, but HCC students with disabilities do also need special education services. These are not mutually exclusive and in fact very often co-occur. In the end, you will find fierce special education advocates and allies in any 2E parent. It is not a competition.

Anonymous said…

As long as SPS continues to define its HC program in terms of acceleration, 2E students and gifted underserved students will continue to be left out.

The entrance into SPS HC is predicated on achievement along with CogAT scores that are normed only for the population that continues to dominate SPS HC.

This moral disaster is perpetrated by the loud and powerful parents who mistake achievement for giftedness, linked to a district that continues to kowtow to the privilege of the parents who have the typical types of students who test in (middle to upper middle class of college educated, with a few token side stories).

No matter how much the truth is out about Seattle's HC/HCC, nothing has changed significantly because the parents whose children got in under this model will raise Cain if true change is on the radar, as they've already proven.

What a joke that isn't funny.

TruthB Told
Anonymous said…
@Simone as a parent with 2e students I can tell you that FUNDING is NOT the PROBLEM!

HCC is not gifted. I'm not going to debate this with you. Please don't try and tell us that a student not receiving gold plated HCC services is similar to SPED students getting ZERO!

Like I've said , funding is NOT the issue with SPED. Lets leave it at that.

SPED Parent
Anonymous said…
Right Sped Parent. If you don’t qualify for special ed, you don’t have 2e, by definition. It never ceases to amaze me that people expect special education to be the thing to prop up their kids in gifted programs. Special ed was designed to help struggling students keep up, not help students reach beyond what is normally expected. And arguably it does a pretty poor job of that. Further, why would anyone want their kid in a gifted program, if they’ve got to be spoon fed and hand held to make it through? Maybe being in a plain old regular classroom would be better, regardless of the student’s IQ or brilliance. Independence is precious. The special ed paradigm doesn’t age well either. There are very limited accommodations at the college level. Would you really want a doctor who needed his notes to tell him where the organs are? Or who can’t remember what part of the surgery to do when? At some point, 2e is actually 0e. That point is sooner than most people think.

Flame On
ADHD Doc said…
Special ed was not designed to help struggling students keep up. Special ed was designed to improve the civil rights of children who had largely been entirely excluded from schools.

Of course there are doctors with disabilities:



Easy Mom said…
I don't think that there is some cadre of parents who are enthusiastic cult-like supporters of the current HCC model. It's a strange one, a lot of districts look at increased depth not acceleration, and it's hard to argue that acceleration is superior. All kids should have increased depth. And all kids should have fewer test-prep worksheets and more hands on.

I'd also like to add that as a scientist I sometimes feel educators misundersand science. It's a process, and using your hands and eyes senses is a big part of it. And keeping kids curious and engaged and experimenting is key to learning and excitement -the district has some good science teachers who understand this and are passionate about it.
Anonymous said…
@Easy Mom

You apparently haven't been privy to the discussions here that fully embrace the acceleration model and have offered up instead an "HC lite" program for underserved students who aren't up to speed. Other themes have included plenty of posts that explain away the lack of underrepresented in SPS HC on exposure to lead paint, etc. with links to research to boot.

Why do you think SPS continues to use this model for HC that defies all best practices?

Look no further. The parents who are benefitting from this model may not be a cult, but they have proven that that have enough power in this district to keep their gift horse for themselves.

TruthB Told
Anonymous said…
ADHD Doc, if you think Sped was designed to get students into or through HCC, you really don’t understand true disability or history, People with disabilities are simply seeking access to the fundamentals of education and total exclusion, not a gold plated special privilege. Anyone who has any experience with special ed knows that without a doubt. It’s not going to be something of any use what so ever to getting you through AP anytihing or beyond. If your kid can’t make it without spoon feeding in the gifted program, try the average program. There’s no shame in not being gifted. Learning independently is so much better than spoon feeding is ever going to be. At the end of the day, independence is what we want.

If you want to read something, read Becoming Citizens. It tracks the history of special ed. And no, it isn’t about the poor plight of 2e.

Flame On
Anonymous said…
Just an addendum to my post above:

Be careful what you wish for.

SPS is using an HC model that is known to exclude underserved and 2E students and goes against best practices of research and experts.

At the same time, many of these same parents are (rightfully) up in arms because SPS wants to adopt a science curriculum that goes against best practices of research and experts.

When you contribute to a culture that skirts the research when it benefits your own children, the karma will keep coming back to bite. The precedent has been set already to woefully ignore best practices on a large scale in SPS with HC.

You can't benefit from a model that ignores research and then expect to be credible when you pull out the research on another issue that doesn't benefit you.

Can't have it both ways. Also, karma and all that.

TruthB Told
Simone, thank you for your measured tone and good information.

TruthBTold, you seem to blame the parents for the way HCC is carried out. I think I can speak for many parents who have been begging for years and years for this program to change - to be about more than acceleration (which is NOT the be all), to be more accessible, to use other testing (and the Board has had presentations on how the whole program could be better). And yet no one in power ever does anything. I appreciate the work that whatever taskforce is yet again working on this but I doubt it will create real change.

SpedParent, you said:
"Please don't try and tell us that a student not receiving gold plated HCC services is similar to SPED students getting ZERO!

Like I've said , funding is NOT the issue with SPED. Lets leave it at that."

Could you explain all this? Because I'm confused by what you mean and how you know that. I don't want to "leave it at that."

"You apparently haven't been privy to the discussions here that fully embrace the acceleration model and have offered up instead an "HC lite" program for underserved students who aren't up to speed."

Most HCC parents would like a real gifted program but acceleration is all the district has. As TruthBTold said, the model being used is mostly against best practices.

Also, there are kids of color who could used gifted services even if it's just acceleration. Ditto for kids of color who are 2E. That's the saddest part of all.

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