Seattle School Board Elections 2019 Updates

Update: the Times has a story with a brief synopsis of each candidate.  It does make for interesting reading.   I do know (and know of) some of the candidates so I'll be writing about that information soon.  I do wish the Times had asked Christophersen and Kline (who are partners) why they both decided to run in the same race.  Also, they say they have both advocated for Special Education and yet don't mention it in their statements.  Lisa Rivera Smith and Rebeca Muniz are the only candidates who did not vote in the last levy election.
Here's tally of key words/phrases used by candidates in this Times' article:

Equity - 8
Sped - 1
Accountability - 1
Close Opportunity Gaps - 1
Running Start - 1
Social Justice - 1

Equity comes in first but only because several candidates mentioned it multiple times but some candidates not at all.  It's as if they didn't even bother to read the Strategic Plan where equity is the number one goal.

end of update

As I previously mentioned elsewhere,  Director Jill Geary, in her board comments comments at last week's meeting, stated that she and Chandra Hampson, SCPTSA president,  are writing a policy around racism in the district.

The candidate who is running for Geary's seat on the Board is the woman she is co-writing the policy on racism with? And she announces this after Hampson filed for that seat?

Silly me, I thought only the Board actually wrote the policies and that they just accepted input from others.

Wonder if Geary wants to work with the other two people running for that seat on writing Board policies?

Candidates, some free advice.
1) Not everyone is on Facebook so just having a Facebook page may not be as helpful as having a website.

2) I said this at an earlier thread:
It does make me smile at the number of people who think running for school board is just filing, getting a couple of helpers and off you go.  In 2019, that's some unsophisticated thinking.
I did not mean that as an insult.  I meant that many otherwise bright people have no idea the amount of work and organization and money it takes to run a campaign even for school board.  As someone who has run a political campaign and helped many, many candidates on their campaigns, I know this. You can have good ideas and have great speaking skills but you still may not win if your campaign is lackluster.

3) I say this to ALL candidates.  Do be yourself but, whether you like it or not, people want their school board directors to look like solid (read:dull) citizens.  The Stranger was merciless one time on a candidate who wore a dress with boots.  I always tell candidates, you can wear whatever you want...after you are elected.

District 1

Liza Rankin
37 Dems questionnaire 
Website - this is her personal website for her art; it says at the top, that info on her campaign is coming

Eric Blumhagen
37th Dems questionnaire
Notable endorsements - King County Young Democrats,  Directors Leslie Harris and Eden Mack as well as former directors Sue Peters and Sharon Peaslee

Sanaz Saadat
I can only find a LinkedIn page about Ms. Saadat.

Michael Christophersen
No info available except for his last foray into running for the Board.  Amazingly, the Times endorsed him but it's a big hard no from me.  He is just unqualified and lacks the temperament for the position.

Darcie Kline
No info available except that she appears to be either Mr. Christophersen's wife/partner.

District 2

Lisa Rivera Smith
Notable endorsements - King County Young Democrats

District 3

Rebeca Muniz
Notable endorsements - Director Eden Mack, Senator Bob Hasegawa, King County Young Dems

Chandra Hampson
website (no actual website so far, just a link to a donation page which I have elected to not put
a link to)
Notable endorsements - I would think Director Geary but there is no info directly from the candidate to show that.

Ben Leis
Notable endorsements - Director Rick Burke, former director Sue Peters and Public Education Advocate Kellie LaRue.

Director District 6 

Molly E. Mitchell

Leslie Harris

Crystal Liston

I know that legislative district endorsements are coming out.  Please update any that you know about.

Chandra Hampson and Rebeca Muniz both got the 46th Dems endorsement.
Eric Blumhagen and Lisa Rivera Smith both got the 46th Dems endorsement.  Blumhagen and Rivera Smith  also received the endorsement from the 36th Dems.  Blumhagen is also endorsed by the 32nd.

Please note: I have not read thru every candidate's Facebook page, website or questionnaires nor have I viewed taped interviews yet.


Anonymous said…
It's kind of like Hampson had all year to achieve something on SCPTSA, achieved nothing, and now Geary is holding her hand to help her get something, anything, done.

By doing it for her.

Anonymous said…
I think you missed adding several website links, I found a web site for Christopherson on ballotpedia.I don't see a problem at all with what's on the ballotpedia site or with his positions stated there. I fact it looks like he has provided more information than any of the other candidates.

Looks to me from what you posted back in 2015 like the two of you have a history.

Lots of good stuff on special education posted on his blog. Care to be specific about your position? What do you know about his temperament. Sounds like your typical character assassination. Do you actually have facts that you could share to back-up your assumptions? I really doubt the Seattle Times would endorse someone unreasonable.

You do tend to back stab people using your blog as a weapon and have turned on people you once supported.

Just facts
Just Facts, I hardly need to answer.

The Times is noted for its misguided endorsements, particularly around school board.

I have no “history” with Christophersen; I merely reported on him in context of the elections. I’ll repost his performance at an election event at Hale. That should be enough for anyone.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…

i remember last time mc ran too. he had so many supporters who all seemed to struggle with their post and whom seemed fixated on mw. didn't he make his blog look like hers for a while too(?)

i wonder if geary's understanding of racism is like her race advocacy partner looking for the next gig within a couple of years of securing the seat; dewolf. he thinks asian are not minorities. he thinks and makes decisions on that for the board. sure if you had a program that was 90% white in a city that is only 65% white that would be odd. but it is only that way if you count asian as white. what lens is that again? trying to skip to my next seat lens i guess. dewolf (and i know he is na) and geary are the same race though... the race to win higher elections.

no caps
Anonymous said…
The board already has policy 0030 on educational and racial equity, which includes systemic racism. What else are Geary and the eager candidate looking for in terms of policy? Do they want a general policy that essentially says racism is bad?

Do they want a policy that says school board directors aren't allowed to lie about racial demographics in attempting to disparage certain programs or schools? (I doubt it, bus sounds like a good idea!) Do they want a policy that says we need to start doing more complex analyses that also consider FRL, not just always assuming racism as the reason behind whatever the issue is? (I'd be for that, too!) I doubt it.

This should be interesting to see.

Voter said…
I expect candidates to talk about the fact that the district has not produced a report that evaluates Honors for All.

Everyone a Champion! said…
I would hope that we would have candidates that would advocate to stop the Honors for All nonsense.
Anonymous said…
Based on the slate of candidates and the board members they'll be replacing, I don't see a lot of optimism re: stopping Honors for All. However, I do agree that this should be an issue for discussion, and the Board (current or new) should demand a report. They should also require a draft report be made available to the public first, so that inaccuracies and omissions can be highlighted and addressed (as they were not, for example, with the inadequate APP evaluation done many years ago). If the Board ultimately thinks it's in the district's best interest to lower expectations for HC students in order to raise expectations for others, they should be honest and clear about that, providing families with information on how and where to seek additional rigor should their student need it. To continue to claim that a joint HFA class is just as rigorous as leveled classes, however, harms district credibility.

own it
Anonymous said…
Geary’s expertise with race is about as deep as her special ed expertise. Spend 10 million on a science video game so that science is equally bad for everyone. And make sure we spend so much that there’s no money left for localized quality. We all hoped she was way more than a knee jerking, tear jerking Seattle liberal. Cry about it, as you retire to the castle and flit off to Europe. She loved sitting as a judge and thinking it made her a special ed teaching expert. She did absolutely nothing for families with real disabilities. She never questioned the do nothing, disability hating leadership who have no experience or care for kids with disabilities. They can’t even get the bus to show up, which is the simplest thing to do. The bus doesn’t show up, because they don’t want the kids to show up either. And for special ed, no bus means no students. That’s the system she made and supported. All legal of course. She should know, she’s the judge.

Good Riddance
Anonymous said…
The election slate appears to be the all-HCC gifted uber alles roster! Yes of course! Honors for All is THE issue of our time. No smart kid should have to sit with just anybody. That is so unfair to those other kids. If they sit next to our gifted kids, they’ll get all jealous and feel all inferior. They’ll be miserable failures. I’m sure we can find that failure now. Everybody knows you can’t do a single thing in an integrated classroom. Right, it is a preposterous credibility break. A gifted kid can’t be expected to excel independently. Everybody knows the gifted can’t rigorously talk to just plain old students. It will hold them all back. We need data proving that our gifted kids will continue to get all the advantages they got before. We need proof, just like we had proof that the previous segregation was successful.

Prove It
Virginia Model said…
I think Geary mentioned at the last board meeting that she (and Hampson?) want to use the Albemarle (Virginia) school district's student-written anti-racism policy as a guide for our document. The Virginia document is here:

Basically, the goal of Albemarle's policy is to get rid of racial disparities in:
student achievement
graduation rates
gifted identification
special education identification
course participation

They want to collect data on gender and socioeconomic status, but don't mention doing anything with that. They want restorative justice and an anonymous tip line for reporting racism (We have the ombudsperson and the OCR. Should we set up a STASI system, too?)

I can't wait to hear how Geary/Hampson plan to get rid of racial disparities in enrollment. In fact, I bet a lot of Seattle voters would like to hear about that before the election.
Anonymous said…
Um, Honors for All is not HCC. Anyone can take those classes, and they're for everyone. There aren't any HCC classes in high school, did you miss that? The report that is needed on how Honors for All is working has to do with whether those home-grown classes are rigorous enough to be called honors classes at all, the way AP classes usually are. It has to do with providing students of all backgrounds access to rigorous coursework and not just renaming a regular course as honors and playing make-believe that it's rigorous. But sure, get a little dig in at HCC kids, because bullying and taunting those kids is morally acceptable to some kinds of adults.

Slash/Burn said…
Geary will never be held responsible for the mess that she created. She will leave the next board with a huge funding gap to fill and an unfunded science adoption for K-5 students.

She was supposed to be a special education advocate. How did that work-out?
LOL said…
"The election slate appears to be the all-HCC gifted uber alles roster."

Yea, are you talking about the Hampson, Rankin and Mitchell slate?
HfA Study said…
The district does not need to look at Honors for All just to see how it has affected HCC students. The district needs to look at the effect of HfA on ALL students. So often school districts make a change with the goal of reducing racist effect on students and then the change does the opposite. NYC switched the way they did admissions to their selective high schools years ago. Their goal was to reduce racism in admissions. But now Stuyvesant is 72% Asian and 1% African American. Their change did not have the anti-racist effect intended. Their anti-racist effort had a racist effect. This is often the case. It's important to try things, but it's also important to follow up with data and see if the attempt is improving the situation, not having any effect, or making it worse.

According to page 18 of the file linked at the bottom of this comment, "Honors for All" is a research project at Garfield High School directed by Eric M. Anderson. Now in its 3rd year, Dr. Anderson says data is being collected now and the "deliverables" will include a final report delivered by fall 2019.

Dr. Anderson explains: "this study will use a case study approach" and the final report may include student data for select schools. May include data?!! The board must require data. What if it's harming students? What if it's working great for the 4 students they select in their case studies and lowering the self esteem and achievement and increasing the drop out rate of FRL students? If we only look at a few cherry-picked case studies, we'll never know.

Anonymous said…
Um, Honors for the Few, was never subjected to scrutiny or proof of concept or validation. Where were all the screamers back then? It’s pretty clear that proponents of segregation and rigor rationing are deeply entrenched in the HCC crowd, regardless of its official high school status. A de facto exclusion is still an exclusion. If your kid needs to read a harder book to please you, send them a reading list. Or, better yet, go private. Have you not heard of the strategic plan? De facto segregation isn’t in there.

Anonymous said…
Geary by herself could not have caused all the issues. It took at lease 4 members, but I think the entire board mostly voted together and they were led by the nose by Harris.

Things are so bad that Burke's wife need to comment on this blog in his defense.

Rick if there's something you want to say please do it yourself.

Rubber-stamp board
Anonymous said…
Judging by the FOIA request to SPS there seems to be speculation that current board members are circumventing the open meetings laws and working with outside forces to shape policies and that group includes at least one recently past board member. Apparently there is a investigation started which could explain why so many incumbents are not running again and some are resigning.If true then I find all of this very troubling and subversive.

Anonymous said…
When public schools lose students to private schools, it -increases- segregation and does not lower it.

If you want to fight racism, think things through a little, make sure you're not doing more harm. We fight racism with thoughtful consideration of consequences and unintended consequences. Troll-y armchair-quarterbacking helps no one and just makes things worse.

LOL and others, please don't connect people as a slate (maybe Rankin and Hampson since they already work together). That may not be fair to anyone trying to get elected.

This happened several election cycles back when all four seats flipped. It was really getting rid of the "professional" board who allowed the district to be mismanaged by Olchefske but the four women who won were very different from each other. They got called a slate.

Watching, how do you know what is in any given FOIA? Also, not running is not the same as resigning. Geary and Burke are stepping down, Patu is resigning.

Lastly, I am slogging thru the last Board meeting video (which is not fun at all) and, in the course of the middle school science adoption, Harris did bring up STILL waiting for a report on Honors for All.

It seems quite odd how long the Advanced Learning Taskforce AND the Honors for All reporting are both taking. Hmm.
Anonymous said…
"If the Board ultimately thinks it's in the district's best interest to lower expectations for HC students in order to raise expectations for others, they should be honest and clear about that..."

Isn't that generally what SPS staff have been doing for the last few years? With materials adoptions, curriculum re-alignments, caps on middle school math advancement, limits on AP options at Lincoln, the decimation of WMS, new restrictions on online coursework...the list goes on. The Board is just following the district's lead.

As far as HfA, what objective data would the district collect? 10th grade PSAT performance? Subsequent enrollment in an AP course (wasn't that one of the goals?) and scores on AP exams?

Anonymous said…
Throwing around loaded terms like "racism" is reckless. I'm sure if things were as bad as these flamethrowers suggest then the ACLU or NAACP would be camped out in Seattle.

I don't see any evidence of racism, wanting HCC students to be taught to their capabilities is not racism.

Seattle is bending over backwards for people of color so either start providing proof supporting your claims or move on.

I see no FOIA request from the NAACP or the ACLU in the last 3 years. Yes there is somethings going on at WMS, but there are 2 sides of that story and both don't equate to systemic racism in SPS or Seattle.

Anonymous said…
It's looking more and more like Mack will be the only seasoned board member left. Thats astonishing to me. I say this because I don't see Harris getting reelected. She ran in 2015 against the school board saying all the problems were the fault of the incumbents and systemic racism in SPS. Now it her turn to take the heat and judging by what I've hearing at meetings and in comments the 2019 will be all about the failures of the incumbents and continued charge of racism in SPS.

Anonymous said…
@ Prove it, You're hilarious. "The election slate appears to be the all-HCC gifted uber alles roster!" Thanks for that chuckle.

Also, if a gifted kid should "be expected to excel independently." why bother making them go to school? Can't they just show up for the after-school piece--maybe some sports and clubs--and do the rest of their learning at home? Oh right, then they'd get even further ahead and we can't have that!

@Viriginia Model, those topics seem to fit squarely within Policy 0030. Why doesn't Geary work (with fellow board members) on revising that one if necessary? Actually, weren't they recently working on that one???

Anonymous said…
@ MfA, "As far as HfA, what objective data would the district collect? 10th grade PSAT performance? Subsequent enrollment in an AP course (wasn't that one of the goals?) and scores on AP exams?"

Those make sense. In addition, data collection should include a student survey (which is notably absent from the data collection methods mentioned), as well as a comparison of curricula and expectations pre- and post-HFA (which I suspect is not a component of their literature review). Since the first cohort of 9th grade students subjected to HFA is currently in 11th grade, they should also be able to include full ACT and SAT scores before too long, in which case looking at writing scores could be useful. It will also be interesting to see down the road how this affects graduation rates and matriculation rates at a 4-year colleges, since it was supposed to help with those, too. Oh, and they should look at the impact of this change on GPAs and rankings.

Whatever data they do include, they'll need to break them out by demographics INCLUDING whether students were HC-qualified, AL-qualified, etc. They need to look at trends within student groups, not just lump all students together. We want to know the impact of this approach on students who had been working at all different levels prior to the change.

Then again, it unfortunately does not look like they plan to look at actual academic outcomes in the first place, so maybe they don't need to do much analysis at all. The summary of findings is really only going to be a descriptive piece on what teachers are doing to implement this policy/approach that they already believe is so innovative and important.

data seeker
Disappointed said…

Geary, as chair of C&I has damaged the district. She allowed an unfunded K-5 science adoption out of committee. There is NO policy regarding the use of screen time with children and in our classrooms. Then, there was the ridiculous revamping of the science scope and sequence. This will, IMO, be felt for years to come.

Anonymous said…
Geary didn't do it in a vacuum, that's not how it works. It was a team effort.
That effort was led by Harris. Don't let her fool you, Harris is no friend of HCC.

Anonymous said…
Director Harris’s seat is not in danger. Crystal Liston has no history with the school district or education advocacy that can be found online. Molly Mitchell’s candidacy is a joke. Ask anyone at Fairmount Park who has had the joy of dealing with her.

Supporting Harris
Watching. said…
Harris ran because the incumbent allowed the district to close Middle School. Middle school was a school that saves lives. She understands that the cookie cutter model of education does not work for all.
Anonymous said…
@Supporting Harris
Do tell!

Disappointed said…
As chair of C&I, Geary should of led policy development regarding online learning.
Anonymous said…
Core24 seems like one of the biggest issues to me, and it's likely to have a significant negative impact on graduation rates during the tenure of any new board members--in two years, when the first cohort of those impacted by the new 24-credit requirement is supposed to graduate. I'd like to see candidates address that.

Staff previously shared data that a surprisingly high percentage of students were already off track to graduate on time after just their 9th grade year. With no extra room in their schedules to make up missing credits, I expect that most of those will still be off track after they finish their 10th grade year in a couple weeks--and a new group of "off-track" students will likely be added to the mix, meaning an even larger percentage not on track to graduate on time. These kids will be in 11th grade when the new board gets rolling, and unless something happens quickly, it'll be another year of inaction on this issue...and the percentage not on track to graduate on time could increase further.

Any guesses as to who these failures to plan for the 24-credit requirement will most impact, ESPECIALLY since the current board just made it harder for students to access online learning? Hint: It's probably not well-off students, those who know how to work the system, those who have the means to participate in RS, those whose parents are aware of the issue, etc.

For a district and that purports to be so concerned with equity, their unwillingness and/or inability to the plan for this is appalling. To me.

Anonymous said…
@Proof who said "It’s pretty clear that proponents of segregation and rigor rationing are deeply entrenched in the HCC crowd, regardless of its official high school status. A de facto exclusion is still an exclusion. If your kid needs to read a harder book to please you, send them a reading list. Or, better yet, go private."

I don't even know where to start with your wrong information. The majority of private schools can't serve HCC kids well. They don't offer a more rigorous curriculum. In addition, our HCC kid is middle class, not affluent, and of a mixed race background. But we also know kids in HCC who are FRL.

In addition, do your homework, overwhelmingly most of the affluent whites in SPS have kids who are not in HCC. There is indeed a correlation nationwide between socio-economics and gifted program identification and SPS needs to do a better job identifying lower income kids.

However, your grand broad assumptions really need an education in this area. Your argument they are "segregationists" puts the blame on parents who are actually bussing their kids out of less diverse neighborhood schools in favor of a program in a majority minority school. How does your argument make any sense in that context? Your beef is with SPS is identify more FRL, as well as more racially underrepresented kids for the program.

Most states recognize these kids as needing something different and many recognize them under a special education umbrella. Many are also 2E.

HCC parent
Anonymous said…
When you run a school district in to ground financially the equity is... everyone loses.

Anonymous said…
HCC parent

Just to clarify my beef. It is my beef after all, I don’t need it gifted-splained to me. The problem isn’t that the district is somehow failing to invite enough “worthy” and educable minority students to join the country club. It’s with the country club itself. Nobody ever asked for loads of “data” supporting Honors For the Few did they? Btw, nobody cares about your long bus ride to the country club from the all white neighborhood. Must be awesome if you’re willing to ride. Again, strategic plan.

Anonymous said…
Proof, We also don't care about your inaccurately perceived exclusion. If you want access to advanced learning, it's available! Have at it! It's in state law for the taking. If you want your district to identify advanced learners more equitably, they could be doing that today if they wanted to (your district's staff chooses not to do this). E-mail the sup and board and them to start! They will ignore you, of course, just as Nyland, Enfield, Banda, and Goodloe did before Juneau, and they will all the moreso if you sound like an ignoramus with no data or facts, so maybe just be more polite with them than you are here, oh and cite something peer-reviewed. Or not. Whatever you like is fine, honey! If you don't want or need access to advanced learning, go on your merry way. And I do mean merry. Oh, so merry!

God Bless
HCC2 said…
Thanks HCC. I'm often disturbed by the amount of hate and bias thrown towards a certain group of students.
Anonymous said…
No one hates any set of students. What they do hate is exclusionary schooling. Those mostly establishment white students are voyaging from their reference schools to schools where they receive the majority of their education separate from children of color. One set of students has a choice whether to attend that school, the other doesn’t. How is that fair? In addition we have a school board that for eons has prioritized the HC perspective. Dog whistles from the dais about getting reports on Honors for All, in the midst of a science curriculum adoption discussion to which it was not related, are more evidence that one class is protected at all costs. A public education should never be about the cultivation of privilege, which unfortunately is what we currently have and have had in Seattle.

Anonymous said…
What exactly are establishment white students?

HfA Study said…
Dog whistles from the dais? Like Director DeWolf excusing his absence from the board meeting by saying that he was visiting his ailing grandmother even though he was at the MLK Labor Council endorsement meeting urging the city to upzone around schools as the solution for affordability?! I wouldn't call that "prioritizing the HC perspective," would you? Garfield is not providing education to anyone "separate from children of color"-that's just B.S. Are high school students even children? If there's a class you want, just sign up for it. Garfield is only 42% white (in a city that is 65% white), so what class are they offering that is "separate from children of color"? Please.
Anonymous said…
One set of students has a choice whether to attend that school, the other doesn’t. How is that fair?

You're assuming that this a choice between two equally valid options, which it often isn't. If your neighborhood school isn't going to teach you things you don't already know, it's not really a "choice" of whether or not to leave.

How, exactly, is it "fair" for a student capable of working two--or often more--years above grade level to sit in a classroom bored year after year, with limited (or no) opportunities to connect with intellectual peers?

all types
Anonymous said…
Dog whistles from the dais about getting reports on Honors for All, in the midst of a science curriculum adoption discussion to which it was not related, are more evidence that one class is protected at all costs.

Get real. It's not a dog whistle to ask for the promised (and very late) data on a pilot program that was implemented without board approval and not consistent with the district's established HC services. Some might even say that kind of oversight is part of the board's freakin' job.

As to where of not it's relevant to the science adoption, it absolutely is. It's a question of the broader impacts of reducing curricular rigor, which is what will likely happen with Amplify, too.

@Proof, your "country club" comment was hilarious. I guess my family missed the membership card...and the perks!


Anonymous said…
The HCC claim is so laughable. “We came from a non diverse school, Eg all white, and we’re whitening up a minority school for the benefit of the minorities. They NEED our segregated whiteness, and classes down the hall, to keep them from feeling inferior. Bummer that the big bad district just won’t find gifted’s in the ungifted pool. Not our fault, as always.” So Garfield should cling to the segregation it is famous for? I could care less about identifying more kids as tokens in the country club. Neither could the district. Only white people wanting to retain their privilege try to find some tokens to justify their beloved segregation. Nobody as gifted as God Bless should be surprised in the least that the district ignores them. That segregation perpetuates the actual problem, country club education. Private school opportunities for the few. Crap for the others. Where’s the data on Honors for the Few? Where’s the data showing gifted achievement and qualification every 3 years? Last data we had, APP qualified students not enrolled in APP out performed those in the country club. ! Special ed students have to qualify and demonstrate need every 3 years. If the country clubbers want to be special ed, let them requalify also.. No notes from the doctor either. Then we’d see real tears.


Anonymous said…
Hi Hun,

Asian here. HCC. Not rich. Not alone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anonymous said…
@Salut "Those mostly establishment white students are voyaging from their reference schools to schools where they receive the majority of their education separate from children of color."

So like it or not many white and Asian kids are receiving their education separate from other children of color in neighborhood schools because Seattle is largely economically and racially segregated. That exists without the HCC program. Is that better?

At least the HCC programs are placed in majority minority schools where students from various backgrounds can share at least some classes.

"Establishment white students"...nope our HCC kid is not. In fact the majority of Seattle's affluent, as well as white families don't have any kids at all in the HCC program. Whether you like it or not, academically gifted programs are needed and are recognized as such nationwide. Special education and ELL programs are also recognized programs for some kids who need differentiation. Are you against those programs as well?

Lastly the HCC program provides peers and BTW no different socioeconomically or racially than our neighborhood school, and no special curriculum than what Non-HCC kids will also take in school. That's right no special curriculum. Dissolving a program for academically gifted and 2E kids (or ELL or Special Ed program) has no effect on battling racism or poverty or equity. Pick a different cause to advance the above.

HCC parent
Proof and Hun, I do not like your tone; cease and desist. You can disagree without being disagreeable. You need to NOT talk about children in this manner.

Salut, "dog whistle"? C'mon, it was a good comparison about asking for, but not being given data and all the while being told "it's working."

HfStudy, yes, unbelievably DeWolf used his grandmother's illness to cover his campaigning tracks. I am so sorry she is gravely ill; it's tough to lose someone you love. But if he could make it back in time to be at the Labor Council event for City Council offices, he could have made it back to serve the people who elected him to School Board. This is not going to serve him well.

Anonymous said…
Honors for all is a Garfield High School initiative to reduce barriers to educational advancement and to expand inclusive classroom settings, both demographically and academically. As far as I’m aware a school based academic initiative like this does not need board approval, particularly as it aligns with the district’s stated strategic plan. When over zealous scrutiny of this initiative comes from the Board President, who is in control of running the board meetings and who is usually quite determined to dissuade others from tangential discussion, then the random necessity of that scrutiny, particularly given the opposition to Honors for All by HC proponents, raises concerns about what gallery that Board President is playing to.

One would think that everyone on the board would be fully supportive of Honors for All instead of treating it as a point of agitation for certain political blocks. Hence dog whistle.


Scrooge McDuck said…
Wait a minute, Garfield is the assignment high school for all the McGilvra kids once they're teenagers (you know, that school mentioned in this post that has fewer than 250 students and just gave the district $358,705 in PTA money for next school year) and the Eastlake kids (the TOPS PTA is sitting pretty) and Montlake with their 6% FRL rate. I hate to break it to you, but (NEWSFLASH!) Montlake's PTA brings in almost as much per student as McGilvra's. Garfield is privilege city, and it's not because of HCC.

"Establishment white kids" going to Garfield are at least as likely to come from Garfield's own feeder schools (like McGilvra and Montlake and TOPS (with their PTA $$$$$)) and feeder neighborhoods (Madison Park, Montlake, the Arboretum, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, Madrona (aka privilege city!)) as they are to come from HCC.
HfA Study said…
"One would think that everyone on the board would be fully supportive of Honors for All"

Uh, unless it doesn't help African American males or anyone else. Hopefully no one would support it then. To know if it's helping or harming, we would actually need data. Harris was pointing out to MMW that staff promises the board data all the time (like about Honors for All or whether Amplify reduces learning for FRL students) but doesn't seem able to actually produce the promised data for some reason.
Anonymous said…

I think you may have the dog whistle analysis exactly backward. Since an honors class is open to everyone automatically, why were these honors classes called Honors for All? Are there ever honors classes not open to all? No, there are not. The classes were named as a dog whistle for those concerned about HCC, even though HCC classes don't exist in high school, as others have pointed out.

Also bear in mind (as a previous poster pointed out) that Honors for All is part of a case study research project being done by Eric Anderson (, who is the Director of Research and Evaluation for the district. His choice of title an be viewed as a dog whistle. Data has apparently been collected for three years now, and although interim reports were apparently assured, there have been no interim reports. Harris is right to ask about this. The final report itself is due this fall (

The calls for reporting on Honors for All are not random but reasonably arise from the context of Honors for All as a research project and past assurances.

Building Trust said…
There are no dog whistles from the dais. One responsible board member was simply calling attention to Amplify's uncertainty and the fact that the district has yet to produce a HFA report to the board.

There was a school board meeting on May 15th. Zachary DeWolf was not in attendance. MLK labor council held a candidate forum on May 15. MLK Labor Council had a debate during the same time frame.

May 15 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 First Avenue
Seattle, WA United States

According to The Stranger Zachary DeWolf was at the MLK Labor Council debate:
HFA? said…
Honors for All isn't limited to Garfield. It was a pilot that has extended to other schools. The roll-out now incorporates grades 9th-10th. The district has an obligation to assure that honors is truly honors level work.
Thank you HFA? The reasoning around trying it at Garfield was indeed to then carry it out to other schools. This was not a one-off for one school.
Anonymous said…
You can buy books on Amazon to prep for the CogAT. Many parents do (except for the ones who will write and say, "We didn't do THAT.")

The entire process for Seattle HC qualification is skewed and against best practices.

Calling those who qualify for HC in Seattle "gifted" is a misappropriation of that term.

It gets very tiresome when Seattle's HC program is defended. It's a complete joke and needs to be overhauled.

Requalifying every three years is an excellent idea.

Harris is among those who have benefitted from HC parent support. No doubt about it.
I wouldn't call her HfA comment a "dog whistle" but she definitely knows where her bread gets buttered.

Gravy Train
Anonymous said…
Where’s the data on Honors for the Few? Oh right. So long as there was or is exclusion, the universe is good. No data necessary. Performance doesn’t matter if you’re committed to keeping students out.

Self selecting segregation doesn’t somehow make it any better. These HCC parents are missing boats right and left. It’s not about self selection and it’s not about digging up a few “deserving” minorities worthy of privilege with some yet to be discovered strategy. As HCCparent said, it’s not about learning or curriculum. It’s about “peers”. Eg exclusion. Public school isn’t a country club full of good peers for your kid.


(An HCC parent assigned that sexist and derogatory moniker, but I’ll keep it. It’s ok for them to do that, evidently. Thanks)
Anonymous said…
Exclusion. Like when my child was the victim of bullying by several kids that went ignored by the school? Like when children tripped and pushed my child in the hallways with impunity? Like when no one chose her to do group work with? Like when he was regularly made to cry by a teacher and a staff member? No friends? Pure social torture? All because of an inborn neurological difference, high IQ yes but asynchronous: puts clothes on backward, can't keep track of papers, can't run well, interested in Python and Ruby at age 8 with no one to talk to about that? Children with this kind of neurodifference have social developmental differences that untrained teachers and other children can't deal with and don't get. Total social rejection. We eventually realized we had the option of moving to HCC, where there was social rebirth. Friends were made. Of all races, religions, and backgrounds. Teachers who knew she would grow out of asynchrony eventually, understood the developmental differences. Don't lecture me about exclusion. We know all too well, and you have no freaking idea what you're talking about. You are part of the harm inflicted unnecessarily on my child due to pure ignorance.

Anonymous said…
Great, Rose. Glad it worked out for your family.

There are lots of students in SPS who haven't been qualified for HC and who manifest their giftedness in different ways than yours: acting out, underachievement, and a later higher probability to land in jail.

The exclusion in HC is about the fact that the SPS qualifications are based on out-dated criteria that would not fly for any serious giftedness researcher.

The exclusion is in the form of so many of similar demographics in the same program: mostly children of highly educated parents. The others are left out.

The "all backgrounds" meme is fictional, to say the least. The Amazon prep books make sure that doesn't happen.

Gravy Train
Anonymous said…
Duh. It’s not complicated. Gifted students grow up to become highly educated adults and eventually parents of gifted students.

It’s Obvious
Harris is among those who have benefitted from HC parent support. No doubt about it.
I wouldn't call her HfA comment a "dog whistle" but she definitely knows where her bread gets buttered."

Really? Because if you believe Harris wants the data because she supports HCC, then what motive would you assign to other directors who want the data to support HfA?

I have known Harris for several years now and I have virtually never heard her talk about HCC.
Anonymous said…
Guess you haven't read the extensive research about the lack of indentification of traditionally underrepresented students in gifted and HC programs.

There are plenty of highly intelligent people who have been disadvantaged and are not highly educated.

And no, not all gifted students grow up to become highly educated adults. Research shows that a disproportionate number of them from underprivileged families wind up in jail.

The "Duh" in your comment betrays that you obviously didn't know this.

Gravy Train
Anonymous said…
Harris has made herself known on the HCC/APP blog. She's a go-to person of record.

Just the facts, ma'am.

Gravy Train
Anonymous said…
Rose, did your kid qualify for special education in the social deficits area of service? If so, you might be entitled to a peer group due to weak social skills and weak ability to form connections. So far though, SPS has not recognized any such entitlement for those who actually qualify and have a documented need for social peer group. Why your kid, but not those with a social skills deficit as recognized by SPS school psychs? Asynchronous development and curated peer groups isn’t an entitlement, nor especially unusual. Other kids get bullied too. Do you think they deserve it? Shouldn’t they get to join a special cohort too? This is the heart of the equity complaint. Clinging to inequity to benefit your own kid, at the expense of others... is also harm of historical proportions. The district is knows this.

Get Real
Anonymous said…
@Hun "As HCCparent said, it’s not about learning or curriculum. It’s about “peers”. Eg exclusion"

ELL and special education, LBGTQ and minority students also need same peers. Don't all kids need to have peers who understand them? These kids are no different. As has been mentioned many do come from middle class schools so the peers are no different racially or economically, yet many of these kids have a terrible time in the neighborhood school. You have alot to learn apparently. I suggest you read the research and learn about programs offered nationwide. My child comes from generations of disadvantaged relatives on both sides of the family. One relative had a very high IQ, and would have qualified as gifted, yet grew up in the projects of the south bronx attending a public school with one of the worst graduation rates in NYC. No access to a gifted program, but his grandchild has had that opportunity. These programs are needed and these kids exist. The issue is with identification. In SPS the program also has kids taking some classes with non-Hc kids, and in high school any kid can select classes as are open to all.

HCC parent
I'm going to close this thread now as it has diverted from the topic of School Board candidates.

Popular posts from this blog

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Public Schools and Their Principals

COVID Issues Heating up for Seattle Public Schools