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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Seattle School Board Candidate Updates

 Update2: I am being told that the question posed to Lisa Rivera Smith and Emijah Smith was not top three priorities but "what are the top three things you want to accomplish in your time on the Board."  

end of update

Update: I found my notes for the Youth Forum for questioning for D7 (only Emijah Smith as she was the only candidate invited and Lisa Rivera Smith who is the only candidate for Rick Burke's position in D2).

My notes only reflect the answers to a single question (I believe that was all as they needed to move onto Port Commissioners).  The question was - What will be your three priorities as a Board director? 


I do not have Rivera Smith's complete answer but she did say these three:

1) Restorative justice
2) Disproportionate discipline Opening the Maritime High School.

3) Greening our schools.  Communities of color often suffer from a disproportionate number of environmental burdens.  I think SPS can be a leader in environmental stewardship and can help promote a healthy environment for all. (They still spray cancer-causing glyphosate on our school grounds, and don't compost our bathroom paper towels.)

Smith said:

1) Eliminate over discipline and "keeping kids out of classrooms while adults get paychecks."
2) Implement Ethnic Studies, not just History and talk about the contributions of others, not just one group.
3) Violence against families and especially moms of color.  She said that some moms were not being allowed on campuses to advocate for their children.

end of update

After the Board meeting where the three finalists for the D7 position, I had the opportunity to speak with one of them, Brandon Hersey.

I first asked him about records at King County Elections not showing that he voted in the school district levy in February.  He said he didn't remember.  (To stated again, he has only lived in the region for three years.  Julie Van Arcken has a perfect voting record for voting in school levies for the last six years.  The records indicate that Emijah Smith hasn't voted in one over the last six years.)

He said he felt he could bring new perspectives to the Board from his current status as a teacher.  He has been teaching for three years in Federal Way SD.  I asked about PTA funding and he said he didn't have a policy recommendation but felt it was an "institutional" problem that needed to be addressed.

Just to note, there are three people vying to be on the Board who served on the SCPTSA over the last three years - Emijah Smith, Liza Rankin and Chandra Hampson.  There was a lot of consistent talk, here and elsewhere, about the issue of PTSA funding at schools but, to the best of my knowledge, I never saw any initiative come from the SCPTSA  about tackling this issue that seems so important to so many parents across the district.  And, during that time period, SCPTSA lost something in the range of 800 members.  Something to consider about leadership qualities.

Hersey said the PTSA funding issue would require "an open and honest conversation."  He also had another good quote that I found hopeful, "Change only happens at the speed of trust."  (Editor's note: this is a quote from Stephen Covey.)

As I previously reported, I attended the Youth Forum for candidates that was held at City Hall last Thursday.  It was a good crowd of youth who were running the show.  The overall crowd was largely POC.  I spoke with Jakai Brown, 23, one of the youth organizers who had attended a number of SPS schools.  He said for the school board candidates, the questions would center around the school to prison pipeline, school safety including mass shootings at schools, life skills and business/career management including how to start a business.

The school board candidates were first up.  All were present except for Director Leslie Harris.  Each candidate gave an opening statement.   The moderator, a young man, warned the candidates that they did not want to hear platitudes but real solutions.  (And he held firm to this later one when one Port Commissioner candidate was delivering what the moderator thought were platitudes so the moderator stopped him and asked him to start again.)  There was a table of youth to the side who had emoji signs with smiling faces, blank faces, unhappy faces and a poop emoji.  They didn't all hold up their signs in unison so it was sometimes hard to discern how they felt.
Opening Statements

District 6
Molly Mitchell, wearing a No New Youth Detention Center shirt, said that she had "boots on the ground" because of her community college work and that she did not support a new youth detention center.

District 3
Rebeca Muniz said she was the "racial equity candidate" and the daughter of a hard-working single mom who was an immigrant.  She said it was important for candidates to understand other cultures including Latinx, LGBTQ and immigrant populations.

Chandra Hampson
She said she was excited to work on racial equity issues and help make good decisions to enact the work and create a shift.

District 1
Liza Rankin said she values kids and sees their potential.  She said she wanted to support Sped families, wanted more family support workers and embraced Black Lives Matter.

Eric Blumhagen
He said he liked looking out at the crowd and seeing so many youth there and engaged.  He said he had 16 years of experience in the district and had worked against school closures as well as bringing late start to students so they can get enough rest, coming to school better prepared.

Questions (these are paraphrased)

1) How do you create safe schools where everyone feels respected and with fewer police present?

Blumhagen
We need to have staff trained in deescalation and mediation and not armed police.  He said it was unacceptable to have teachers out in portables, trying to get help via cell phone.  He said teachers needed to be trained in implicit bias.

Rankin
She said this issue was one of the main ones of her platform including identity safety.  She said that building staff need cultural competency training and all kids have gifts.

Hampson
She said this issue was a "dog whistle" for teachers who are afraid of students and don't see students as genuine human gifts.  She said the district needed to be anti-racist with teachers and students receiving bias training.

Muniz
Editor's note, I could not understand much of her answer but it was around restorative justice.

Mitchell
Hire more anti-racist teachers.  She said that "we are criminalizing kids" and not training teachers who need to understand racism.

2) On the school to prison pipeline.

Mitchell
She said she had been working on this for years and it's about closing the opportunity gap and having zero detention.  She said she had talked to many people in prison who can "pinpoint when school failed them."

Muniz
She said she had visited youth detention centers and hear stories about how teachers didn't believe in youth and kicked them out of classrooms.  She said teachers need to make students "excited to be in the classrooms" and that students need ethnic studies.  She said that kids were being suspended or expelled for little reasons and that there needs to be more teachers of color.

Chandra
She said one step is to take the focus away from high-stakes testing.  She said disproportionate punishment removes kids from the classroom.  She said students need increased access to counselors, family support workers and nurses.

Liza
She said there are no easy fixes.  She said that the system was "working as designed" and that they need to end high-stakes testing which is really "testing your ability to assimilate into the dominant culture" and that you need to give up your culture to get success.

Blumhagen
He said it tied to the last question on safe schools.  He said when outside groups are trying to help kids in school, they often get stymied by long processes when the students need services now.  He said he was troubled that the Strategic Plan didn't say anything about eliminating "education injustice."

3) How to we help students to have more ways to graduate and find opportunities after graduation?

Molly
She said creating pipelines to higher education and this is something she does in her everyday work.  She said she only hires those with a criminal background for workstudy and that there is no need for a new youth jail.

Rebeca
She said students need resources and to support organizations that support youth.

Hampson
She mentioned having a well-rounded education and getting support for careers students want.  As well, she said students should get "degree credits" for arts and CTE.

Rankin
She said that her priority would be that all students "have the amazing options for Advanced Learning" that exist.  She said that students lose electives like art if their reading and math skills are testing low and they get assigned more reading and  math time.

Blumhagen
He stated every student is different and to ask what success looks like to them.  He also referenced that some students like to work with their hands and need to experience, early on, different kinds of learning activities.  He said the trades need to be supported.

4) What about wraparound services for families?

Hampson
She stated that those are not available "for my community."  But she said that the city, county and district should come together and provide "an appropriate level of support" with scholarships for sports and more after-school care.

Rankin
She said this was another area impacted by testing.  She said there were only eight family support works in the district and that should be prioritized and funded for more.

Blumhagen
He said wraparound services needed to be started earlier and that PTA should not have to fund counselors.  He also mentioned funding sport team needs.

Mitchell
She said that the district needed to fund counselors, librarians and family support workers and that PTA should get back to its original function of advocacy.  She said it was about relationships and that parents can't come into a building and be a partner if they are uncomfortable.

Muniz
She said in a perfect world, schools would have all these resources in place.  Families experiencing trauma need help but often don't know who to turn to.

5) In May at teacher at an SPS elementary school called the police on a 5th grade boy.  What is your response?

Rankin
As an outgoing member of the SCPTSA Board, she said she felt incredible anger and frustration.  She said building leaders need to know what is going on in the classroom.  She said the district needs a policy that indicates when or when not to call police and that the district needs to track and monitor this type of incident.

Hampson
She said as the outgoing SCPTSA president she found this upsetting.  She said there needs to be more anti-racist policies in the district.  She said they failed that child and that policies had to be created that protect children.

Muniz
She said it was "a huge mistake on the teacher's part" and that "the teacher should be removed."  She said if a teacher couldn't handle a child and called the police, then teachers aren't being prepared.  She also said the district should track and investigate these incidents.

Mitchell
She said the Board job is policies and procedures.  She said it was "an act of racism" and that there should be a way for families to report these incidents.  She said policies could help school administrators to remove teachers like this one.

Blumhagen
He said it seems to be a systemic issue and this action was unacceptable.  He questioned why the teacher waited two hours to call and called after the principal said not to. He said the Board needed to be committed to "open investigations" to know how the system failed a child so it can be fixed.

My response:  I have stated the teacher should not have called the police.  I agree that the district should be tracking incidents and should investigate them.  But I don't know if the candidates are being naive or disingenuous but there's this little thing called a union that likely would never support open investigations.  Nor would the district (not if they didn't want to be sued).  There need to be examinations of what could be done better but also the frank acknowledgment of reality of employee issues.

6) Who do you want to see appointed to District 7?

Muniz
Smith and Hersey.  (She had to be prompted to say why.)  She said that Smith had been shown to be present in the community and that Hersey has valuable experience in the classroom.

Mitchell - Emijah Smith for her years of contribution.  Mitchell then acknowledged that Smith was present at the back of the room and there was applause.

Blumhagen - Julie Van Arcken for her long-time service and understanding of the district and Brandon Hersey, as an African-American male who teaches.  (Blumhagen got booed for both choices.)

Rankin - She said she was both excited and frustrated because there were so many good candidates.  She said one of them could move into her house to represent her region.  (Editor's note: I don't know if that meant she wouldn't have run.)  She said Emijah Smith because she has an excellent track record of showing up.

Hampson - Emijah Smith because "she has given her whole heart to this district."  She has "no ego" and speaks "truth to power."

My response:  I thought this question odd because why ask about District 7 and not the other districts?  And, I wondered why only Smith was there until I asked an organizer who said they couldn't find contact info for Hersey and Van Arcken.  I can only say they didn't try very hard because it is easy to find. To me, it felt like a set-up for Smith.  And allowing booing at a forum was not good to hear.

7) Jobs of the future will be automated so are the trades a good idea and all the private school kids will take the tech jobs of the future.  How do kids compete?

Hampson
She stated that "currently Advanced Learning is not accessible by low-income or ELL" and is segregated.  She said all kids are gifts and have abilities to do jobs.  She said you don't have to be good at math and reading and science to get a job or be gifted.

Mitchell
There should be pathways for students to find success.  She said her work is all about pipelines for education.

Rankin
She said the arts are undervalued and that the district needs to "think outside the box."  She said more kids should have access to Advanced Learning and the marine science available at Garfield and the IB at RBHS.  She said the district should be intentional in this.  She said she wanted "options for more students, not more options for students who already have them."

Blumhagen
He referenced his background in engineering and said that it is about teamwork and problem solving and those skills are just as important as any.  He said technology is not going to be able to create "robot plumbers" and that indeed, many trades will be important in the future, not all will be automated.

Muniz
She stated there is a stigma around trades.  She also said if students want tech, there should be options.  She said the district is tracking students by the color of their skin and they should stop doing it.

My response: I am sad to see that the district isn't doing enough to let students know 1) what Blumhagen said which is that many trades will not be automated in the future and 2) that there are new trades in tech that don't require a college degree.

I don't know if Hampson doesn't know but the AL program is open to all.  The district has tried to make sure parents know of its existence and certainly could try new things to reach out to more parents. 

As for Rankin's remarks, well, that will be some heavy lift to make the specialty programs at high schools open for all. Is she suggesting set-aside seats? The district didn't do it when they said they would.  Creating more of these programs at more high schools?  Sure, with what money? The district barely covers the costs of the current IB programs.

It's very easy to say "this should happen" to an audience but the details of how you get there? You don't often hear any candidate go the Elizabeth Warren route of "I have a plan for that." It's disappointing.

Except for the District 7 question, it was refreshing to go to a candidate forum with so much energy and focus.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Blumhagen
He stated every student is different and to ask what success looks like to them. He also referenced that some students like to work with their hands and need to experience, early on, different kinds of learning activities. He said the trades need to be supported."

I am impressed that Blumhagen made this comment in relation to the question asked. It demonstrates to me he has a deep understanding of what leaders of education including those in higher education, workforce education and others are talking about in our country & state. It is super important that we have local representatives in K-12 that fully understand the impact of what he stated about supporting the trades. Many of trades are paying not only living wages, but very high wages in our booming economy. They do require skill & training and are a viable route to a great career. The 4 year college route, plus grad school, is not the only route to higher paying jobs. Sometimes jobs in the trades also exceed those jobs in income potential and job satisfaction as well. Apprenticeship programs need to be more supported. Many trade jobs will not and cannot be outsourced in our country.

LS

Anonymous said...

Why so negtive and dismissive towards SCPTSA? Is it because they show no interest on what you say? Hampson has never responded to your allegations because they are oh so petty. Slye has never mentioned you in any of her SPS comments and came here to make clear she would not engage.
For your information, self proclaimed "citizen reporter", SCPTSA has been working on #takebackpta since last year. I am sure you are aware of this but just in case here is the link
https://www.scptsa.org/takebackpta
I have no problema with you or anyone else expressing their opinion but you manipulating the info is getting old. Move on.
PS I choose to remain Anonymous because I can. Change the comment requirements on your blog so EVEREYONE can identify themselves and we will see what happens, Miss Westello.

Wow Lady

Melissa Westbrook said...

I am negative on the point that repeatedly comes up from SCPTSA about PTA fundraising. I was in PTSA and I still support it. But to rail against the fundraising when you are in leadership and could actually start the dialog (but don't) says something.

As for takebackPta, I rest my case. Clearly PTA is losing membership.

I don't care if anyone in SCPTSA mentions me; I don't know why they would.

Hampson has not responded because she knows what can be said about her remarks about my heritage. If she does it to me, what will she be thinking when parents come before her on the dais if she is elected? Is she going to just look at them as she did me and decide what race they are? Their backgrounds? Where they were raised? She's a rigid and judgmental person. (And I have a screenshot of her remarks so there's no doubt.)

There is nothing in the Comments requirements that stops anyone from printing their real name. Including you.

Anonymous said...

@Wow Lady Changing someone's name in your post's context is bullying behavior we should not be seeing from an adult. Westbrook is Melissa's surname, she is not "Miss Westello". Your comment is also sexist. You know better if you are also on this blog as an advocate for kids.

LS

NNW or bust! said...

Both Rankin and Hampson live in the Eckstein and Roosevelt assignment zone. Seattle is much bigger than that wealthy little NE neighborhood. I'd like to see more geographical diversity on the board.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NNW or bust, I'm confused. That can't be true because if Rankin lived in that assignment zone, she couldn't run in D1. You have to live in the district you represent. If you have solid knowledge otherwise, please contact the Board. Do not print anyone's address here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NNW, I got director districts mixed up with boundary areas; you are right. You could live in one director district but go to a middle/high school in another director district. But you are right, that's a very concentrated set of people for two different districts.

Anonymous said...

This news out of NYC will likely have a significant effect on the HCC debate here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/nyregion/gifted-programs-nyc-desegregation.html

"Desegregation Plan: Eliminate All Gifted Programs in New York
A group appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed seismic changes to the nation’s largest school system....

Gifted programs and screened schools “have become proxies for separating students who can and should have opportunities to learn together,” the panel, made up of several dozen education experts, wrote in the report.

Still, the so-called School Diversity Advisory Group acknowledged that the city would have to take pains to prevent middle-class families from fleeing the system.

If those students decamp to private schools or to the suburbs, “it will become even more difficult to create high-quality integrated schools,” in New York, the report said. The panel wrote that “high-achievement students deserve to be challenged,” but in different ways."

There's no doubt that something has gone wrong and something has to be done. But this advisory group, as with SCPTSA and the candidates in this forum, does not have an answer. They think that simply eliminating the classes or schools or cohorts will solve the problem. It won't. Even in NYC the experts agree that if middle class families flee the district because you eliminated programs that helped their kids, then integration will be even harder to achieve.

Ultimately you need to pour more money into the system so every child gets a high quality education. You need to show parents with privilege that they can get their kids' needs met without that privilege. Otherwise they will cling more tightly than ever to that privilege - and no amount of bullying or school board voting or other forms of pressure will change that basic reality. In order to desegregate and produce equity, you have to call people in and show them there's something for their kids too. A stubborn refusal to do that by the Hampson-Rankin crowd will simply make matters far, far worse without doing a thing for the kids furthest from educational justice.

NYC observer

Melissa Westbrook said...

NYC, I just read that article and was going to write about it tomorrow. I think it's huge.

And yes, if the district wants to serve every kid's needs in their neighborhood school, great, then do it. But if it's just an extra worksheet a day, that won't cut it for parents.

Also correct, if you have parents become discouraged or worse, flee the district, it will hurt all kids in the district.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in NY metro region and some of my family had been from NYC for multiple generations. It is very different than Seattle and the surrounding suburbs as well. Any school district comparison to Seattle should include the huge metro region and highly densely populated areas like Long Island etc, not just NYC.

I am in my fifties. Years ago hoards of my parents (children of immigrants) generation left the city to raise kids on Long Island. The better run schools were one important reason. Long Island still has really excellent schools, with over a hundred very small school districts. Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties are home to 125 school districts (below) containing a total of 656 public schools. Although many LI district students were mostly Jewish, S Italian, Greek, Puerto Rican, and N European ethnicities when I was growing up, they have become much more diverse racially and ethnically as newer generations of immigrants are moving out further from NYC to raise their children.

Brooklyn in contrast has 6 districts and 412 public schools and Queens has 7 districts with 276 public schools which belong to the New York City District etc. However NYC which includes the 5 boroughs is the largest school system in the United States.



Former NY

Anonymous said...

NY City is one of the most segregated districts in the country.

Like Seattle, the majority identifies as a liberal and votes Democrat.

Interesting how both have such unfair and segregated systems.

Unfortunately, both are ripe for radical change since the so-called progressive parents were willing to hold onto their privilege for dear life for so long.

Maybe if the "progressives" had taken the initiative to be more fair sooner, they wouldn't be in such shock at the wake-up call.

Get Real

Anonymous said...

These types of parents always threaten to "flee" when they don't get their way. It happens here on this blog whenever a topic of fairness is debated.

Get Real

D7 parent said...

What is being lost in all of this are the kids. Gifted (not simply high achieving) kids deserve an appropriate, challenging educational experience too. Lumping privileged, high achieving kids in with gifted kids is what got us in this HCC mess in the first place. High achieving kids don't need a cohort because they don't (usually) have the social emotional or behavioral challenges or asynchronies that often go hand in hand with giftedness.

Can we get real and work together on the issues in our district? Kids of color, especially Black children do need focus- we need to have curriculum that reflects the whole history and diversity of experience that exists in our country and we need to stop upholding the systems that, by design, do not serve everyone equally. SpED kids also need focus- too many parents still have to fight, and even sue, to get appropriate services and inclusion for their kids. The families of gifted and twice exceptional kids can’t advocate for a program that is research based and better meets the needs of their kids (not just pushing them 2yrs ahead) because if they do they are vilified- there needs to be more education about and understanding of neurodiversity in our community. Advanced learning opportunities need to be available to all kids in every school without gatekeeping and in a meaningful way (not simply more worksheets). All kids should be held to high standards and given the supports necessary to meet them.

The machinations, politics, and distractions keep families fighting for scraps and allow the district to add more bloat at JSEC and not to make meaningful, systemic changes that would more equitably and appropriately educate all kids.

Anonymous said...

Get Real, you are right for the most part. But the problem isn’t really that we haven’t “identified” enough poc for HCC or that the process is flawed as you claim. It’s pretty obvious that changing the gifted identification process as has already been done, will only create an even more segregated system of have and have-nots, of hope and hopeless, and of opportunity and deprivation. The problem is, and has always been, having an educational delivery system based on segregation. Twice exceptionality is another red herring. That is simply wealthy or privileged parents seeking a preferred social exclusive environment for their students who are unable to otherwise “qualify” for it. For them, average means disabled. Instead of deciding which students “deserve” an interesting education with customized challenges and other perks, let’s provide an interesting and challenging education that includes as many students as possible in a regular classroom. We should not be focused on how to find worthy minority students for HCC. We should be focusing on how to reduce the program, serve as many as possible in regular classrooms, and reduce disproportionality everywhere.

More Real

Anonymous said...

I think many parents would keep their kids in neighborhood schools if their kids needs were being met. Where I grew up, my gifted school program was blown up by integration and mandatory busing even though the gifted middle school I attended was integrated already because it drew kids from all over the city. My neighborhood elementary school (all regular schools were K-8 while the gifted program was 5-8 and 9-12) was all white. The gifted middle school I went to was the most diverse school I had ever attended. My parents sent me to a private high school because the gifted high school that was already integrated was eliminated in favor of mandatory busing. Almost every single kid from my 8th grade gifted class that could, went to a private high school to get the advanced education they were used to. I went from a diverse middle school to an all white private high school. If SPS doesn't offer real advanced classes in neighborhood schools and they break up HCC too, you expect to see many leave seeking a better education for their kids.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

These types of parents always threaten to "flee" when they don't get their way. It happens here on this blog whenever a topic of fairness is debated."

Let's go to the first sentence. No one is threatening; what is being stated are reasons that the population in SPS might change if there were changes to AL and parents perceived the new solution is not viable for their child.

As to the second sentence, I don't think there is an HCC parent who thinks the program is fair. As you have seen from the Thurgood Marshall example, they are trying, on an individual school basis to make it better. (I did have to smile at some recent public disclosure emails that showed parents there trying to figure out how to poach kids of color that qualified for HCC from other schools in the north end.)

But the issue I think is muddied because of what I have finally learned - it's not about having more kids of color in the program - it's about ending the program. Apparently, there is a wide swath of parents, teachers and principals who do not like separation of students for any reason (except for a few specialty classes like AP).

So you could change a lot about bringing more diversity into the program but it wouldn't matter to many.

But I've said it before -parents get to decide what is best for their child. We all know this with our own kids. What needs considering is, if you are a public school parent, does that/should that extend to other students in the district?

I note that this thread is about school board candidates so please get back to that; I will be starting a gifted programming thread soon.

Anonymous said...

Yes, most parents would absolutely prefer kids to get what they need in the neighborhood school. Our system is underfunded and so few kids anywhere in the city get what they need. But the distance between what kids get and what they need is greater in schools with large populations of kids of color. So the answer isn't to take from one set of kids and give to another - the "rob Peter to pay Paul" approach of SCPTSA. The answer is to go after the structural inequity and austerity mindset that left us with underfunded schools in the first place.

Also, More Real's comments are disturbingly ableist and should be deleted for that reason.

Unreal

Melissa Westbrook said...

Unreal, I'm not going to delete that comment but let's call it out.

More Real, you have an opinion and you think that 2E kids don't exist. They do and both government and research recognize this. You can continue to be ignorant and ableism or get educated.

Anonymous said...

More Real,

It seems like you don’t even care to understand the basics of disability in particular how it relates to children.

Disability, like humans in general, doesn’t come parceled out in neat little packages of high vs. low capabilities.

We have a range of strengths and weaknesses, and even within those a range of ability to DEMONSTRATE knowledge.

Knowing isn’t the same as showing.

One example: a child who can TELL a vivid, detailed story may have limited skills to demonstrate that ability in WRITING.

Implying that someone with a disability should be omitted from gifted programming, because they need accommodations is sickening.

You seem to think disability and intelligence are diametrically opposed and any parents are gaming the system who think otherwise.

Those low expectations are why the passage of civil rights laws guaranteeing students with disabilities a free public education only happened relatively recently, 44 years ago.

The worst part is you’re a racial equity advocate yet see zero conflict in discriminating against disability.

Just like our strategic plan.

Plan B


Anonymous said...

Related to AL, the Social Equity Educators (SEE) listed the following as part of their "Five Demands":

Detracking

Every child is gifted. Not every child is born into privilege. Academic tracking in Seattle Public Schools reproduces economic and educational privilege, reinforces academic stereotypes, and creates school cultures of internal racial and class segregation. Our district has publicly committed itself to ending the opportunity gap, but this will never happen until tracking is eliminated.

Why? When students are labeled as “high achievers” or “gifted and talented,” and class rosters sort children into these categories, a mindset accepting the “truth” of academic hierarchy is established. As far back as 1988, the National Education Association opposed tracking: “the use of discriminatory academic tracking based on economic status, ethnicity, race, or gender must be eliminated in all public school settings. The Association urges its affiliates to oppose these practices.”

SEE demands that SPS begin a conversation among all stakeholders with the goal of eliminating academic tracking in Seattle Public Schools. If all five of these demands were met, only then could we begin to have a real conversation about equity in all our schools.

-Elaine Harger, Washington Middle School


So, yes, MW, the goal is an end to the HCC, which SEE considers tracking. Several school board candidates would agree. Just waiting for the recommendations from the Task Force...

long timer

Anonymous said...

@ long timer

But they cannot end services for those with super high IQ's in the top 2% as the state policies mandate services for those kids. In addition, across the country there is also strong research by education experts that demonstrates these kids do need something different.

Also, so what about AP and IB classes? Likely those high school classes are also likely skewed by income and racial demographics as well. Is anyone outraged? It is also "tracking", but self selected. Is that any different from HCC really?

I don't agree with a one size fits all public education. There should be advanced classes or opportunities open to all kids, as well as coursework designed for kids with super high IQ's. Middle school should offer honors classes open to all kids.

Also focus on multiple pathways for success for kids, not just advanced classes. Focus on all kids doing well, stay in school and obtain viable living wage jobs after high school. That should be the goals.

LK

Really Real said...

The Social Equity Group is supporting Liza Rankin. Her desire to eliminate advanced learning pathways are well documented. Rankin has been endorsed by DeWolf and Geary. They both tried to eliminate advanced learning pathways.

The district has been breaking advanced learning opportunities for years. They have destroyed Spectrum and are moving onto high school.

If students truly want advanced learning, they need pathways. Running start is another option that takes funding out of schools.

Anonymous said...

HiCap funding doesn't dictate HOW districts deliver HC services - much is left to individual districts. SPS can check the box for differentiation or some similar option and call it a day. Also, state funding is based on a fixed % of enrollment, but that does not determine the district cutoffs for identification. Individual districts determine how broadly or narrowly they define HC, whether it be 10th PCTL, 5th PCTL, or whatever.

long timer

Anonymous said...

@long timer I don't know about that as I had read something that SPS for example cannot just offer running start or AP classes at all high schools. Olympia mandates they must have pathways of some sort which is one reason why the IBX program is still around and not just regular IB.

LK

NNW or bust! said...

Liza Rankin has been active for years in the Wedgwood PTA and Chandra Hampson has been active for years in the Sandpoint PTA. Both schools are assigned to Eckstein Middle School and then Roosevelt High School, home of the $2000 bear costume.

That would be like trading in Pinkham and Geary and getting 2 GEARYs! No one needs 2 Gearys when we already have DeWolf.

I'm hoping to see more geographical variety on the board than that.

Anonymous said...

Half of Wedgwood Elementary will go to Hale, not Roosevelt. Anyone north of 85th that goes to Wedgwood will go to Eckstein for Middle School and then Nathan Hale for High School.

HP

Anonymous said...

It’s presumptuous to assume anyone’s knowledge or experience with disability issues because you disagree with their position. It’s a fact, there is no 2E diagnosis in the DSM V, DSM IV, or any ICD. Why stop at 2E, surely there are 3E or 20E students too? What about them?Students with disabilities should get every opportunity to have inclusive, individualized gifted services, like everyone else. They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or prove anything to get whatever they need to reach high levels. Except that isn’t what they want. They want special qualifying criteria, as they slam the door shut on everyone else. It’s odd that people who are strong advocates for inclusion, also are perfectly happy excluding others. You would think that detracking efforts would be the perfect thing for 2E proponents. The reality is they seek to maintain special privileges.

More Real

Melissa Westbrook said...

More Real, you need to dial that back because I do not allow demean of children.

Anonymous said...

detracking doesn't work for any kids able to work two grades above same age peers. 2e are even more responsive to the cohort support and rigorous assignments. sps does a terrible job identifying 2e students as well as ell and ses students. responding to the trolls cuz facts matter.

no caps