Tuesday Open Thread

Update:  Roosevelt High's Nevin Harrison is in the news - from NBC Sports:
Nevin Harrison, a 17-year-old from Seattle, became the first American to earn a world championships medal in a sprint canoe event, and it happened to be gold, surprising herself in the 200m in Szeged, Hungary, on Saturday.

Harrison joined Greg Barton as the only Americans to win an individual world title in sprint canoe or kayak. No U.S. woman has earned Olympic gold in any kayak event.

Women’s canoe debuts at the Tokyo Games. If Harrison can repeat the feat in Tokyo next year, she will become the youngest woman to earn Olympic canoe or kayak gold, breaking the record of legendary German Birgit Fischer-Schmidt, whom some consider the greatest female Olympian in history across all sports with 12 medals and eight golds.
Via Twitter from Dick's:

Don’t forget #RoundUP for charity August 26-29th at our Wallingford location! Bring your friends and your family and "round up" the bill. All proceeds will be donated to the newly re-opened Lincoln High School!   

The Seattle Pre-K program is advertising for more students - right now, they have about 80 spots open citywide.  Seems odd that they aren't full given their expansion plans.

From Harvard's The Crimson: Incoming Harvard Freshman Deported After Visa Revoked
U.S. officials deported Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Tyre, Lebanon, Friday night shortly after he arrived at Boston Logan International Airport. Before canceling Ajjawi’s visa, immigration officers subjected him to hours of questioning — at one point leaving to search his phone and computer — according to a written statement by Ajjawi.

Ajjawi wrote that he told the officer he had not made any political posts and that he should not be held responsible for others’ posts.
“I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn't like, [s]hare or comment on them and told her that I shouldn't be held responsible for what others post,” he wrote. “I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics.”

University officials are currently working to resolve the matter before classes begin on Sept. 3, University spokesperson Jonathan L. Swain wrote in an email.
What is concerning here is what if this kind of heavy-handed treatment starts trickling down?  Like to scholarships or college admissions?  If your student "likes" or reposts, is that grounds to kick them out of a school or rescind their enrollment? 

Via Twitter from Diane Ravitch:
How long can standardized testing fail to do anything but enrich testing corporations without folks demanding change?

I note that several candidates for school board have indeed state their unhappiness with standardized testing.  I have been on the record against it as well.  But what would it take to change it, given the feds could punish districts that have high opt-out rates?  And what would replace it so parents and taxpayers know how students are doing?

Also on Twitter is this story about a Native American-focused charter school in Oklahoma; I saw it because the Washington State Charter Schools Association retweeted it.  I did hear that Superintendent Juneau had suggested this to the embattled UNEA group several months ago.  But a charter school is a heavy, heavy lift in this state.  

I'll have a thread on charter schools soon; apparently one of the newer ones here - Willow - is struggling to keep going. 

As well, there is a trend of charter schools being more segregated than public school districts.  The KIPP chain has mostly African-American students and many charter schools in LA are mainly Hispanic.  And parents like it because they feel more comfortable with their children being in schools where the students and parents look like them.  Good thing or bad thing?

One irony for UNEA with the coming revamping of Advanced Learning; I wonder if Cascadia was no longer an HCC school, would the district move Licton Springs K-8 there? (On the premise that HCC services would be provided in every classroom in every school in the district.)

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Enjoyed this article on education theory in Forbes...


Anonymous said…
This from education prof Pedro Noguera on advanced learning is worth reading...


"Instead of eliminating gifted programs NY City should expand them. All kids deserve access to a challenging education. Too often we confuse privilege w giftedness. NY has a chance to change this."

Sure are a lot of white women arguing against him though. Not a good look for them.

Noguera Student
Anonymous said…
From the NYT comments, related to the report on the plan to eliminate gifted programs in NYC schools:

"I've read this panel’s report. Comprised solely of diversity advocates (the panel excludes anyone concerned with gifted or accelerated education), they identify real problems with the current system, yet don’t even try to think about the needs of higher achievers, or solutions that would balance the two. Instead, they advocate a system entirely comprised of “non-selective schools”, citing a single study [“footnote 14”] of a single school district that did this successfully. They don’t mention that this poorly conducted study involved a tiny, rich, non-diverse (78% white) school district that poured enormous resources into supplemental classes to help lower performers, didn’t even measure the dropout and attrition rates, and supposedly didn’t ultimately have students with behavior problems. They also don’t acknowledge the impossibility of effectively teaching to more than two ability levels per class. There are so many potential actions that might seek to increase classroom diversity while helping high achievers. They merit an “F” for this poor excuse for an analysis."

deja vu
Anonymous said…

Giving up on blogging all things SPS...Right, what BS.

Habitual BS-er
Noguera Student, I'm not seeing that at his Twitter feed. I see mostly women of color. Is there another thread?
Anonymous said…
College Board Drops Its 'Adversity Score' For Each Student After Backlash

The College Board is dropping its plan to give SAT-takers a single score that captures a student's economic hardship. The change comes after blowback from university officials and parents of those taking the college admissions exam.

Announced in May, the "adversity score" was intended to assess the kind of neighborhood the student came from, including factors such as the portion of teens receiving free or reduced lunch, the level of crime and average educational attainment.

In an interview with NPR, College Board CEO David Coleman said that boiling all of that complex information down to one number was problematic and that the company is now reversing its decision.

Some people worried that the adversity score would affect SAT scores, when that was never the case, Coleman said.

"The idea of a single score was confusing because it seemed that all of a sudden the College Board was trying to score adversity. That's not the College Board's mission," Coleman said. "The College Board scores achievement, not adversity."

And so the College Board is launching a tool called Landscape, which will provide admissions counselors with information about a student's background, like average neighborhood income and crime rates, but Coleman said the data points will not be given a score.

The College Board is letting college officials do their own analysis from the government information it provides alongside SAT scores.

"We'll leave the interpretation to the admission's officer," Coleman said. "In other words, we're leaving a lot more room for judgment."

The College Board initially conceived of the idea of providing schools with a student's background information at the request of colleges and universities in an attempt to view a student's objective SAT results in the context of the conditions under which the student lives and learns, Coleman said. The thinking, he said, was that if a student overcame economic or other challenges to earn a certain SAT score, that information should be known by decision-makers.

"The founding mission of the College Board is, it's not about your connections, it's not about who you know," Coleman said. "It's about what you've done."

The adversity score did not account for a student's race, but schools that used the tool reported that the socioeconomic data helped boost nonwhite enrollment.

Revising the approach but keeping the contextual background information will hopefully appease the college counselors and parents who were upset over the adversity score, Coleman said.

"The first move was to admit," he said, "that summing it up in a single score was a mistake, so we've stopped that."

Pushback against the initial score included the criticism that how the information was calculated, along with what each student's score was, remained unavailable to the students and their families. Now, Coleman said, that will change.

"Within a year, we'll be able for every family and student, on their College Board account, to show them their neighborhood and school information transparently," he said.

Anonymous said…
@ Noguera student, I'm not sure those comments say what you think they say. There are only 9 comments at this point, and I don't see "a lot of white women arguing against him."

Trying to mislead people like you seem to be doing isn't a good look for you.

Also, while I think we all agree with him that "all kids deserve access to a challenging education," it's important to realize that what's challenging to one student is not necessarily challenging to another.


Anonymous said…
Re - “ students who are furthest from educational justice”

It’s painful to consider little kids who don’t get a fair shake: it’s outrageous & unacceptable and requires urgent remedy. However, what is the solution? More likely, what are the solutions? I don’t believe one size fits all. It’s complicated and nuanced. Hysteria & dogma is non-productive & ends up penalizing the very kids who need support.

Parents are always going to focus on nurturing their own children, so the perception that academics are getting worse will drive families to exits. And like health insurance, we need everybody to buy into 1 system in order for the system to work for everybody.

Drop-ceiling equity reinforces the low expectations that fail to challenge young people to developmentally mature. Because reality is that everything is a competition, & kids are going to have to hustle, & demonstrate persistence, resilience, & moxie to realize their dreams. Doesn’t matter if they want to be an artist or a carpenter, a banker or a chef, they are going to need to compete & stand out in a positive way to succeed.

At the end of the day, all of these SPS kids are going to be 18-year-olds who are going to be interviewing for internships or jobs at IBM or Hyatt and they’re going to need to present themselves well, be articulate, and share about their own effectiveness & how they can contribute as a team member.

If kids do not demonstrate prosocial behavior in schools, and they’re never corrected because that might trigger some kind of accusations of racism or disproportionate discipline, who’s going to suffer the most? Clearly, the child who doesn’t get that feedback about expectations, who is buffered from the consequences of his actions.

That’s why social emotional learning is so critical, especially for students of color who face blatant or unintentional alienation. Being frustrated &angry is normal and natural, especially if you’re on the receiving end of unremitting institutionalized racism, but to move past those emotions to realize dreams is essential. Getting stuck in the frustration and anger or not growing a tool kit to manage emotions is going to cause further damage.

Solutions need to come from all corners, and everyone bears responsibility to make it better, but drop ceiling equity isn’t a solution and is turning off those who would be allies. So many blog comments talk about evidence-based best practices, and it’s very clear they haven’t done any real reading on the subject matter, because if they had they would see that acceleration and telescoping and self-containment are best practices.

The median percentile for 8th grade math at Eckstein is 90th percentile. You can take apart Eckstein, but that’s not going to do his damn thing for a food-insecure middle schooler living in section 8 housing in south Seattle with a single parent who works 3 minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet.

As I said, I believe there are multiple solutions that require intention from all stakeholders, but taking something away from kids who are doing OK is never going to help kids who aren’t. Look at WMS for that. Did destroying a phenomenal music program do anything for the kids living in economically marginalized circumstances?

Go High
Anonymous said…
Sociology provides an excellent resource in terms of reading to think about approaching the challenges in public education and inequity.

In The Dignity of Working Men, I identified census tracks in the Parisian and New York suburbs with large numbers of working-class people. I define ‘working-class’ as low-status white collar workers, such as people who work in sales and blue-collar workers.

I interviewed randomly-selected people in their homes and elsewhere. I asked them questions designed to discover what criteria they used to evaluate others. I would systematically cull the criteria and then compared the criteria used by the majority group (white workers) with the criteria used by the most stigmatized groups in each country—North-African immigrants in France, and African-Americans in the United States.

There were clear differences in how different groups defined morality. For instance, white workers in the States emphasized the most important dimension of morality was the “disciplined self”; that is, paying your bills and working hard. African-Americans, meanwhile, stressed the “caring self,” which has to do with solidarity and sympathy for other human beings and respect for where they come from.

Go High
Go High, is the source, "The Dignity of Working Men?" I'd like to read this.
Anonymous said…
Sociologist/author of The Dignity of Working Men is Michèle Lamont, Harvard Professor, winner of the 2017 Erasmus Prize

That book is not specifically about education, but the sociology discipline can provide context for cultural norms, and thus is a compelling source of insight to apply to the intractable problem in public K-12 education of African American and Hispanic students not performing as well as White or Asian peers.

Also, see Engines of Anxiety: Rankings, Reputation, and Accountability by Michael Sauder & Wendy Espeland.
“This is a very important book. It connects the movement toward growing quantification of performance with growing inequality.

The authors take as their point of departure the publication of law school rankings by U S News and World Report. They show that once these rankings started to be published, many law schools began adjusting their programs to improve their standing in the very dimensions that were being measured. For instance, they would game who they would offer admission to first, so that they could have better statistics on admissions test scores. The authors do lot of interviews with deans and faculty to understand how the quantification of performance perverts the mission of these schools. That is fed by came from the diffusion of performance standards.

Espeland and Sauder frame the book as a contribution to our understanding of about a broader phenomenon—what social scientists call ‘the audit society.’ Individuals and institutions are increasingly quantifying performance with a lot of the perverse and unintended consequences. The movement toward the audit society has been associated with the neo-liberalism, how institutions are using market mechanism to maximize efficacy and outcomes.

Q: You’ve been pointing out that quantitative evaluation can have perverse effects for decades.

Quantitative tools have a flattening effect. For instance, in the United States, teenagers considering college enter their grade point average and test scores into a program called Naviance. The program will suggest what kind of university they should be applying to—which ones are their reach and safety schools.

Naviance creates the sense among teenagers that there is one objective universal hierarchy, and it creates more competition as everyone can be ranked on a single set of standards. If this tool did not exist, it would be easier for applicants to understand that different schools have different missions, and meet the needs of different students. It’s an example of how quantification has perverse effects once institutionalized.”

Go High
Anonymous said…
Bravo Go High, well said. Count us as one of those “alienated” allies who will likely exit next year. We do not feel our family is valued nor our child’s well-being and education is taken seriously by SPS.

For those interested in seeing how another district is handling the equity issue look no further than Shoreline. The difference in tone and commitment to ALL students is striking.

NW Parent
NW Parent, I just saw a Facebook comment about how well Shoreline does. Hmmm.
Yes, Pedro! said…
Pedro Noguera's statement is on his Twitter feed:


"Instead of eliminating gifted programs NY City should expand them. All kids deserve access to a challenging education. Too often we confuse privilege w giftedness. NY has a chance to change this."

He couldn't be more right.
Anonymous said…
All schools need rigor for HC, Spectrum and all students. If a child needs something they cannot get at locally, there needs to be a program for them. But G&T programs like ours and the one in NYC are easily gamed by the knowledgeable, thinking it’s a leg up on the competition. SPS seems to be moving in the direction of creating opportunity at all schools and in my experience, with the kids that I know, regular schools have delivered. The cohort is divisive and for most kids unnecessary.

I actually think it hurts kids’ colllege prospects as colleges expect a kid in HCC to get 3.9 gpa just like a kid at a regular HS, yet many cohorted kids can’t seem to manage to do that, for whatever reason. UW and other schools look favorably on students who can get the 3.9 without having to sequester themselves from the non-gifted.

Kids studying for gifted program entrance at 4 years old is not a good thing, but that is what is happening in NY and probably here as well.

Anonymous said…
Yes, because while some kids are shorter/taller, some are faster/slower runners, some are better/worse athletes, some are better/worse musicians, some are/aren't natural artists, some prefer music to sports, etc., all are obviously the same when it comes to academic abilities, and thus all kids need access to gifted programs? That makes no sense.

NOTE: The above quote by Noguera is conflating two completely different things. "A challenging education" and "gifted programs" are NOT the same thing. For some students, a grade-level education is challenging enough (as it should be, since grade-level curricula should be designed to allow for challenge and growth). For others, an education even two years above grade-level may not offer challenge. If the grade-level materials and expectations have been lowered too much over the years, then simply raise them. If more people need access to beyond-grade-level educations, find them and serve them. At the same time, if already-above-grade-level students also need more challenging work, provide that, too. We need to meet students where they are. And if we're really that concerned about perpetuating the status quo, we need to devote more resources and more intensive services to those early ages, to help prevent/minimize the disparities before our educational system is practically powerless to overcome them.

I will also note that the reverse of what he said is also often true, and people often mistake giftedness for privilege.

all types
Anonymous said…
@ JJ, what high school is your kid at that they are "sequestered" from the "non-gifted" to the point that their GPA suffers in comparison to others at the school? Do you mean that they chose to take more AP classes than they can handle? Aren't AP classes graded on a 5.0 scale? There also isn't an HCC program in high school, so I'm not sure what you're even talking about. HC-identified students are all at "regular" schools. Your line that "UW and other schools look favorably on students who can get the 3.9 without having to sequester themselves from the non-gifted" is pure BS.

And I don't know which "regular" schools you think have "delivered," but that's certainly not the experience of many. Maybe you were at a school with a high percentage of AL-qualified, or at least above-average performing, students. Surely you can understand that your own experience might not be representative of the district overall, right?

all types
Anonymous said…
jj is a anti hcc troll who doesnt let facts get in the way of his post and can't choose a moniker for fear he will be ignored. he also post about mw as if he has taken up residence in her head. which clearly he has not.

no caps

Anonymous said…
Right no caps, lump everyone who disagrees with you into a single person with the hopes of dismissing them once and for all. The party is ending, albeit slowly. Wake up and smell the coffee. It’s not because of one person named JJ. It’s because we can’t continue to withhold privilege. Simple minded, linear approaches to academic ability doesn’t serve anyone. All types, sure all kids have different academic aptitudes but that doesn’t mean we have to segregate them into privileged vs marginalized groups. And it doesn’t mean our way of determining academic or cognitive ability is anything close to accurate. Unlike sports, knowledge isn’t a competition. You don’t need to sit next to a genius to use your own brain. Einstein didn’t discover anything because he was in a gifted class or played varsity. Indeed, gaming the gifted admissions is a thing. And gifted gaming the GPAs for college admissions is also a real thing. Bumping a high school class to 5 points on a 4 point scale is the latest gifted giveaway. Not to worry though. The colleges are into that scam. That’s why we see students with 4.0 or close, not making it to lots of colleges like UW. Being a straight B student on AP classes is pretty ho hum even if you have a 4.0.

Reality Check
Anonymous said…
GHS works on a level 4 point GPA for all of its classes. It has an additional .5 added to honors classes and AP for class rank. I don't believe it releases the class rank though.

No reality check probably not lumpy all posters into one category. But I would say it's less than a handful even though they represent a lot of the post and monikers. Tone and language seems to point to at least two posters (perhaps husband and wife?) But not many more than that. The gist of it is that facts don't matter. Slanderish language is the norm. Prestiges classes are where? Ha.

Anonymous said…
GHS does not use weighted GPA for college transcripts. Don't think any SPS high school does this.

Anonymous said…
Yeah. I recall the .5 rule being discussed a few years ago. It does make sense but I am pretty sure GHS celebrates anyone who had a 4.0 last year regardless if those grades were in electives or honors/AP classes.

But again, why focus on the facts if you can make s*** up to smear and denigrate students and their families.

Barn Fire said…
There is a conversation on SPS Community Discussion A district employee and Liza Rankin seem to want to burn down advanced learning.

Individuals need to realize that people try to get their students into HCC because advanced learning opportunities have been destroyed.

The same people that want their children in HCC understand that regular classrooms are not meeting the needs of their children. A single teacher can not effectively differentiate. The teacher teaches to the middle. Destroy advanced learning and families will leave.
Anonymous said…
Ingraham gives 5 points for its IB classes. And I can tell you I am not the spouse of JJ nor do I have any knowledge of them. I do not know Liza Rankin nor anyone associated with her, inside or outside the district. As an SPS employee, I assure you, overwhelmingly staff does not support parental gifted assessment, nor parental assessment of need for special gifted programming, nor special outside admission testing and prep. Most staff support a vast reduction in special gifted programs and recognize them as highly discriminatory. Believe what you want.

Reality Check
ST Reports said…

Dahlia Bazzaz reports:

Another raise is probably on the horizon for the superintendent. Next board meeting, there will be a proposal to bump her salary to $300,900. It's a $6k raise, but she just got a $15k bonus.

It's part of a 2% inflationary increase in salary that the state provides funding for

Anonymous said…
A battle over California charter schools ends — for now — with a deal in Sacramento
By TARYN LUNA AUG. 28 2019
Warring factions of California’s K-12 education system have reached an agreement on legislation that would place new restrictions on charter schools and pause a long-standing battle at the state Capitol between politically powerful teachers unions and deep-pocketed charter advocates.
The deal, announced Wednesday, gives public school districts more authority to reject petitions for new charter campuses, phases in stricter credentialing requirements for charter school teachers and places a two-year moratorium on new virtual charter schools. The accord marks a rare compromise between groups that have poured millions into local and statewide campaigns to gain leverage in a fight over public education dollars.

Aides to Gov. Gavin Newsom held separate meetings with each side and acted as an intermediary in intense negotiations over Assembly Bill 1505 that they said began in late spring. The governor, who was publicly optimistic about striking an agreement ahead of a looming legislative deadline, said talks continued throughout the weekend and late into the night this week.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this, and all that matters to me is the result,” Newsom told reporters Tuesday. “If we can pull something off, it’s a significant thing and it’s not easy. A lot of people have strong opinions on both sides.”

The agreement could allow the Newsom administration to move past a complex political issue that has splintered the Capitol and threatened to dominate the education policy debate during his tenure.

Newsom’s office said the bill, the biggest revision of state charter school law in more than 25 years, settles critical points of contention between charters and traditional public schools and lays a foundation for the groups to work together on efforts that are in the best interest of children. Some education advocates are hopeful that charter backers and teachers unions will team up on 2020 ballot measures to increase school funding, instead of fighting over reform.

Charter schools in California are publicly funded and independently operated. Originally authorized in 1992 legislation to promote educational innovation, charter schools have evolved from an experiment to a system that enrolls more than 600,000 students across the state. California ties education funding to enrollment, and charters have often been pitted against traditional neighborhood schools in a competition for students.

Teachers unions and reform advocates have accused charter schools of draining the financial resources of local districts that might already be strapped and have argued that the state gives districts little say when it comes to approving new schools. Critics have also called for more accountability for charter operations and performance.

State law currently requires a school district to approve any new charters that meet basic requirements. Charter school proponents can appeal denials to a county board of education and then the State Board of Education, an entity whose members are appointed by the governor and tended to side with new charters under former Gov. Jerry Brown.

The new agreement provides some notable wins to teachers unions, which negotiated the deal with a labor coalition that included the California Teachers Assn., California Federation of Teachers, California Labor Federation and California School Employees Assn.

“After months of honest and difficult conversations, we have made significant progress on behalf of our students,” the labor coalition said in a statement. “We believe the measure California lawmakers will vote on will lead to a more equitable learning environment for students in California’s neighborhood public schools.”

Under the bill, local school boards would be allowed to reject new charter petitions based on the school’s potential fiscal effects on the district and whether the charter seeks to offer programs that the district already provides, according to the governor’s office.

Anonymous said…
The deal would require all new charter school teachers to hold the same credentials as traditional public schools next year and phase in requirements for existing teachers over five years, the governor’s office said.

The proposal would also eliminate the state board’s role as a chartering authority, allowing it only to weigh appeals to determine whether a school district abused its discretion in denying the petition.

Under existing law, the agency that grants a petition allowing a charter to operate is often responsible for providing oversight of that school regardless of where its campus is located — the Board of Education in Sacramento has, in some instances, overseen charter schools as far away as Los Angeles and San Diego.

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), a former high school teacher who introduced Assembly Bill 1505 this year, criticized the system in a July hearing.

“Local school boards and administrators know their districts and students best and should have the ability to determine which charters are best for their students,” O’Donnell said.

The California Charter Schools Assn. argued that earlier versions of the bill gave too much discretion to local school districts to block new charters without a valid reason. They previously said that Assembly Bill 1505, coupled with other legislative proposals, would effectively implement a moratorium on new public charter schools.

In a concession described as a bonus for charters by people involved in the deal, the legislation would allow county boards of education to retain their role in reviewing appeals for denied charter petitions. The two-year moratorium on virtual and other non-classroom-based charter schools also falls short of calls by unions for a statewide freeze on all new charters.

“We are removing our opposition, and we are certainly doing our part to inform the Legislature that we think this is a balanced resolution to a long-standing debate between charter schools and school districts that affirms the role for high-performing charter schools in California,” said Carlos Marquez, senior vice president of government affairs at the California Charter Schools Assn.

Additional provisions of the agreement would require charter schools to meet the same performance standards as traditional public schools, the governor’s office said. The law would build on legislation passed this year to ensure charters reflect the demographics of special education students, English language learners and other groups in the communities in which they are located, according to the governor’s office.

“This agreement focuses on the needs of our students,” Newsom said in a statement with other state leaders. “It increases accountability for all charter schools, allows high-quality charter schools to thrive, and ensures that the fiscal and community impacts of charter schools on school districts are carefully considered.”

This is the second time Newsom has intervened in the legislative process to help pass new restrictions on charter schools after wealthy charter advocates opposed him in the governor’s race.

Less than two months after assuming office, the governor followed through on a campaign promise and signed a law requiring charters to meet similar transparency standards as traditional public schools. Newsom denied suggestions that the proposal was a form of political payback for charter advocates spending $23 million to back former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Newsom’s Democratic opponent last year. The California Charter Schools Assn. supported the final iteration of the bill.

Newsom’s approach marks a shift from those of Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who supported charters and vetoed similar transparency bills in previous years.
Anonymous said…
And this is exactly why I vote no on every single levy.

At this point, the “sup” is a position of nothing more than a obstructionist figurehead. An empty chair over the last six years probably would’ve been more beneficial to students than having Banda/Nyland/Juneau. I am NOT being rhetorical.

I remember the board giving Nyland more money: quite simply, these people are not minding their fiscal fiduciary responsibilities (which a polite attempt to refrain from calling them idiots). He was already retired, and just clocking in hours to soak up extra dough to pad his retirement. Which he did. Good for him. And Banda? He did NOTHING. He vacuumed money out of our budget for himself, then took off when he realized he could make bank going back down to California because of the pension system structure. Now the current sup? Shades of Goodloe-Johnson: Juneau is dictatorial and holds proven educational strategies with total contempt, it’s all about test scores for her, but she refuses to deploy tools that can actually help kids learn & therefore improve their learning. Juneau took a take-no-prisoners approach to ramming through Amplify: make no mistake, the corporate ed reformers are going to make sure she does well in the predictable 2 to 3 years when she exits Seattle for greener pastures. So predictable.

If we’re cutting our budget by 20%, I would slash it her contract, at the first possible opportunity, if she didn’t like it, she could walk.

That $6000? I’d rather give it to principle of a high free and reduced lunch school and let them choose how to deploy it, whether it’s a reading tutor, recess monitor, or more counselor FTE, that would be a far better for kids.

But anyway, as long as educational levees keep passing automatically every three years, the school district will keep spending money like drunken trust fund teenagers with no concept of return on investment. The money we fork over to them is supposed to nurture kids and help them grow to be their best selves. Instead, it feeds bureaucracy and forces teachers into impossible situations and leaves principles nearly powerless to do right by their communities.


Anonymous said…
SPS calculates its GPAs as "unweighted," but transcripts will often ask for weights--and can recalculate GPAs based on weights (AKA "quality points" in SPS lingo). So while on the surface a 4.0 in basic classes looks as good as a 4.0 in advanced classes, colleges will often treat them differently. Additionally, calculation of class rank--which many colleges also want--does factor in those quality points, so a 4.0 in easier classes can put you lower in rank than those who got lower grades in more challenging classes.

all types
Anonymous said…
@ Reality Check, nobody said our system of determining cognitive ability is accurate. We all know it isn't. But this idea that we're separating kids into two groups--privileged vs. marginalized--is absurd. There's a huge middle ground, AND you're conflating giftedness and privilege. Why are you so fixated on the small population that has demonstrated its readiness for more advanced work than our typical classrooms are willing and/or able to provide? If our schools and teachers can't/won't do the hard work of extreme differentiation--which they have shown time and time again they can't/won't, then maybe separating kids by ability level and/or performance actually is the best we can do.

I love your frequent line that "you don’t need to sit next to a genius to use your own brain." There's a lot to unpack there. I think you intended to mean that an HC-identified student doesn't need to be in an HCC cohort, because they can just learn on their own! While true to some extent, the reality is that HC students forced to sit in classes operating way below their academic level end up spending a lot of their time bored as the teacher covers things they already know--without the opportunity to "use their own brain" because they need to pay attention to the teacher. Then they also end up doing a bunch of homework that is essentially "busy work," because that's what the teacher assigned. If your premise is that these kids should do regular school first and then do their actual learning as an extracurricular activity, I find that unacceptable. For one, it teaches them to hate school. Two, it denies them the opportunity to learn how to fail, to be challenged in class. Three, it teaches them that their teachers (and the community) don't give a $#!* about them. And four, it teaches them to resent average students who are holding them back and making their school experience miserable. They may not need to sit next to a genius in class to use their own brains on their free time, but they can certainly see that sitting next to students who are not at their academic or intellectual level is negatively impacting their class time. I don't think that teaches the message we want--and it also makes these students feel isolated and different (which they often are).

The other interesting thing about your catchy little comment is that it actually goes both ways. If true that "you don’t need to sit next to a genius to use your own brain," why do you insist that we need to undo HCC and bring HC students back into regular classrooms so that regular students can benefit from having them around? Are you saying that HC don't need other HC students around because they can just figure out how to school themselves on the side, whereas regular students do need HC students around because they do need to sit next because otherwise they can't use their own brains?

all types
Anonymous said…
@ Reality Check, you're hilarious. On one hand you argue that the 5-point system for advanced classes is a giveaway to the gifted, then you talk about how HC students who end up with 4.0 GPAs after a lot of Bs in AP classes don't look so good to colleges. Uh, yeah, that's the way it's supposed to work--and it illustrates precisely why it's NOT a "gifted giveaway. You have to actually do well in those classes to get the weighted GPA/rank benefit! That's hardly a giveaway. Getting rid of such a system would be the giveaway, benefitting those who opted to take the easier way out.

Also, why are you assuming that only "gifted" students can take honors and AP/IB/RS classes, anyway? Give regular students some credit.

all types

PS. - Staff can believe what they want, and yes, they'll continue to make decisions as they want--oftentimes, bad ones. But just because staff say or do something it doesn't make it best or right. And really, what percentage of the staff making such decisions are experts in gifted education and assessment? Or would test at the 99th percentile for adult IQs? Statistically, not many.
As an SPS employee, I assure you, overwhelmingly staff does not support parental gifted assessment, nor parental assessment of need for special gifted programming, nor special outside admission testing and prep.

What? No parent can get their kid into HCC on their own say-so which is what I think you mean by "parental gifted assessment."

And again, any low-income student can get outside testing...for free.

As for prep, I don't know what to tell you. I actually haven't seen that here in Seattle except for getting into private schools.

As for why some staff might not like HCC - no principal and most teachers don't want gifted learners to leave their schools. It brings down their test scores. That might not be the only reason but it certainly is a reason I have heard for years and years.
Bam Fire, you didn't happen to do screenshots of that discussion of gifted programming over at that Facebook page, did you? Because all of Liza Rankin's comments are gone even as people refer to them. Where's that courage of convictions when running for office?

Beware of people who hide their true selves to run for office.
Anonymous said…
Why would you see people doing test prep, MW?

And, that means no one is buying those Amazon books?

No LMAO, I didn't mean you would see it but no one has any idea who is doing it or not. Sure, Amazon sells a lot of books. Do you know for certain who buys then and uses them? If not, then it's just a supposition. I'm saying I have truly never heard of parents in Seattle Schools prepping their kids for this test but I have for the test to get into private schools.
Anonymous said…
lmao = fact-less deragatory male post = troll. what books? what amzn purchase history? bezos or bozos. you know the answer.

no caps

Anonymous said…
Liza Rankin has always been anti-HC.

Can’t hide
Anonymous said…
Staff at HCC schools also don’t want to teach gifted classes, not because of the kids, but because of the demanding and entitled parents. I’ve heard many who switch tracks because of the hassles and unreasonable expectations of parents. Test scores have nothing to do with it. Honestly. The idea that some kids deserve the boring classes, “at their level, of course” while their kid deserves something much more, is evidence of this problem, here and nationwide. Given deep and interesting materials all students learn at varying levels. Principals on down truly do not buy into the proposition that kids who privately test, are actually gifted requiring something special. Unlike private school entrance, students can’t gain access to HCC by expert assessment or previous designation.

Reality Check
Anonymous said…
For years, @enough already, @FWIW, and others have continued to push the general narrative that:

1) Academically advanced students aren't "really" gifted.
2) Families "game" the system by prepping or private testing or whatever, because they aren't "truly" gifted.
3) Evidence of this "gaming" is the lack of perfect grades in advanced coursework (or not getting NMSF status or not getting into Harvard/Yale/Stanford/MIT or wherever).

Why is it so difficult to acknowledge some students need significant advancement, not just "deeper" materials? No need for prepping, pushing, or private testing.

As to the hostility toward HC students from some teachers, staff, and principals - many students are fully aware. Unfortunately, SPS does not provide meaningful gifted ed training or require gifted ed experience for those teaching HC students. And it is unprofessional and flat out wrong to retaliate against students for the actions of their parents (whatever their concern).

@Barn Fire said: "There is a conversation on SPS Community Discussion A district employee and Liza Rankin seem to want to burn down advanced learning." Why not name the employee, TC-G, who seems very open about the need to "Burn. It. Down." (her very words).

same old
Anonymous said…
It seems to me that the top goal of school is learning academics. What I hear in these comments is that folks think the only students learning academics in school are in the HCC program. According to Reality Check, that is because those parents demand it. So the best way to move forward is to dissolve HCC so that no kids are learning academics, or at least they are only learning boring academics. Also all kids are equally academically capable.

Why only make engaging challenging academics for demanding parents? (If you think sped parents are not demanding, you’ve never in an IEP meeting with me, yet classrooms are often less academically engaging & challenging for my sped kid than for the gen ed kids whose parent aren’t constantly badgering teachers. )

If we are going to have the same experience for all kids why choose the ‘boring’ & ineffective learning experience that folks say students currently have in gen ed. Instead Just start them all 2 years ahead in 1st grade. Then everyone would have that engaging, challenging learning experience that HCC parents demand for their kids.

The real problem is that class sizes are too big to meet the needs of individual students, including HCC classrooms where there is also great variability among students. If teachers can’t meet the needs of sped kids in gen ed classrooms, and they aren’t, then it seems clear that they can’t meet the needs of all variation in learning abilities in one classroom. So just dispersing one group of students who learn differently into gen ed classrooms is not going to solve that problem.

It is hard to believe that teachers really prefer to teach ‘boring’ curriculum. Maybe it is just too much work to teach engaging curriculum given the 190 student loads and limited planning time.

-mythological czech
Anonymous said…
No need to put words in anyone’s mouth. I’ve never witnessed hostility directed to students or even towards entitlement seeking parents. I have seen teachers exit the track because of the constant parental meddling, which is actually obstructionist. It’s overwhelming, and drives teachers to other paths. Sure kids need “advancement”, all of them deserve that, not just yours. But, not at the expense of others. Not at the cost of clustering poverty, English language learning, poverty and disability, not to mention racial groups the furthest from social justice. There will always be a place for segregated acceleration, for those who simply cannot learn elsewhere. But not when it becomes large a negatively impacting social club.

Reality Check
Anonymous said…
@Reality Check,

If grade-level classes--which are presumably at the appropriate level for most students since they were designed with most students in mind--are boring, then we need to adjust our grade-level expectations and make each grade harder than it currently is. I find it hard to believe this is the case, however, given that (a) parents often complain that too much rigor is expected of young children and they would benefit from a more play-focuses approach; (b) many students aren't testing at grade level on state tests; and (c) we still have students who don't graduate. But, if we want to push all kids harder to match the level at which my kid is learning, cool!

However, if you stand by your biased interpretation of my comment as meaning "that some kids deserve the boring classes, 'at their level'"...while other kids deserve "something much more," you still don't get it. The supposed "something much more" ISN'T more--it's just the regular curriculum, a year or two ahead of schedule. If a student has mastered their numbers, addition, and subtraction, doesn't it make sense to move on to multiplication and division? Adding bigger and bigger numbers to fill time and go beyond what the rest of the class is doing isn't going to do much for the student (plus, you'd probably complain anyway, "how come they get bigger numbers?").

I did get a chuckle out of your "given deep and interesting materials all students learn at varying levels" comment. Ha! Yes, IF students were given deep and interesting materials, and IF they had the option to skip the stuff they already knew and move ahead to what they didn't, and IF they could just test out of even the whole book/curriculum if they knew most of already and then "go deeper" on their own, maybe by using a supplemental text or an in-class computer, that sounds great. But that's rarely if ever the case. You want to give my child their own textbook and let them sit in the corner of the room and read through it and see if they can glean any new info from it, without having to sit through a bunch of overly simplified lessons and busy work. Awesome. Let's do it. Then when my kid finishes the book and is ready to move on in a month or two, the teacher will give them maybe a high school level textbook on the same thing? Double awesome. Let's do it. My kid would be in heaven. More importantly, the could learn. (And if you put them only sort of in the corner, some other kids could sit next to them and somehow benefit from watching my kid skip ahead, right?)

"Principals on down truly do not buy into the proposition that kids who privately test, are actually gifted requiring something special." Well, what can I say? If that's the case, "principals on down" are ignorant. They may not get it, they may not have seen/felt it up close, but there truly are some children, and adults, who are of greater intellectual capacity than others. If these teachers and administrators are more likely to "believe" the results of quick, group-based testing conducted by the district rather than privately-conducted and much more extensive testing done by respected professionals, that's their right. Even if they're wrong. Funny that you seem to support them in their reliance on an unreliable test for eligibility.

all types
Anonymous said…
Reality Check claims "I’ve never witnessed hostility directed to students or even towards entitlement seeking parents."

Hmm. Which to address first, the fact that parents and students have experienced hostility and derision from teachers and administration, even if you have not personally witnessed it, or the suggestion that parent concerns come from "entitlement seeking" parents, which I'd assume you mean parents of HC students?

Anonymous said…
"I’ve never witnessed hostility directed to students or even towards entitlement seeking parents."

Ooh, I have! Toward students, that is.

How about a teacher pointing out to the entire class that an HC-identified student in a regular GE classroom--a student who nearly always scored 100%--got something wrong, so the whole class could savor the moment and put that student in their place?

How about a principal refusing to allow a student to work ahead independently, even when the teacher requested and advocated for it?

How about a teacher yelling at a student in class for asking a legitimate question because the teacher had contradicted herself (and probably felt embarrassed about it and was paranoid that the kid was trying to make her look bad when in reality the kid was, you know, a young kid with a great memory and a rule follower and was genuinely confused because their "teacher" said something that didn't make sense)?

How about a student being repeatedly admonished that their questions were too complex (because they actually did use their brain as you suggested do some learning outside of the classroom when the boring material in class had piqued their curiosity), and they needed to stick to the basics in the future?

To be fair, I have NOT experienced hostility from teachers toward me as a parent. Mostly just regret, an acknowledgement that they weren't able to serve the student well and we should find ways to supplement at home, or look for a better fit. I appreciated the honesty, as well as their willingness to work with our solutions when possible.

all types
Anonymous said…
Reality Check, many of the HCC kids come from schools like Bryant elementary that is 77% white and is in an affluent area of Seattle. Why would parents choose to ship their kids to an HCC elementary? They are sending their kids to HCC because their kids' academic needs are not being met.

Anonymous said…
@Reality Check @ clustering poverty? Huh? But SPS puts the HCC program in lower income schools and neighborhoods. When you take away HCC, you have even more segregation. Does dismantling HCC do anything about many View Ridge or Eckstein kids coming from more affluent backgrounds?

If HCC kids are mostly coming from these white more affluent schools with kids performing higher on tests. then why do they leave for lower income HCC program schools?
The answer is because their kids need something different from their (white or asian more affluent) peers.

In addition parents and families of HCC kids are no different than the other parents and families in their neighborhoods regarding "parent meddling". This generation (& perhaps socioeconomic group) does have more "helicopter parents". I also heard that complaint from a teacher I know who teaches affluent kids in private school.

That being said, let me put a crack in the HCC student stereotype by stating I have an HCC qualified kid who tested in through the school process, not privately. We are also a single parent middle income family and our kid has generations of poverty on both sides of the family.

In addition, we know an HCC qualified kid who also skipped a grade, moved around alot, landed in the SPS HCC, who is also F&R lunch born to extreme disadvantage. I don't want to out the kid by sharing too much info. Both my kid and this other kid were extreme outliers (within top 1% IQ) at their non-HCC schools. We were told by teachers to test. Our kids tested in for 5th grade.

They needed something different. These kids exist. If you are low income or don't come from generations of college educated parents, or ELL etc. it is harder to qualify for these programs, because like any other process, they entail a process that more affluent educated families navigate with more ease.

There should be accelerated coursework available for kids who need it. This would make tons of people happy, as qualifying for HCC I have noticed seems like a prize to my affluent neighbors of kids who don't qualify.

However, there should be also be something else to better engage kids like ours in school and access peers for the socio-component these kids share.

Two cents
Anonymous said…
It's so laughable how people like Reality Check advocate that magically neighborhood schools will challenge HC students. Guess what, many of us already tried that! My 2E child spend an entire year sitting in a corner reading on their own and had very little demands placed on them. The teacher was too busy working with students who were not meeting grade level standards or students with behavior challenges. When I questioned why my child had not done ANY writing that year, her response was "well it's only 1st grade", even though my child was writing several sentences in Kindergarten (we had to spend years working on the resistance to writing that came from that ineffective teacher). I know of at least one other family who left the same neighborhood school too because the principal wouldn't let their HC child move up in reading levels. People like Reality Check have very little understanding of the challenges that 2E students face.

NW Parent
"So the best way to move forward is to dissolve HCC so that no kids are learning academics, or at least they are only learning boring academics. Also all kids are equally academically capable."

First, I find it painful to hear - from all sides - that General Education classes are "boring." It is disrespectful to those teachers. And, it's not true. So please don't denigrate the work of the majority of teachers in SPS.

I think the issue is the quality of teacher versus HCC students are somehow getting a better experience.

They certainly are NOT getting a different curriculum - that's just not true.

I think the issue of class size is absolutely one of main barriers to having all kids stay at their neighborhood schools. You can try to differentiate but when you have some kids who read at a below-grade-level and some who are far above, it's very tough. And then you have the kids right in the middle who may be forgotten in all this.

As for "tracking", please. Come into any elementary classroom and, at some point in the day, kids will be separated (Walk to Math or reading groups). When you allow a teacher or volunteer to work with a group that is all about the same, you are better able to make progress.

"I’ve never witnessed hostility directed to students or even towards entitlement seeking parents."

I have and I've seen it since my own kids were in school. And apparently, you don't listen to Board testimony because plenty of parents come to the mic to decry other parents.

And I agree with all who are saying,"I DID send my kid to the neighborhood school and either the work wasn't rigorous enough OR the principal/teacher is hostile to doing anything differently."

Year after year, there were CSIPs submitted about what each school was doing to meet the needs of AL students and most of it never happened. What is really sad is that schools are required to have something in place for ANY student who wants to access more rigor whether tested or not. That also didn't happen and the district turned its head away.

Blaming parents for this situation is wrong. It's all on the district.
One more point to be made that took me years to truly get.

I always thought the issue was that the district was not making the effort to find highly capable students of color. This is serious because there are highly capable youth across all spectrums of race/ethnic background/income and therefore, not finding them meant their academic needs/abilities were not being met.

That latter sentence is still true except the reality I have found is that many people's wants - including principals and teachers - is not for them to be in any program. It's to serve them in their neighborhood school. (It's unclear to me if those kids would need to be identified or not.)

Why? Several reasons. Keeping kids in their neighborhoods for social/cultural reasons. Costs of transportation and time kids are on a bus. Things like that.

But one reason that principals and teachers, especially in Title One schools, don't like to admit is they want to keep their high-level learners at their schools because 1) those kids tend to drive the other kids' interest and 2) it helps their school test scores.

This is not to say that the only curious or excited learners are high-level kids. I know that from my own experience. But teachers like to have kids who can push that discussion along for the rest of the class.

Is any of this bad? Not necessarily but if there is not a real structure in place - at ever single school - to provide supports to meet the needs of kids AND smaller class sizes, then it's all word salad.

I know that most teachers do what they humanly can to meet the needs of all kids in their classrooms but the reality is that if they don't have the supports and the class is 25+ kids, they will teach to the middle or lower. Because their first responsibility is to make sure all kids can read,write and do math and if some kids already are there, they figure those kids will be fine.
Old Timer said…
Who cares what staff think? They were the ones that brought us Discovery Math. Discovery math was a program that sent parent parents with means to Kumon. The rest of the kids suffered from inability to compute basic mathematical skills.

The district applied for a grant. The grant is connected to the new science standards/ alignment. The district applied for the grant before Amplify was adopted by the board.

The district once had a staff member that was involved with a scandal.

Community members are smart to analyze staff recommendations.
Anonymous said…
Stereotype Threat Widens Achievement Gap
Reminders of stereotyped inferiority hurt test scores.

A growing body of studies undercuts conventional assumptions that genetics or cultural differences lead some students - such as African Americans or girls - to do poorly on standardized academic tests and other academic performances. Instead, it's become clear that negative stereotypes raise inhibiting doubts and high-pressure anxieties in a test-taker's mind, resulting in the phenomenon of "stereotype threat." Psychologists Claude Steele, PhD, Joshua Aronson, PhD, and Steven Spencer, PhD, have found that even passing reminders that someone belongs to one group or another, such as a group stereotyped as inferior in academics, can wreak havoc with test performance.
Steele, Aronson and Spencer, have examined how group stereotypes can threaten how students evaluate themselves, which then alters academic identity and intellectual performance. This social-psychological predicament can, researchers believe, beset members of any group about whom negative stereotypes exist.
Steele and Aronson gave Black and White college students a half-hour test using difficult items from the verbal Graduate Record Exam (GRE). In the stereotype-threat condition, they told students the test diagnosed intellectual ability, thus potentially eliciting the stereotype that Blacks are less intelligent than Whites. In the no-stereotype-threat condition, the researchers told students that the test was a problem-solving lab task that said nothing about ability, presumably rendering stereotypes irrelevant. In the stereotype threat condition, Blacks - who were matched with Whites in their group by SAT scores -- did less well than Whites. In the no stereotype- threat condition-in which the exact same test was described as a lab task that did not indicate ability-Blacks' performance rose to match that of equally skilled Whites. Additional experiments that minimized the stereotype threat endemic to standardized tests also resulted in equal performance. One study found that when students merely recorded their race (presumably making the stereotype salient), and were not told the test was diagnostic of their ability, Blacks still performed worse than Whites.
Spencer, Steele, and Diane Quinn, PhD, also found that merely telling women that a math test does not show gender differences improved their test performance. The researchers gave a math test to men and women after telling half the women that the test had shown gender differences, and telling the rest that it found none. When test administrators told women that that tests showed no gender differences, the women performed equal to men. Those who were told the test showed gender differences did significantly worse than men, just like women who were told nothing about the test. This experiment was conducted with women who were top performers in math, just as the experiments on race were conducted with strong, motivated students.

Psychologist and educators are, through this innovative research, coming to understand the true nature of one of the barriers to equal educational achievement. Although psychologists such as Steele, Aronson and Spencer concede that test-score gaps probably can't be totally attributed to stereotype threat, the threat appears to be sufficiently influential to be heeded by teachers, students, researchers, policymakers and parents. At the very least, the findings undercut the tendency to lay the blame on unsupported genetic and cultural factors, such as whether African Americans "value" education or girls can't do math.
Through careful design, the studies have also shown the subtle and insidious nature of stereotype threat. For example, because stereotype threat affected women even when the researchers said the test showed no gender differences - thus still flagging the possibility - social psychologists believe that even mentioning a stereotype in a benign context can sensitize people.
Old Timer, you have to care what staff think because you can have a policy and if staff doesn't want to enact it, then it doesn't happen (or not happen with fidelity).
Anonymous said…
It’s so interesting that the hostile ad hominem attacks start up when an opinion about HCC doesn’t please the vigilant parents who seem to monitor this blog for any suggestion that cohorting 10% of the district as “ highly gifted” is not a good thing.

I have been through the SPS system from K through 12 and can speak to my experience and those that I know.

And yes, I believe kids who have the resilience to achieve a 3.9 at a mixed ability HS are seen as better prospects for UW than those coming from a cohorted background with the same gpa. Universities want well-rounded students who will celebrate diversity and who experience learning with all types of other students.

The district has the stats and I would be curious how the cohorted HC students stack up against the non-cohorted in UW admissions. I’m guessing that information will come out sometime in the future.

For now, I think the pro-cohort crowd needs to relax, mine and many others are off to UW and Princeton and Brown and UCLA this fall without cohorting.


Anonymous said…
@reality check,

This is the first time, in my memory, that you revealed you’re an SPS employee.

I remember awhile back you posted that 2e students didn’t exist, because they’re not capable of qualifying for HC.

I can’t believe the public trust and collective tax payer’s dollars are put in the hands of someone so discriminatory.

Maybe its SPS employees like you who’ve created the culture of low expectations and school-induced trauma for students with disabilities.

Its SPS employee beliefs and practices that caused it to receive high-risk status from OSPI with a withholding of SPED funds thus negatively impacting all students.

And lets not forget the scathing transportation audit that skewered the district for missed routes for sped students, lack of verification of background checks for bus drivers and sending sped kids off in taxis with god-knows-who driving.

Isolatiion, restraint, poor outcomes, insufficient educator training, absence of evidence-based interventions for learning disabilities, sexual assault, sped gatekeeping and adverserial stance, yet... exclusion from “students furthest from educational justice” in the strategic plan.

Attitudes like yours are the kindling for the fire.

Plan B

Part 1
Anonymous said…
@reality check,

If you don’t think there’s been hostile comments, you’re forgetting about the “fragile hcc students” comment by a teacher still employed by the district, the APParthied stickers on school property and A number of presentations , social media posts and surveys from SPS employees.

You also don’t seem to realize the existence of cogat test prep companies (on the east side) and materials is not equivalent to evidence of usage. Try winning in court on supposition!

Contrary to what you posted, SPS does believe in test prep and parent referrals when SPS is the one supplying the test prep to title one schools priior to univeral screening or when SPS is doing community outreach to less advantaged communities in hope of increasing parent referrals.

Plan B

Part 2
Con't said…
As Part 2 points out, there are some teachers that are hostile towards advanced learners. A teacher made a public comment regarding this issue.

One teacher want did not want AP testing at a particular high school.

JJ's experience was not my child's experience. I wish people would stop foisting their beliefs and experiences onto other people's children.
Anonymous said…
@JJ, colleges don't know whether a student came from "a cohorted background" because they only get HS transcripts. Oh, and many of those "kids who have the resilience to achieve a 3.9 at a mixed ability HS" are kids who were in fact cohorted in early years (e.g., students at the mixed ability Garfield or Ingraham, or former HCC students who chose Ballard or Roosevelt). If you're talking about students at other schools that don't offer as many AP/IB/Honors classes and have fewer HC-identified students, yes, good for those students. They did well with the more limited options available at their schools, and it's not surprising if they did well in college admissions. In fact, that could be a strategy for other high ability students--transfer to a "mixed ability" (?) high school that is less competitive, then be a top performer. Do some college classes on the side, or Running Start, to make up for your more limited options at school and you should be golden.

@ Reality Check, re: your comment about "entitled parents" who think their HC student should be challenged at school, to a similar degree that non-HC-identified students are challenged, you might want to remember that students ARE entitled to a basic education, and that, by law, "for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education."

Anonymous said…
@JJ: "...mine and many others are off to UW and Princeton and Brown and UCLA this fall without cohorting."

JJ, you falsely assume this is the primary goal of all HC students - acceptance at the most prestigious universities - or that families of HC students have the means to pay for Princeton/Brown/Stanford/etc. Both in and out of the cohort, there are many middle class students leveraging their strong academic achievement to find merit aid, which means attending universities that have acceptance rates well above the 5% range.

other reality
Anonymous said…
I think any kid who has been cohorted as “highly gifted” should be able to get into UW, but I don’t think it’s true. These cohorted kids do worse than the non-cohort HC, I’m guessing. Maybe SPS will release the data, maybe the Board has seen it. Dunno.


BTW, what is SPS going to do if students start striking on Fridays for the climate? Young Greta is very popular.
Con't said…

You are making a lot of "guessing" and " I think" comments. Do the research and present.
Anonymous said…
Colleges, especially private colleges, are businesses. They want families to compete for their seats. They release data about test scores, ECs, GPA's & loads of marketing to encourage the competition.

I work with high school students on college admission and I think we are sending the wrong message & asking the wrong questions. It is not about winning the competition to try to become the student they want at Stanford or UW.

It is about using the opportunities available to you as a high school student to learn what your interests are, what kind of student you are, what things are important to you in life. Then find the college that wants the kind of student you have become.

And there is a great opportunity to start with community college using the Seattle Promise. WA State Community college students have an advantage in admissions at UW. I also know HCC students who have chosen that route, saving tuition $ for post-bac education like medical school.

-No Games
Anonymous said…
No, I don’t have the numbers but from the families that I know, UW is a problem for many HCC students to gain acceptance. That, to me, shows that they shouldn’t be HC identified in the first place.

It really doesn’t take a high iQ to gain entry into HC, it’s about preparation for many.

As I stated earlier, the SPS gifted program was started to slow the flight of white families after busing started. Maybe that was a good thing at the time, but in2019 it is not.

I don’t know if anyone has noticed where white entitlement has taken this country. We have a president who is universally seen as a racist bigot and white hate crimes, including mass murder, occurring with increasing frequency.

And before the stories about discrimination against Italians start, again, we have the president’s henchman, Cuccinelli, an Italian immigrant’s descendant, drowning kids in the Rio Grande, locking up families for years and tearing infants from their mothers, which is the same technique used to terrorize people of color from slavery to the attempted destruction of Native American culture.

Anonymous said…
@ JJ, your guessing isn't really relevant, but I'll play along.

I can guess a lot of reasons why all HC (fyi = highly capable, not highly gifted) cohorted kids don't get into UW, even though you seem to think that's the success benchmark for some reason.

1. Didn't apply.
2. Didn't really want to go there, so didn't make a strong application even though parents wanted them to go there. (Yes, students game their parents sometimes.)
3. Had been cohorted in early years (UW won't have any clue as to whether or not they were), but went to a school with a lot of other high-achieving students, so class rank wasn't as high as it would have been had they gone to a school with fewer cohorted kids.
4. Didn't grow up poor.
5. Aren't the first in their family to go to college.
6. Didn't go to a school with limited access to rigorous classes (another marker of disadvantaged background, which can help UW increase its diversity stats)
7. Was overly involved in a lot of extracurriculars because they had many passions, even though schools sometimes see that as trying to pad their resumes.
8. Didn't get a sports scholarship.
9. Got in early (Academy), so don't show up in the regular college application/admission stats.
10. UW doesn't want all the SPS kids, and they want some variety in the SPS kids they admit.

FWIW, college admissions are not purely based on test scores, GPAs, and rank. It seems like you'd actually support that, but if it's a chance to make an unfounded dig at HC students, suddenly those things matter. But the reality is that UW, like most schools, looks for a variety of things--many of which are not as common in former HCC students.

all types
Anonymous said…
Are you actually arguing that UW should not use a holistic admissions process, and should instead make admissions decisions purely based on academic and test stats? That's exactly what your "all HC students should be able to get in" logic implies.


Anonymous said…
@JJ Also knock off the racist remark about Italian- Americans. You really don't need to put down an entire group of people to make your point, and use stereotypes/tropes (henchmen) about Italian-Americans and the mob. So what if that person is the "descendant of an Italian Immigrant". Why does that matter? Are Jews next? The one person's actions, as quoted by you, represent an entire people and their ancestors? This is really no better than those who refer to all Sicilians as mobsters or all middle easterners as terrorists. You are also obviously extremely ignorant of about what Southern Italian and Sicilians faced historically in the US, as well as in Italy.


No, I don’t have the numbers but from the families that I know, UW is a problem for many HCC students to gain acceptance. That, to me, shows that they shouldn’t be HC identified in the first place."

Seriously, this is how you get from A to B?

And you take one terrible incident to smear all immigrants? News flash, unless you are Native American, you didn't start here.

And thank you, Yuck. No one group should be demeaned like this.

JJ, move on.
Anonymous said…
Wow Plan B, maybe you should unwad your undies, and read more carefully. There isn’t a 2e medical diagnosis. That doesn’t mean students with disabilities should be precluded from opportunities to advanced learning. Nobody has suggested that. I guess it’s the same parents, so horrified by honors for all, or any sort of advanced learning available to students YOU consider unworthy. Belief in universal design and education accessible at multiple points, and an end to discriminatory practices is in no way the same as your accusations. It is pretty pathetic that you equate offering MORE to students, and certainly MORE equity and MORE diversity as the equivalent of “Isolation, restraint, poor outcomes, insufficient educator training, absence of evidence-based intervention for learning disabilities, sexual assault, spread gatekeeping and adversarial stance”. The hubris of such an accusation is breathtaking. The fact is, segregated environments breed contempt and a lack of accountability. That in turn fosters the described horrors. If you consider that the equation... then it is actually you who misunderstand what any of those things actually mean.

Plan A
Anonymous said…
@ Plan A, I think it’s you who should read more carefully. It looks like Plan B was referring to the multitude of SPS-related issues SpED students face, noting that as an apparent SZpS employee you may be complicit in that. The point seemed to be that can’t just trust SPS staff to always do what’s right—whether re: SpEd, advanced learning, you name it.

And yeah, most people think expanding access to advanced learning opportunities for all students is a great idea—however, what’s advanced for one kid is review for another. A quick pace for one is too slow for another. Depth for one is cursory for another. In that context, expanding access to “advanced learning” is a meaningless concept.

Watching said…

National Association for Gifted Education responds to New York Times article to dismantle advanced education:

Rather than eliminating gifted programs, there is great opportunity in New York City to reframe the equity issue as a challenge to find ways to expand gifted education services for all who would benefit from them. We have learned much in the field of gifted education, including the power of training teachers to recognize giftedness in diverse populations and about using multiple strategies such as universal screening and appropriate use of local norms in the identification process, and classroom instruction to introduce children who have not had prior access to challenging curriculum to prepare for more rigor.


It would be a mistake for the district to dismantle advanced learning.
Anonymous said…
@plan a,

Slow down and read carefully.

Part 1 was about disability.

Part 2 was about hcc.

Since my post was about 2e, that’s why I covered both topics.

If you’re not aware of the issues surrounding sped that I mentioned in Part 1(isolation, restraint, poor outcomes, etc.), its very easy to verify my comments as media coverage, SPS and state documentation has been extensive on the damage done to sped students in this district and beyond.

Plan B
Anonymous said…
JJ, I have never seen any reports on outcomes for HCC vs. HC who stay in neighborhood schools. The only thing I’ve seen mentioned is that SBA results are similar. SBA is a grade level test so that’s hardly surprising. Any statistics released about high school and beyond outcomes for HCC would need to include breakdowns by socio-economic status and special ed rates to make true comparisons, wouldn’t you agree? The district does need to be asking families why they choose one over the other.

NW Parent
Anonymous said…
My whole perspective has changed on college admissions following the recent scandal and reading the Harvard discrimination case.

While I knew hooks were key for top tier (e.g. legacy, disadvantaged, sports, contributions), I had no idea how sports trumped nearly all of them.

Daughter of rich, Award-winning actress and actor? Not enough.

Progeny of moneyed, influential parents who sent you to top private schools? Not enough.

These highly advantaged parents still needed the backdoor of fake athletic accomplishments for their kids. Yes, test score manipulation occurred too, but athletics were the primary avenue.

At Harvard, athletes with the highest or second highest academic rating...have an acceptance rate of 83% vs. 16% for non-athletes.

So if someone were to compare college admissions for any group of students, they would need to add columns for legacy, recruited athlete, disadvantaged background (which top tier institutions interpret more broadly than SPS) and child of faculty member. Parent donations matter too, but not probably not as easy to track for this analysis.

Hc vs. non-hc status is irrelevant, because its about money and recruited athletes.


Anonymous said…
I just want to say that I am a SPS teacher and I support gifted Ed. There are issues with the HC program, but it is upsetting to see language about burning it down. The notion that one teacher has the time and resources to meet the needs of students ranging from significantly below to significantly higher is ridiculous. I wonder sometimes if people who say that have been in a class lately. Can I warehouse students with that range? Sure. Can I really teach to that wide a range without a lot of help or support? Doubtful.
Seattle Teacher
Anonymous said…
@Seattle Teacher

Then you should not be teaching.

Advance All
Advance All, when was the last time you were in a classroom for an entire morning or day? Seattle Teacher is just saying what I'd bet 95% of teachers would admit if you backed them in a corner.

And that "warehouse" term is right. You can certainly teach 30, 40, 50 students in a classroom if you force them to sit the whole time, never talk or work collaboratively.

But most parents want their child's teacher to know their child and their academic strengths and weaknesses and keep them in mind. They also hope that the teacher knows something about SEL because every kid has their own emotional state.

You can have your own opinion but you might want to give some credence to a professional.
Anonymous said…
I fully expect my (very very smart, FWIW did not do private testing) HCC kids to get rejected by UW. They don't get good grades. They hate school and spend their time and energy on their own projects. I think it would be even worse for them without HCC though, much worse.

smart and impractical
Anonymous said…
It’s extravagant to claim that most teachers, when backed into a corner, would admit they cannot teach a full complement of learners. In fact that is what every teacher does every single day. Each student is unique, with their own individual perceptions, strengths and challenges. Teachers arrive prepared to teach everyone. That is what they are educated for and expected to do, and the fallacy that it can’t be done is the limitation of this blog and your imagination and desires.

Advance All
Anonymous said…
@ Seattle teacher. Thank you for sharing your perspective. The district is trying to burn down HCC as we speak, in the name of equity. It won’t end well for kids who don’t have access to enrichment outside of the classroom.
@ Advance All: you need a reality check. Teachers deal with large class sizes and get no support from the district. They are the ones on the front lines of education. And also, kids should be met where they are, not every kid needs the same level of advancement.

Fake equity
Anonymous said…
With a name like Fake Equity it’s easy to know who you think would not need the same level of advancement.

Advance All
Anonymous said…
There is a lot of mythology out there around college admissions. True, athletics is highly important to private schools. Early admissions is dominated by athletics for these relatively small schools who wish to showcase themselves in sports like the big state schools. In some ways that makes sense. Their application pool is highly talented. It’s hard to distinguish between all the perfect SATs scores and 4.0 GPAs. Anyone with brilliant academics who can also excel in sports is indeed special. But, that made an easy target for gaming the system as not all sports are equally visible. For the big state schools, athletics is a minor part of admissions since a relatively smaller percentage of students are student athletes. False, UW or any UCx uses some sort of “whole student” admissions magic. Go look at Naviance data. You will see admission is straight by the numbers for almost all students at UW and UCx. Sure there is still some wiggle room for athletics, but it is really in the noise. UW admits the top 60% of applicants in state. Any student in a G&T program should be in the top 60% academically, Eg, better than 40%. If not, their high school program has serious problems.

Anonymous said…
It’s unrealistic to asume all kids need the same level of acceleration. Some will rise to the challenge but some will struggle and get frustrated. It happens with my own child. Grade level material is overall perfectly challenging for them. Blowing up HCC would mean that my child now would have to compete with other kids for her teacher’s time, as they try to cover kids below standard, at standard, slightly above standard and years above standard. Many teachers will just teach the middle, leading to fake equity. Everyone gets the same thing, but not what they need. It’s what SPS is pushing. Families of means will supplement, be vocal and demand more from staff. Schools with high numbers of traditionally advanced students will likely get more access to advancement vs other schools.
I do agree that an experienced teacher with good skills is more likely to be able to cover a range of learners. But those teachers are in the minority. I know many kids who are given a worksheet pack with no actual guidance.

Fake equity
Amplify Grant said…
The district is making a large investment in professional development...especially around science. It is abundantly clear that teachers are needing support. It is a ridiculous notion to think that these same individuals would be able to differentiate science...when basic science instruction is receiving a lot of funding for professional development.

It takes new teachers time to get- up to speed.

The notion that teachers have the capacity to differentiate and meet the needs of all students is ridiculous.
Anonymous said…
@JJ who said "And before the stories about discrimination against Italians start, again, we have the president’s henchman, Cuccinelli, an Italian immigrant’s descendant, drowning kids in the Rio Grande, locking up families for years and tearing infants from their mothers, which is the same technique used to terrorize people of color from slavery to the attempted destruction of Native American culture."

Cuccinelli is being criticized by those (including fellow Italian-Americans) who understand the hypocrisy that his own ancestors would not be allowed to immigrate under his policies. However he is not the representative for his ethnicity.

Another Italian-American immigrant descendant Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law recently a scholarship to cover free 4 year state university tuition for all NY state low and middle income families who make under 110,000 and partial scholarships who make under 125,000. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-excelsior-scholarship-application-open-new-applicants-2018-19-academic

Cuomo also signed pay equity legislation for NY women this year. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/statement-governor-andrew-m-cuomo-passage-pay-equity-legislation

Mayor Deblasio, who is part northern Italian, also has been focused on equity in NYC. As one example, although his plan to eliminate gifted programs to help with equity is being criticized by some, his motivations are to help with equity in his city.

Anonymous said…
This is exactly what we experienced regarding no time for lunch, recess, bathroom. See the KUOW story about the state audit. I would also add that in severely overcrowded schools, and many are actually also majority white schools, kids don't have enough time to eat and play.

There are long lunch and bathroom lines. There are dense crowds of kids to get through in the hallways to make it to the bathroom and lunch room. Kids who buy their lunch, many of whom are also free and reduced lunch qualifying kids at these schools, have little time to eat or play. They all don't have enough time to also go to the bathroom which also has long lines.


NW parent

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