Seattle Times Skewed Reporting (Again)

Readers alerted me to the latest story from the Times' so-called Education Lab.  (Currently, the Gates Foundation is paying to seemingly get the Times to write about what the Foundation wants them to. They sent one reporter to Australia to look at a program for homeless youth in schools. Nice work if you can get it.)

I want to first put forth my thesis on what is happening.

I believe that starting probably with Superintendent Larry Nyland and now with Superintendent Juneau that a concerted effort was and is being made to grind Advanced Learning into the ground - make it look as bad as possible so"something" had to be done.

I believe it is that Nyland and Juneau both could have made changes to increase diversity in the program but that isn't really what they wanted. They probably made the decision to do very little to improve the program so they could ratchet up outrage. 

The district has ALWAYS found it useful to pit parents against parents because it take the focus away from how little the administration at JSCEE ever does to right wrongs and how they don't support programs THEY created.  

This is all a little Trumpian with Juneau because while it is good and important to have a particular focus for students who are not succeeding, she has chosen a route that divides the district, not unites it.

FAQ: What’s next for Seattle schools’ gifted programs? 

They start the first paragraph this way:

Access to accelerated–learning programs in Seattle public schools has been inequitable for as long as they’ve existed. They were designed that way — a generation ago, the district created them in an effort to curb white flight.

And you know what? They offer ZERO evidence that the district put in the program "to curb white flight." 

Then they say this:

A bid by the school district to eventually phase out its highly selective and segregated program in favor of a blended approach in neighborhood schools failed to get approval from School Board members.

1) That's some directors.
2) Geez, Times why don't you tell readers the circumstances? Like it was a committee meeting with three directors and the majority said no because of the DISTRICT'S Task Force created to review the program.  (They get to this but way at the end.  Gotta get that outrage going early.)

But the district is famous for asking parents and community for input (and their time and efforts) and then treating them with disrespect and distain.

Hey Times, there are allegedly THREE parts to Advanced Learning; the third one was supposed to be what the district now wants to do.  It was called Advanced Learning Opportunity and it was supposed to be in every school to meet the needs of learners who didn't want to leave their attendance school for a Spectrum or HCC school.

The district had no curriculum/guidance for ALOs nor did they require it from schools (even as they accepted their CSIPs that said they did).

I see they note this later in the FAQs phrased differently  but I can go find the notation that ALOs are part of AL.

Hey Times, do keep up.  The district is doing away with Walk to Math.

Highly capable cohort (HCC) students learn alongside other highly capable peers in all or most of these classes

Hey Times, that's only in elementary school.  In middle school, it's a couple of classes and it doesn't exist in high school.

When they’re teenagers, they are eligible to attend one of four high schools that cater to their advanced abilities but don’t offer separate classrooms.

"Cater?" What a loaded word. Would they say that about Sped students?

District officials say they screen all kindergartners, first and second graders for giftedness. 

What?! No, they don't.  

Many parents in South Park don’t know advanced-learning programs exist, says Manuela Slye, who has three children in the district and is also the president of the citywide parent-teacher association.  

And whose fault is that?  The District NEVER wants to accept responsibility for this inequitable program. They make parents in the program bear the brunt of criticism for a program that they did not create and that most of them don't support in its current form because of the lack of diversity.

Every single superintendent from about Goodloe-Johnson on complained about the program and you know what? No one really stepped up to make it better and they could have.

Who gets to be highly capable?

Hey Times, why is this story only about the white kids in the program? Oh right, because it wouldn't be as useful to point out how many Asians are in it and that yes, they are a minority.

Parent comments are at least good:

Ending the highly capable cohort program would “lower everyone’s achievement to the lowest common denominator” but wouldn’t improve access, says Stephanie Juha, a West Seattle parent of two students in gifted programs.

Others want neighborhood schools to offer robust programs, and say they don’t want their children to travel to specialized schools. “We want a model that is advanced education for everyone,” said Naghelli Guerrero, a parent who spoke at a School Board meeting this month. 

I would tell Guerrero that WAS supposed to be the plan in the past but the DISTRICT didn't enact it. 

District officials said they intend to solicit community input,

Big eye roll from me.  The District doesn't care about what the community says.  Only if it suits their wants.

If they have "community input" meetings, look to see the biggest dog and pony show ever, complete with plants that the district will put in.  HCC parents, I would not even bother showing up.  It will probably be the Castro-Gill encouraged form of communication - call you a racist and shout you down.


Anonymous said…
If the district really had intentions of supporting "advanced learning in all schools" why don't they start with fully funding the IB programs? I heard they don't fund it at Ingraham, or even fully fund it at Rainier Beach. How will this change? Will the district suddenly begin allocating tons of funding to all schools to offer many AP & IB classes not dependent upon enrollment?

My best guess is that many AP courses will instead also be whittled away, until all high schools will only be enabled via district funding constraints, to offer few. A full schedule they will not provide. A majority of kids will have to leave their high school peer community, whether they want to or not, for running start in order to take appropriate classes. It will force students who may not be ready into taking classes alongside adults and limit their participation in high school.

Or perhaps they will do away with them all together as they do enable "self select tracking" to those interested in college credit. This is something many seem to be opposed. This is likely seen as "inequitable" to the "honors for all" folk who seem to only want one class offered to all, even though there is CHOICE. If that is the case, why not make "AP courses for all" the only standard for all?

Unimpressed said…
The district's plan to dismantle HCC will hurt students in high poverty schools. Students need cohorts and there are less HCC identified students in high poverty schools.

The district's plan to dismantle HCC will seek to support the top 1%- not 2% of student population. How will this help certain groups of students.

There is no logic because the district simply wants to dismantle a popular program. They tone deaf to the needs of the community.

The district likes to pit communities against each other. Divide and Conquer. The plan starts at Washington Middle School. The district will PIT HCC families against families that want TAF. Once HCC is destroyed around WMS...that area of town will not have an HCC pathway. Then, the district will PIT south end HCC families against north end HCC families. That is how it works.

The district does not have a funding plan or a capacity plan.
Concord Mom said…
South Park parents may not know about advanced learning opportunities in SPS, but at least every single one of the neighborhood's 2nd graders is screened to find out if they need advanced learning services. Concord is a title 1 school and the district screens all 2nd graders. In addition, the screener is nonverbal for nonnative speakers of English or administered in their native language.

And when they pass the screener, I guarantee that the district does notify them. Because the district needs parental permission to go ahead with the identification process.

Why was Manuela Slye intentionally misleading? So much for building trust with families.
Delbert Brock said…
This should have been an opinion piece!

How would the old IPP program have made a dent fighting "white flight" given that it only had 75 students in it and they were balanced for sex and to reflect the racial makeup of the Seattle population?

SPS does not screen all kindergarten, first and second graders. THEY DO NO SUCH THING!

The article also says there are about 5,000 students in the highly capable cohort. FALSE. There are only 3,800. The other identified ones didn't join the cohort.

Did the Seattle Times not even check with the district before running this story?

The article also says the highly capable cohort is 59% white. That would be excellent considering its makeup is disproportional. But sadly it's FALSE. HCC is 67% white. Seriously, did they not check with anyone? What shoddy reporting. Laughable. The whole point of their article is about race and advanced learning and they can't even get the percentage of white students in HCC right?

And finally, at around the time Seattle was setting up Horizon and IPP, school districts all over the country were starting gifted programs. There was no busing in my little home town of 30,000, but we started a gifted program like everybody else. Inside the same school. The gifted program was in the school library one morning a week. It was based on test scores, not race. In setting up gifted programs, states were responding to the federal Marland Report from the 70s and other national and state level issues. The programs did not do a good job of identifying lots of groups of students (students of color, low income, ELL, foster kids, migrant families, etc.). Districts needed to look differently for those students and they didn't know how or they didn't care. SPS has known since at least 2007 how to do better and they have shown over and over again that they don't care.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou.

The district and the Times should be ashamed of trying to deal with this nuanced educational issue with a biased, inflammatory sledgehammer. And now that SPS knows better, it should do better.
Anonymous said…
It's not just South Park families (and did they change that wording from the original piece?) who may be unaware of testing and program options. We were not aware of options until our child missed the window for 1st grade testing. We then waited until the 2nd grade testing window, and services did not start until 3rd grade. Some teachers even discouraged families from having their children tested, which makes me very, very skeptical of the district's supposed plan to have teachers identify students.

The district AL office DID have a testing notice in the school office, as required (uh, how often are parents in the office?), and apparently they had a notice in the school newsletter (so, on me, for not always reading it?).

in NE
Concord Mom said…
Fair enough, but if your student attends one of 32 title 1 schools, they are automatically screened in 2nd grade. Whether you do anything or not. It is disingenuous of Manuela Slye to say that for South Park families (where Concord is the neighborhood school) “With no knowledge, there’s no access." Because actually, at Concorde and other title 1 schools, there IS still access with no knowledge. The district provides access automatically to screening to all title 1 second graders.
Anonymous said…
The Seattle Times should print a correction! It's unacceptable to print something as factual reporting when it is has so many of the facts wrong.

I think its pretty outrageous to be retrospectively labeling the Robinson's as some sort of segrationists. Bet UW wouldn't be too happy about that.

I totally agree that Juneau & co's tactics are taken straight from Trumps playbook. Deflection. Lies. Loaded language. Spin. Repeated enough, and by enough sources and folks believe it. Instead of calling all Mexican's rapists, she's implying all HCC families are racists. The rallying cry is still "Send them back"(to their neighborhood schools)! She has surrounded herself with some 'useful idiots' to spread the message and sow division in the district.

It's shameful that the head of the largest school district in WA state is playing these political games and our kids are pawns.
It's shameful for Seattle's preeminent broadsheet to allow itself to be highjacked for a district propaganda piece.

SPSuspicious Minds
Anonymous said…
The South Park parent was in a school where students are automatically screened in 2nd grade? My understanding is that screening in Title 1 schools comes with letters and outreach to families should their students pass the initial screening, so what's the true story here??

Anonymous said…
And, there are low income families at all of our schools, not just those meeting Title 1 FRL thresholds. If universal screening is being provided, it should be provided at all schools.

Anonymous said…
The regular assertion that the District has an evil plan to pit parents against each other in order to distract is plain and simple a claim without any real foundation at all.

While it is true that some HCC parents and other supporters of the cohort model are very vocal and some who oppose cohorting are likewise vocal, the District hasn't been shown to pursue a policy of encouraging the dispute.

Where is the evidence?

Anonymous said…
I just heard an extremely short sound byte interview with a black HCC identified Garfield student on the radio opposed to the HCC program. I could not believe the gross generalizations by the student, and bias expressed by the interviewer.

For one, the student made it sound like all the kids in the HCC program were wealthy and identified in Kindergarten then placed on this segregated track through high school where ONLY THEY and THEY ALONE are then able to TAKE AP CLASSES in high school!! I thought to myself...WOW! How do you then explain all the IB and AP courses being filled by general education students throughout the district??

So guess what my kid is middle class not wealthy, and they tested in for middle school, not kindergarten. I also remember hearing that HALF the kids in HCC enter in middle school, so we are typical. I also suspect many enter in 2-5 grades, and not very many at all in K-1.

However, I do remember Nancy from the Robinson center stating at one time "SPS should not be testing kids in kindergarten for gifted programs", so this is likely a valid criticism from an expert if it is happening. We knew nothing about the HCC program until a teacher talked to us in 1st grade about our kid.

Perhaps next we should eliminate the AP courses for equity since the majority of the courses are likely filled by middle class white and Asian students?

A Parent
Anonymous said…
Juneau is first if not foremost a politician. Once you view her through that lens vs the lens of an education leader, then maybe it all makes sense. This certainly tells me enough though, esp as related to FAPE.

"Montana's Office of Public Instruction is arguing that neither the agency nor its superintendent was required to provide a free and appropriate public education for a 16-year-old student with disabilities who was allegedly removed from his school and placed in a church basement to do things like sort nuts and bolts.";jsessionid=hqele1ftkra2r6rej1ucqcei?fbclid=IwAR3MuOylIwSc8ZAh7IVSo8DbCBrbdoY33ZhPPKDHXKRs1zTIhmsTWUXHVi4

"Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a complaint Friday with the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction on behalf of a hearing-impaired preschooler denied disability benefits for tuition payments because her parents chose to enroll her in a Columbus faith-based preschool. The state allows the benefits to be used for tuition at private schools but singles out religious students and parents for exclusion if they attend a faith-based school."

Didn't get elected.

Needed a job? Hello Seattle!

-long road
Anonymous said…
A parent - don't give her any ideas LOL

face palm
Anonymous said…
There really is a concerted PR-style campaign type against HCC going on. More like artificial turf than grass-roots. The seeds of the current wave of dissatisfaction with HCC have been sown and cultivated from the top down. And of course its growing - with all the BS being tossed out by district spokespeople. (That's not to say there aren't longstanding issues -but the district has refused to act on these for many years).

Where does the misinformation in the ST article come from? In normal times the district communication department would present the ST with corrections to be published but I guess these aren't normal times.

SPSuspicious minds
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Do you realize that is already happening? Elimination of AP (and IB) courses? Those with low enrollment (typically those taken by the most accelerated students, who are few in number) end up on the chopping block. Then more students opt for Running Start, which further reduces the demand for AP courses, and you end up with a downward spiral. It will be very interesting to see what AP courses end up on Lincoln's schedule for next year's 11th graders. My guess is a very limited number. Perhaps a bellwether for what's to come.


Anonymous said…
Notice the use of language to frame the discussion in a certain way.

For instance the heading "Who gets to be “highly capable?” before discussing the ethnic composition of the program.

That is the wrong language to use - it implied those student 'get to be' highly capable, while other students
'don't get to be" . Students don't get to be highly capable, they ARE highly capable as defined by the eligibility criteria of the program. Based on this they can CHOOSE to join the HCC program (or not) in elementary or middle school. It is correct to point out there are certainly other students in the district who would also meet these criteria (ie are highly capable) but have not been identified as such or have elected not to participate in the stand alone program (are more appropriate term than the district buzzword 'segregated').
However, this would highlights the fact that the district to could take steps to improve the identification and participation rate of underserved groups rather than abolishing the program altogether.

Language matters
Anonymous said…
Running start is not used by the district to funnel AP students away. You obviously no very little about Running Start. SPS has tired to block the expansion of RS to include any High school student and not just Juniors and Seniors.

For students that are tired of the games played in high schools and the over the top JSW movement, then Running Start provides a much better alternative. If a student plans on attending a city college then why stay in the SPS system get a jump on your AA and lower your BA cost.

Expand RS
Anonymous said…
Running Start is listed on the SPS Highly Capable annual plan to OSPI as an option for students. Any 11th or 12th grader can opt for RS, but the district's programming choices are shifting many HC students into RS, planned or not.

Anonymous said…
Question: the proposed abolishing of AP, does that include barring college-board AP courses?

Anonymous said…
Several of the current school board candidates have expressed that AP and IB courses are also segregated/tracked and thus you can draw your own conclusions.
-long road
juicygoofy said…
It appears that the train has left the station, and HCC is on course to be dismantled.

As a parent of a current high schooler who went though Spectrum then HC and now back to our local high school, I have to remind everyone that the HC program wasn't really particularly great anyway, never mind the racial inequity. Pushing students ahead 2 years in math and science is accelerated, but not always the best practice for gifted kids who often just need more depth. (Lakeside students do not work ahead in math.) Bussing was a hassle and huge waste of time. And it was clear that the district was/is primarily using HC as a relief valve for overcrowding in neighborhood schools. Aside from a few friendships with other HC kids, I can't say that my child actually benefitted from the curriculum. I'm pretty sure she would be taking the same AP and honors classes in high school today, had she not gone the HC route.

Rather than fighting the dismantling, I hope that changing HC is an opportunity for SPS to get it right.
Anonymous said…
Well, the writing is on the wall in bigger font and bolder colors that SPS is not really concerned with providing advanced instruction to HC students, regardless of grade. I had hoped that there would be enough people willing to see the reality that students truly do vary in academic ability and need services that are at least somewhat aligned with their achievement level, but apparently the optics win out. SPS is not willing--or is not able--to do the hard work of trying to serve all types of students well, so in the name of "equity" it will discriminate against high-performing students. I give. It's not worth the frustration any more, and untruthful presentations, stories, and articles abound and keep coming. The SJWs who are driving the ship are intent upon providing fake news that distorts the reality of the situation and ignores the obvious solutions, so I'm done fighting. There doesn't seem to be much chance that HC students will fare well, so farewell SPS. I wish you luck as you hasten your push for mediocrity for all. For those who value high-level education for their child(ren), I hope you look elsewhere. Don't believe the SPS lies, talk to real parents of HC students. SPS is not worth the frustration and disappointment, year after year. There are plenty of nearby districts that are willing to accept and nurture your HC student's abilities, so you should have options. But still, it's sad for the district overall. And pathetic that they have to lower the ceiling instead of raising the floor. Oh well, I tried. I was trying to look out for other kids, but now I guess it's back to just worrying about my own.

Anonymous said…
@Juicygoofy and face palm You are aware that several school board candidates have also expressed that IB and AP are "tracking" (like honors) even though they are self select? It is the same criticism. Too many middle class white and Asian students are both more prepared for, as well as self selecting into those courses.

A different argument I have heard is if we are to offer AP, then we need to fund the exact same number of AP courses and sections at all schools, regardless of whether those courses have 3 students enroll or 80. If this means less AP or IB course sections at wealthier schools with more students prepared for and requesting AP so be it.

I forsee a wicked fight for what is considered appropriate education ahead, and the majority who will be upset will be those with general ed students planning on AP or IB courses.

Anonymous said…
@Juicygoofy who said I'm pretty sure she would be taking the same AP and honors classes in high school today, had she not gone the HC route.

Well is that the case? The radio interview today on KUOW would have the public believe that AP courses are being filled pretty exclusively with rich white HCC students BECAUSE they have been tracked since K. But what about all the other general education kids also taking IB/AP classes? Hmmmm....

Anonymous said…
@long road "It does not continue, and it's unclear from this article if the author joined Garfield from one of the HCC feeder middle schools."

Blanford's kid went to Mercer Middle School and Beacon Hill International.

Since there is no HCC program per se in Garfield High School (just a cohort) and AP classes at Garfield are open to all students, young Blanford's implications of district-imposed racial segregation in AP classes don't hold up.

What's Principal Ted Howard's role in all this? What's he done to encourage more students of color to take advanced classes in his school?

He's been there for how many years?

The 'slave ship' is his vessel.

Fuzzy Facts
Anonymous said…
It is complete and utter BS that Chandra Hampson, a 4th generation Ivy league & private school privileged person, should be arguing against opt in AP/IB courses as "tracking". We need SPS to expand college credit opportunities and classes everywhere they are demanded, not eliminating them anywhere including from middle class north end schools. She who has benefitted from "generational ELITE legacy admissions" is going to tell my kid whose both parents were lower income first generation state college graduates (from community college starts BTW) that our middle class kid should not have access to college credit and AP/IB?

A Parent

A Parent, I have heard this charge against Hampson before. How do you know she has benefitted from "generational ELITE legacy admissions"? That's a big statement.

Thank you Concord Mom for pointing out that Title One schools screen all second graders.

Long Road, I will reprint your comment for you but I will not provide the link. That particular blog traffics in the business of smears and innuendoes and I will not give them attention. People can find it on their own.

Long Road's Comment:

"If I were to be writing a rebuttal to that article, it would be something like this.

"It’s great to see our youth participating in and having a point of view about something as important as education. It's not great, however, when that point of view is based on huge factual inaccuracies. First, all testing for HCC is run by Seattle Public Schools in elementary and middle school. Appeals for FRL students are free of charge through the district. For anyone else, you may need to pay an outside psychologist and no, they can't be "bought." And many appeals still are denied. That said, many 2e (aka twice exceptional; with disability + gifted) kids who test poorly in a test session will opt for private testing. Eliminating the private test option would eliminate many of these kids. But I'll also say this-the district decided about 5 years ago to start running the testing offsite and during non-school hours. They also started limiting their communications about testing at the school level. This alone has created havoc with what used to be a pretty easy process. That is on the school district.

Maybe you ask, why is that testing only happening in elem and middle? Because there is no HCC program in HS. It does not continue, and it's unclear from this article if the author joined Garfield from one of the HCC feeder middle schools. I don't believe so. In fact, in HS, kids can take any class that they meet the requirements for, including AP and IB classes. You don't need to sit for an IB exam if you just want the class; same with AP. Want to take AP World History? Go right ahead. Thus, just taking an AP class does not make that student an example of diversity in HCC. The writer is misinformed as are the student's peers.

When the district starts to get serious about applying the best practices that no less than 4 different Advanced Learning task forces have recommended in the last 12 years relating to everything from testing, to teacher PD, to curriculum, then possibly we'll see some real changes in the participating population. 12 years people. The district has been nothing if not masterful at dividing communities and this is deliberate on the part of SPS.

Don't think for a minute that eliminating gifted programs will change anything for students that need more supports and are further away from educational justice."
Anonymous said…
My student is in Running Start and we love her very much, but she is far from academically gifted. There very few truly gifted children and they most certainty are not attending SPS.

Mirror check
Anonymous said…
Chandra Hampson is a third generation Stanford Alum, and her Great grandfather went to Yale. Elite Ivy institutions consider "legacy students" in their admissions process and they have a much higher rate of admission. Lakeside also has a similar admission consideration of legacy students, they have stated a 40% rate of admission versus a typical student without connections to the school.
A Parent
Anonymous said…
IB and AP courses are absolutely next to be eliminated. And then the Option Schools are going to be eliminated too - or at least their curriculum will be standardized. Already the usual suspects have been saying that option schools were created to cater to white flight, which is absolutely false, but the lie travels around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.

I truly do not think most parents of kids in option schools or in IB/AP classes have any idea that Rankin, Hampson, and Mitchell *will* vote to abolish those classes and eliminate the option school curricula. Parents are putting their hands over their eyes and pretending this isn't coming, but it is, unless we defeat those three in the election.

La Isla Bonita said…
Chandra's biggest campaign funders is her brother Colin. Click on the contributions tab.

Colin Hampson's Stanford NACC Alumni Hall of Fame page tells you the rest. See the last paragraph
Really Rethinking said…
The district has a long history wanting to eliminate IB funding. Rethinking schools held a conference at a local high school. Some people that think Running Start has Right Wing Neo Liberal agenda.

Rankin is an ideologue with no sense of reality.

Anonymous said…
@juicy goofy. A correction to Lakeside math curriculum. Students do work ahead in math. Students are tested into their level. Some senior students with the math advisor’s help develop their own math study. My son’s Lakeside friend was doing diff in 10th grade. And yes he’s at MIT now.

The benefit of very, very expensive education.
-J’s mom
Anonymous said…
SPS has shoved this issue under the rug for years because they are culpable for the failures. In the past, SPS did address inequalities in screening and it was undone by lawsuits that threatened state and federal funding. Instead of fighting it, they just let it fester and deteriorate, so that people who want to push soft privatization onto the public school system can exploit HC kids. For them it will be either that or gen ed, or the pipeline to prison.

--Not impressed with millennial Times reporters
Anonymous said…
No, IB and AP aren’t being eliminated. No, HCC isn’t being dismantled. Wow. Slightly alter service delivery and suddenly Rome is burning, supposedly. The golden goose is threatened! A huge and ever growing privilege dominated program does indeed damage other people. Clustering disadvantage has always been a problem; the larger the gifted cluster, the larger the ungifted repository of challenges. Separate is still unequal. Let’s simply tighten up the cohort. No outside testing. You have a special testing need, work it out with the 504 coordinator. It simply isn’t credible that a district with 15% special ed and another 10% 504 can’t perform fair evaluations. It can and does, people simply dislike the results they get. Limited the retests over years. If you fail to qualify one year, you’re not eligible to requalify until the next level. No testing endlessly until you get in. Change the cognitive test used every year to thwart gamers. Eligibility should last until the next level, then students need to requalify. Eliminate the high school pathways except if a high school has no AP or IB options. Any high school without a minimum number of AP or IB may refer its AL students to Garfield. Provide a continuum of service at all schools. Divide the fte allotment for eligible K-8 students so that all schools have gifted “resource room” service, perhaps a lower fte than 1.0. This is the special ed model. This funding for AL resource rooms would be taken from the cohort. Cohort class size would increase, to provide for the AL resource rooms. Resource room services in neighborhood schools could be could be push in or pullout. SPS would then have a true continuum of service. Self contained and neighborhood options would be available. Self contained delivery would be reduced, if for no other reason than the appeals process would be tightened up and neighborhood attendance would be incentivized with AL resources.


Anonymous said…
"The district's plan to dismantle HCC will hurt students in high poverty schools."

More of the fake concern for equity talking point. Only concerned about highly impacted schools when it's a talking point in favor of keeping the HC status quo.

More fake concern in terms of Melissa's pretense of defense of accusations of legacy toward Chandra. Do the right thing and delete the post, if you care so much.

Fact: Some of the most important progressives allies in history have been privileged people who recognized the composition of their privilege and worked to make the system more fair.

The echo chamber of this blog has been taken by surprise.

The gig is up.

Tru Dat
Anonymous said…
"My son’s Lakeside friend was doing diff in 10th grade. And yes he’s at MIT now."

Wow! Sounds like he's actually gifted.

Imagine That
Anonymous said…
No Js Mom. Lakesiders do NOT test in to math levels, unless they disagree with what’s been approved. They are recommended for math classes by teachers. There is an honors version of 7th and 8th grade math of the same subject matter. High school math is all opt in at whatever class you choose. There are usual pathways. The school does make recommendations. Most students take honors Calc BC in 11th, with a variety of options in 12th. Multivariable, College linear Algebra, or a number of advanced math electives. Lakeside sends about 10 kids per year to MIT, and quite a few to Caltech.

Anonymous said…
Hey Imagine that, my kid who is very highly gifted in math, decided to not go to Lakeside for various reasons. You really cannot make that assumption. Also, kids at Lakeside are tracked for Ivy league schools and many of their parents are legacy. We were not. That's the difference between the true wealthy and privileged and the rest of us. We are fighting in SPS for the scraps so our kid can get access to AP and IB rigor for state schools. I agree that they will be more limited down the road as SPS has finite resources and does not fund IB currently, how will they fund enough classes for all students at all schools?

Some people
Anonymous said…
How about instead of all this fear, you embrace change for the better. What if you discover that instead of the ceiling being lowered, as is mentioned here, the ceiling goes up- for everyone. Maybe those students not currently in HC surprise you with their ingenuity, perseverance, imagination and achievement. After all they’ve been functioning and learning pretty well without HC, but with no accommodations and far more complex classrooms. Kudos to those teachers who didn’t just opt to teach the comfortable demographic and have built curriculum, programs and relationships in schools from which the social and political capital was withdrawn.


Anonymous said…
@Tru Dat wrote -- "Fact: Some of the most important progressives allies in history have been privileged people who recognized the composition of their privilege and worked to make the system more fair."

Gosh, thanks for clearing that up for all of us! Now we get it! Privilege is perfectly okay if you're Chandra Hampson or Jill Geary. But if you're anyone else with any kind of 'privilege' who is 'working to make the system more fair' you need to be burned at the stake as a racist!

Hypocrites 4 Hampson!
Anonymous said…
Wow! Did I say the only actually gifted kid in Seattle is the one from Lakeside who is currently at MIT?

But, hey folks, there aren't as many gifted kids in SPS as the SPS HC numbers would indicate because the SPS NMSF scores are pathetic.

The Eastside smaller districts put SPS numbers to shame.

Imagine That
Anonymous said…
What a place! All the Lakesiders are evil high testers. Must be the legacy. They aren’t gifted like us, they’re privileged. (sound familiar?) Send them to an IVey, the true gifted in a SPS don’t want to go, do they? And all the HCCers need appeals. Must all be 2es requiring all sorts of hand holding from pricey professionals because the district is too dumb to test them. What an exceptional place Seattle is!

American Exception

Btw. MIT isn’t an Ivey.
Anonymous said…
@ Concord Mom,
I am sorry to break it to you, but if you think SPS is screening kids in second grade, the district is fooling you. It's the MAP test. A test that will most likely leave out your kid's classmates that do not speak English or do not test well.

Fed Up
Another Parent said…
The district uses the Cogat Screener, which is a shortened version of the Cogat, for screening. And it has a non verbal test that can substitute for the verbal.
Anonymous said…
Imagine That & Mirror Check. There are HCC kids in 10th grade doing differential equations as well. At community college, but no, not officially RS as that is only for 11/12. So yes, SPS also has gifted kids. So strange (and pure fiction) the notion that truly gifted kids only go to private schools.

Titanic & Owlet & others. Where is this bizarre notion coming from that the district wants to eliminate AP & IB courses. Many kids taking AP courses are neighborhood kids - not just HCC kids. These kids (and their parents) want a solid education to be prepared for the rigor of college and competitive for college admissions. You think the vast majority of those parents will sit by and silently watch the elimination of programs / courses that benefit their kids? SPS would have a groundswell of opposition on its hands. What has the district said to suggest that they plan to eliminate AP classes? I understand that some advanced classes may no longer be offered as SPS spreads HC kids across the district hence eliminating the critical mass for very advanced classes. But most AP is pretty mainstream, and does not need a critical mass of HC kids. The sky is falling attitude seems out of step with reality. It does seem that HCC is under the microscope - but it needs to be defended, not given up upon. What's up with the defeatist attitude?

Anonymous said…
"So strange (and pure fiction) the notion that truly gifted kids only go to private schools."

Uh, I have taught actually gifted students in Seattle.

What's strange and striking is that you'd extrapolate such an unfounded conclusion when nothing I said supports it.

Problem is, the program is highly bloated and misses identifying gifted students outside of a highly educated parent demographic and single subject gifted.

Imagine That
Anonymous said…
"Uh, I have taught actually gifted students in Seattle."

I don't think so. If true, you wouldn't be commenting on this blog under Anonymous!

Gifted kids are usually enrolled in college by 14. Stop perpetuating the SPS gifted student myth, you are hurting children.

Anonymous said…
Salut. Unfortunately the ceiling isn't going up for everyone. Just two examples where the ceiling is lowered: (Example 1) At multiple middle schools, Algebra for 6th graders (ending in Algebra 2 in 8th grade) has now been eliminated. Only JAMS offers this path, and only to a handful of kids. Its not that the kids aren't asking for it, just the opposite. For a variety of reasons, for reasons of efficiency and equity, this option has been eliminated. Kudos to JAMS but I fear it won't be there much longer. Without the critical mass, these kids won't have this option. These kids will clearly do fine in life, but so sad for them not to be offered math at their level. Something that would not require any extra resources to do. (Example 2) Honors for all is clearly far from it. Whereas before, themes were discussed in English, now, discussions center around one word answers about plot line. (My kids' experience - of course this may not be what's happening universally). Its very difficult to truly challenge at all levels and easiest to lower discussions to the common denominator. If honors for all is the goal, teachers need to be specially trained for it, and be given smaller class sizes extra prep time in order to get it right.

Imagine That. I think several of us interpreted sarcasm in your tone leading us to believe you (like Mirror Check) suggest that SPS students aren't truly gifted. My bad.

Anonymous said…
AL/AP is not being eliminated, that's claim is being made by the HCC sour grapes and their mouth pieces. SPS will no longer build palaces for the phony baloney HCC cult.

These dedicated HCC schools need to be dismantled and turned into neighborhood schools like what was promised in the levy. The levy that funded the construction.

--Pushing back
"The regular assertion that the District has an evil plan to pit parents against each other in order to distract is plain and simple a claim without any real foundation at all."

JJ, you must be new. School closures, north vs south, HCC vs Gen Ed, PTA funds. Just a start.

Reader, it's virtually flipping the table on HCC. And you know that. And the district couldn't even get the schools to do a simple ALO offering and you think they can now do this?

"Eliminate the high school pathways except if a high school has no AP or IB options"

This is only true of the Option high schools.

Tru Dat, I inquired about how this person knew Hampson's background as I do other candidates. I do this to be fair. Do have concern for Hampson? No, she's a big girl and doesn't need/deserve my protection.

What has the district said to suggest that they plan to eliminate AP classes?"

Well, I feel unease when the district expands "Honors for All" without notice, without data. As well, they make noises about AP classes being too white. Which is what they say about HCC. Which they want to ditch in its current form.

Blue Sky, see my comment to Reader. I have no faith and they have no budget.

Anonymous said…
Algebra in 6th grade is not gifted, well maybe in Seattle I guess it could be. Let's get real a gifted math student could learn Algebra 1 and 2 in a couple of months without the need of a teacher.

I suggest you google gifted children then perhaps re-calibrate your perceptions.

--Pushing back
Salut-a-tarian said…
Salut, of course students not currently in HC surprise us all with their ingenuity, perseverance, imagination and achievement everyday. Duh. But so far the district doesn't have any plans to change anything other than to bring the HC students back.

So, these schools get this number of students back (and then spread them through the 1st through 5th grade classrooms)
Bailey Gatzert 6
Beacon Hill 2
Dearborn Park 4
Rainier View 7
Rising Star 8
Roxhill 7
Sanislo 10

So, Dearborn Park students aren't going to suddenly be better off having 4 students returned from HCC exile. Dearborn Park students are already great on their own. These 4 students aren't magical beings. You're saying that when those 4 students left, they took their social and political capital with them? OK, sure, but there are 351 other students.

I just don't see how these 4 kids are going to make the classrooms less complex or bring the teachers a comfortable demographic. That's messed up magical thinking on your part.

They're not magic fairy dust. They're just kids.
Anonymous said…
Gotcha. What's your definition of giftedness? Top 1%? HCC certainly has those, even with the 'bloat' that Imagine That spoke of. Top 0.1%? I have no doubt that HCC has a few of those too. Not everyone thinks entering college at 14 is socially optimal. Seems quite isolating and not a choice I made for mine (Robinson Center has an option of enrolling in college after 7th or 8th grade - clearly has advantages but many drawbacks as well). And what does this even mean: "Stop perpetuating the SPS gifted student myth, you are hurting children."

Anonymous said…
@Pushing Back HCC in the southend is currently being eliminated through administrative inertia, through the fiat of TAF. Everyone will lose if the board lets this happen. That is the rub for plausible deniability, for radicals who want to junk the HCC and make it as non functional at the alleged ALO in neighborhood schools. People are catching on, but lack the sophistication in language to express it because they are not seasoned administrators. This is changing.

More noise please
Anonymous said…
See there you have it. Many of these HCC children are the very rare 2e student.

People involved in HCC defend the existence of HCC for it's social emotional support aspects.

We all know what they are talking about. Wouldn't it be great if we could build more distinctions and then build schools that only cater to a specific distinction.

Where does all this nonsense end? Many people home school, so should HCC parents.

Sour grapes
Anonymous said…
It shouldnt matter whether you given them a label 'gifted' or whatever - kids who are wanting to do, and are able to succeed in Algebra in 6th grade should be able to do it. Instead SPS acts a a gatekeeper to try to stop kids from taking these classes. They may say they want to expand AL offerings to every student in every school but look at what they do not what they say.

There is no reason only HCC qualified kids should do advanced math - if other kids want to and can demonstrate proficiency, they should be able to. But SPS doesn't let them.

walk the walk
Anonymous said…
Magic Fairy Dust. On point comments and perfect moniker. It seems to me that folks that say dismantling the cohort won't hurt the HC kids but will help the neighborhood kids have limited vision, only thinking about neighborhood schools where there is a high density of HC kids.

Pushing Back. My expectations are well-calibrated, thanks. Its unrealistic for school to offer Algebra in a one month course to cater to my or other HC kids. The next best option is to take more advanced math at the traditional pace taught. Did you have a point that I missed? Perhaps you could clarify.

Anonymous said…
@Sour Grapes presumes that 2e kids are only born of monied parents who can afford that. In reality, all the others should just play on the computer until 12th grade.

More noise please
Anonymous said…
Sour Grapes. Nope, most HC kids are 1e in my experience. There is the rare 2e kid that I've seen. While HCC is great socially for HC kids, for many, its just the opportunity to take classes closer to their level. Homeschool? Great for many parents, but not a choice I would make. My kids love going to school - why would I deny them that?! HC kids already 'homeschool' on their own - some are voracious readers, others do research in labs, some find online resources for math and science. Yours seems to be an apt moniker.

Anonymous said…
MW. I’m not sure what you mean by “that would be flipping the tables on HCC”. Do you mean offering a true continuum of services is contrary to some gifted credo??? If so, I disagree. If schools had a dedicated AL resource then it wouldn’t be “nothing”. It would be inclusive local service available to a wider range of students. And, maybe a lot fewer students would feel the urge to appeal. There would still be a cohort and I don’t see how you can do without it. One way or other, the cohort numbers will be reduced. The overwhelming sentiment in the district opposes it in its current state. AL advocates would do well to figure out how we can bring some services back to the buildings. It can’t just be all or nothing all the time.

Anonymous said…
@walk the walk

That was the beauty of walk to math. There's no need for a special HCC school with ponies.

We are hearing that a major cost and concern are nurses in every school, then it's counselors.

The next week it's class size, Oh and before I forget SPS IS NOT CLOSING ANY SCHOOLS! THEY ARE BUILDING SCHOOLS!

Every time you open a school cost goes up. JHC, SPS can't even maintain the buildings it currently operates.

Perhaps SPS should not have used the newest buildings for HCC.

Sour grapes

Anonymous said…
Thank you for making my point. HCC kids are more than capable to learn on their own. Right now there are more pressing issues, like getting SPED in compliance and delivering effective services. Like, getting AAM students included in SPS and thriving knowing that they too being at SPS. Like getting nurses in every school.

I will not support segregated HCC or any PTA funding being used for HCC staff.

Time's up
Anonymous said…
Sour Grapes. Walk to math is terrific, but far from adequate for some students. What does the third grader do who needs to walk to 6th grade? Hmmnnn... HCC is two years accelerated. For those kids who need further acceleration, many teachers make accommodations - its doable when kids span 2 or 3 grades (meaning most are two years ahead, others 3 or 4). Not doable when you range from 2 years behind to 4 years ahead.

And don't get your point about schools and buildings. Population of Seattle is increasing. SPS needs buildings. What does it have to do with HCC? Those HC kids will occupy space, whether in a neighborhood school or in a separate building. Some clarity would help.

Walk the walk. Fully agree with you - all kids should be taught at their level.

Reader, it would be completely different than what it is now. That's what I meant.

a true continuum of services.." You're funny.

The overwhelming sentiment in the district opposes it in its current state."

And by "in the district" you mean - JSCEE, parents, teachers? Because you don't know that. And what people oppose is how the district has enacted this program and has done nothing for decades to change that.

"AL advocates would do well to figure out how we can bring some services back to the buildings."

Not in my job description, nor parents'. This is the district's and they are not good at this stuff so hence my doubts.

Sour Grapes, watch that tone or you will be deleted.
Anonymous said…
Time's Up. Almost all kids are capable of learning on their own. Perhaps in the future they will. For now, we have schools and teachers.

I agree re supporting AAM students to ensure that all thrive. I don't know the SPED issues re compliance. At some point, would like to hear more so I can understand.

I don't know a school where PTA funding preferentially goes to HCC staff. You may know more. Can you clarify?

It seems like you think HCC is a drain on funds. Is it? Can you explain how and how much of a drain? You say you cannot support a segregated HCC. Can you explain what good dismantling the cohort would do? Who would it help? It seems like the effort to dismantle HCC would not be trivial and would be a huge drain on those cherished resources.

"Almost all kids are capable of learning on their own."

Sure, feral learning. Or are you talking about the notion of "personalized learning?"

No such thing as school "HCC staff." Some teachers are assigned to be teachers of HCC.
Anonymous said…
MW. “Continuum of services” is a special education term. It’s nothing you need to be angry about. And, I’m not sure why you are. It means the span from resource room, to self contained, to special school, to residential setting. AL only has 2 points. A continuum would have 3 points, Eg the addition of a resource room, that is not “completely different.” You’re probably right they won’t add a resource room but that doesn’t make it funny. It’s clear they will de emphasize the program they have. Advocates would do well to work with the district for some reasonable alternatives. No, of course it isn’t your job. But then you’ll just be adding more complaint fodder when it turns up contrary to your liking later.

Anonymous said…
Melissa. I was responding to Time's Up who said:

"Thank you for making my point. HCC kids are more than capable to learn on their own. Right now there are more pressing issues, like getting SPED in compliance and delivering effective services. Like, getting AAM students included in SPS and thriving knowing that they too being at SPS. Like getting nurses in every school. I will not support segregated HCC or any PTA funding being used for HCC staff."

Reader, I make a joke and you think I'm mad? Hmmm

Sure, it'll all work out. That's the spirit.

Sorry, Blue Sky.

Time's Up, yeah, we've all heard that "HCC kids can learn on their own" or "Those kids will always be alright." Please.
priyal said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
priyal said…

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Anonymous said…
@Blue Sky who said "You think the vast majority of those parents will sit by and silently watch the elimination of programs / courses that benefit their kids? SPS would have a groundswell of opposition on its hands. "

Yes, I agree there will be alot of push back from general education middle class parents as currently the majority of kids taking AP classes are general education middle class students. The same was true for honors, but there is now honors for all which is one class, but it is not honors rigor.

However be clear there are also those (ex Chandra Hampson) making arguments against AP/IB classes as "tracking". The same arguments apply, as high school HCC pathways Blue Sky. The majority of those taking and ready for AP/IB classes are middle class white and Asian kids.

A related argument I have heard is that the exact same number of classes and sections should be offered at all schools, regardless of student enrollment numbers, interest or ability. So if 3 students enroll in an AP class at one school and 80 in another, too bad for the kids at the school with the higher demand. This is about equity, not equality, giving some kids more than other kids and the district has limited resources.

In practice what we have seen is the district has cut significant staff at some schools regardless of enrollment, leading to reduced classes at those school. This led to some students having difficulty taking appropriate level classes or even classes needed for graduation. This will likely continue and get much worse especially for schools currently serving general education middle class students.

Anonymous said…
@Blue Sky

Did you also read this posted from Melissa?

"What has the district said to suggest that they plan to eliminate AP classes?"

Well, I feel unease when the district expands "Honors for All" without notice, without data. As well, they make noises about AP classes being too white. Which is what they say about HCC. Which they want to ditch in its current form.

Blue Sky, see my comment to Reader. I have no faith and they have no budget.

Also to the person who keeps posting about positives about Lakeside, but criticizes the students who are capable of and enroll in advanced level classes in SPS, you DO now realize that Lakeside ALSO "tracks" students in math based upon their ability? And what is your point? I guess our kids are all just the same and should be given one option for math (the lower level) in public school!!!

Peter said…
I totally agree we should do our best to even out participation in all school programs.
First thing to do is to stop free lunches. as racial breakdown there does not match gp. Then most of the special services, college sport scholarships, etc. What is racial representation in basketball/football scholarships?
Then, we need to do away with Christmas break, as it puts unfair burden on Jewish and Atheist kids.
Also, our school superintendent is 100% white, clearly poor representation of Seattle population. that needs to be addressed.
You know, while we are at it, let's just cancel public schools altogether, so to not offend anyone.
Ya, that will fix the problem.
Anonymous said…
Can we get Chandra Hampson, Liza Rankin and Molly Mitchell to say on the record what their plans are for high school AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) classes? I think many more parents are interested in preserving those than in protecting HCC from being gutted.

Is their goal to destroy any ladders to, say, Chandra Hampson's alma mater, Stanford, for kids who don't live in Windermere?

Anonymous said…
Let's face it, this is an anti-intellectual school district. People running it are afraid of intelligence. Mediocrity rules the JSCEE. Combined with personal resentments and political agendas that have nothing to do with helping kids, this is what you get. Too many in the John Stanford Center are promoted beyond their abilities. The consequence is SPS leadership is incapable of creating anything resembling "excellence" for anyone let alone "for all."

The current destruction of schools and programs in SPS will be the legacy of directors like Jill Geary, Zach DeWolf and unfortunately Leslie Harris who has failed to stop it.

Juneau has been a destructive mistake. But the assault on excellence in SPS began long before her reign. Crappy online curriculum. Dumbed down math. Dogma disguised as "Ethnic Studies." Dysfunctional principals. Assault on option schools. Eviction of Native American programs. Fake "Honors" classes. Fake "Equity." "MTSS", "Southeast initiative", "Targeted Universalism," on and on it goes with zero results, just a new name, more money and more time wasted.

Truly what needs to be done is to fire everyone in the JSCEE and start over.

Seattle should be a great city with a great school district. Instead it is irreparably dysfunctional.

Tall Poppy
Anonymous said…
Well stated Tall Poppy!

Anonymous said…
Nailed it Tall Poppy!
-long road
Anonymous said…
If they increased the advanced learning options at all schools, the HCC population would naturally decrease. I have heard over and over again, that parents would rather stay at their neighborhood school but they had to go to HCC in order for their kid to receive an education at their level. No one trusts the district. That is why there is such push back against changing HCC. Put forward a plan and implement it at all the schools and then start to scale back HCC. Prove to parents that their kids educational needs will be met at their local school. I don't even have a kid in HCC and I understand this.

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
HCC is racist and elitist. Turning over entire buildings to HCC should be illegal.

HCC proponent's racism is now out in full display on this blog. It was always bubbling just under the surface but now, WOW.

"If they increased the advanced learning options at all schools, the HCC population would naturally decrease."

That's a big sentence; care to explain how you know this?

JS, do you mean highly capable programming in general or just HCC? As for the illegal part, you'd need to go to your legislator. It is indeed legal.
Anonymous said…
JS. Please defend your statement that HCC is racist so we understand better. Otherwise, its just blather - delegitimizing your voice in the reader's mind.

HP. Yes, they do need to increase options at local schools. Astounding that McClure and Whitman do not offer Geometry in 8th grade. I think almost every other middle school does. Many kids join HCC in middle school to attend Hamilton for the math option. And fully agree that once SPS shows that they are committed to teaching kids at their level in local schools, then a discussion of scaling back HCC is more meaningful.

Spike. Good point. It would be great to hear all candidates view points on and commitment to AP and IB. Melissa - would you know how to do this (for those of us who have been unable to attend any meetings at which they speak)?

KL. While the same arguments that are being used against HCC are also being used against AP / IB, the advocates for these programs differ importantly. AP / IB has much broader support, and in fact, many who want to dismantle HCC are the very ones who want to keep AP / IB in place. I doubt the district has any plans to eliminate AP (IB perhaps, AP nope).

Anonymous said…
Last time I checked AL and HC was absolutely legal. HCC was not.
I am confused.

Fed Up
Anonymous said…

Why do you think that HCC is racist and elitist? Can you please explain?

Do you think it's OK that SPS has stacked the deck against the parents of kids of color with regard to getting those kids access to the HCC program, and that Spectrum was watered down to the point of nonexistence so no one could advance that way, either? Did that make sense?

Do you think that HCC parents are to be faulted for getting needed educational advancement for their kids in a system that aims for mediocrity only, in a major city full of highly educated people? Do you recognize that this is a problem? It's a school system, not a network of community centers.

Do you also think that AP and IB should be phased out? Do you want your kid to get a real education or just a diploma? Do you understand that this philosophy of mediocrity is limiting all SPS children's chances at success?

Why do you think HCC getting a building should be illegal? On what grounds?

I've Had It
Anonymous said…
AP or IB are classes taught in classrooms in buildings. These classes are open to any student.

Some students will reach for studies that will be difficult for them and fail. That's ok and possibly more educational. There are many capable students who do not enter HCC and do just fine. It's time to eliminate HCC and return building back to the local community.

Screening or paying for screening in order to create a segregated group of students and placing them in the newest school in the district is illegal and racist.

The people taking the indefensible pro HCC position need to stop, because they are harming children.

JS, you are wrong. Districts across the country do this and it is legal. Cite the law that makes it illegal. That you do not like it is does not mean it is illegal.

Also, districts can place any program in any building. Not illegal.

Just to note about the Times' article: check out the comments. Normally, I take them with a huge grain of salt but the most notable aspect is not about the program itself but the story. I'd say a good 80% said it reads like a commentary and not a straight news story.
Anonymous said…

I think you're missing the point that after HCC is watered down and washed away like Spectrum was, the next part of the so-called equity agenda is to eliminate AP and IB classes. They're now considered too elitist, too, despite being open to everyone.

You seem to support those classes, so you should pay attention to that. Everyone should.

I've Had It
Equitable ≠ Equal said…
A disproportionality does not make something illegal. In Tandem serves 81% male students and only 19% female students. Receiving Private Special Ed services - 74% male and 26% female. Meanwhile Middle college is 67% female and 33% male and Center school is 66% male and 34% female. Disproportionality ≠ illegal.
Anonymous said…
When local area children are learning in an old poorly maintained building and SPS under pressure from HCC proponents cave in and turn over the newest building in the district to HCC that action forced those local students who could simply walk to school to be bused and HCC students to be bused in, come on it's bad optics and illegal.

It's probably time to start looking into how that happened. So children who would normally walk to school are now bused, how much carbon does that practice create? It seems SPS policies do not align with Seattle's.

This practice of busing needs to end in order to stop global warming and racism. HCC needs to be quickly dismantled. If the city wants to be carbon neutral then it needs to stop unnecessary SPS busing.

Anonymous said…
Hello taxpayers we built this elementary school to replace the lost of Oak Lake that was sold off in the 80s. I know everyone in the attendance area is very excited to be able to walk to school which is in one of the only areas in the North End with sidewalks. Unfortunately we have some bad news...

This need to be fixed, because it is illegal! Your HCC student's education is not worth more carbon emissions.

NESeattleMom said…
JS, What school are you talking about? My HCC kids were often in old schools--Lowell, Lowell at Lincoln, Hamilton at Lincoln, then part of HIMS (newly remodeled), then part of JAMS (newly remodeled), then part of Garfield (not new any more). Didn't HCC get the old Decatur school while Thornton Creek got the brand new school? And Hazel Wolf got a brand new school. I don't see a pattern here.
Anonymous said…
JS, are you talking about Cascadia? They had to move Cascadia out of Lincoln because it was being turned into a high school. There was no where else for them to go. And we have seen repeatedly that HCC and gen ed in the same building turns into a mess.

What I mean my HCC being reduced naturally is that if there was true advanced learning available at neighborhood schools many families would choose to stay in the neighborhood school rather than being bused to an HCC school. Many families go the to HCC because their neighborhood school eliminated spectrum or walk to math or any opportunity for kids working ahead of grade level. Many families were told to go to HCC because the neighborhood school was unwilling to provide AL.

Anonymous said…
JS, Bad optics =/= illegal.

Come On
Anonymous said…
Half the commenters here don't know what they are even talking about, or they are just trolling.

"Last time I checked AL and HC was absolutely legal. HCC was not." Makes no sense -advanced learning and highly capable are legal but a highly capable cohort is not is what they are saying but that is patently wrong. Legally the district must provide educational services for highly capable students and here they elect to do it via a cohort model (HCC). The cohort model is considered one of the best practices based on research and is perfectly legal and done in many other school districts throughout the country and internationally.

"Screening or paying for screening in order to create a segregated group of students and placing them in the newest school in the district is illegal and racist." Um, no it is perfectly legal to screen and select students for a program based on intellect/academic ability and this is done widely throughout the US and other countries in both public and private school settings. Race, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc does not come into it. The district places the cohort whereever they choose, based on capacity and this has ranged from being co-housed on other school campus's to a decrepit old buildings, to a newly built school that is being opened. The district is legally entitled to place and move 'programs' of any kind to what ever site they wish.

"HCC is racist and elitist. Turning over entire buildings to HCC should be illegal." What you appear to be saying here is the that the highly capable cohort, a group of school students ranging from 1st to 8th grade is racist and elitist. Of course that is unfair and untrue. They are just children with advanced academic abilities as demonstrated by testing and meeting the established criteria laid out by the school district. Their families just want for them to learn and thrive at school just as any family does for their child. Perhaps you think the school district is racist for having such a program as HCC. Well, the district is mandated by the state to identify and serve these students but how it does so is up to them to some degree - so perhaps you need to look to the district if you are unhappy with aspects of the program, they could take steps to improve identification of underrepresented students. Likewise it is the district that makes a decision about which site to locate the programs at (See above). Perhaps you are happier with idea of the HCC being housed in a decrepit 100 year former high school with no playground for the elementary students, well they have also been there (Lincoln prior to the HS renovation).

"The people taking the indefensible pro HCC position need to stop, because they are harming children." How on earth does it having some children going to a school where they do classes 2 grade levels ahead, harm anyone else's children who are working a grade level. Whether you call them HCC or not, those kids still need to go to school somewhere, they still need teachers and still consume the same amount of education resources - they are not currently getting any more of that than anyone else. If anything, grouping them together in a few locations probably requires fewer resources than the alternative models for service delivery.

Just the facts
Anonymous said…
People keep throwing out the term "true advanced learning" What?

"HCC and gen ed in the same building turns into a mess."

Oh so like IB and IBX placed in Ingraham is a mess? Yes, you are right, it is a mess.

You think only HCC gets old buildings? Wow just wow!

You have already contradicted your pro HCC argument.

Anonymous said…
OK, now SPS is anti-intellectual!

Geez, conspiracy theories galore, just like pizzagate!

SPS would like nothing better than every students to matriculate at UW.

There are PhD's all over the district teaching students and many, many teachers have master's degrees.

Just stop the conspiracy theories and baseless claims.

It's so transparent that all certain people want is the segregated cohort model for their kids and will promote any ridiculous line of attack to get it.

Oak Lake said…
Apparently JS was hoping for a new Oak Lake School near Robert Eagle Staff. Interesting history here:

Still not seeing anything illegal. SPS has to provide education, but they can do that basically wherever they want. The district does own the Oak Tree shopping mall land, so JS's hopes could still come true for a new elementary school.
Anonymous said…
JS - we get that you hate the HCC program but your arguments here are irrational, illogical and quite nasty.

Get a life

Anonymous said…

One thing you are not taking into consideration is the odd behavior aspects of a large percentage of the students in HCC. The district can address the quirks of these children who can be very disruptive when not challenged in a HCC setting. In a sense SPS is helping non HCC classrooms and HCC students by segregation them in their own building.

Maybe the solution to your complaint is more new schools perhaps with a mandate to replace any school older than 60 years.

There is danger in handing out buildings based off of distinctions.

Anonymous said…
Looks like HCC parents figure out how to get a private school education on the public's dime.

That is not illegal it's smart.

Anonymous said…
Spike, JS & BLUE SKY

It is already happening. I know general education students who registered for AP classes and did the work over the summer, only to not be able to take the class in Fall because classes were cut.

The same folks complaining about HCC as too white, are also complaining about AP/IB classes being too white as well. Remember AP/IB classes are "open to all" but at Garfield & Ingraham because the kids taking those classes are white there are called of racism. When it is Roosevelt versus Rainier Beach, you bet there will still be those accusations.

Staff was cut and money pulled this year from high schools so that those schools could not accommodate all their enrolled students. Many high schools were affected, but Garfield, Roosevelt and schools with MORE middle class students had many more staff cut (10 plus) and less reinstated (ex 2.5 FTE) in Oct and budget allocated.

Enrollment related demand does not matter as much as it did in the past in this new funding model we saw this past year. The district starved high schools projecting higher enrollment so they could distribute more money behind the scenes to EITHER pet projects or perhaps other schools in some not very transparent way.

I predict the positive will be that the district will move forward with AL at all schools, and all high schools will have equal number of AP classes and sections, so that high FRL schools with be have more AP/IB classes even with very small numbers of students.

The negative however will be that (as is currently happening) lower FRL schools with much higher AP/IB demand will be given less to fund more staff at other schools. So those schools will not be able to run as many AP class sections as they need even if they have lots of students, forget it if they have low numbers of students.

This is equity apparently.

Another scenario is that HCC students will be returning in drives to their middle class low FRL neighborhood schools. The stark contrast between many many more middle class
kids who happen to also be white/asian kids taking multiple AP classes versus kids at lower FRL high schools will be seen as inequitable and "tracking". It won't look equitable to many of the same folks.

Anonymous said…
The comment above says “We might be looking at SJW majority board in 2020 and that will be explosive for numerous reasons....all the HCC people better pack it up for 4 more years.”

Um, Wow! It appears that the commenter is saying that social/racial justice and highly capable programs are not compatible?? And you wonder why word on the street is that this blog is racist...

—Mary-Pat Soukup
Highline North said…
Director Geary suggested that students in south and southeast Seattle could go to high school in the Highline School District if they want advanced learning? That's disappointing
Anonymous said…
Geary and DeWolf are working with the district to create a One Size Fits All model of education. She should not be pushing south-end students into another school district. It is the job of Seattle School Board to create programs and opportunities in existing buildings.

Anonymous said…
A school without black students isn’t diverse, it’s segregated.

Called it
Anonymous said…
HCC north end students are already at Garfield in large numbers. Some will probably be assigned elsewhere, but some may end up continuing to be routed to Garfirld as their pathway. It sounds like you're saying they aren't welcome because they're too "northend" or too white? That the ship canal is a hard boundary for us vs them type arguments, in which capacity shouldn't be a factor? That's hardly any way to run an integrated school district.

HCC Buildings said…
I'm glad HCC students got moved into a new building. For years, they were used to manage capacity. These students were moved multiple times throughout their education. A new building serving their needs will provide them with stability (I hope.)

I want current board members and candidates to take a public position on IB and AP.
HCC Buildings said…
In terms of carbon emissions, for years, north end students bussed to Garfield. Glad they are closer to home.
Anonymous said…
Advanced Learning is blamed for so many problems - equity, rigor, buildings, etc. and yet with all the problems it seems to cause, the district and the Board are both content to drag out this process of reform for a year through the AL Taskforce.

The district doesn't mind these oddities of enrollment that, of course, are even more onerous for someone who doesn't read/speak English or doesn't have the time to go thru it all

HCC yes
Anonymous said…
I don't know that it's sunk in yet: SPS is trying to destroy *all* forms of differentiated learning, including AP, IB, and the option schools. They are leading with HCC because the cohort is harder to defend (not saying the cohort is bad, but let's face it, defending it is harder to do). If they succeed in destroying HCC they will continue to and successfully complete their attacks on option schools and AP and IB.

What comes after all that? SPS becomes a charter schools authorizer, and replaces most teachers with "facilitators" who monitor kids who mostly learn from standardized online curriculum.

This has been coming for years and Rankin/Hampson/Mitchell are running to help SCPTSA and SEA achieve the above goals, as those two organizations are 100% on board with what folks at the JSCEE are attempting to do.

Another Parent said…
On the low end, 32% of Black / African Americans incoming kindergarteners demonstrated the cognitive abilities of a three year old or younger, 24% of Hispanics, and 9% for white students. In other words, more than 3 times as many blacks than whites enter Seattle kindergarten 1 or more years behind.

On the high end, 26% of Black / African Americans incoming kindergarteners already demonstrated the cognitive abilities of kindergarten and up vs 37% for Hispanics 53% for whites. In other words, more than 2 times as many whites than blacks enter Seattle kindergarten at least a year ahead.

A 2-year difference in cognitive ability for a five-year-old is a huge difference. Across all grades, 38% of blacks vs 83% of whites meet ELA standards, and 27% of blacks vs 75% of whites meet math standards.

Advanced Learning means students are working ahead. Based on the numbers for kindergarten readiness and for testing across all grades, it would be reasonable to expect 3 to 4 times as many white students as black students in Advanced Learning. This means for example, 3 to 4 times as many whites as blacks in Walk to Math. Or 3 to 4 times as many whites as blacks taking an AP Class in high school.

It's not very practical for the district to put more black students in a math class than is 1 or 2 years ahead simply because they are black, because they are not going to succeed.

What can we do as a society to help blacks? For one, the city can provide free preschool, which it does, and blacks are overrepresented as compared to whites by a factor of 4. The per student spending at Madrona Elementary (38% black) is $16,749 vs Viewridge Elementary (2% black) $13,933, or almost $3000 more per student per year. Realistically, the spending at Madrona probably needs to $20K or 25K per year per student, and I would fully support that if asked as a taxpayer, just like I support free preschool.

The approach the district appears to have decided to take instead, based on claims of institutional racism and segregation, is to simply eliminate walk-to-math, honors classes, AP classes, and all other forms of Advanced Learning. I don’t believe the district’s plan is going to do anything to help blacks, I don’t believe the district’s plan is supported by the data, I believe Juneau is causing great harm to the district by causing large numbers of teachers to be fired and by stoking racial animosity, and I believe she should be fired.
Co-Housing said…
John Stanford didn't want to co-house HCC. He was right. Maybe it is time to dismantle co-housing. Give HCC students their own schools.
Anonymous said…
For such a liberal city I’m shocked to read that Seattle public school teachers and administrators are so racist. Restraining students of color fromAP programs

thank you Furfaro and Bazzaz for exposing the racism within our current teachers

ST Reader
Gleeful Activists said…
Justice Activists are gleeful at breaking HCC. The district is starting with Washington Middle School. TAF is a 6-12 program. These same individuals might not be so gleeful when the district rolls-up to high school. Chew on that one!
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry to see Tracy Castro-Gill's criticism of this blog be proven as true.

Longtime Reader
Anonymous said…
I'm not really sure what goes on in HCC building that could not happen in any SPS building. Are people saying they don't want their HCC students mixing with non HCC students at recess or in the lunch rooms. Do teacher's force the smarter kids out of gen ed for HCC?

Seems elitist to me, but what do I know, I was in a general education setting.

Confused said…
So, with the district's 2017-18 numbers, Cascade Parent Partnership and Interagency Academy have 0% black students. They're illegal? The district should close them?

Stephen Decatur Elementary, McDonald International Elementary, Cascadia Elementary, Salmon Bay K-8 School, John Stanford International School, and Bryant Elementary all have 1% black students. They're illegal? The district should close them?

North Beach Elementary, Thornton Creek Elementary, Catharine Blaine K-8 School, Whittier Elementary, Genesee Hill Elementary, and Queen Anne Elementary all have about 2% or less black students. They're illegal? The district should close them?

Ballard high school has less than 3% black students. Rainier Beach has 3% white students. Are they illegal? Both need to be closed?

We're going to be closing a lot of schools.
Another Parent said…
Black and Hispanic students enter kindergarten significantly behind white students. This is not because teachers and administrators are racist. And getting rid of advanced learning will do nothing to solve the problem. A

a city, we need to pay for 2 years of preschool. As a city, we need to pay significantly more for after school enrichment for poor schools. As a city, we need to spend significantly more to reduce the class sizes in poor schools.

It makes no sense to take a black student that is a year behind in kindergarten and put them a year ahead in Walk the math.

Anonymous said…
Oh boy it's getting worst, where is the mod?

True colors
Another Parent said…
Data on student testing and kindergarten readiness is published by the state, by race.

I understand that Castro Gill thinks math is racist and math testing is racist. In other words, the entire state is racist.

The fight in SPS is not about HCC, it is about advanced learning in general. HCC is being used to attack all advanced learning.

Anonymous said…
@HCC buildings Those of us who have been following closely via budget allocation, high school classes are focusing on what is ACTUALLY happening. There have also been comments from current board members and those running, that align do with honors classes and/or AP/IB too white and is segregated. We have already seen multiple high schools eliminating honors classes to address "equity". It has meant in practice a general education class for all.

So your comment "I want current board members and candidates to take a public position on IB and AP" would not mean much right now.

Even for example if the district or a board member elect is stating to the public 'they want to increase and make AP & IB classes more available at more high schools" you must understand they are not talking about high schools with low FRL numbers. They don't want rich, white schools with lots of AP classes (due to demand) versus kids in low income schools with few or little enrollment in AP classes. It is tracking to these people.

IF and it is a big IF the district does increase AP classes at low income schools, they have demonstrated already this year through the budget process & Juneau's now infamous enrollment video, they WILL NOT maintain let alone increase any classes at low FRL schools.

I do expect many general education students will likely have less access to AP/IB classes, especially when the schools receive more HCC students back to their neighborhood school.

It will highlight the economic and racial divide between wealthier whiter schools and lower FRL schools even further.

Anonymous said…
@KL it's hard to understand what your writing.

No, I think you are mistaken. All high school students have an equal shot at taking classes. There are no preferences allowed and if we find out that whites are getting preferences then it's say hello to my little friend time, the ACLU.

Anonymous said…
With so many comments that are so strident I find I am using a lot of energy just trying to figure out what some commenters are saying. In particular the sarcasm is easy to misunderstand as meaning the opposite. So it would help me and maybe others if people could try to eliminate the sarcasm and just state simply and clearly what they mean.

Anonymous said…
I wonder what the PSED position is on HCC?

"Restraining students of color from AP programs."

Just not true. I might argue about some high school administrators and teachers but I have never heard of any of them not wanting/allowing student to take AP courses.

As to the Cascadia building, the district has evenly distributed renovations throughout the city. At one time, there were far more buildings done in the southend than northend. But the district has a big backlog of buildings - the real crime is how so many middle schools are not good.

"Advanced Learning is blamed for so many problems - equity, rigor, buildings, etc. and yet with all the problems it seems to cause, the district and the Board are both content to drag out this process of reform for a year through the AL Taskforce."

This goes to the heart of my thesis - many Board and Superintendents could have done something and they didn't. And this particular administration seems to want to make HCC the main and sole source of systemic racism in the district. By the time the AL Taskforce gets done, they will have been at work nearly 18 months.

Um, Wow! It appears that the commenter is saying that social/racial justice and highly capable programs are not compatible?? And you wonder why word on the street is that this blog is racist..."

No, it's when zealots use race and equity to quiet/club any discussion. That's what the fear is.

And the ole "word on the street?" No, that's not true but if you hang with the small group that thinks that, just don't come here.

I think we will end the discussion here.

I think we will end the discussion here.

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