Seattle Time's Westneat Speaks Out on Advanced Learning/HCC

Update: Superintendent Juneau issued a statement yesterday about the majority vote of the Curriculum & Instruction committee to not move forward to the full Board the changes to Policy 2190 about Advanced Learning.  I myself have not often seen a superintendent issue any kind of statement on Board committee decisions; I find it odd.  From the statement:

For 17 months the Advanced Learning Task Force has been meeting to explore solutions to address a lack of diverse representation in the district’s advanced learning programs. Policy changes were introduced to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee on October 8, 2019, that would have dramatically increased advanced learning opportunities for students of color who are furthest away from educational justice. 

Changes to Board Policy 2190 were tabled in committee because directors could not reach a majority vote to move it to the full board. While I am disappointed that the recommended changes won’t be introduced and discussed by the full board later this month, staff remain steadfast in the commitment to desegregating our services and programs and advancing racial equity as outlined in the board approved strategic plan. 

Every student that walks through our doors should know that we believe in their giftedness and potential, and our policies and practices need to reflect this belief.
Just to point out, Juneau and staff were VERY firm on the science curriculum committee and waiting for AND supporting their work. Why is it less so for this policy and the Taskforce created to do this work?

Thru the years, many parents of color have expressed to me their unhappiness that it looked like students of color were disproportionately moved into Special Education.  When does the "desegregating" work for Sped start?

end of update

From KNKX's Ashley Gross on yesterday's Curriculum&Instruction Board committee meeting discussion on Advanced Learning:

The Seattle school district’s proposal to change how it serves academically advanced students hit a roadblock Tuesday, after two school board directors voiced concerns in a committee meeting and chose not to advance a draft policy district leaders had put forward.

Board director Rick Burke said he was concerned that the district pushed ahead with the proposed change before an advanced learning task force of community members finished its work.
“We want our district to operate in a collaborative space. I’ve heard that from our superintendent. I’ve heard that from our board. I feel that myself,” Burke said. “And I do not believe that we’re in a collaborative space on this particular policy.”

Burke and Scott Pinkham, another board director, said they would not support moving the policy change out of the curriculum and instruction policy committee.

“Looking at what I’ve been hearing from the community, they feel that this still needs more work,” Pinkham said. “The people of color on the committee felt that their ideas weren’t included.
The mystery to me is why the district - of its own accord and direction - decided to take nearly two years for the Advanced Learning Taskforce to do its work...and then tried to cut them off at the knees as if the Taskforce wasn't moving fast enough.  The Taskforce is moving at the speed the district gave them.

But, like the overwhelming majority of advisory committees/taskforces, the danger is that their work will be for naught and will be shelved.  Board after board allows this kind of disrespectful action.  There truly needs to be a Board policy on the work of committees/taskforces that the Board and the administration create and what will happen to their work.

The district also weighed in on this story:
Nevertheless, district leaders said separating highly capable students into their own classrooms causes harm to other students who are not in the program.
“Telling our students every year, year in, year out, that, 'Hey, you’re a student of color, you can’t go to that class because you’re not part of highly capable because you didn’t test in when you were in first grade’ – that’s inappropriate,” said Wyeth Jessee, chief of schools and continuous improvement. “I think it’s unacceptable.”
Whoa! What? Who is telling any student they "can't go to a class?"  Because the way to allow kids in "that class" is to expand the ability for ALL students to access it.  And students can and do test in at later grades.

I have spoken with Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times for years, off and on.  He tends to be reserved in some of his writing but I think he hit the nail on the head with his current column.  Reading the comments, many readers - who seem to generally not agree with him - agree.

A high school is a ‘slave ship’? Seattle should be expanding its gifted programs, not maligning them.'

On that comment about Garfield High School being  "a slave ship," I heard that long ago and haven't heard it since but it seems to come back around like a bad penny.  And the Superintendent owes it to students and the public to investigate - not riff - these kinds of rumors or suggestions. Not to repeat them with no evidence.

This column has over 300 comments.

Westneat's central thesis:

No doubt the imbalances should be addressed. But eliminating a program because it reflects gaps in our society seems both knee-jerk and self-defeating. Why not expand opportunities to get into the program instead?

Westneat, like many others, HAS seen suggestions made to make Advanced Learning programs more equitable and yet, the district has done little.
But how about try what they did down in the Miami schools — expand the definition of gifted beyond just IQ test scores, and set up a sliding scale for admission based on socioeconomic status?
It worked — their gifted programs now more closely reflect the schools’ makeup (and achieve academically, too). This newspaper suggested Seattle try this two years ago, but that was ignored.
A group of Seattle parents, convened in 2014, also pushed the district to widen the horizon by testing far more students, especially immigrants and kids of color. Ignored. But when the Northshore School District did this last year it found about 500 low-income or foreign-born students it had missed before.

New York just proposed eliminating many of its advanced programs, for the same racial-divide reasons cited by Juneau. But interestingly some of the most vocal blowback there has come from minority leaders — who argue the only way to truly fix the inequities is to get more of their kids in.
The comments fall in three different ways:

1) We used to live in Seattle.  When we had our kid and began listening to the other parents who were a year or two ahead of us talk about the problems with the Seattle Public Schools (bussing was the deal then) we left Seattle for Bellevue.  Our son had a great education in their gifted programs and his education culminated in an International Baccalaurate and a number of other awards.  We were supportive parents of the schools.  I got my company to donate thousands of dollars of pc's and software and my wife was active in the PTA (president of the High School PTA one year).  
I'd advise any parents with capable kids to leave Seattle politics for the excellent education to be found outside the city. 

2) By all means shut down the the one successful program because it doesn't produce the politically desired outcome. 

Listen to Danny! He's right - expand, don't disband. Good grief! This is a no-brainer. 

In the past I have been critical of Danny, cheapskate liberal, spend other peoples money.  But I have to agree with him on this article.  You don't get rid of a successful academic program because most of the kids are white, political correctness, but rather expand the program, obviously.  Kids learn differently. 

 3) This one is a combo of the two above -
Let's not raise the standard, let's lower the standard so everyone is at a disadvantage equally.  No wonder I moved to the eastside where education and achievement are valued.

4) As the parent of a child who benefited from advanced placement, and a family that supports better funding for an open, nurturing public school system, I support special needs education--and I do resent the "chip on her shoulder" attitude of the new superintendent, because I think that attitude is destructive of the values that I hold and financially support.

Please, set a sliding scale.  Heck, have racial quota if that's what it takes to settle the inequality.  But, DO NOT eliminate a program that challenges advanced students.  That is a disservice to every single student in Seattle Public Schools.

Another misstep for the district.


Anonymous said…
Maybe it's worth noting that people who usually disagree with "liberal" Danny appear to agree with him about HCC. Maybe it's not a very liberal, uplifting point of view after all, just like Burke's "we're not in a collaborative space" sounds more like the whine of a white guy trying to sound magnanimous while clinging desperately to his ability to maintain control of the outcome.

Not impressed
Not Impressed, well, it much more appears like Juneau trying to control an outcome or better yet, downright decide it. It's still a public school system.
Jeremy said…
Especially at the high school and middle school level, the better solution is to just drop the testing. You want to take the honors, IB or AP class? Go for it. The district spends too much time testing and not enough encouraging students to appropriately challenge themselves.
Anonymous said…
This is all about cheap equity points. If they really cared about helping the kids further from educational justice, the conversation would be around how to help them succeed and get to grade level and beyond.
Instead it’s all about removing a program that guarantees access to advancement for anyone who qualifies. It’s racially unbalanced yes, because the district makes it so complicated to apply.

Fake equity
One, there is no testing for high school; you had to have done the testing before then.

Two, I believe for middle school HCC only has one separate class, Social Studies or LA, but anyone can test into math classes.

Fake Equity, how the district can keep quote these stats for who is in the program and yet do NOTHING to find and serve students of color who could benefit from it is a mystery.
Anonymous said…

"Two, I believe for middle school HCC only has one separate class, Social Studies or LA, but anyone can test into math classes."

It is LA and Science. they just took SS away in the vein of honors for all at GHS. Math can be considered advanced but anyone can accelerate in math with the right achieved prerequisites.

"The mystery to me is why the district - of its own accord and direction - decided to take nearly two years for the Advanced Learning Taskforce to do its work...and then tried to cut them off at the knees as if the Taskforce wasn't moving fast enough."

Because they needed to have Geary move it out of committee and thought they had the votes. Only DeWolf and Geary would do something so political like this. Reminder they are political and not very committed trying to advance their careers within two years after taking office.

And in my opinion the ALTF is taking so long because the District hand picked Devin Bruckner to deliver them BS policy and low and behold there are dissenting views. They just didn't pick enough district rubber stamps and TF members are taking their role seriously. But as Juneau said. This is my recommendations. I am the only one you need to listen to on this. Not those most involved like the HC families. Not the ALTF that was formed before me. But me and my race baiting tongue. ((She to this day has not met with anyone within the Highly Capable community.))

HC is real and we all know there are hundreds of unidentified HC kids in SPS that they are just too lazy to find. So they bring this BS. Every child should be screened at least once by third for Dyslexia and IQ. To leave it to the parents to guess if it makes sense is strange. To do it on a weekend... Which may be a work day for a single parent is unconscionable. But that is on the DISTRICT. Dr. This or That came up with that program. The ALTF 2014 screen everyone. They didn't. The School Board said identify more kids furthest from educational justice by this school year and they didn't. Nothing on IDENTIFICATION. So let us throw the whole thing out.


Anonymous said…

They may have science on the northend but not at WMS. My kid was supposed to make up science because no one would teach the class with over 35 kids with flamed burners isn't safe in a room built for half.

Malpractice Emily
Anonymous said…
over the summer during summer school.

ME above
Anonymous said…
Quoting ST comments as a way to support your point? Not an effective metric, to put it mildly.

Does Westneat have an HC student? The whole article reeked of a biased, undisclosed conflict of interest.

makinghermark said…
When is Juneau's contract up?
Anonymous said…
@ Jeremy who said "You want to take the honors, IB or AP class? Go for it. " That exists now Jeremy. There is no testing for IB or AP classes. They are open to all general education students. AP classes are also at every high school. The issue is that kids of color and/or low income kids do not choose those classes which are open to them. Another issue is that HCC identified kids (IQ's in the top 1-2% range) also need access to a peer group for socially related issues, not just advanced classes.

Anonymous said…
If the district focuses on low income kids and not race, they run the risk of identifying more white and Asian kids who are proportionately represented in the program. Many gifted kids of color are lured away to Rainier Scholars and elite private schools that provide much more than the HC program provides in resources. If I had the choice between a low student ratio/mentor program for my gifted kid, and a public school program like HC I would choose the former.

A Parent
C,mon, I reprinted some comments from several categories to explain what the reaction was to his column, not to support any point. That so many people were not happy is telling.

Also, Westneat has repeatedly explained that yes, he is an HCC parent.

Makinghermark, I believe that would be June of 2022. In the past, some superintendents have been given extensions in the middle of their contract. There may actually be some language in her current contract about that; I don't know.
Anonymous said…
What it comes down to is political will. Apparently integrating a cohort is possible, but does not score optical, cheap, and fast equity points.

More noise please
Anonymous said…
Students of color are under represented because of the failure of the people and policies in the district themselves. So it isn't the program or the service but the choices made by the district administrators. It isn't about race. It's about district incompetence. They keep acting like they have no hand in this. It's unequivocally and entirely their fault. It is disingenuous at best to claim otherwise.

Mr. Theo Moriarty
Anonymous said…
It would be really interesting to see the break down of Seattle POC who are given financial assistance to attend private schools. Does anyone know how many HC students of color get lured away by private schools? Does it skew the percentage? It may not be a significant factor but I'm genuinely curious.

NW Parent
Anonymous said…
It’s the poverty.

Common sense:
-breaking up white schools won’t close the achievement gap
-breaking up black schools won’t close the achievement gap
-breaking up rich schools won’t close the achievement
-breaking up HCC won’t close the achievement gap
-implementing black schools won’t close the achievement gap

What will help close the achievement gap?

1. Opt-in extra curricular Talent development programs at high poverty schools aimed at the school’s “talented tenth”
2. Making sure the district does not engineer high poverty schools, and reengineers school factors for schools that currently are extremely high poverty so that they become more middle class (see book, “All together Now”)

Four years ago, Stephen Martin, then head of Highly Capable / Advanced learning, proposed to the school board a modest amount, $40,000, to implement a talent development program in a south-end, high poverty, predominantly students of color elementary school, to nurture bright young minds to support them such that they could be scaffolded to succeed on achievement tests and thus test-in to HCC so that they could then choose to opt-in if they wanted to into HCC. The district turned him down. So, the district “cares” about equity, but only if it can tear things down, not actually build things up and give kids in poverty an intervention like Rainier Scholars, that has a proven ability to nurture students furthest from educational justice into successful academic trajectories.

So, Mr. Moriarty is correct about failed policies. Kids who need more, who are in deprived Socio-economic circumstances compounded by overarching societal racism, they can’t thrive on lipservice or platitudes, they thrive on care and attention. A low student – teacher ratio in an extracurricular academic talent development program provided free from the district in a child’s home school, with homeroom teachers directly encouraging parents and guardians to enroll their students would yield results - and that is exactly what SPS’s Advanced Learning Dept begged for. SPS killed it.

The talented tenth who would grow and succeed in such a program would spur further success in their communities, and that would be a critical step to help the district’s stated goal of educational equity. Yet this district turned it down cold, instead they’ve spent their time in the last several years trying to tear down academics.


Anonymous said…
At our kids' SE school, when they tested into (then) APP, the amount of badmouthing of the program almost deterred me from moving them. My first child's teacher told us kids in the program are weird, and it would make our kids weird. This was a high FRL school, and I imagine that I was not unique in being steered away. So, in addition to helping to identify more children from under represented communities who will benefit from the HCC program, we also need to educate teachers that it is a service that benefits children. They can be the gatekeepers as well.

SE mama
Anonymous said…
"So, the district “cares” about equity, but only if it can tear things down, not actually build things up and give kids in poverty an intervention like Rainier Scholars, that has a proven ability to nurture students furthest from educational justice into successful academic trajectories."

Yes of course. Also, if I had a gifted child of color who would receive low class sizes, mentors, resources such as provided by Rainier Scholars, or at an elite private school, I would choose it over the public HC program. The SPS HC program has some of the highest class sizes in the school district and no such resources. IMO the district should also focus on low income kids (of all races) which would actually provide equity.

A Parent
NSP said…
Superintendent contracts are typically 3 years. After each year passes, there's normally an extension added back to three years. With Nyland, the board didn't extend his contract and that was when we knew there would be a superintendent turnover in 2 years.
Owler said…
The consortium of independent schools (i.e., private schools) has a evening dedicated toward introducing families of color to the various area private schools (and it's coming up: Oct 16, 2019). Private schools have the money to recruit and support POC, and you can bet that it's worth it to them to have a diverse student body. And like "A Parent" above, f I had a gifted child of color, I would totally look outside SPS.
Screen Every Child at least twice said…
While SPS doubles down on their decades-long failure to even try to identify gifted students of color, guess which districts DO believe that they will find gifted students from underserved populations if they look for them? Genuine universal screening now being used in:
*Northshore (Woodinville, Kenmore, Bothell), screening all students in grades K, 1 and 5 (using Naglieri nonverbal abilities test)
*West Valley #208, Yakima screens all 2nd graders. CogAT.
*Tacoma screens all 2nd graders with the NNAT.
*LWSD screens all 1st graders. They use Cogat and ITBS.
*Edmonds School District started last year and does it in 2nd grade.
*Shoreline screens all 2nd graders via CoGAT screener. Two years so far.
*Riverview screens all 1st graders.
*Lake Stevens screens all 1st graders.
*Issaquah School District, Kinder & 2nd Grade
*Mount Vernon screens all 2nd graders. I think Conway school district just started doing the same.
*Renton SD, all second graders and others upon referral.
*Yakima, 3rd grade Cogat
*Burlington-Edison does the CoGAT Screener in 3rd grade for all students.

We see you, SPS. You are a glaring, sucking, void on this subject where strong pro-education leadership is desperately needed. Identify ALL the students who need advanced learning services. It can be done. Other districts are doing it.
I was mistaken about Juneau's contract; it ends in June 2021. There is an interesting clause in there that I had not known about. If by chance it slips the Board's collective mind's to review her contract, it just extends itself by one year.

"Students of color are under represented because of the failure of the people and policies in the district themselves. So it isn't the program or the service but the choices made by the district administrators. It isn't about race. It's about district incompetence. They keep acting like they have no hand in this. It's unequivocally and entirely their fault. It is disingenuous at best to claim otherwise."

Yes, yes, yes and thank you Theo. Staff at JSCEE act like this happened in the Dark Ages by some bad people. No, it's being going on for years and years with no one doing anything about it but wringing their hands.

Eyes Open, I don't remember that initiative by Martin that you cite but I don't doubt it. I wonder if the district is trying to stay in good with Rainier Scholars. Hmmm.

SE Mama, your story makes me sad. Because I was aware, a good decade or more ago, that there were some SE schools deliberately trying to NOT tell parents about the program. One year I did a spot-check of schools and only found one that had the announcement about the program and testing anywhere visible. When I asked, they claimed they didn't need to put them out and they were available "by request."

Anonymous said…
For " socially related issues " Nope schools are not required to provide special Asperger class rooms.

Noted said…
The Native American board director wouldn't let AL changes out of committee.

Geary, a white woman is pushing against a person of color.
Anonymous said…
To the person who made a negative comment about Pinkam, how someone speaks is no indicator of intelligence or qualifications if that is what you are getting at in your post. I came from a community of lower and working class whites, with thick accents, who did not use standard English and used regional slang. It does not mean that there are no intelligent people in that community. People communicate differently based up their gender, their ethnicity and culture, their region of the US, their class etc. Sometimes even after being educated at a university. Your bias is showing.

Anonymous said…
SE Mama's story is similar to ours, but we are in the NE, so it goes: "At our kids' [NE] school, when they tested into (then) APP, the amount of badmouthing of the program almost deterred me from moving them. My first child's [principal as well as other parents] told us kids in the program are weird..."

We moved our child. Academically, it was the right choice. Then they split the program. Moved it. Split it again. Moved it. And it's been a roller coaster ride of instability ever since. With each split/move, the program became less and less accelerated and more susceptible to the whims of each school's principal. Each change came with promises about program curriculum, PD, etc., that never seemed to fully materialize.

Many schools did the minimum to publicize the AL info - it wasn't just SE schools. Perhaps there was an assumption that families already knew about it, but we were pretty clueless. And if you miss the testing deadline, then wait for the next testing cycle, it means almost two years before services start. I would support universal screening in 1st or 2nd grade, but I suspect the district may not be willing to support the expense, and more importantly, suspect some are resistant because identifying more underrepresented students would also mean identifying more students of all backgrounds.

Anonymous said…
Testing at one grade would be about $50,000 5K s x $10

But they don't do it.

Nike motto
Anonymous said…

What is left out is the fact that it was the District that chose Garfield as the program site. If the District chose a different school, one that is a closer match, demographically, with the HCC population, then all of this "apartheid" and "slave ship" talk would be eliminated. The problem, or at least the Superintendent's problem, is purely optics. That's easy to fix; all she has to do is move the program to a Whiter school.
The District chose Garfield for APP because, at the time, Garfield was segregated, undersubscribed, and underperforming. After placing APP there, the numbers on the reports all got fixed. Now the school appears integrated, fully subscribed, and high performing. At least on the reports.

There are three real problems that need to solved here, and the District has no appetite for addressing any of them.

1. The District cannot adequately serve high performing students in general education classrooms because it is a Standards-based educational system. In standards-based educational systems, the standards, intended in theory as a floor, function in practice as a ceiling. Students are taught to the Standards and no further. I child who meets the 4 grade standards in January is left un-taught for the rest of the year. Imagine what happens to kid who meets those standards in the second grade. It would take an enterprise-wide change in culture, large-scale teacher education, a five-fold increase in support for differentiation, a revision in teacher evaluation, an abandonment of horizontal and vertical integration, and more before this could happen. Don't hold your breath. Absent this revolutionary change, dividing students by skill level - either within the classroom, among classrooms, or among schools is required. The District once claimed that they would use Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to serve high performing students. That would work if they would do it, but they never did it, and they don't make that claim anymore.

2. Students arrive at the classroom with widely diverse levels of preparation, support, and motivation. These are the inequitable inputs that create the inequitable outcomes. To resolve this inequity, the District would have to commit to providing preparation, support, and motivation where it is deficient. The District has made some efforts on support - breakfast, lunch, clinics, counselors, homework support, etc. It has done too little around preparation, though universal Pre-K from the City is a start. As for motivation, the District is working in the wrong direction. It does not organize the student experience around motivation - quite the opposite.

3. Students could be provided with advanced classes in every school, but it would mean that some of these classes would be very small. There simply are not enough of these students in each school to form whole classes. As bad as APP may be, at least it's cheap. It would cost a lot more to have classes of 4, 6, or 8 students.

Charlie on ST
RET, not every child who has social problems has Asperger's. Please do not make statements like that which are not true.

Good insights, Charlie on ST.
NESeattleMom said…
The words that Ms. Juneau used were not attributed to any actual people having said it. It could have been said by some adult in passing at SPS headquarters about their impression of Garfield, not by a student. In my time at Garfield as a parent, I do see diverse friendships of students. Kids are kids, and I don't see a feeling of separation.
Anonymous said…
The superintendent's remarks about Garfield were misleading and inflammatory.

Students called Garfield "the slave ship" because of the racial breakdown and physical location of *AP classes*, not APP classes. The acronyms AP and APP were widely believed to mean the same thing, but admission to AP classes has never been exclusively for APP (or HCC) students. I'd like to pause here to note that I am not trying to excuse the racism that was present when this term came into use.

From an account of a former Garfield student of color, here's how that term was used in the mid-nineties:
"In Seattle, we called Garfield High School a slave ship. The building had 3 stories, and the top floor had what was called “advanced placement” classes, and they were all white. Those students were on track to graduate early, and go to University. The 2nd floor was much bigger, mostly black & brown, and it felt like a daycare. Those students were on track to enter the work force as soon as they graduated. The bottom floor had a room for “special education”. It was all black male students that had gotten kicked out of other classes (in my experience it was because of racism: white teachers that were scared of their own students) and it was a sort of punishment. Those students were on track for prison. I hear students at Garfield still call it the slave ship to this day."

That students of color in the nineties were led to believe that AP classes were only for white students is tragic. Denise Juneau should not be giving new life to this rumor now.

Anonymous said…
I used to be troubled by having Seattle Schools led by bungling incompetents. Now, the incompetents have been replaced by ideologues actively hostile to educational excellence. How can it get worse?

Anonymous said…
The district has historically and intentionally placed APP/HCC in under enrolled and/or underperforming schools (HIMS before APP was not exactly a high performing school). Remember the initial plan of closing Lowell and splitting the program between Hawthorne and TM (both schools even further south than Lowell)? More recently, HCC has helped to jump start enrollment at newly opened schools. So NOW they're deciding the optics aren't good? And yet the idea to place APP/HCC at Eckstein was met with fierce resistance.

It's still not clear what the proposed changes would mean for capacity at individual schools and what kind of boundary redraws would occur as a result. Part of the resistance to HCC at Eckstein were the potential boundary changes. The boundary would practically have to be across the street to accommodate the HC students living within Eckstein's boundaries.

capacity conundrum
Noted said…

I was complimenting Pinkham. I have nothing but admiration and respect for an individual that wants to hear from community members. Pinkham didn't push AL recommendations out of committee because the process hasn't been completed.

NESeattleMom said…
Thanks OSPS. Now Juneau should say where she heard it... I don't think it is productive to repeat ugly things that other people have said.
NESeattleMom (and others), yes, that is quite the question why the Superintendent would choose to repeat a derogatory statement about a distinguished high school from an unknown/unnamed source. "I heard" really isn't good enough in this context.
Anonymous said…
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drum said…
Juneau's statement is a lie and an attempt to spin a false narrative about what happened. Yes, the AL Task Force has been working for the past 17 months to come up with recommendations to change the current policy and procedures. But the proposed changes to policy 2190 that went before the committee DID NOT come from the task force. They came directly from the central office staff. Juneau's statement completely leaves out this fact and places blame on the board directors, who voted to not move it forward precisely so that the task force can actually do the work that it was charged to do. This is outrageous.
Anonymous said…
The specifics of this situation aside, I'd go ballistic if our superintendent released a statement like that after a decision didn't go her/his way. That is a significant breach of protocol.

Anonymous said…
Juneau is taking a leaf out of Trump's playbook.... "I have heard...." "Many people are saying....."

SPSsupicious Minds
Anonymous said…
@Noted- Not meant for you. Melissa must have deleted the negative comment about Pinkam. I was referring to that person's comment.

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There it is said…
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Anonymous said…
The way to inspire our kids is not to dwell historical wrongs, they get it, but that is not going to make them successful in the future. talking about how the playing field got so uneven isn't going to level it. I'm insulted that seattle schools thinks talking about drug dealers and jail sentences in math is what it takes to make math matter to my kid. Its only a short jump up from making math about cotton bales or rows of watermelons, can't they see that. I don't want our black youth to see themselves reflected in school as historical victims or drug dealers or the disproportionately criminalized. That just reinforces their place at the bottom of the ladder but we want to them to climb to the top. Use positive successful role models as examples or mentors, people who have got somewhere so that our kids see that they can get somewhere too if they do well in school. Let them see other kids like them who are achieving, let them see that its cool to achieve, that it opens doors. They need to be shown and be told and believe in their heart that nothing is holding them back - even if its still an uphill battle. Let them see themselves as teachers, doctors, community leaders, scientists, professors, politicians, good parents, good community members, people who do the right thing. If you look at Michelle Obamas book you will see she got identified as having talent in grade school and was given opportunities because of that. That started her on the path to where she is today. It doesnt take a special curriculum or ethnic studies to get kids on the right path it takes someone seeing their potential, giving them an opportunity, setting good examples, having high expectations and giving them support to meet them. Thats what seattle schools needs to do. Dont get rid of opportunities and perpeuate a victim mentality - give them more opportunities and belief in their own agency. And this applies whether we are talking about racially or socioeconomically disadvantaged kids, its the same. Show them it doesnt matter where you came from, what matters is where you are going and how youre going to get there

As i see it
Anonymous said…
I think you mean disproportionately convicted. It's undeniable the POC are disproportionately convicted of crimes they committed. They white people are still criminals just not convicted.

Speak truth
Out Souped said…
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Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
@ Westbrook, listen to your heroes own words,

“Listening to their cries of outrage, one might imagine that Democrats were America’s undisputed champions of public education,” Ravitch says. “But the resistance to DeVos obscured an inconvenient truth: Democrats have been promoting a conservative ‘school reform’ agenda for the past three decades,” she states.

A river
NSP said…
@Just Watching and Some Say: Au and Geary were among Rankin's first endorsements. The voter's pamphlet statement is due within a few weeks of filing deadlines.

Personally, I'm not all that worried about Marxism. I'm a lot more worried about people who demonize those they don't agree with as racists.
Anonymous said…
I'm reading through this blog today trying to understand where the blogger is positioned.

She supports many Marxist via the school board or teachers and some activist. The question is, does she know they are Marxist? or maybe she doesn't care. If they are in her mind anti-charter then she's with them.

Maybe this blog is controlled opposition? Marxist are very patient and will spend a considerable amount of time building up a persona and following in order to flip the 180 switch and attack the very thing they have been advocating for.

If the Marxist can't gain control of a institution then they will flip and destroy it.

If that what's about to happen here? Are you going to flip?

Simple Question
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
So I guess we're done here if there is to be coy or cryptic remarks, name-calling (what's up with all this "Marxist" talk?), etc.

If you have something to say about a particular person, say it along with their name. Tell us how you know this.

For example, saying Au and Rankin "chose" to have their kids in a particular school for Spectrum. Well, one, Spectrum no longer exists and so what. And, unless you are a fly on the wall, you don't know that at all.

Simple Question, move along. I'm not a Marxist, I am the ONLY person who controls this blog.

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