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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Wishing a good and sweet year during Rosh Hashanah to all our Jewish friends and neighbors.  (I see that many images for Rosh Hashanah include pots of honey.  That makes me smile as my name means honeybee in Greek.  Although, as I learned when I visited Greece, they don't use it as a girl's name.)


Enrollment update via JoLynn Berge, head of Budget for SPS.

College application/FAFSA events in SPS.

We've talked about this before but it came across my desk again at the start of school - saying the Pledge of Allegiance in class.  I would venture to say this is mostly a question for elementary school as I do not recall my sons ever saying they did it in middle or high school.

Apparently the principal at Green Lake Elementary is pretty hard-core about saying it, with the entire school participating every morning.  From an email sent to parents:

As the new principal of Green Lake Elementary, I have structured our morning routine as I have for many years as a school principal: by having students come to my office to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.  The recital of the pledge is required by state law, RCW 28A.230.140, and School Board Policy 2333.  As a result, it is important we follow the law and equally important we follow the portion of the law which permits students to not participate. 

 

I know in recent history the pledge was not done at our school. I understand that the pledge can be controversial, and I am aware of its history and know how it came into being.  Because of that, this change in routine surprised some of you and caused you to be concerned. I am sorry for surprising you with this change. I respect your concerns and want to assure you that I also respect the right of any student to not participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. However, as I must follow the law and district policy, we will continue to include the pledge in our morning routine. 
When I was volunteering, my teacher said the pledge every morning (she was an immigrant and I think it meant a lot to her; I don't know if the rest of the school did it).  She was careful to say that no one had to say it but they needed to stand up out of respect.  At Seattle School Board meetings, they say it every time but again, President Harris says it's optional.

There was a truly unfortunate story last week about a Christian school where a 12-year old African-American girl said three white boys had held her down and cut off some of her hair.  The story went viral as so many people were outraged by this action (and clearly some hair was cut off).  But now she has recanted and said she made it up.

Of course this is terrible - for the boys, for their parents, for the school.  And very sad for the girl's family who have profusely apologized.

I bring this up to urge you to talk to your children about the dangers of false accusations. About the dangers it brings to both accuser and those accused.  About the cementing of belief among some that "all girls/women lie."  About your child's sense of honor and fairness.  And, like so many issues about behavior, you just have to ask yourself, "How would I feel if someone did this to me?"

A pretty hilarious take from mom Raquel D'Apice on Go Dog, Go and its sexism.

The worry over the state of food service in SPS? Take a look at what passes for lunch elsewhere.

What's on your mind?

104 comments:

Anonymous said...

Watching Juneau and Berge smile and say how everything is normal is really enervating and dismissive of the chaos never experienced in my almost two decades with kids in SPS.

-Unapologetically disgusted

Juneau's Legacy said...

Juneau has begun her assault on Highly Capable services. Groups have been pitted against each other. She will now sit back and watch communities tear each other apart.

https://www.knkx.org/post/seattle-school-officials-propose-advanced-learning-changes-undo-institutional-racism?fbclid=IwAR0xzYSi5KgzUsQf2WdhHW817E7pXOMJ7WdBzo7IorIN8hs8GLqVfJyQTUA

Meanwhile, the district can't get food to students. Cafeteria workers are going to the grocery store to buy food. If the district can't get food to students, how does anyone expect them to carry out their Advanced Learning Plan?

Anonymous said...

That staffing video is hilarious. Well, at least we can tell based on the fact that they felt a need to make a video that they are getting a lot of push-back about poor staffing decisions made for the schools this year. Keep up the pressure!

You know what else would be hilarious? If a bunch of high-schoolers made videos showing the actual chaos on the ground that results in having classes of 40 kids or having you schedule changed mid-October. And if they distributed these videos to SPS staff and school board.

Sorry, watching SPS over the past couple of months is apparently making me punchy.

Did you see a post on HCC Facebook page that one kid's science class doesn't have a science teacher? They just spend the period watching Amplify videos? Who could have predicted that? And what does SEA have to say about this?

-NW

What is SPS doing said...

There is a story circulating that a teacher in class held up a little red book and asked her students what they thought the book stood for. Many of the students answered " Communism" The teacher responded with "No, it stands for revolution and justice".

I think there are 100 of millions of people who would disagree with this teacher.

This is not a class on rhetoric , it a social studies class. The teacher then supposedly we on to discuss the discrimination in SPS against transgender students.

What was her point? Was it planting a seed of revolution into the young impressionable minds?

Transgender is a difficult subject no matter which side you are on.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Juneau's Legacy, I was going to do a separate thread on that KNKX story. Readers, could you hold your comments until then? Thanks.

NW, also a good thread to start. And I like your idea about videos from students.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the communist are back for more of the in your face tactics they tried in the 40s and 50s. People would be well server to read this

TESTIMONY OF BELLA V. DODD, NEW YORK, N. Y., ACCOMPANIED BY HER ATTORNEY, GODFREY P. SCHMIDT


http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/bc/senate_1952/dodd1.html

Oh Boy



Anonymous said...

Universal screening would increase numbers of identified students of all backgrounds, including those considered disproportionately identified under current policies. It seems TC-G is not a proponent of it for this reason.

Segregation is a loaded term and in public schools it's generally used to refer to government sanctioned segregation, which SPS never had. This is emphasized in the 2007 ruling on the race-based student assignment plan:

The Seattle district, which has never operated legally segregated schools or been subject to court-ordered desegregation, classified children as white or nonwhite, and used the racial classifications as a “tiebreaker” to allocate slots in particular high schools."

https://scotusblog.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/05-908.pdf

The court ruling should be required reading for school board members. Yes, there are racial imbalances in HC enrollment (as compared to SPS enrollment), and yes, past housing patterns may have contributed to some of those imbalances. But it seems irresponsible of school officials to [perhaps intentionally] use the term segregation.

words matter

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Boy, you need to be clearer or I will delete your comment. I'm not reading that whole link; what is your point?

Words Matter, good points. I think there are some words that keep getting bandied about from the public education side where the definition may be different from what it might have been in the past.

Anonymous said...

It’s unfortunate that the new Greenlake principal has chosen to take a confrontational stand on the pledge issue. The school community was comfortable with not reciting it under the previous principal and that should have been an indication to her to continue in that vein. Sometimes laissez faire is best in these matters. Starting off the school year with an aggressive approach instead of sensitivity seems misguided and ill considered. Maybe she should just forget about it and let parents and teachers do their own thing as far as the politically imposed pledge is concerned.

Perplexed

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@ MW, Are you assuming all comments are for you? Someone posted about communism in SPS and I responded with a link to the Dodd story. Why would you not connect the dots? Why would you want to prevent others from viewing the information? This is not the open thread, why are you trying to control the conversation?

Oh Boy

Anonymous said...

As a teacher I do have to 'lead' the pledge and the pledge does, by law, have to be recited by somebody and each classroom is supposed to have a flag in it. Kids don't have to do anything during that time except be non-disruptive. They can pray, meditate briefly, zone out, recite the pledge with gusto or whichever they choose as long as it's non-disruptive. Nobody can ask us to break the law and omit it. Is it tightly enforced? No, it isn't. Is there a fine associated with it? I don't see one. The principal is right. I think inviting students to recite it on a volunteer basis is nice way to do it. As long as no child is intimidated or coerced it's fine. Yet, even now I still hear of teachers who force their class to stand. To me that is not constitutional. I don't stand. I don't recite it. I don't salute. I'm quiet. BTW I've taken the oath defend this country against all threats foreign and domestic and I think it's unseemly to pledge allegiance to a flag. If it were the Constitution I'd like it more but forcing a repetition of a nationalistic exercise daily isn't my definition of patriotism or community building. Yet, it is the law. So there it must be changed.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Anonymous said...

" politically imposed pledge" that's your opinion. Why do so many citizens people hate this country? There is a world full of worst places in my opinion.

-- Geeze

Anonymous said...

How is it confrontational to explain they are following the state law regarding the pledge? If teachers explain to students they aren't required to participate - they can choose to sit, stand, remain silent, or whatever, as long as they don't disrupt others - then what is the issue? Some children want to recite the pledge. Why is that something the teachers should get to decide? It is a political imposition to omit it entirely.

honest question

Anonymous said...

You can see in Mr. Theo Moriarty comments the type of tactics that were flushed out in the Dodd hearing.

Mr. Theo Moriarty even goes so far as to qualify his personal beliefs as of greater stature because he took an oath. It's like a pampered pro athlete taking a knee, it means nothing expect, LOOK AT ME I'M A BIG SHOT! (in their own minds.) and in my own opinion.

Oh Boy

Anonymous said...

It is confrontational because they previously weren’t saying it and the community were comfortable with that. They didn’t ask for a change in procedure. The pledge comes from a horrible time in American politics, one that thinking people are critical of. It certainly is time to take it off the books. This is an issue the principal didn’t need to start a community fight over. It’s not the best way to start the school year in Seattle, and, with a little discretion, the whole thing could have been avoided.

Perplexed

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I watched part of the video. I am convinced Juneau is defending the budget fiasco because she is using the funds saved on teachers for other purposes. We are not convinced. Also, I could not hardly contain myself when Berge used an example of 17 or 18 kids versus 22! Really are there schools in this district with "normal" size classrooms? Not around here! Well they really stick it to the other schools then and double our classroom size. I have a high school student in NW. Elementary classes were always between 28-32. Middle school was 32-38. High school (so far) is same as middle.

A Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Boy, I had missed the comment you were referring to (and that comment is sketchy with "there's a story circulating"). My apologies.

However, this IS an open thread (it's right in the headline) and let me introduce myself - I'm the moderator. I read all the comments and I may or may not comment on them. I am not trying to shut down discussion but if I see something that I don't understand, I'm pretty sure other readers may not. It was an error on my part to have missed the comment you were writing about but no need to jump to the worst conclusions.

Mr. Moriarty took an oath to protect this country. Sir, was that in terms of teaching or were you working in government or serving in the armed forces?

Re: Green Lake, are the kids saying the pledge over the intercom volunteers? We don't know that.

What I tried to do when volunteering is to explain each word of the pledge (except for God which I don't say and don't agree with since it was not in the original pledge). What does allegiance mean? What does republic mean? Most kids think the word "indivisible" is ""invisible." So it helps to clear that up.

The USA is an interesting country as most countries don't have a pledge nor do they play their national anthems at sporting events. Then there's this:

"May 9, 2014 - The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rules that the Pledge of Allegiance does not discriminate against atheists, saying that the words "under God" represent a patriotic, not a religious, exercise."

I'd say to most non-Christians it very much represents when, in the early days of our country, people came here for religious reasons.

Anonymous said...

@Perplexed, we're talking about a PUBLIC school, whether it be in Seattle or Spokane. Why is it okay for Seattle teachers to impose their personal politics on public school students? Just because that's what they've always done? That's the reasoning? Think about it.

honest question

Melissa Westbrook said...

I had to delete several comments that were anonymous. We don't allow anonymous comments; please give yourself a name or moniker when posting. Do NOT take someone else's name or moniker.

TJK said...

There was an interesting article published today by Ray Dalio who is a highly respected Hedge Fund Manager and Philanthropist. The article is generally about the financial markets, but I believe in some ways what we see happening in Seattle Public Schools is a reflection of a larger trend.

“The largest wealth and political gaps since the late 1930s exist, which is leading to the emergence of and conflicts between populists of the left and populists of the right. If history and logic are to be our guides, it seems reasonable to worry that the gaps between the rich and the poor and the populists of the left and the populists of the right will become more war-like and that the consequences of their fighting could undermine the efficient operation of the economy as well as the efficient running of government. History has shown, logic suggests, and what seems to be happening is that the greater conflict leads to … the reduced respect for both law and the art of compromise by our political leaders. It is likely that the upcoming US elections will be the greatest ideological clash that we have seen in our lifetimes, approaching the extreme fascist-communist clashes of the 1930s.”
In Seattle Public Schools, we now have a district administrator calling SPS principals “White Supremacists” and publicly labeling respected community members as “racists”. This is not dissimilar to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently being called “Racist”. We have the district splitting out five categories for blacks versus one for all Asians on the data verification form. We have the district making major program changes based on race. And according to Juneau’s video posted above, the district appears to be making staffing decisions (and cuts) based on income and race.

It is nice to be a “liberal” until your kid shows up for school and there are not enough teachers, your PTA contributions (perhaps even your volunteer hours) are restricted, your principal has been called a white supremacist, your walk-to-math has been canceled, and your neighbor has been called a racist.

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out in Seattle.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/threat-limit-capital-flows-china-pending-impeachment-conflict-dalio/
https://teacheractivist.com/author/tracygill0224/page/3/
http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2019/09/after-falling-short-in-run-for-city-council-zachary-dewolf-still-has-plans-for-the-school-board-plus-a-childrens-book/

Anonymous said...

Picking a fight over the non saying of the pledge, whether you like the pledge or not (and most people despise it), in a school that had sidelined it, is a stupid way to start the academic year as a new to the school principal. I’m sure there are a thousand more important matters to deal with than getting into this thorny aside. The children’s learning is the core issue and fighting over the pledge and alienating the community is a prodigious waste of energy and goodwill.

Perplexed

Anonymous said...

Ah, I was wondering why my comments were deleted. Can they be reinstated with "NE Dad" as the signature?

NE Dad

Anonymous said...

Looks like our Math education is getting notice:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/woke-math-in-seattle/

"In the future, historians will look back upon the suicide of our civilization and will see this poison for what it is. In Seattle, the city’s public schools have decided that everything, even mathematics, has to be seen through the lens of oppression and racism. Below are actual screenshots from the guidelines for math education there:"

The column links to a paper that is titled "Seattle Public Schools K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework"?
https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/socialstudies/pubdocs/Math%20SDS%20ES%20Framework.pdf

AnyOneKnow?

Melissa Westbrook said...

"And according to Juneau’s video posted above, the district appears to be making staffing decisions (and cuts) based on income and race."

I believe this was made clear in the Strategic Plan that some would have to sacrifice so that others who are "furthest from educational justice" could have supports. I myself can support that except for the fact that this seemed to be used as justification for a lot of change without notice or discussion.

NE Dad, you are welcome to put your comment in. I do not save comments (except those which are veiled or direct threats).

AnyOneKnow, that's quite the link. I had no idea that Ethnic Studies would delve into Math (except in the context of history and/or use of data and statistics).

"How important is it to be Right? What is Right? Says Who?"

In Math? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

@TJK And what is interesting is that we can develop a dichotomy of thinking and absolutes based upon stereotypes as well. In these type of debates for example, there is no room for middle class people, we have just rich and poor. The ultra super rich are also often removed from this conversation, and people with relatively similar incomes debate amongst themselves.

On one of these threads someone stated something about understanding prejudice or oppression on some level "unless one is a white male". But actually we have diversity within all groups of people that may enable individuals to understand prejudice. What about being disabled, coming from generational poverty, LGBTQ, etc. People cannot be judged solely on outward perceptions, when you may have no idea of someones experiences or background.

PL

Anonymous said...

So, I guess the Greenlake principal will also ensure that ALL other laws are followed to the letter as well?

There will be no discrimination against any protected classes, special ed and 504 students will get all the access and services to which they are entitled, HC students will all get the accelerated learning and/or enhanced instruction to which they are entitled, all FERPA-protected data will be 100% secure, etc.?

all types

[Note: The principal appears to had misread, or selectively interpreted, SPS Board Policy 2333. It actually includes this specific line: "Students not reciting the pledge of allegiance shall maintain a respectful demeanor while either seated or standing." In other words, stop requiring students to stand up for it, if that's what's happening (as reported).]

Anonymous said...

@ANyOneKnow, OMG, that matrix is insane. It looks to me like a T C-G product.

Some of gems included:

Mathematicians are defined as someone who uses a knowledge of mathematics in his or her work.
So I guess pretty much everyone is a mathematician, right? The guy who cuts my hair and makes change when I pay him; the teenage cashier at the snack bar; the photographer who says "1,2,3, cheese;" the drug dealer or pimp on the corner; etc. Wow, who knew we were a nation of so many mathematicians!

How important is it to be Right? What is Right? Says Who?
So what, no more "right" answers in basic math?

Power and oppression, as defined by ethnic studies, are the ways in which individuals and groups define mathematical knowledge so as to see “Western” mathematics as the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence. This definition of legitimacy is then used to disenfranchise people and communities of color.
Are a lot of POC in Seattle doing non-western math instead? I'd love to hear more about it!

Why/how does data-driven processes prevent liberation?
So much for using or learning about the value of evidence-based practices!

How is math manipulated to allow inequality and oppression to persist? Who is doing the oppressing? Who does the oppression protect?
Watch out, all you kids who are good in math. You are a bad person, and your classmates are going to be coming for you soon.

After reading the matrix, it kind of seems like SPS shouldn't bother teaching math at all. It's clearly oppressive, and it's so hard to know what the right answers are anyway....

If this is a taste of the new Ethnic Studies curriculum, it isn't good.

Math Exodus

Anonymous said...

Harvard cleared of racial bias against Asian Americans in court decision

Judge rejects challenge accusing undergraduate admissions program of discrimination against Asian American applicants

The judge said Harvard’s program is not perfect but is constitutional.

A federal judge ruled that Harvard University’s undergraduate admissions program is constitutional, rejecting a challenge accusing the school of discrimination against Asian American applicants.

In a decision released on Tuesday, US district Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston said that while Harvard’s admissions program is not perfect, “the court will not dismantle a very fine admissions program that passes constitutional muster, solely because it could do better”.

The case had pitted the Ivy League school against Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), which opposes affirmative action policies, and whose case was backed by the Trump administration.

Supporters of the lawsuit said Harvard illegally discriminated against Asian Americans by putting a cap on the number admitted to the university, making it harder for Asian applicants to get in.

Its opponents charged that the case was not about Asian Americans at Harvard; rather, they said it was an issue that has been co-opted by conservative activists whose real goal is ending race-conscious admissions policies that give minority students a better shot at attending universities like Harvard. Supporters on both sides charged the other with racism.

Legal experts have said SFFA is likely to appeal, and the case is expected to eventually make its way up to the US supreme court.

Burroughs ruled nearly a year after holding a non-jury trial.”



So, it is harder for a particular demographic group to get in because of race compared to other demographic groups, but...that’s just the price that group must bear because...


news

Anonymous said...

Probably no need to repeat most of what I wrote earlier, but since the comments have touched on racial disparities and the 2007 Supreme Court case holding that SPS unlawfully discriminated by race, I'll repeat that bit.

The Supreme Court held that racial balancing (i.e., writing policy to try to make school racial demographics reflect the racial demographics of the district population at large) is an unconstitutional objective. Yet, that is exactly what SPS is citing as its goal in changing the HCC program in its official documents (to "eliminate racial disparity" in the HCC program).

That's in addition to SPS explicitly identifying certain racial groups as its "priority" in its Strategic Plan. I have no idea what the district counsel's office has to say about that sort of thing, but it seems like SPS is not setting much store by the law.

NE Dad

Anonymous said...

Juneau actually said this? This is bonkers.

[From https://www.knkx.org/post/seattle-school-officials-propose-advanced-learning-changes-undo-institutional-racism?fbclid=IwAR0xzYSi5KgzUsQf2WdhHW817E7pXOMJ7WdBzo7IorIN8hs8GLqVfJyQTUA]

Juneau used the example of Garfield High School, which she had heard is sometimes called a “slave ship” or “Apartheid High” because of the way students are so separated by race.

“Since that time, I’ve learned that this is a generational legacy. This program segregation has been endorsed by this district for generations,” Juneau said. “This is unacceptable and embarrassing. None of us should want to lead this type of educational redlining.”

Has she bothered to look any other non-HCC pathway high schools? Are there racial differences there in who takes higher level classes? And don't forget, sending those GHS students back to their neighborhood high schools will only exacerbate such disparities at those local high schools. Except in the schools where there aren't very many HC students or advanced classes, then those students will just have fewer options. At least then they can shift to fight to north-vs. south end students and racism, instead of just HCC.

Who exactly is calling GHS this? And is Principal Howard the captain of this slave ship?

Is she saying the "Honors for Approach" didn't fix things?

I'm having a hard time believing that the Board sees this sort of language as acceptable. This, together with that leaked Ethnic Studies-infused Math matrix, is exactly the sort of thing that gives Seattle schools a bad reputation. The Board needs to get some control here, as we seem to be in a downward spiral, spinning faster than ever.

Pull out!

Melissa Westbrook said...

"People cannot be judged solely on outward perceptions, when you may have no idea of someones experiences or background."

I agree.

NE Dad, I think you are right; a slippery slope.

RGD said...

Is there someone SPS parents or Seattle residents can officially protest the school district's use of the term "segregation" to?

Anonymous said...

The Ethnic studies curriculum is not peer revived and it is not sound. It's a contrived Marxist based ideology that some how has slithered its ways into SPS.

You have seen the tactics used, everyone and everything is racist and anyone who doesn't support that claim will be labeled a racist and harassed.

The board is an complacent in the tactics being used, one just needs to listen to Jill Geary and DeWolf to see that.

My children will NOT be taking the class.

MJ

Anonymous said...

Garfield is not a good example for the superintendent's point about HCC. AP courses at Garfield like any other high school are self selected. There is no cohort just a pathway in high school. Wasn't Honors For All English and Math implemented at multiple schools to address encouraging kids to take more challenging courses?

There is still a track of AP and IB classes and a general education track available as options at all the schools. She is too smart not to realize that either. Going back to neighborhood high schools is more equitable? I think anyone can see through that argument.

As a parent (of an HC kid), I support the idea that HCC kids can be served in neighborhood high schools that clearly are able to accommodate their needs. Because there are loads of other kids who take the same classes and a decent number of HC kids for the social aspect. But there is an issue with kids from neighborhoods with too few students, please address this Superintendent Juneau.

Another issue has been capacity if those kids go to already full neighborhood schools. But the school district should deal with that now that Lincoln and Ingraham have more space in capacity strained areas.

So what does this article mean for the HCC cohort at elementary schools such as Cascadia and the middle schools? I have heard of change at some, but not all middle schools. Are there new proposals to mainstream elementary HCC?

Wondering

Anonymous said...

@TJK

Well for me it already has. I've stopped donating to SPS schools. I have sent one child off to a private school. I will not invest in Seattle, I will be investing in property in other regions. I will not make large purchases in Seattle, cars, boats etc are all purchased outside of WA state and registered to my LLC in Montana. I do not pay taxes on those cars or license fees, but I freely and legally drive them here in Seattle.

I have several large bank accounts all out of state and plan to retire in the next 5 years and sell my Seattle home and never look back.

It's a shame, but I just can't stomach what is happening in this city and state. Everything is a contrast and compare and it started way be for Trump was elected. We had 8 years of complaining and moaning by the left and now the right is fighting back. People like me just want peace, but that's not going to happen here. So I will use my earned wealth to insulate me far away from the noise.

Luckily privileged

Anonymous said...

@MJ

The board is not monolithic. I am not steeped in all this, but from attending a single board meeting I could tell, for example, that Director Mack does not necessarily see eye-to-eye with Director Geary.

NE Dad

Anonymous said...

What is the curricular goal of ethnic studies? A stand alone class in high school? Lessons integrated into LA/SS? Lessons integrated into all subjects (algebra has roots in Babylon, Egypt, India, Islam...but it's too "Western?")? What, exactly, is TC-G tasked with?

Going back to the 2007 Supreme Court case:

...Seattle’s website formerly described “emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology” as a form of “cultural racism,” and currently states that the district has no intention “to hold onto unsuccessful concepts such as [a] . . . colorblind mentality.” Harrell, School Web Site Removed: Examples of Racism Sparked Controversy, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 2, 2006, pp. B1, B5. Compare Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 559 (1896) (Harlan, J., dissenting) (“Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law”).

The district's own website was used in the argument against its race-based assignment plan.

From Justice Thomas:

"Today, the Court holds that state entities may not experiment with race-based means to achieve ends they deem socially desirable. I wholly concur in THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion. I write separately to address several of the contentions in JUSTICE BREYER’s dissent (hereinafter the dissent). Contrary to the dissent’s arguments, resegregation is not occurring in Seattle or Louisville; these school boards have no present interest in remedying past segregation; and these race-based student-assignment programs do not serve any compelling state interest. Accordingly, the plans are unconstitutional. Disfavoring a color-blind interpretation of the Constitution, the dissent would give school boards a free hand to make decisions on the basis of race—an approach reminiscent of that advocated by the segregationists in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S 483 (1954). This approach is just as wrong today as it was a half-century ago. The Constitution and our cases require us to be much more demanding before permitting local school boards to make decisions based on race...Racial imbalance is not segregation, and the mere incantation of terms like resegregation and remediation cannot make up the difference." [bold added]

Because this Court has authorized and required race based remedial measures to address de jure segregation, it is important to define segregation clearly and to distinguish it from racial imbalance. In the context of public schooling, segregation is the deliberate operation of a school system to “carry out a governmental policy to separate pupils in schools solely on the basis of race.”

...Racial imbalance is the failure of a school district’s individual schools to match or approximate the demographic makeup of the student population at large. Cf. Washington v. Seattle School Dist. No. 1, 458 U. S. 457, 460 (1982). Racial imbalance is not segregation.2 Although presently observed racial imbalance might result from past de jure segregation, racial imbalance can also result from any number of innocent private decisions, including voluntary housing choices.


...racial imbalance without intentional state action to separate the races does not amount to segregation. To raise the specter of resegregation to defend these programs is to ignore the meaning of the word and the nature of the cases before us. [bold added] 3

3 ...Nothing but an interest in classroom aesthetics and a hypersensitivity to elite sensibilities justifies the school districts’ racial balancing programs.

It should be noted that "race-conscious" is distinguished from "race-based." Race-conscious means, okay; race-based means, not okay.

words matter

Anonymous said...

Race base assignment plan? Do POC need NON POC seated nest to them in order to succeed. This school district gets more GREEN HAIRED every year. Is the plan just to drive away every non POC so POC can have their very own district? It that were we are headed or is shut and take it or you will be labeled a racist.

Too far

Anonymous said...

Juneau, Jessie and Harris should be ashamed of their little ploy to make this about race when in reality it is just a way to homogenize SPS. And they say trust as we are the responsible ones here. Segregated, segregation and red lining are tools for their sophist
argument. Win at all cost right.

The only reason this was rushed through was so that Geary's vote would be included in the final count. Now they're trying to push through TAF at WMS behind the boards back.

sNd

Anonymous said...

Hanson not Harris.

sNd

Melissa Westbrook said...

RGD, tell the Board; they are the official electeds in charge.

This all reminds me that Director Geary said she and candidate Chandra Hampson were working on an "anti-racist policy" and Hampson referenced it in her remarks at the 36th. I'll have to put in a query about that.

Pull Out, I believe the "slave ship" reference was by a/some? students several years back. I have no idea if it is still like that today.

Please do NOT ever reference an African-American principal in that manner again.

I believe the goal - down the road - is Ethnic Studies to be embedded in teaching and learning K-12. I would assume they start with a stand-alone class in high school. There is a webpage for ES.

Too Far, I think that's a lot of overheated hyperbole there. Take a breath.

Anonymous said...

I am curious, with all the talk about Principal Ginolfi-Butler, does anyone know if things have gone more smoothly under her leadership at Licton Springs than things went last year at this time at WMS? I hope so!

SE mama

Anonymous said...

Too far,

I doubt the district is trying to drive anyone away intentionally, but it's worth considering whether its woke zealotry will have that effect. Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of confidence in the district's ability to think and act wisely about cause and effect relationships.

NE Dad

Math said...

The previous math document:

Is there an authority for Math knowledge?
Who holds POWER in math classrooms?
Who gets to say if an answer is right? (It's math!)

Anonymous said...

I agree that Pull Out!'s comment seemed like fair game to me. S/he didn't come up with the "slave ship" analogy, after all. It seemed like s/he was trying to point out the implications of Juneau's choice of words.

NE Dad

Anonymous said...

I have question, so are all African American Males the furthest from educational justice no matter where they attend school?

Dotting eyes

Anonymous said...

The district creates pathway schools for HCC students, then the superintendent repeats a phrase that blames kids for attending? The kids are doing nothing wrong and even repeating this language is hurtful to them. How do you think the kids at Garfield feel about that language being used to describe them superintendent Juneau? Is she slamming previous superintendents for creating pathway high schools where kids self select courses? Kids self select AP courses at all high schools. Is there to be an elimination of these courses? I am for encouraging all kids to take at least one AP course, and preparing our kids for college expectations.

A Parent

Anonymous said...

Folks, these are widely used terms to describe Garfield that preceded Juneau's arrival.

The segregation at Garfield is well known.

Blaming the messenger betrays your denial of the actual issue.

"s/he was trying to point out the implications of Juneau's choice of words."

River inEgypt

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was definitely just trying to point out the implications of Juneau’s words in digging up what seems to be an old and little-known nickname in order to fan the flames. She really is shameless. It’s sad to see. If she is indeed trying to position herself for higher office, I’m not sure this sort of thing will help. I hope it gets wider media attention when/if the time comes. She doesn’t seem to know how to unite—and we need someone who can, more than ever.

Pull Out!

Anonymous said...

My impression was that Ethnic Studies would be embedded throughout. I assumed that just meant in Social Studies—and possibly ELA—but now it looks like it may be broader than that. I do seem to recall T C-G, in one of her rants/diatribes, saying something about how ethnic studies should be the umbrella under which all other subjects fell, but I think I dismissed that as part of what I see as her “me, me, me” approach. (“All bow down to the Amazing T C-G!”)

With the 24-credit graduation requirements, I think it could be hard to add Ethnic Studies as a stand-alone class unless the district moves away from 6-period days in all high schools. Things are already tight, and there just doesn't seem to be room to add another requirement beyond the state’s.

Core24

Anonymous said...

"Fan the flames"?!!

This is called exposing reality! The situation at Garfield has been disgraceful for years.

Apparently a lot of people here have been benefitting from the Tale of Two Schools at Garfield for too long.

Outside this bubble, Juneau will be respected for her backbone and correcting systemic racism in SPS.

River inEgypt

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

@ River inEgypt, the situation at Garfield is a symptom of what's happening outside of SPS, and largely before kids even arrive in K.

Moving HC students out of Garfield would only benefit optics, not students. It will absolutely not "correct systemic racism in SPS."

Pull Out!

Anonymous said...

@Pull Out

When students and the community widely describe the obvious segregation at the flagship school in these terms, it's not "optics" that can be rationalized away as business as usual.

If you were not in the position to benefit for your child, chances are that you would no longer suffer from confirmation bias.

The terms that Juneau reported were made up by students--the ones who have formative experiences in this segregated environment in "progressive" Seattle.

River inEgypt

Sad said...

I find it appalling that we have a superintendent and school board members that are calling those people who support and advocate for highly capable programs racists.

Superintendent Juneau will only be here for another year or so. Jill Geary is leaving in a few months. But the rhetoric and name calling that they have engaged in will scar this district for years.

I’ll echo the first post in this thread, the chaos being wrought on this district is the worst I’ve seen in nearly two decades of involvement.

It is going to be ugly, expensive and even more divisive going forward.

What happens when the money runs dry?

Anonymous said...

I have been involved with the district for close to thirty years. This is the first time that privileged parents aren't getting to run the show to benefit their own children.

Thank you, Denise Juneau, and the political tides of this country for injecting some long-awaited justice into this district.

Amen

Anonymous said...

The Board chose a person to replace PaTU that goes around opening claiming that SPS is racist and that Seattle is racist. He's 27 years old and from the south USA. He's been in the Seattle area for around two years.

Yep things are going to get really nasty and fast.


Splitoff D7

Melissa Westbrook said...

So River in Egypt, yes, the situation is well known. However:

- how come Ted Howard is still there? He clearly knew there were issues as did superintendents before Juneau. Why didn't he do something?
- if Honors for All is the answer, how come Garfield doesn't want to provide data

Sad, I agree and I've been a district watcher for two decades now.

Amen, when I read remarks like yours and others like them, I have to wonder if there is some sense of glee in there. We are talking about kids.

Anonymous said...

The most highly gifted students in Seattle were sent to Garfield, which is in a low-income area of the city. That was a political decision made by the district and results in the optics of segregation. If you put those same gifted kids in a school in a more wealthy area of the city, would that benefit the Garfield neighborhood kids left at Garfield? If so, why doesn't the district do so?

Momof2

Melissa Westbrook said...

Momof2, that is precisely the question.

All of this has been going on for decades. Why didn't some superintendent change it? A Board? Why all this pointing fingers at parents for something created, paid for and run by the people at JSCEE?

Also, good point about who will ending at what school if HCC goes away? It looks a lot like optics and not real change that will support student academic achievement.

Anonymous said...



River inEgypt you mean DeNile, don't you?

The systemic racism is phantoms being chased by Geary and DeWolf (side note both threw their hats in the ring within two years of being elected for another position. ) I wonder why this so important to them. And the manipulative schemes developed by Micheal Tulley. Divide and conquer and racial unbalanced placements like Thurgood Marshall and Gerrymandering WMS attendance area to be proportionally more FRL when Meany opened. Now we have the sophist arguments about segregation and red lining. They don't believe a word of it. If as MW said Juneau the slave ship is a poor choice. Unless you have no other. Students decide their own track in HS. And yeah most tracks wont include AP Calc B/C or AP World Languages but that is only a few of the 24 classes kids take in 4 years. But especially now with honors for all programming, give me a break.

Juneau (another rising star politician) has a lot to be concerned about from that staff presentation and her miscategorizations. Seems she has jumped the shark.

Hammer time

Watching said...

Aiomanu Patu never attacked Advanced learning- ever. She understood that some students needed that service.

Anonymous said...

"Why didn't some superintendent change it?"

Because this self-same parent population ran them out of town by making their life hell. The perfect storm of current progressive politics, new people to the city, and a savvy and politically connected superintendent have made the changes start to happen.

Right, Melissa! Blame Ted Howard as you have done for years. If you wonder why some people call you out, examine your conscience on this one.

He's a principal, not the superintendent.

"Glee"ful, no. I have seen too many children harmed by the SPS focus on parents with power. Relieved and grateful? Slowly.

Enough about"optics." That's a cowardly and privileged way of talking about injustice.

Amen

Amen

Anonymous said...

My student was identified as HCC in kindergarten, and was sent by SPS to WMS and Garfield, but apparently he's now part of a problem at Garfield and is no longer welcome. Okay, we're out of here. Does that help anyone?

-Seattle parent

Anonymous said...

So, your child had a self-contained and conhorted public school experience, virtually separated by the challenges the non-cohorted classrooms contain. and you and yours are victims because SPS has finally caught up to this demographically segregated "program"?

That's special.

Amen

Anonymous said...

This whole “f” HCC thing is driven by guilty white liberals trying to compensate for something. Not sure what, but I don’t see the mass movement from the African American community. Just a handful of staff and operatives who hang out on facebook shaming people. It would be only a joke if it weren’t for the fact that the Directors are completely terrified.

More Noise Please

Standardized Education said...

We're being pushed into standardized education.

We need more noise.

Anonymous said...

Standardized Education—how else can we shape up education to bring in technology to substitute for actual person to child teaching? Guess who cashes in on this? Viewing everything through the lens of tech profiteers puts it all in perspective. This is ed reform on steroids. If you think old fashioned institutional bias is racist, wait until the tech and charter industry runs the show. And the Super will have a permanent meal ticket, while the TCG crowd gets kicked to the curb. “Useful idiots”, as Lenin would have it.

You can’t have students in an HC cohort because that means you will have a parent cohort that pushes back on these schemes. Just call them all racists, disband them, disperse their kids into the wild west of general ed and call it a day.

More noise please

Anonymous said...

@Amen, Thanks! I find you to be very special, too. The special type of adult who likes to stereotype, belittle and bully children. You know nothing about me, my child or my child's experience in SPS. He has been fully integrated, not self-contained.

At Garfield, there are no self-contained classes, just honors for all, and self-selected classes. Everyone is integrated based on the classes each child chooses. It's one of the most diverse schools in the city, and that's beneficial for all the kids, at least that's my opinion.

However, if there's now the perception, advanced by you and others, that HCC kids at Garfield are part of a problem, and they're part of a "slave ship", should they stay? Should they return to their neighborhood schools? If so, fine, but I'm still not sure how that benefits any of our students. If you think neighborhood/homogenized schools are better, then great, but our family has always thought that diversity is better and we put our kid on a bus for years to get a more diverse experience.

-Seattle parent

Anonymous said...

Interesting how both "Sad" and MW back-to-back have been in SPS "almost two decades now."

Interesting

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Right, Melissa! Blame Ted Howard as you have done for years. If you wonder why some people call you out, examine your conscience on this one.

He's a principal, not the superintendent."

Oh please. Ted Howard has more power than any principal in any other school. He also has had some terrible things occur on his watch and yet, he's still there. Is he accessible to parents? Nope.

And again, I have sometimes said good things about him and Garfield.

But he certainly has blame to share with how Garfield is and if you want to make him look weak and hand-wringing, that's your take.

Anonymous said...

Identified at K? Attended WMS? Now Garfield HC? That is simply not "fully integrated."

Even if your child were not in HCC, which is sslf-contained and you managed to skip over, WMS is tracked and so is Garfield, with HC getting class preferences.

I call out injustice because I care a out all children, not just yours. Get the difference?

Amen

Melissa Westbrook said...

Interesting, I didn't say I was "in" SPS for two decades; I said I had been a district watcher for two decades.

Difference said...

Amen doesn't speak for 5000 students or 10% of the population.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Okay, I can see people are getting ramped up.

This is an Open Thread so let's see if there any other issues that folks want to talk about. Meaning, let this one go for now.

I see that we are having the discussion that the district should be having right now about its direction and how it gets there. I would sure hope that if they do dissolve HCC as it is programmed now, that every school will have a community meeting to talk about the change.

Because it will mean change for every single school.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and they so wanted to jam this through with Geary on the Board. Man. EVERY SCHOOL no public meetings. Just rehashed ThoughtExchange data from when they failed to push through HS pathways for all. Another Geary defeat. Any chance she can DeWolf with her as she sails into the sunset... Or Kari Hanson or Wyeth Jessie or all three?


popcorn sales

Anonymous said...

Just image the boundary changes that would need to happen. Just north seattle alone would have some pretty drastic changes.

Uproar coming

Transparency Please said...

Sweeping changes and not a damn public meeting.

Anonymous said...

@Amen I am going to spin this a different way for you. You know it's actually a positive for HCC kids in neighborhoods flush with others to have a peer group, AND walk to their neighborhood school right? Not to spend an hour on the bus? Our high school also has all the same AP courses as Garfield, except for one. Does that upset you as well? But our neighborhood is segregated so kids won't actually meet kids of diverse backgrounds in classes, clubs, sports, they will only get "ethnic studies". I suspect parents in areas where their kids needs can't be met will be moving if they can. That will leave the few who cannot behind. Like others have mentioned this does nothing for housing segregation Seattle. Many HCC students were bussed away from their demographic to Garfield.

A Parent

kellie said...

Mel,

Would you be so kind as to start a new thread with the Berge Juneau video. The information in that video is just too important to be lost inside an open thread.

At its simplest, the very existence of this video is deeply troubling. We have a 7 minute, professional and quite slick, scripted video, explaining why there is not problem with Juneau's first budget. Nobody uses district resources to produce a video, to declare "Keep calm. Move along. All is well." when in fact all is well.

This video may represent that Juneau's first budget is much more of an epic fail, that any of us have even realized.

Thank you!


Anonymous said...

How are things at the newly opened Lincoln? Are students getting the classes they need? Were they given mitigation funds to ensure appropriate staffing?

wondering

Anonymous said...

The board is responsible for the budget, it's really the only thing they should work on.

Get real

Anonymous said...

What happened to taking the blog to national issues? The only topic of interest anywhere on the planet is the decades old APPartheid Wars. It’s the only subject with traction. Can we please get to

1000 Posts

Anonymous said...

Did anyone get any clarifications re: the truly bizarre race categories on that new data verification form? I called a few folks at SPS and left a message, but nobody called back.

surprise, surprise

Melissa Westbrook said...

1000, well, it's a frustrating thing. I HAVE put up national stories and they get little response. And I don't think it's because parents aren't interested but rather, too much going on in this district that will directly affect every child.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wondering!

My daughter is at Lincoln and we couldn't be more pleased! We took a risk on a school everyone said would be bad and was trying to avoid, and it's all worked out. She has great teachers, got classes she wanted and needs for core24, her classes aren't overcrowded, and we are loving all the alternative methods (block schedule 2x week, maker lab, mentorship). And I actually like it just being 9th and 10th grade. Oh and the remodel is LOVELY. I'm grateful.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

Yep. When our own educational programs and services are failing or chaotic or under attack; and when our political situation is also in such chaos; it's hard to drum up the energy to also read up on educational issues that are happening elsewhere. There's only so much a parent can do. It would be awesome to feel like things were in great hands here and we could focus elsewhere, but no.

priorities

Anonymous said...

Hi Mag Mom,

That is great news, at least that is going well. What grade is your child?

Another mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

A Parent, thanks for the positives because, going forward, I think those need to be kept in mind.

Wondering, I don't know about the mitigation money but the Lincoln parent Facebook page shows a very supportive AND active group of people. (And I'll have to ask co-president Lisa Rivera Smith if she'll stay in that role when she becomes a Board director.)

Get Real, you are mistaken. The budget is not the only role for the Board. I think you probably know that but may want a false narrative to get out there.

Surprise, Surprise, I believe that I also made a query about that; I'll ask again.

Richy Rich said...

The segregation at Garfield has always been caused more by its mix of rich and poor feeder schools than it has by HCC (which until SPS killed Spectrum was a pretty tiny program housed inside part of one elementary school):
McGilvra
Montlake
TOPS
Stevens
Madrona
Leschi
Gatzert
Lowell
Thurgood Marshall

Garfield is the assigned school for million dollar mansions and for many of Seattle's furthest from educational justice kids. Seriously. Garfield's zone is home to the homeless kids at Lowell and the majority of these homes:
https://seattle.curbed.com/maps/most-expensive-homes-for-sale

Another Parent 2 said...

Melissa,

I believe you provide a huge public service to the people of Seattle. Please follow your own passions, but realize your Seattle blog is highly appreciated.

Race, Advanced Learning, Equity, Homelessness, Science, The Use of Technology in the Classroom, Charter Schools. Seems to me SPS provides one of the best case studies out there for blogging on what I believe in many ways are national issues.

Perhaps you might blog on these issues in Seattle, and tie in/provide a national context of what's happening elsewhere.

Regardless, thanks for your years of dedication!

-- Another Parent 2


Anonymous said...

@ MW

I took the Oath of Enlistment at boot camp. I figured that some bona fides might be in order because coming out for the principal and the law but philosophically against it might be more nuance than some might want to handle.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Mr. Moriarty, that's what I thought.

So Oh Boy, when you put your life on the line for your country - by serving in the military - yeah, I'll take your understanding of what it means to stand by the Constitution and the country pretty seriously.

Owler said...

Ballard High school band had a great showing this weekend, despite having to get ready on the bus: https://www.myballard.com/2019/10/02/bhs-marching-band-wins-first-place-at-leavenworth-autumn-leaf-festival/

Update said...

DeWolf absent from tonight's board meeting. The new director will be holding community meetings two times a month.

Anonymous said...

That lunch does look bad, but ours are not a lot better. It's all in plastic and microwaved or cold. Little plastic processed baggies of everything, from pancakes to apple slices.
e-m mom

Anonymous said...

Any updates on restricted access to grades on the Source? I'm trying to understand how limiting access to grades would produce healthier attitudes about grades. Shouldn't the approach be one of clarifying HOW grades are determined? Just being totally upfront and open, so students feel some sense of control and fairness? Our child had a teacher who accused students of being too focused on grades, then messed with the grades in a way that penalized certain students. Nice, huh? What message do you think that sent? Way to CREATE anxiety about grades...

another rant

Melissa Westbrook said...

Another Rant, is that still happening? When I asked the district, they seemed mystified. What school are you at?

Anonymous said...

Didn’t Theo say he had received some sort of link-filled district email about changes re: The Source? Maybe some SPS teacher reading this can check their email and clarify?

Unclear

Anonymous said...

RE restricted grade access on the source. We got an email explaining it. You can still access the letter grades, scores, etc and see what assignments are missing or late by clicking on the individual subject. The change seems to have primarily been to remove letter grades from the table you see on the initial grade page - ostensibly thats to encourage people to look deeper.

I'm reassured that I'm still able to monitor it.

Sourcerer

Anonymous said...

My kid had a teacher who regularly lost homework and marked it as missing. The source was the only way we had to make sure the homework had been counted as turning it in was part of the grade. Also, our principal often advised parents to check the source to make sure their kids were on track and not falling behind. This seems like a really stupid change.

HP