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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

From My Northwest: Good News: Washington Youth have Fifth lowest Obesity rate in the U.S.
Bad News: Washington youth between 10-17 are at an 11% obesity rate.  

Childhood obesity is on ongoing issue, with upwards of 4.8 million young people classified as obese, and the average obesity rate at 15.3 percent. 

Though the obesity rate in Washington state saw a slight increase over the past two years, Washington ranks 46th in the nation for 2017-18, in which children have the fifth lowest obesity rate in the country, and adults the 13th lowest.

Seeing that one in six young people in the country has obesity reminds all of us that we still have a long way to go to trulyturn these rates around,” said scientist Dr. Lydie Lebrun-Harris in the study.
Story from the Times on the reopening of Lincoln High school.
Today’s Lincoln is a technological testing ground for Seattle Public Schools, which gave each student a laptop and purchased several 3D printers. There is an entire room outfitted with exercise bikes, a “genius” bar for charging devices and a futuristic courtyard.

The school, which once had the most English learners of any high school in the district, caters to a wealthier and less racially diverse group of families and students than it did when it closed. Now, just 6% of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, compared to 42% 38 years ago.
There are some odd quotes in this story. One is by former director Stephan Blandford:
“At the same time we were talking about the need for Lincoln, we were talking about empty seats at Rainier Beach and Cleveland,”
Uh, if he doesn't know that there was space at Cleveland for more students (and a waitlist) but enrollment was capped by the district, he wasn't paying attention.

Also, there's a quote in there by Liza Rankin but no other Board candidate. As one commenter says:
Eric Blumhangen is the D1 candidate that sat on the district's enrollment and capacity planning committee. Why wouldn't the Seattle Times reporter interview Blumhagen on this issue. Instead, DB asks Blumhagen's opponent- Rankin for a comment. Very strange. Very strange.
Why would the Times give free advertising to one candidate and not the others? If you are running for a public office, anytime you can get your name in print as having knowledge of an issue, that's great.

Also, this:
The school denied multiple requests for a Times reporter to observe the teachers in action.
Weird.

On another topic, Washington State scores well in the "Do you like math?" question.  From the Seattle Times:
It may come as no surprise that math is more popular in a tech-savvy state like Washington than it is almost anywhere else in the country.
That’s according to a new survey that shows Washington and South Carolina tied at first place for math popularity, with 75% of respondents indicating they enjoy math. The survey was released by homework-help website Brainly in time for World Maths Day on Oct. 15. 
For parents and students who don’t yet love math, Brainly offered some tips for making the skills less intimidating, more useful and more fun:
Notice the math used in every day life, from measurements in recipes to timers on video games. “Showing a child that they’re already doing math will help them recognize that math is everywhere,” according to Brainly.
What's on your mind?

125 comments:

Youhoo 2 said...

1. Clearly, the district didn't have a de- tracking pilot program. They went ahead and de-tracked high school LA and history classes before Research Evaluation and Assessment produced a report.

2. The district is looking for an Advanced Learning Program Specialist. The job description continually highlights MTSS. Does the district think that HCC has been dismantled before a board vote?

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/seattleschools/jobs/2590344-0/advanced-learning-program-adv-learning-prog-spec-secondary-special-1-0?fbclid=IwAR3TszwO1RJu0q9GlLPT0-BV5iiV3ONQ9SXELf52JkTXljsGhh28bqPPCl4


Anonymous said...

The article about the Lincoln opening was just...odd. They talk about it being closed for some 40 years as if no students have stepped foot in the building since. Multiple schools have been housed there over the years during school renovations, and Lowell@Lincoln was there for what, 6 years?, before it split to Cascadia/TC.

No, Lincoln wasn't the only place considered for a new high school - the capacity task force recommended a HS be built at the Wilson Pacific site (now home to a MS, ES, and K8) and the Lincoln building be used for a middle school (HIMS already uses the Lincoln auditorium for performances). The Wilson Pacific site is within walking distance of North Seattle College, which would have been great for HS students wanting to access Running Start. No mention of Lincoln having zero space for any sports fields. Anyway...bygones.

Then the quote from Rankin apologizing for opening a renovated school in the north end -what? Should we continue placing students in portables, at great expense to the district? Students have to go somewhere, and there's a limit to how much boundary redraws help with alleviating overcrowding.

Probably the most jaw dropping info was the laptop for every student. The district won't fund enough teachers or nurses or counselors or librarians or [pick your need], but a laptop for every student? How does that pencil out? Are textbooks all digital? Were the funds available because other schools were starved of staff? Makes you wonder.

just bizarre

Anonymous said...

For years Cleveland HS has given every student a laptop. Mercer has alot of computers too.

Breeding Screenagers

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Is this equity? Oh no wait, it is also at Lincoln, not just Cleveland or Mercer. Hmmm. Our kid goes to a high school that was greatly affected by the staff cuts, not only are there no "laptops for every student" but this year especially there are not enough teachers for every student.

HS parent

Anonymous said...

How do you figure that the district won't fund teachers. Did you see the huge raise teacher received? Who is not funding teachers?

Owler

Anonymous said...

Did the spring RIFs help pay for the raises teachers got 2 years in a row? Did the SEA make a

Devil's Bargain?

Anonymous said...

@Owler Because of the budget and enrollment mess. Some Kids were forced into running start in order to meet graduation requirements when classes and staff were cut. Other kids are in 35-40 student classrooms. Teachers have much larger loads than they can handle. Some classes have subs because teachers were cut. Any reinstated funds happened in Oct, students schedules were shifted in Oct. Experienced teachers had already moved on so schools and core subjects such as science now have long term subs. Read this article and Melissa's past blog posts for more information. Many of us believe it was a method a way to shift resources away from our schools behind the scenes without transparency. Simultaneouly Juneau is also touting she "has enough resources" for her projects.

https://medium.com/@eric_93873/seattles-high-school-enrollment-fiasco-99fbf061fb4b

HS Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

So Cleveland got 1:1 computers first because of STEM. Technology is working towards - very soon - 1:1 for ALL high school students, starting with the schools with more F/RL.

Where are they getting the money? Capital fund. Eighty-five percent of DoTS budget comes from BEX or BTA. That's where they have the money. I think it a somewhat dangerous thing to fund that kind of work out of levy money.

Owler, I think it's "funding" as in the number of teachers, rather than "paying."

I cannot hope to discern what SEA is doing.

Anonymous said...

"Because of the budget and enrollment mess. Some Kids were forced into running start in order to meet graduation requirements when classes and staff were cut. Other kids are in 35-40 student classrooms. Teachers have much larger loads than they can handle. Some classes have subs because teachers were cut. Any reinstated funds happened in Oct, students schedules were shifted in Oct. Experienced teachers had already moved on so schools and core subjects such as science now have long term subs."

@HS Parent, Yes but everything you describe is "normal" according to Superintendent Juneau and CFO Jolynn Berge!

Subs you say? You must be wrong because our Dear Leaders tell us it's "easier to add" teachers in the fall than "take away" (aka RIF) teachers in spring, dontcha know?

It's all here, in this Academy Award-worthy SPS BS Enrollment and Staffing Update Propaganda Video

Most inaccurate enrollment projections in decades?
No one fired for incompetence?
Kids without classes or teachers?
No teachers left to hire in October?
Crowded classrooms?

According to Juneau and Berge the kids just need to suck it up, cause --

It's Normal!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, as candidate Eric Blumhagen pointed out at a recent event, it certainly may be easier for principals to lay off, rather than hire late. However, the pool of people you can hire is probably smaller in October than May.

As well, Blumhagen was savvy enough to say that the district can boast about a "98%" accurate rate for predictions....overall. But if you break that down with just high schools? Not so good.

Anonymous said...

Has Liza Rankin addressed the high school issues at all? I have not heard anything from her so far or on her website that gives me confidence in her ability to track these issues and hold our district accountable. Has it only been Eric raising his concerns? What about Hampson and Mitchell? Mitchell has younger kids I believe and not a very long history with SPS, so I am guessing she is unaware?

Voter

Anonymous said...

In lieu of the recent drug contamination related deaths, Ballard High had a Drug Education assembly today with all the students. In addition the Ballard PTSA and Teen Health Center are hosting a Drug Education Night Monday Oct 21st 7-8:30PM. I am wondering if other high schools are hosting similar events.

BHS Parent

Linh-Co said...

I heard from some high school math teachers that central office wants to get rid of the "H" designation for math courses on the course catalog. Not sure if this would also get rid of it on high school transcripts. Bad idea since colleges look at that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Good grief. We are to believe AL students will be served in their neighborhood schools with honors for all math courses?

what's next?

Anonymous said...

If true, I'm not surprised at all to hear that downtown wants to get rid of honors math. After all, if the focus of math classes is going to switch to an ethnic studies/anti-racism approach focused on making everyone feel good and like there aren't "correct" answers, it would look bad to separate students by ability if there were racial disparities in students' math skills, as there currently are. It wouldn't fit with the new narrative that everyone is equally good at math and there are no right answers, and it would reinforce the idea that math is just another form of racial oppression. So, you need everyone in the same, accessible-to-all (non-honors) class to keep up the illusion.

SPS admins can't seem to wrap their little brains around how to possibly challenge all students while also delivering on their promise to decrease racial disparities, so they seem to be intent upon lowering the ceiling in any way possible. Time and time again. It's sad--and shows so little faith in the ability of low-performing students to do better (with a meaningful SPS commitment of resources) and so little concern for the academic needs of higher-performing students who may want additional challenge.

If they were so willing to jump on the HFA experiment at Garfield--which it sounds like has faced significant challenges--why not try a similar experiment elsewhere that tries an alternate approach of providing more intensive support to those who are lower-performing, to see if that can boost their success? Maybe start in middle school, then see how they do in high school? Pick a middle school that's willing to devote the time and energy, maybe also some good PTA funding and parent volunteer hours. Do it through middle school, then see if you can get some of those typically non-honors kids up to the level of honors by the time they have that option in high school. I bet with some devoted efforts you could. Wouldn't it be better to try to raise the achievement of those who are struggling, rather than try to suppress the achievement of those who are not?

typical SPS

dan dempsey said...

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157541624448718&id=590418717

Leadership from the Central Office has never focused on the essential components of effective math instruction. This latest Ethnic Studies Math focus does not even pretend to focus on development of skills or useful knowledge.

-- Dan Dempsey

dan dempsey said...

https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/guest-essay-how-the-right-approach-to-math-can-reduce-the-achievement-gap/

dan dempsey said...

https://teacheractivist.com/2019/10/03/math-is-ethnic-studies/

dan dempsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That Times article on Lincoln is a piece of work. They quote one school board candidate, Liza Rankin, who had nothing at all to do with Lincoln's re-opening - while they totally ignored school board candidate Lisa Rivera Smith, who has actually put in quite a lot of work to help relaunch the school as its PTA president. They had to drive across five lanes of traffic to help give Liza a boost here.

The Times often plays these games with who they quote and who they don't quote, especially on education. It's a clear example of their biases and how they are very much present in the newsroom (likely due to the editors, and not the reporters themselves). A teachable moment for sure.

Bradlee

Anonymous said...

The editorial board which is separate from the reporters, endorsed Eric Blumhagen not Liza Rankin. It is interesting that the article quotes Liza and no other candidate. Maybe she is the only one who answered? Maybe the reporter knows Liza? It is a weird disconnect.

HP

Anonymous said...

It is always good to hear from Dan Dempsey. He has been an advocate for better math in SPS for many years.

The emphasis on time consuming story problems in math curricula has been an ongoing problem for this district. Adequate practice and mastery of math computations have never been priorities.

Now they are adding racial justice story problems? Good news for the private tutoring agencies and remedial math classes in college. Continuing bad news for students who are neglected by this district.

S parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

HP, in the regular newspaper world there is a line between editorial and reporting. But I absolutely think the focus of the editorial side at the Times bleeds into their education reporting. I can tell you time after time of oddities in the reporting that either mean poor reporting/editing or messaging from editorial. I don't think it's the reporting.

I know they endorsed Eric but I perceive some kind of gamemanship happening at the Times.

And to not mention Lisa Rivera Smith who IS going to be on the Board and who IS co-president at LHS? C'mon.

Alsept Teresa said...

As for the district and computers. We have middle school science classes that are mandated to teach a computer based curriculum that still, 6 weeks in, have no clear idea when they will actually get computers. You can’t make this stuff up. (Insert eye roll here)

Anonymous said...

Sampling of offerings for this year's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference:

Warm-up Routines for an Anti-racist Mathematics Classroom
Currently, popular warm-up routines such as “I notice, I wonder” promote more equitable participation, but can also be used to bring issues of power and oppression into mathematics classrooms in an authentic and easy-to implement manner. In this session, participants will engage with some examples of “I notice, I wonder” prompts that specifically deal with race, discuss how these can be developed into larger mathematical investigations, and begin to create their own.

Using Projects to Build Community in a Math Classroom
In most math classrooms the predominant narrative describes mathematics as a predetermined system of algorithms written by white men. In fact, mathematics is a logical system established by community discussion and agreement which determines the axioms of the systems and the theorems that follow. The projects we share require students to work collaboratively at the social, intellectual, and physical levels. The projects create and celebrate intellectual student communities around mathematics that transcend traditional divisions of power. Participants will see how their students can use creative and rigorous mathematical ideas in a process that disrupts divisions of power based on race, class, and gender.

“Running Start”: Dual Enrollment Programs and the Rightwing Agenda: Building Solidarity Between High School and Community College Teachers
What are your experiences with the Running Start program at your workplace? This workshop explores the neoliberal logic of Running Start and seeks to find connections between two groups of educators who share students but don’t often get to talk to one another: community college and high school teachers. We will initiate a discussion that explores shared working conditions and builds connections for future organizing.

Is the intent of the program to encourage community college instructors to push back against what they perceive as a "neoliberal" or "Rightwing" agenda? At NSCC, one English class is reading "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" - most certainly not a "Rightwing" reading.

interesting

NESeattleMom said...

Shout out to the great teachers my 11th grader has at Garfield high school. Last night's curriculum night presentations made me so thankful! Dedicated teachers who want to teach the material, who also care about the students, offering regularly scheduled office hours so kids can come in with questions, offering to schedule peer tutors if kids would benefit, and of course, tutoring gives great experience in further mastering material. My kid tutors one lunch a week in Latin. I also enjoyed seeing students who brought their immigrant parents to curriculum night, carefully bringing them through the maze of the school to each class. I could have used an escort where I went down instead of up.:)

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of open threads, shall we talk about principals in Seattle?

We all know that the WMS principal was "fired" and then promptly reassigned to a new school - Licton Springs.

Anyone know what happened to the other principal that got shoved out last year? I can't remember if it was Baily Gatzert or Van Assalt?

I just finished reading about the former Laurelhurst principal. She is still around, yes?

I ask because Loyal Heights is struggling with their current principal. Staff just took a vote that "Their relationship with the Principal was severed beyond repair." PTA is struggling to figure out the next step. And parents learned that this principal arrived from Lowell, right before staff there was scheduled to vote on a "No Confidence" vote on this very same principal.

What does PASS have to say about this? Is there any way to remove problem principals from the system? Or are we stuck?

- Feeling stuck

Watching said...

How is Running Start part of a Right Wing agenda?

Anonymous said...

"Is the intent of the program to encourage community college instructors to push back against what they perceive as a "neoliberal" or "Rightwing" agenda? At NSCC, one English class is reading "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" - most certainly not a "Rightwing" reading."

I think people should audit this class. The 2 teachers are intimidating students and they have recruited several other adults that consistently harass the freshman when they question the teachers. We asked to sit in a class and the school refused using the excuse that the curriculum is propitiatory. I think people will be shocked once the student created undercover videos records hit the internet.

The book being used is a full on Marxist assault on just about everything. The book is built around a word salad almost like the author was fully loaded on THC.

Thankfully most of the class sees right thought the BS these Marxist are dishing out.

Watching NSCC

Anonymous said...

@Alsept Teresa

No computers to teach a mandated science-curriculum, after 6 weeks into the SPS school year??

Hang on. Superintendent Juneau and MMW will probably soon produce a new video explaining that this lack of computers is the "new normal" for SPS. Completely predicted, and expected. Bad optics corrected.

In the meantime, you could be giving "anti-Eurocentric Math/Science" lectures to your SPS students, explaining how they are being oppressed, simultaneously, by the "English System of Measurement", and the "Metric System of Measurement".
(both European constructs).

Head Spinning

Anonymous said...

Liza Rankin is encouraging people to go to this:
Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Feeling Stuck, just to correct you slightly - the WMS principal was demoted and then undemoted by the Superintendent.

Stuck, you are stuck. And I'm sorry.

Because past history shows that no matter the issue, the Superintendent (and PASS to a slight degree) is in control. (I did ask Eric Blumhagen if he could foresee a policy where if a principal is moved or demoted, that the Board would be notified and given a reason why. Not that the Board could do anything but just to get that notification. I think Board directors dislike not knowing until after the fact. It would be a courtesy to them.)

Also, if there is a lot of shifting and unhappiness from parents, I think that should be part of the Superintendent's evaluation. Her choices should be judged in total.

And if it is so hard to find principals, that Superintendent Juneau felt it necessary to keep a principal with so much recorded baggage - evidence that she verbally abused what the Superintendent calls - "students furthest from educational justice" - then I see nothing good for any school from here on out.

I have said for years and years, that it does not matter the school - every parent in this district fears principal change.

Watching NSCC, I'll try to check on this but what's the name of the book?

I'll just supply the head of Ethnic Studies' latest essay on math and ES. I find it so interesting how she is able to sound calm and reasonable to the general public and yet is so offensive behind the scenes. There's a lot to unpack but you read it.

https://teacheractivist.com/2019/10/03/math-is-ethnic-studies/

"When we give the impression (or overtly state) that math originates from European sources (even the word “mathematics” comes from a Greek word), we are stealing the rich mathematical histories of students of color from them and we are lying to white students."

Algebra came from by the Persian mathematician and astronomer al-Khwarizmi.

Numerals? "Hindu-Arabic numerals, set of 10 symbols—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0—that represent numbers in the decimal number system. They originated in India in the 6th or 7th century and were introduced to Europe through the writings of Middle Eastern mathematicians, especially al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi, about the 12th century."

If math teachers are not giving credit to these guys, they should.

"Science, and by extension math, have most certainly been used in more overt, nefarious forms of racism. Consider the Tuskegee Experiment, the story of Henrietta Lacks, and the debunked “science” of eugenics. Math was used to disenfranchise Black voters as late as the 1960s. Math is used in the War on Drugs in which the weight and type of drug is used in sentencing guidelines that disproportionately imprison Black and Brown offenders for longer sentences."

Well, yes, because math and science are what you use in making medical discoveries. That they were used wrongly is not the fault of math and science as subjects; it's the absolute fault of the scientists who did that and government officials who funded it. Same for judges and elected officials who create the laws governing sentencing.

Again, this desire to flip the table, seemingly coming from the top (Juneau) is deeply troubling.

Discuss said...

The NW Teaching Conference is being held at Chief Sealth. Here is description of Running Start:

“Running Start”: Dual Enrollment Programs and the Rightwing Agenda: Building Solidarity Between High School and Community College Teachers What are your experiences with the Running Start program at your workplace? This workshop explores the neoliberal logic of Running Start and seeks to find connections between two groups of educators who share students but don’t often get to talk to one another: community college and high school teachers. We will initiate a discussion that explores shared working conditions and builds connections for future organizing. Secondary, Parents, General, Community College Laura Martin studied labor and urban history at UC Santa Cruz. She has been a community college instructor of history for 10 years, both in California and in Washington. She is a Professor of History at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, where she teaches Running Start students taking U.S., World, and Women’s History. Michael Reagan is a historian who works in early entrance and “gifted education.” He has experience teaching Running Start students at multiple community colleges. He is the author of the forthcoming book Of Ourselves: Intersectional Class Struggle from AK Press.

The workshop explores the neoliberal logic of Running Start.(?) Is this more Marxist theory being injected into our education system? What are these individuals proposing for the future of Running Start. Will there be individuals advocating to limit or halt Running Start?

https://nwtsj.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/12th_Program2019_FNL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR16q7jLEBbMDmXXYCCPhZ5HhbKHO7ZhFadUVgSp4EtAXl5L4Bobo01Ujg4

Anonymous said...

What - No computers to teach a mandated science-curriculum, after 6 weeks into the SPS school year?

But, but, Juneau said the district has 'resources'.

Oh wait, i guess the resources are only available for endeavors aimed at those furtherest from educational justice - so sorry, too bad science class. And hey, science is racist anyway.

SMH so fast I'm dizzy

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand their beef with Running Start.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

SMH, Juneau said they have the resources to put AL in every class.

I'm surprised about the computers for Amplify. The now-departed head of Tech, John Krull, said it was happening and I'm pretty sure the Board approved the money. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

@Watching NSCC? Are you talking about freshman (high school graduates) in the NSCC class? Running Start students would be juniors or seniors. Or are you just making up BS? To be clear, the text being referenced (originally published 1968):

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

It's a common text referenced in ethnic studies and teacher training. You will recognize some of the terms - the "banking" concept of education vs the "problem-posing" method, for example.

"Students, as they are increasingly posed with problems relating to themselves in the world and with the world, will feel increasingly challenged and obliged to respond to that challenge." -Freire

google it

Anonymous said...

Juneaus Journal says "in adopting our new strategic plan, Seattle Excellence, we have publicly committed to actively undoing legacies of racism in our school district ...... staff remain steadfast in the commitment to desegregating our services and programs and advancing racial equity .....I truly believe that Seattle Public Schools can make educational justice a reality. We have the resources, we have the brain power, we just need the will."

Yes Melissa, this was in reference to the board decision re the AL task force but it doesn't take much reading between the lines to figure out that Juneau is not the least bit interested in providing any objective AL or rigor at all schools in the district - it's all about the optics surrounding AA students.

SMH so fast

Anonymous said...

@SMH, "Oh wait, i guess the resources are only available for endeavors aimed at those furtherest from educational justice - so sorry, too bad science class. And hey, science is racist anyway."

Nailed it. And computers use 0s and 1s, which is math and thus also racist, so even one more reason not to supply computers for the computer-based science curriculum.

@ NESeattleMom, don't get too attached to Latin. It doesn't sound very equitable if all schools don't have it, and if the demographics of enrollment don't match the demographics of the school district. Plus, Latin is probably racist.

sinking ship

@HP said...

Rankin is closely aligned to those pushing a Marxist education. These people don't understand that a good education means teaching students about everything. She is dangerous, IMO.

NESeattleMom said...

Hey sinking ship, With my kid in 11th grade, I'm seeing the finish line. I just wanted to share that the teachers my kid has are great!

On the tools of math and science being used for bad things. Other tools are also sometimes used for bad things--hammer can be misused, for example, but we still use hammers to build things. Same with math, science, technology--we need them to function in a modern society. My personal opinion.

krisfitz said...

Language can be used for bad things, too. Probably one of the most weaponized methods of control.
Funny how that doesn't seem to stop staff or the superintendent from engaging in serious spin.

Anonymous said...

Most of the Seattle promise students at NSCC are graduates that attended Running Start. They are now continuing at NSCC, Freshmen in a sense.

Yes "Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire" is the book one of teachers held up and asked the students what they think of. The class said communism then the teacher replied No I was think of revolution and justice.

The other book is Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment. Which looks and reads like a version of Scientology.

Watching NSCC

Melissa Westbrook said...

krisfitz, tell me about it.

Watching NSCC, looks like people on Amazon like Beyond... and on Good Reads a lot like Pedagogy..." I haven't read either.

Anonymous said...

@HP

Wow I thought Hale was totally into the whole social justice hate the white man thing?


Something new

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to read the 1 star reviews:

...Since these ideas were applied in Brazilian education the quality and training of students only declined. Pretty promises with dark results.

...This book is like some kind of Bible to hard-core Lefties, but I think they must never have actually opened it and read what was inside. Freire wrotes admiringly of Mao's Cultural Revolution and Castro's Cuba, and quotes Lenin as a brother-in-arms. His bottom line seems to be that a pseudo-intellectual "revolutionary leader" like himself is the only sort of person who truly "understands" the "peasants" and can guide them to higher consciousness. The book is almost laughably poorly written, and incredibly pretentious and it doesn't take a genius to realize that it reads like a tract by some self-adoring Latin American left-wing dictator (like Castro) justifying his own grasp on power. A dangerous book, if only because it flaunts its own deep ignorance and if it did fall into the hands of people who didn't know any better they might actually believe some of this garbage.

...This is one of those books that is so bad you don't forget it, because it is so misguided and pernicious. Freire thoroughly misreads Hegel and doesn't much understand Marx. It astonishes me that it is still in print: it has the dated quality of a mid-1950s Soviet textbook on Marxism-Leninism and more than a whiff of the arrogance of the messianic monsters who end up as Communist dictators.


google it

Anonymous said...

The board adopted the new strategic plan and the Super reports to the board. Your beef is with the board. A board which looks to become dominated by people who will support the plan.

Good grief what will you do?

Owler

Low Ceiling said...

The district's Strategic Plan is to support SOC; not destroy rigor. No Honors Math?

Anonymous said...

@ Watching NSCC, I think it's a crime to force all these kids to take that class, just a waste of money and time.

Owler

NESeattleMom said...

I thought that SPS wanted kids to leave high school and go to Running Start when they rif teachers and can't provide six classes including higher level classes to some seniors (and some juniors). Why would these social justice people be dissing Running Start?

Anonymous said...

Are they dissing Running Start, or wanting to influence how RS classes are taught?

real question

NESeattleMom said...

I thought Running Start was high school students taking regular community college classes.

Justice Advocates said...


The Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference on Running Start and a "Rigtwing Agenda".

“Running Start”: Dual Enrollment Programs and the Rightwing Agenda: Building Solidarity Between High School and Community College Teachers What are your experiences with the Running Start program at your workplace? This workshop explores the neoliberal logic of Running Start and seeks to find connections between two groups of educators who share students but don’t often get to talk to one another: community college and high school teachers. We will initiate a discussion that explores shared working conditions and builds connections for future organizing. Secondary, Parents, General, Community College Laura Martin studied labor and urban history at UC Santa Cruz. She has been a community college instructor of history for 10 years, both in California and in Washington. She is a Professor of History at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, where she teaches Running Start students taking U.S., World, and Women’s History. Michael Reagan is a historian who works in early entrance and “gifted education.” He has experience teaching Running Start students at multiple community colleges. He is the author of the forthcoming book Of Ourselves: Intersectional Class Struggle from AK Press.

https://nwtsj.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/12th_Program2019_FNL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1DZ_6xQQwzcNTL4bBWX7NGCINMikXo1sKVLkGqaYfAc35kKaGAhuwoQLQ

Justice Advocates think that dual enrollment programs are part of a Right Wing Agenda. There needs to be some kind of a check and balance system with these people. It is getting crazy.

Anonymous said...

Dual enrollment programs like Running Start allow advanced students to continue to make progress, thereby thwarting the district’s attempt to reduce the achievement gap.

Seems Obvious

Anonymous said...

Seattle promise is a city program separate from the state's Running Start program. However most of the Seattle promise students at NSCC now named North College are from the Running Start program. The only thing that might be considered "Right wing" is the Running Start students become free from the politics of public schools. More and more the politics of Seattle Public schools is consider left leaning. Other than that if your kid goes to Central then they will be immersed in all things social justice based.

The class being discussed is for all the Seattle Promise students not the running start, but I suppose a RS student could choose to take it.

Students choose RS to accelerate their AA degrees and or escape the time suck of public schools. RS students attend school 3 days a week on average.

Owler

Outsider said...

It's interesting to think of the electoral politics of all of this. The upcoming election is looking like a referendum on permanent dumbing down of Seattle schools, and the idea might have a lot more support than you expect. For starters, the 5% private school gentry will always be strongly for it, because dropping the ceiling in public school greatly increases the value of their investment in private school.

Beyond that, dumbing down could be seen as best available anti-gentrification strategy. More people in Seattle have dogs than children, and the city is reaching a breaking point, where quality of life keeps going down while prices keep going up. Something has to give. Dumbing down the schools will drive families with children out, and keep new ones from moving here, resulting in lower housing prices for whoever remains and doesn't need the schools. A lot of those school yards would make great off-leash dog parks.

Big tech employers will have a harder time recruiting and retaining employees with children in Seattle, but maybe that's OK with them. If employees quit and leave as soon as they have children, maybe that's even an advantage, helping them keep the workforce young, cheap, and undistracted.

Point is, if you think dumbing down the schools is bad for the city or for society, you might be much more alone in that view than you think.

Anonymous said...

You cant swim in the waters here 10 moths out of the year. Traffic is the worst, ROI and quality of life is on the down trend. I think this winter will be the breaking point for those who this winter here are mild. It's very difficult and time consuming to get out of the city on a Friday for a week-end trip. Prices in my neighborhood have shot up 75% in the last 7 years.

Parents see that here's very little chance for their kids to stay here except as apartment dwellers for their entire young adult life.

Maybe there a reset coming?

Q

Another Parent said...

To qualify for Running Start using the SAT, students must score in the +50th percentile of all test takers. To qualify using the SBAC students must have at least a 3 in math and English, where a 3 is around the 68th percentile.

Superintendent Juneau has called Seattle high schools segregated because not enough African Americans and Hispanics self select into advanced courses. So Juneau is doing what she can to get rid of advanced courses so all students take the same classes.

A big hole in Junean's plan is Running Start because it allows 11th and 12th-grade students to self-select into advanced courses, this time at a community college.

This self-selection is a significant risk to Juneau's plan because unlike advanced courses in high school that are open to everyone, Running Start has eligibility requirements plus a logistics hurdle that may very well lead to even greater disparity in outcomes.

I expect we will be hearing more from Juneau and crew about how Running Start is segregated and racist.

Anonymous said...

This link may come in handy for any upcoming illogical conversations about how "racist" HCC is.

Social-Justice Warriors Won’t Listen, but You Should

"Then, you’ll be better positioned to report on it, discuss it with others and attack it at its roots. Think of these conversations as an opportunity to distill a vaccine from these beliefs, one that you can then administer to others."

https://www.wsj.com/articles/social-justice-warriors-wont-listen-but-you-should-11570832255

Dismantle SJWs

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, the SJW types in SPS want to detrack classes and reduce the availability of honors and AP classes in high schools. This is what is happening with honors for all classes, with the RIFing of experienced teachers leading to classes being cut at some schools more than others, and with the moves to do away with the HC pathway that will mean some high schools simply won't have numbers of students wanting advanced classes (or able to do the required workload), in order to offer them to anyone. This means the only way for some high school kids to get the appropriate courses and credits for graduation and to set them up for higher education beyond is to take Running Start classes (at their own cost and inconvenience). And now the education SJWs in Seattle want to meddle with Running Start. Unbelievable, if it's true.

@Outsider, the big tech employees who come into the Seattle with school age kids are already wary of SPS. They still come and work in Seattle but they live on the Eastside or Mercer Is if they are looking at public schools. Or they go private. Relocation specialists and work of mouth point them in the direction of the best schools, no one has any illusions about Seattle schools.

The only people hurt by the ongoing SPS train wreck are those of us who don't have the means to move or pay for private schools, or who don't have the kind of student that private schools want. Our kids are trapped, the lab rats for the SPS social justice experiment. They are the ones that will live with the results beyond high school, and struggle to compete with better prepared kids to get into and succeed in college and the workforce.

SMH so fast

Another Parent said...

Here is what we know so far:

* Walk to Math: Racist
* Homework in General: Racist
* Math in General: Racist
* Class Room Discipline: Racist
* Latin: Racist
* HCC: Racist
* Running Start: Racist
* Honors English: Racist
* Advanced Learning: Racist
* Standardized Testing: Racist

Last spring I attended an SPS High School Graduation at which the main theme was "educational justice" and racism. There was no recognition of honors students. No recognition of the Valedictorian.

My students have had many fantastic, dedicated teachers. But as far as I'm concerned, Juneau has created a hostile environment that serves no one's interests, and the sooner she goes, the better.






Anonymous said...

@another parent. That is really shocking to me. Did they acknowledge their sporting stars or musicians?
Maybe I'm old fashioned but why are we not celebrating our scholars? We should be encouraging and recognizing the kids who work hard and achieve academically in school. Not making them feel guilty or hiding their success. The fact that historical or institutional racism, classism etc has made it harder for some groups to get ahead is not the fault of these any of these particular students that are turning up in class, diligently doing the course work, studying for the tests, participating in their school community and extracurriculars - in other words doing exactly what the they are supposed to do in school. They should not be made to feel bad for it. Their school should be PROUD of them.

SMH so fast


Melissa Westbrook said...

SMH so fast, this district has rarely celebrated academic excellence. Truly.

Anonymous said...

@Another Parent, you forgot:

*Achievement is racist.

Juneau's gotta go.
-long road

Anonymous said...

I would assume that "differentiation" is also racist then, if it's differentiation above what the bulk of the classroom is is doing and it's provided to a white or Asian student, no? So under the proposed "scrap HCC for neighborhood school MTSS HC services" agenda that some staff seem to be pushing, do they actually mean differentiation only for some students?

Also add:

*Parents, teachers, and bloggers who disagree with JSCEE re: shady curriculum choices, and who want access to advanced coursework = racist.

* Board members who want procedures followed (e.g., letting a Superintendent-appointed committee finalize its recommendations before trying to end-run around them) are also racist.

sinking ship


Anonymous said...

When SPS "desegregated" schools with their homegrown bussing program, Seattle had well documented white flight and huge growth in the surrounding suburbs. That process ended with a levy failure (1981) and a long round of school closures. (81-89). It took over 20 years for the middle class to return to SPS in significant numbers. SPS's poverty rate was well over 50% at one point in time, despite Seattle never being a poor city.

So now that SPS is growing and thriving, we are going to repeat the process. Except this time it is different. The addition of charter schools, completely changes the process. Also, we no longer have "white flight" based on race and racism. We have middle class flight, where families of all ethnicities with choice, exercise their options.

I am a proud graduate of SPS during the bussing era. Despite the chaos of those days, I received an excellent education.

But this time seems very different. There are two ways to close a gap. Raise the floor or lower the ceiling. SPS has clearly made their choice.

- seattle born

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think I'll be starting a thread on the looming changes. There were some interesting things said at tonight's Board meeting.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in today's Seattle Times about the abrupt closure of Ashe Preparatory Academy, a charter school in Kent. Proved to be more than the staff could handle. Charter schools are still a bit of a gamble here.

ST reader



Melissa Westbrook said...

FYI, a newly opened charter school, Ashe Academy, has abruptly closed. From the Seattle Times:

"But within a month of opening, several staff quit or stopped showing up to work. And by Oct. 4, the day the school’s oversight board voted unanimously to close the school, enrollment had been sliced in half. Ashé’s last day of classes was Friday.

But this fall, the school’s ambitious mission was quickly overshadowed by practical problems in the classrooms. Ashé (pronounced ah-SHAY) relied on an “inclusive” classroom model, which means that students with special needs and those with advanced abilities worked alongside their peers. Teaching all levels of students can be tough for any teacher, Sullivan said, but this was particularly true for staff new to the profession.

On Sept. 24, the school’s oversight board held an emergency meeting after three staff resigned or stopped coming to work, meeting minutes suggest.

Ashé in particular had “tremendous” community support, which makes its closure all the more surprising, said Cindi Williams, chair of the Washington State Charter School Commission."

https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/charter-school-that-opened-in-kent-this-fall-abruptly-closes/

Apparently not so much community support.

TAF Update said...

TAF wants to insert language into the student assignment plan. Beginning in 2020, Washington would no longer serve students in a cohort model. Public documents have not been made available. Harris asked for document to be made public.

Anonymous said...

Would the language only apply to WMS? What about students who don't want to participate in TAF, in or out of the cohort? Thank you, Harris, for asking for transparency.

TAF overreach?

Juneau's Legacy said...

The district introduced a boundary change. Directors haven't seen changes, yet.

This is outrageous.

TAF Update said...

Clearly, the district is trying to dismantle HCC without a board vote via boundary changes.

Anonymous said...

TAF update, how would changing boundaries lead to HCC being dismantled?

SE mama

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Harris is asking questions but honestly, we've been here many times before -no documentation by staff and yet the Board still allows things to pass through. I really hope the Board stands up to these recommendations. I also have zero confidence in Juneau.
-long road

Anonymous said...

What if WMS teachers vote no to TAF? Is it ultimately in their hands? And even if they vote no, would the cohort elimination still be in the SAP?

TAF overreach?

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

The staff did vote no to TAF. 30 No, 4 Yes, 3 Abstain. Watch Juneau steamroll the process.

TAF Results said...

80% approval is needed for Creative Approach School.

Anonymous said...

TAF Update said...
TAF wants to insert language into the student assignment plan. Beginning in 2020, Washington would no longer serve students in a cohort model. Public documents have not been made available. Harris asked for document to be made public.

That isn't up to TAF, is it? And does Harris really need to ask for the document to be made public? It would seem that as part of any BAR to revise the SAP the Board could require that any related documents be included as an attachment before the BAR is even considered. Why would they even consider such an exception to current policy without all the background materials included?

@PEACE, what do you mean "whatsup with Lincoln High School?" Care to clarify?

unclear

Anonymous said...

Does TAF want to make the WMS boundary bigger, since they are assuming that many current-HCC students will leave (or not come) if they dismantle the HCC cohort there?

If so, which nearby neighborhood school zones would shrink, and would students be grandfathered at their current schools, or forced to move midstream (from a school that may offer more advanced classes and a completely different approach)?

Many, many questions--and they're talking about next fall...meaning this spring's enrollment period. This seems to be moving way too quickly...

Also, I thought the district was only in preliminary discussions with TAF. Has that changed? Is there a deal in place now? Or is TAF requesting that such changes be part of the package that's still under negotiation? Why would TAF want to take over a school when there is little teacher support? Is SPS going to just ignore the teacher vote? What about the community--do they (neighborhood families and south-end HCC families) want this?

unclear

Anonymous said...

@unclear, it’s even worse than that: this language WAS originally in the BAR but it wasn’t accepted by the Board’s operations committee (they said wait for the ALTF to make recommendations!). So this is much worse than springing unexpected language on the board—here staff is introducing ALREADY REJECTED language (but saying it’s coming from TAF instead of from staff now? What?!).

@peace, I think you’re kidding, but of course HCC is most certainly not “safe” in the north end. The district has repeatedly stated its intent to end HCC. If they are allowed to do it at WMS next year then your north end school is the following year because it will be so unacceptably inequitable to offer the cohort in the north end when its not available to kids in the south end who are so much further from educational justice. (Never mind that it’s a problem of the district’s own making. Just like we are supposed to ignore the fact that the biggest problem with HCC is that the district has ignored the equitable identification recommendations it has been getting for TWENTY PLUS YEARS).
—Tired of This

TAP Update said...

The district isn't being transparent. This is a very serious issue.

Anonymous said...

What does no cohort model mean? Was there a definition?

I understand this is a method to disperse HCC but there are other cohorts in schools too.

Like with math does that mean everyone in the school divided randomly into mixed math classes? Or everyone cohorted by age into math classes regardless of ability? Or everyone cohorted by ability regardless of age? Or maybe no math classes but integrated subjects addressed in project-based learning.

What about foreign language or band? Students don't move through in an ability cohort together but everyone is mixed up randomly or divided into age cohorts? Even choosing a foreign language or band or orchestra or art sets up a cohort since students who have one elective together are likely to have other classes together and continue being grouped by the master schedule through all 3 years.

Will this mean all sped students full time in regular classrooms? No self-contained?

Will this school serve all students with this model or will some students be moved to other schools?

It would make the master schedule much easier if there were no cohorts at all. But a big change for teachers. Are there any cohorts at TAF school?


- confused



Anonymous said...

Sounds like TAF is headed in the same direction as the last time it tried to take over an SPS school. It tried this with Rainier Beach High School some years ago, but didn't get community buy-in. If they try to force the issue at Washington, expect the same result.

--History Repeats

Anonymous said...

@confused, the TAF model is option 2 that you guessed: everyone cohorted by grade into math classes regardless of ability. They say this works fine. I do believe that could be possible—but last year’s WMS principal said OVER and OVER how far apart kids are academically at WMS (she acted like it was hard to serve everyone under one roof, let alone in one classroom) so it might be harder to differentiate math, eg, effectively at WMS than in TAF’s current classrooms.

Also—this year’s 6th graders at WMS are INDEED all in one instrumental music classroom regardless of music ability. I’m not sure if that is more unsatisfying for the kids who have already had two years of instrumental music instruction (provided by SPS) or for the kids who are have never played before. However, maybe it’s the new normal.

—Tired of This

More said...

HARRIS signed a MOU with TAF!

https://crosscut.com/sites/default/files/files/taf_mou_signed.pdf

https://crosscut.com/2019/06/central-district-could-be-home-new-stem-school-community-ready

Anonymous said...

PEACE, there’s no plan to dismantle HCC in south end only. It’s district wide.

War

Anonymous said...

Juneau is more of a politician than an administrator. She reads scripts, smiles, makes videos, and sends out newsletters.

SPS Staff tell her what to do, and she stays on point. Linking everything to "Educational Justice".
While everything around her is collapsing, including public confidence. You would think that the SPS School Board would point this out to her. Especially, after 1000 negative comments to Times pieces on "Is Math in SPS Racist", and closing down HCC at Garfield because it is "redlined". Oh, yes, we need to remember that blog comments are just "noise" to Juneau.

Geary and Harris enable Juneau everyday. I'm doing something constructive. Voting NO on Harris this November.
Won't miss Geary.
Mack, Pinkham, and Burke, time for you to get with it. Tell Juneau that she is not doing things right.
Kids and Parents are depending on you to step up.

Wake Up

Anonymous said...

I was asked by JS on another thread why no one wanted Ingraham before IB. I'm not sure why, but I know that people preferred Ballard over Ingraham. The same was true about Hale for sometime and there are still people who prefer Roosevelt over Hale. My guess is that neither Ingraham or Hale offered many advanced classes. Once Ingraham got IB, there was a more rigorous path available. Also Ballard has their academies that other high schools don't have. To my knowledge Ingraham doesn't have that. Ballard wasn't very popular for awhile too until it had its remodel. Ballard and Roosevelt have long histories in the northend. Hale wasn't established until 1963. Some people have long family histories of attending particular high schools. There are myriad reasons why families would prefer one high school over another.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will start a separate thread about last night's Board meeting because it had it all. Very long, Director Mack talking too long, one sad speaker screaming and shouting and yes, calling me a "racist", staff trying to gaslight the Board, etc.

To note, I will be deleting the comments from "PEACE" as this person is not contributing and trying to stir the pot. Please do not ask/comment on their comment; I will delete when I see them.

More, MOUs are just agreements to talk. Nothing is written in stone.

So Wake Up, Pinkham and Burke are leaving so I'm not sure if you missed that. You can vote as you please but if you think Harris enables Juneau and Mitchell gets elected, I'd suspect that Mitchell would kiss Juneau's ring prior to every Board meeting.

Thanks HP. The right fit for high school is truly important. And that's why I was sad that the district's "promise" to have a set-aside of 10% of seats never happened. Every school has specialties and flavor.

Yes, there are a myriad of reasons why people pick one school over another for high school (if they can). I suspect that if Cleveland was allowed to fill and when RBHS gets their new building, we will see even more shifts.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the Ashe charter school in Kent the one Chandra Hampson was touting?

No 1240

Anonymous said...

Enrollment publishes tables showing "to [HS]" and "from [HS]" that show what number of high school students choose which HS, according to their assigned neighborhood HS.

For choice assignments, see Table 6-C in the "6. High School - Enrollment Data" tab under the Enrollment Data. For all assignments, see Table 4-D in the "4. Comparison of Enrollment and
Attendance Areas." The reports are for 2018-19, so don't yet include Lincoln.

some numbers

Anonymous said...

School Board candidate forum tonight at North Beach Elementary, from 6:30-8:00 pm.

voter

Transparency Please said...

Washington Middle School serves grades 6-8. TAF serves grades 6-12. What is TAF's long game? Are they planning to convert Washington to a 6-12 school?

Under the veil of darkness- no one knows.

Anonymous said...

Kinda surprising to see deceptive claims and trash talk from Chandra Hampson about other school board candidates on FB. She promotes Mitchell and Rankin and disses Blumhagen and Harris.

She accuses Blumhagen of trying to "co-opt and appropriate the work" she claims she, Rankin and Mitchell have "lived for years." ?! She says he "has no actual track record in community or in the District". You gotta be kidding. Rankin, Mitchell, Hampson are all relatively new to SPS. Blumhagen and Harris have been SPS parents and activists in SPS for nearly 2 decades.

Hampson claims Rankin has been "a local champion for special education students, highly capable students, students of color for years". That's another lie. Rankin's kids are pretty young and she hasn't been around SPS “for years.” Since when has Rankin supported HC students? In fact she supports eliminating HCC pathways.

Hampson admits she, Mitchell and Rankin are a "ticket" --- "This is not a ticket of convenience for Liza and Molly and myself."

Not a very smart or classy move by Hampson, a candidate herself, to make endorsements when her personal faves might lose and if she's elected, she’ll have to work with board members she has trashed.

This is Chandra Hampson showing her true, divisive colors. It will only get worse if she's elected.

I for one won't be voting for Hampson's slate of BFFs or

Deceptive/Divisive Hampson

Anonymous said...

@ Transparency Please said...
Judging from Juneau's recent public smears against Garfield, maybe that's the targeted high school pathway for TAF's expansion plans.

Dot Connector

Anonymous said...

@No 1240 10/17/19, 9:20 AM

Yes, Chandra Hampson supports charter schools.

Deceptive/Divisive Hampson

AllSmiles Now said...

Yes. It took a while, but Hampson has begun to show her true colors. If elected, expect more of the same!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Deceptive/Divisive Hampson, so Hampson thinks because someone isn't on the SCPTSA Board, they have done nothing? It's interesting that she, Rankin and Emijah Smith all served together and all believe themselves to be qualified.

Rankin is NOT a champion for HCC and I'll be putting up evidence of that soon. She may support AL in all schools but not HCC as it currently stands.

As I said, beware of slates especially ones that have group think. It will not serve the Board well.

"Not a very smart or classy move by Hampson, a candidate herself, to make endorsements when her personal faves might lose and if she's elected, she’ll have to work with board members she has trashed."

Absolutely true and one action that I have admired about nearly everyone on the Board. They all know that any given candidate might join them so why bad-mouth anyone?

No on 1240, what is your evidence about Hampson's stand on charter schools? I believe she did say some weak thing about not supporting them in principle but that some groups need more choice. Given the closing of the latest charter school, apparently that belief is not widespread.

Anonymous said...

@Liza Rankin has scrubbed her FB posts of her mostly negative comments about HCC and AL, and remind me what she has done for SPeD specifically? Besides cozy up in some recent meetings engineered by Geary and others? She is no friend of SPS kids-any of them. If that ticket actually gets voted in, it will spell disaster for those FFEJ but also for any kid who needs something different.

But not to dwell on them, lets just point out that Harris has steadily been focused on all kids and families and while I haven't always been happy with that, I feel she is fair and pretty darn unbiased. Eric has been focused on capacity, boundaries/SAP, legislative issues, other wonky stuff that is critical and complex. Next to him, the liza/chandra/molly group looks like amateur hour and we don't need amateurs, esp as it relates to MS and HS. Again, $1.04B budget...
-long road

Anonymous said...

@when I said "....and I haven't always been happy with that," I meant ..."I have not always been happy with the outcome (if I was looking for something else), I feel she is fair...."
-long road

Melissa Westbrook said...

If the Hampson/Rankin/Mitchell slate (and fyi Mitchell,too, was bad-mouthing other candidates on Facebook) wins, then look to DeWolf to join with them. And watch Juneau's flip of the table come even faster.

Will Hersey join them?

I perceive that Rivera Smith shares the same kind of wait-and-see attitude that Eden Mack has.

And what if Harris wins (and I think she will) and so does Eric Blumhagen. Those four may agree on some but would not be in lockstep that the new slate would be. And Hersey may join them sometimes.

To note,he said during his campaign to the Board that he would run again in two years.

Interesting times.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I've always been a proponent of public education and viewed charters and education vouchers as a sort of right wing funneling of public money to the private sector but after nearly a decade in SPS I'm starting to think differently. This district has received an enormous amount of money and goodwill that it has seemed to squander over the years. Arguably its not serving any group particularly well, as evidenced by achievement gap and the general disatisfaction that families with high achievers express. There is limited transparency or accountability, the outcomes are nothing to brag about, and now it seems intent on going down some pathway that is not wanted or in the best interests of a large proportion of community it serves. This is not a real democratic system; the board, though notionally representing the taxpayers and parents of the district doesn't seem really able to steer this ship. It seems like the staff at JSCEE decide what they want to do and everything else falls into line - local media, political climbers on the board, other organizations who stand to make some money out dealing with SPS.
I wonder if things would be different if SPS didn't have a captive market, if families could vote with their feet. Families have different priorities - for instance, some commenters here want advanced classes, more rigor, tracking for their students, while others want inclusive classrooms or a social justice curriculum.
Perhaps opening it up to charters or having a voucher system would be better, if it means folks could spend their education tax dollars where they feel it will most benefit their own students. I guess then we would see if there really is a market for what SPS wants to sell us.

SMH so fast

Melissa Westbrook said...

SMH Fast, except in WA state charters have not proven to either easy or popular.

As for vouchers, I could never agree to public money for religious schools. Or, people putting out a shingle to make money off public education.

And, more than 25% of families with school-aged kids DO vote with their feet.

But SPS does act like they are the only game in town and that may be a mistake. Juneau may find herself with fewer kids from stable situations and parents who will step up and contribute (time/money/both).

krisfitz said...

An interesting question (which I plan to ask the board and sup) is: does this dismantling cohorts to achieve equity apply to SpEd and medically handicapped students as well? Will all students be integrated at their neighborhood schools?
If so, the resources required are enormous. Every school would need a nurse and IAs.
If not, why not? Aren't these students also distanced from educational justice?
Not asking rhetorically - our son was not allowed to attend his neighborhood school, due to a medical condition that required a trained adult or nurse on site. We were told to send him to a school with a nurse - which we did (not legal, but we were being pragmatic).
I don't think staff have considered this angle, which has enormous consequences. Meeting these needs at scale is cost effective - sending high needs kids back to neighborhood schools will result in either huge costs or lawsuits as needs aren't met.

Anonymous said...

The commenter using all caps sadly epitomizes the attitude of so many in this district. Why is an entire cohort of students demonized on the basis of their academic ability? It is just plain wrong and ugly for adults to do that. I can excuse the uninformed all caps commenter because - well it's hard to take someone using the moniker LIBTURDS seriously. But this is emblematic of the attitude that starts at the top of the district leadership and filters right down to individual schools. If you said that about a minority or dyslexic or autistic kids people would be outraged.

Where is the outrage?

Ed Tech said...

Hampson's husband works for a local strategy firm helping companies figure out how to market "full course curriculum education technology." That seems like a conflict of interests.

Anonymous said...

There are very few lawsuits filed against SPS over SPED and next to zero that are successful.

Check the OSPI website to see the districts win 99% of all Administrative hearings. The best you can hope for is a settlement. Medical fragile is probably the hardest case to win.

Maybe Medicare is were your beef is, because it's not with the school district if your child needs a nurse just to attend school. Sorry you have to go thru the hassles.

SPED Parent

Anonymous said...

Attending a school with a full time nurse would be placement in a LRE. If your child needs a nurse due to a life threatening condition then any SPS building would not be a LRE.

SPED Parent

Anonymous said...

Sped Parent.

You are wrong. About half the cases against SPS end in at least a partial victory for parents. True, there are usually only a handful each year. But the district nearly always settles before the cases get resolved. Actually, they settle before the cases are even required to be recorded. They never appear in OSPI’s list. So, although it appears that parents are winning something against SPS in only 5 cases or so per year, there are probably at least 25 more that are quietly settled under the stipulation of secrecy. I know of plenty of private school tuitions paid under the table, transportation to and from transition programs, and expensive residential tuition for mental health services. Usually paid out in under the table reimbursements to avoid board disclosure. The state should definitely disallow secret deals and settlements legislatively. Talk about “furthest from educational justice”. Requiring people to file due process or OSPI citizen complaints, to get access to special education... only to immediately cave in with a secret settlement, is a strategy that favors wealthy and well educated families by huge margins. Ironically, the “So Sue Me” approach to services provision has been publicly championed by Jill Geary, a former ALJ. What a disappointment. How about just providing the FAPE without making people turn to lawyers?

Spedvocate

Anonymous said...

Don't engage the trolls. Melissa will delete their comments as soon as she can.

HP

Anonymous said...

What I would like to see--and what the Board should reasonably insist upon--is a detailed plan for how and why all these proposed changes might work to bring about whatever end goals the district is hoping to achieve.

For each strategy SPS staff are proposing (e.g., TAF at WMS; relying on MTSS to provide AL/HC services when most of us know that differentiation has proven nearly impossible; limiting HC cohort-based services to a small group; a truly bizarre, potentially unsupported-by-research, and potentially destructive version of "ethnic studies," etc.) they should clearly explain things like:

- how feasible it is, what resources (e.g., financial, PD, additional supports) it will require, what is the implementation timeline, etc.;
- what it means for the NSAP, incl. assignment criteria, boundary changes, grandfathering or reassignment, etc.;
- its potential to negatively impact racial and financial diversity at schools (due to existing neighborhood-based disparities);
- the results of equity analyses that address not just racial minorities but also other groups that are supposed to be included in these analyses (e.g., special ed students, HC students);
- how much community support is there is or isn't;
- what indicators will be used to evaluate its success, and what the specific target numbers are for each (e.g., increase yadda yadda from 50% to 65% by yr 2)
- and so on.
- I'd also like to see a logic model or theory of change for how they think each program/change/intervention will work in theory, as well as an overall, bigger picture version for how they think all these things will work in concert to provide the main outcomes of interest.

In the absence of an overall plan that makes sense, these proposed changes come across as some combination of incompetence ("we can't figure out how to raise the floor so we need to lower the ceiling"); spitefulness ("we just don't like HC kids or their parents"); simplistic cost-saving efforts ("surely a one-size-fits-all approach will be cheaper"), or political stunts ("look at me, I'm the most extreme SJW out there!"). Or a combination of the above.

Can the Board PLEASE insist upon an overarching plan with clear and measurable strategies and goals? We need OVERSIGHT that is grounded in reality, is transparent, is evidence-based (and I don't just mean throwing out some citations that, upon simple review, are completely irrelevant), and that has a chance at some community buy-in. The current approach is the most unprofessional I've seen, and for the Board to allow us to continue down this path is irresponsible and inexcusable.

sinking ship

Anonymous said...

@JS from another thread who said " I would add that perhaps many did not want Ingraham once IB was there." You are aware that IB has been at Ingraham for more than 20 years?

Parent

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they meant "many did not want Ingraham once IB[X] was there?"

When the district proposed placing an optional HC pathway at IHS, called IBX and [very loosely] modeled after Bellevue's program, some families at IHS didn't seem especially enthusiastic about the prospect. There's been mixed support ever since. It helped minimize capacity issues at GHS, RHS, and BHS until Lincoln opened, but over the past few years IHS has pulled back on the accelerated program option and are encouraging most HC students to follow the regular IB pathway of starting IB coursework in 11th (rather than 10th - the IBX option).

just maybe

Anonymous said...

why did the Board allow Sebrena Burr to slander other Board and community members, miss her spot but still speak and then speak for 3x the allotted time? Just proves they are racist. Not in the manner Burr said though. They need to have a policy and stick to it.

And why did Emoji Smith get two votes while a qualified individual (and one who did not assault a young women of color - directing her strip on her deck and hitting her with a baseball bat) seems racist to me and not at a lynching as Burr claimed. After all Asians don't count according to DeWolf.

Meanwhile the district is working to remove the HCC for all the south/central Seattle.

Black-lens Matter




Melissa Westbrook said...

Black-Lens, I will address Burr's "performance" but yes, it was weird that they switched her spot and then allowed her to scream for at least 5 minutes. Positively looked unhinged.

Anonymous said...

@black-lens matter,
Can you point me to your evidence that “Asians don’t count according to DeWolf”? (Specific Board meeting dates or documents)

I’m not challenging you. I believe you, but verifiable evidence is what wins.

Gathering

Melissa Westbrook said...

Gathering, I will be interested if there is indeed a direct quote.

However, Geary, DeWolf, etc. have noted that HCC is overwhelmingly white and Asian.

As if Asian were not a minority label. It is but somehow no one wants to go into that point - why there are so many Asians in HCC. Clearly, it's a trend so why discount it so readily?

Sad said...

It is unfortunate that the board must endure abuse from the same two individuals...meeting after meeting.

Anonymous said...

I guess its for the same reason there are so many Asians in the HC equivalent programs on the Eastside, and other school districts both in the US and abroad. Often first generation ones too. It's certainly not unique to Seattle. nor is it unique to Seattle or the USA that certain ethnic groups (eg, AA/native Americans here, the indigenous cultures of some other countries) seem do less well in terms of school outcomes and other measures. We can all surmise the root causes of this -things like colonization, racism, poverty etc. I'm sure we can all agree this is bad, but we don't all believe that what SPS is proposing can address this problem in any meaningful way other than making some people feel better about it.

I'm with @sinking ship - SPS needs to show the community and the school board a plan with objective, measurable goals and strategies to achieve them, based on applicable evidence and strong data (in other words, not like the enrollment projections). We're talking 50 000 students, millions of dollars of public money, and an organization with a long history of lurching from one bad decision to another. They need to get it right. We need ensure the district is not circumventing board oversight (as it is known to do), because that is the only mechanism for taxpayers and parents to have a say in these processes and hold them accountable.

This board election seems to be particularly important in that regard - will we end up with board members who demand to see facts and figures, and reliable data from the district or who will take their word for it? Ones who will evaluate and make decisions based on experience and evidence or on spin and optics? Members who will hold the district to following procedure or let things slide by?

Just the facts


Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that the board must endure abuse from the same two individuals...meeting after meeting.

Why must they? They changed the rules to shorten speaking time, so why can't they also impose--assuming they don't already have them--rules around being respectful? Couldn't they ban someone from speaking for a few weeks?

unclear

Melissa Westbrook said...

Unclear, see my post on the Board meeting. Apparently the rules have gone out the window.

Anonymous said...

DeWolf said HCC is 90% white. The only way it could be that high is if you counted Asians as white. The same Asians in Seattle who lost every f****** thing. To the whites during world war II. Does he know that. I went to ask him I wanted his local community meetings. He doesn't have local community meetings. He runs up north. He suckles with northerns. He has no clean to this district. His only claim is that I'm native American. I don't know anything about education. But I'm going to sit here with Jill Geary and steal my next election. Like Jill and I did before.

Surprised he doesn't think that native Americans who passed as everything but black are not white. Oh yeah. Gotcha.

He has never responded to his error.

I listen to too many minutes of some person yelling at the board. Who is yelling at the board to tell them that Asian is not white. Oh yeah they do well on test.

Black-lens

Anonymous said...

Ingraham started IB in 2002, probably to attract more kids. The district went to neighborhood schools in 2009. So in 2009, a neighborhood kid either had to choose IB or general education at Ingraham. If they didn't want IB and they were unhappy with the general education classes offered, they applied elsewhere. I know a lot of families who chose Ballard, Roosevelt and Shorecrest over Ingraham or Hale. I also know a lot of families who chose Hale over Ingraham or Roosevelt, mostly because it is smaller and also represents itself as inclusive. I have yet to meet anyone who chose Ingraham for its general education program. It doesn't mean it is bad, it just isn't a draw for outside of the Ingraham zone kids.

HP