Tuesday Open Thread

The district finallly put up a public notice about the rash of overdose deaths from pills laced with fentanyl by several teens in the Puget Sound region including one at Ballard High School.   Several surprises (at least to me). I am surprised at the amount of time it took.  I am surprised that it didn’t get “above the fold” location on the district website for at least a couple of days.  I am surprised at the seeming lack of urgency in that notice.  School board directors? Might want to tell the Superintendent that her pet projects don’t supercede student safety.  (Editor’s note: I don’t know how I missed it - and I checked but readers say they saw the notice more promeniently placed. I stand by the lack of urgency in the district notice; maybe the one to parents was stronger.)

From OSPI on parents’ rights to view the results of their child’s state test scores.

Parents and guardians of students who were enrolled full-time or part-time in Washington public schools during state testing may view their student’s Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program (WCAP) tests. These tests include:
  • Smarter Balanced (SBA) assessments
  • End-of-Course (EOC) exams
  • Off-Grade Level (OGL) assessments
  • Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM)
  • Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS)
Interesting article from the  NY Times on possible medical reasons your child might struggle academically.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued a report on what pediatricians can — and should — do to help “school-aged children who are not progressing academically.”

One in six kids in the U.S. are struggling in school to the point where they’re really suffering, really feel like they’re failing — and a lot of them are failing,” he said.

We’re talking about a child who is clearly struggling just to stay afloat. Sometimes it’s a child who was doing fine until something changed or went wrong in the school environment — a teacher mismatch, a terrible social situation with classmates. And sometimes it’s an issue with the child’s own learning profile or state of mind that comes to light as academic demands increase. 
A judge threatens Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos with jail (yes, please)  for continuing to collect debt from students at a online college even after it went out of business.  From Newsweek:
That ruling, handed down in June of 2018, was made by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim and prevented DeVos and her Department of Education for going after former students at the bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc. 
However, Kim said she was "astounded" to discover that DeVos was violating the court order at a hearing in San Francisco on Monday after a filing by the Education Department earlier disclosed that more than 16,000 former students at Corinthian College "were incorrectly informed at one time or another ... that they had payments due on their federal student loans."
I do have documentation for the upcoming Curriculum and Instruction meeting this afternoon which I will post separately.

I see that the Seattle Times has done a very gentle story on the Math portion of SPS Ethnic Studies.  Pretty puffball writing but again, I’ll put that discussion in a separation post. I note that one reader said that page had been at OSPI but is now gone.  I’ll ask some questions and see what I can find out.

What’s on your mind?


Anonymous said…
Re the Fluff piece about Ethnic Studies Math in the Seattle Times today. I wish there would be some critical analysis. For instance, delving deeper and actually reading the link to the Stanford study cited by TCG shows this was a totally different program to what is proposed here in SPS with the ES math framework etc. Firstly it involved high schoolers, and it was a specific ethnic studies class. How can the assumption be made that what TCG is developing will have similar benefits? Once again, there is a lack of clarity about the form, implementation, goals and potential benefits. Either TCG et al do not understand that you can't compare apples to oranges or it suits them to keep the waters muddy.

From the https://news.stanford.edu/2016/01/12/ethnic-studies-benefits-011216/ t

(Start) "In the study, Dee and Penner gathered data from three San Francisco high schools participating in the pilot ethnic studies program from 2010 to 2014.

Enrollment in ethnic studies was automatic for students who had eighth grade GPAs below 2.0 and voluntary for those with GPAs above 2.0. The scholars narrowed their observations to a population of 1,405 ninth graders, and compared attendance rates, GPA and grade credits earned for students who came in closest to each side of the 2.0 threshold. Looking at students near the cutoff allowed for the best analysis of the program because a student with a 1.99 GPA, for example, was likely to be very similar to a student with a 2.01 – except that one student was encouraged to enroll in the course, while the other was not.

“It’s similar to a randomized trial where one group of people are assigned to a treatment and another similar group is asked to take a placebo,” explained Dee, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
The researchers found that attendance for those encouraged to enroll in the class increased by 21 percentage points, GPA by 1.4 grade points and credits earned by 23. (End)

Meanwhile also out of the Stanford Grad School of Education comes this

"School poverty—not racial composition—limits educational opportunity, according to new research from Stanford" https://ed.stanford.edu/news/new-evidence-shows-school-segregation-leads-racial-achievement-gap-it-school-poverty-not-racial

".......new evidence shows that while racial segregation within a district is a very strong predictor of achievement gaps, school poverty—not the racial composition of schools—accounts for this effect.

In other words, racial segregation remains a major source of educational inequality, but this is because racial segregation almost always concentrates black and Hispanic students in high-poverty schools, according to new research led by Sean Reardon, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE).

“The only school districts in the U.S. where racial achievement gaps are even moderately small are those where there is little or no segregation. Every moderately or highly segregated district has large racial achievement gaps,” said Reardon, the Professor of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford GSE and a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. “But it’s not the racial composition of the schools that matters. What matters is when black or Hispanic students are concentrated in high-poverty schools in a district.”

The findings were released on Sept. 23 in a paper accompanying the launch of a new interactive data tool from the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University," Stanford has more info explaining the White-Black Differences in Average Test Scores here https://edopportunity.org/discoveries/white-black-differences-scores/ust the facts

I just fail to see how embedding ES in every subject will make an objective difference to academic outcomes in our district; it might make some people feel good to see their agenda carried out, but the root causes of the disparities will remain.

Just the facts
Anonymous said…
MW -- you are wrong about the fentanyl announcement. It posted Friday morning on the district home page and took the featured slot all weekend. It is also on all the school sites in the district announcements section.

- Hen
Anonymous said…
and as a parent i received the direct email with similar fentanyl info on Friday.

Anonymous said…
@Just the Facts There have been similar studies to Stanford's most recent with the same findings of poverty instead of race being a determining factor of the achievement gap. However it seems SPS still operates in a silo regarding this knowledge and focuses instead upon race. Did you know that changing math to be less "Eurocentric" will narrow the achievement gap?

Anonymous said…
@Just the facts

"Either TCG et al do not understand that you can't compare apples to oranges or it suits them to keep the waters muddy."

Honestly, it's hard to distinguish incompetence and unclear thinking from intentional disingenuousnes these days.

NE Dad
Anonymous said…
Random question regarding testing and scoring that someone here might be able to answer: Can Smarter Balanced scores be accurately applied across grade levels? For example, the "meeting expectations" range for a third grader for math 2436 - 2500. Anything above is "exceeding expectations." The "meeting expectations" rang for fifth grade for math is 2528 - 2578. So, if a third grader got 2600, would it be fair to say they would be exceeding fifth grade expectations? If a fifth grader got 2425, would it be fair to say they are below third grade expectations? Or would that be comparing apples to oranges?

Thanks for any input.

NE Dad
Anonymous said…
I'm glad that the district is addressing the drug issue, but I'm concerned that there is not enough attention given to alcohol abuse. A student nearly died from alcohol poisoning a few weeks ago. The friends were afraid to call 911 because they had been drinking as well and were scared about the police being informed. Everyone should be aware that calling foe help absolves them of legal ramifications. -TeacherMom
Anonymous said…
Has anyone heard of the practice of making students sit on the floor in front of the class in an area called the "Box of Shame"? I ask because there is an email going around on Nextdoor stating that a teacher at Whitman Middle School was forcing Special Ed students to sit in the box when the teacher felt a student was off track.

I hope this just some sort of misunderstanding.

NNE Mom said…
@NE Dad, no, you can't read SBAC scores that way. The tests do adjust how hard the questions are but only a little, not that much. Look at this info:
and note how the level 1 and level 4 numbers are pretty much the same for each grade level. It is specific to the grade level tested. That is all.
Anonymous said…
@ Owler, that's awful. I hope it's not true, but if it is, I hope it was a one-time thing and the teacher learned better. Maybe the teacher should apologize, then sit in the box of shame for a bit.

Re: the district's fentanyl blurb, it would be nice if they had been clear that it's not just an issue of substance "abuse," but simply substance "use." They need to be clear that single-time experimentation is also incredibly risky these days, and that many types of pills can be suspect (not just those id'd as most commonly laced).

all types
Anonymous said…
I think it's widely know that SPS abuses special ed students, this is not shocking because SPS has resisted inclusion and it appears that some teachers don't want the perceived headaches that a SPED student may bring. Lack of PD for SPED can come out in many ways and unfortunately it's mostly the student who suffers.

If a teacher is using this so called "box of shame" then the teacher and the principle should have to go before the school board and explain. Teachers have been fired for much less.

SPED Parent
Anonymous said…
I agree with "all types". The district message was not as clear as it should have been. This is not about overdosing or substance abuse. It is about how a single-time experimentation and pill can be fatal due to the counterfeit pills. The district also failed to mention to district parents that multiple deaths occurred at high schools recently within our district. They instead referred to King County in their message.

JSCEE School! said…
In Philadelphia, two high schools that share one building in the city center (Ben Franklin and Science Leadership Academy) are closed right now due to asbestos. A Philadelphia public school teacher is suffering from a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

One proposal for where to put the students while the construction work to make their building usable while this is going on is... (wait for it)... in the school district headquarters building!!!

Parents want the district administration to move into space available in Strawberry Hills Mansion High School, which they say would open their eyes about some things.

This is an idea we should keep in mind, Seattle!
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
"....I think it's widely know that SPS abuses special ed students..."

As someone who has worked in inclusion classrooms in SPS for 18 years this IS NOT widely known. I have NEVER heard this. IF you have any actual evidence, then please provide it, otherwise I'm calling BS.

Anonymous said…
I also read the Times article and thought that, as usual, they have clearly shown their bias. They always seem to write these one-sided articles on education. I was just surprised that they allowed comments.
Anonymous said…
Oh come on teacher theres more to abuse than physical. Please don't play semantics here. Do you doubt the Box of shame story? Do you have an opinion? If true do you consider it abuse?

Sped Parent
Anonymous said…
People should know that the Times educational reporters are funded by the Gates Foundation

Anonymous said…
@Science Teacher, shaming in front of peers for “consequences” is abuse. Taking away recess to “help” kids “process” an adverse action is abuse. Making parents file legal appeals while their child is denied services is abuse. It is ubiquitous and less noticeable, because it is normalized. But it is abuse.

More Noise Please
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Honestly, use of a box isn’t necessarily shaming nor abuse. I begged my kid’s teachers to implement a box floor location for my kid to use when the class went to for floortime. A mat would have also worked. He would have done much better because he would be way more aware of where to sit and how to orient his body. So before screaming abuse, we should really give everyone the benefit of the doubt unless you really know.

And seriously? “inclusion” science? Blech!!!!. Every classroom should be an inclusion classroom! Having special classrooms for students with disabilities, where inclusion is OK... while everything else is exclusion. Well. THAT is the sucky thing.

Another Sped Parent
Anonymous said…
I have yet to see any evidence of abuse or even that the "box" story is true, Just a second-hand story and a bunch of gossip and some silly comment about abuse being "widely known". As for the comment about inclusion science, I guess I wasn't clear. I have never taught a class of just special education students. I have always taught in a general education classroom that has spectrum, special ed, general ed students and sometimes HCC students who wanted to stay in their neighborhood school.
Anonymous said…
Yep lm sure you know silly when you see it.

Right teacher
Anonymous said…
Another SPED Parent,

“Inclusion” is just a word to mitigate legal risk for services SPS doesn’t provide and a term used to make everyone feel good, IMO. My kid is in an “inclusion” classroom which has a teachers aide but otherwise looks like any other classroom and is blended with students who don’t have an IEP. This is NOT sufficient special ed. They’re not even regularly testing her for progress. Totally unacceptable!!

All Spin
Anonymous said…
Danny Westneat's column:

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


Jet City mom said…
I’m confused. When my daughter was at Garfield, they had the policy that if you wanted to try an advanced class you could. Garfield did not require you to be above or at grade level in Math for example, before you took an advanced English or History class, unlike other high schools.
My daughter was in honors and AP courses for some subjects, while she was in support classes for others.

A large group of her friends were as well, which is perhaps why I don’t have the inflammatory response that the media does.
Because of the support program offered ( which MGJ did away with), she and her friends were able to get to grade level in math, despite being two yrs behind when entering 9 th grade.
They then were able to complete chemistry and physics before graduation, preparing them to attend college ( and to major in a STEM field if they wanted to, as my daughter did)

She also had TH3 as principal, has he changed requirements for AP coursework?
Anonymous said…
Dang, @Danny Westneat, that was quick! Thanks for presenting a contrasting--and IMHO more reasonable--viewpoint, and for calling out the current superintendent's efforts.

Anonymous said…
Race-baiting by Danny Westneat. A new low for him and the Seattle Times, and a clueless examination of the issues by someone steeped in privilege and who has taken full advantage of them.

Anonymous said…
"Taking away recess to “help” kids “process” an adverse action is abuse."

Wow. I guess I was regularly "abused" as a kid. (Ok, semi-regularly; I didn't have recess taken away *too* often). I'd say this is a case of defining down a term to the point where it loses a lot of its meaning. Frankly, I have mixed feelings on the benefits and detriments of public shaming, although I'm probably out of step with the majority. Positive peer pressure can be a good thing (although the risks of negative consequences should not be ignored).

NE Dad
Anonymous said…

How is it “race baiting?” Westneat acknowledges the inequities and proposed various ways to overcome them. Did you read the article? Kudos for laying bare Juneau’s approach: eliminate achievement gaps by lowering services for all. Looks good on a spreadsheet but doesn’t help students.

All Spin
Anonymous said…
@Jet City mom, no, I don't think they've changed the requirements for participation in AP classes. However, students entering via the HCC pathway are often more ready for and willing to take AP classes, and given HCC's demographics, they are more likely to be Asian or white. The same may also be true for non-HCC students within the Garfield assignment area who decide to take AP classes, I don't know. So...more whites and Asians at GHS decide to take AP classes, which is "clearly unfair" and "segregation," right? (Sounds ridiculous, I know, but that's what senior JSCEE staff and apparently some in the GHS community think.)

TH3 did change requirements somewhat, but in the other direction and not exactly re: AP classes. The move to "Honors for All" ELA and SS classes--which *may* represent increased challenge compared to prior GE versions, but decreased challenge compared to prior Honors versions--was ostensibly to encourage more students who may not have seen themselves as "honors" type students to decide to later enroll in AP classes. It was supposed to push them a little and let them see they could handle more, then they'd want to push themselves further and take the extra leap to AP classes. But the long-promised evaluation of that "pilot" program never materialized, and they expanded it instead. My guess is that is has NOT been effective in converting non-HC students into AP students, otherwise GHS and Juneau would be touting that all over the place. Instead we get things like "slave" ship, that tell me their efforts failed. Not only did those who typically didn't take AP classes generally continue to not take AP classes, those who typically did take AP classes continued to want AP classes. Since SPS couldn't imagine seeing itself as partly to blame for not adequately preparing students in the 9 years (K-8) leading up to high school, they resort to calling HCC as racist instead. Funny thing, though, if they eliminate HCC, most of those kids taking AP classes in high school will still take those classes in high school. The only ones who won't are those at schools that won't be able to offer as many AP classes, which will likely be mostly minority students.

I'm glad to hear your story of how it worked for your daughter and friends. I think that's how it's supposed to work, and how I think it does work. Makes perfect sense. But the demographics of who does what don't look like what's desired, so they want to blow everything up and go one-size-fits-all, for the sake of optics only.

all types
Anonymous said…
Try it again. Race-baiting by Juneau and SPS leadership. Absolutely.
-long road
Anonymous said…
Don't you people pay attention to Ellen? Being kind to everyone is important, even if they don't think the same as you do. So, we have a loud contingent of people who think HCC is racist and elitist, and a loud contingent of people who think HCC is best practices and the most appropriate learning environment for gifted students. We also have a big quiet contingent who just wants their children to learn, grow and thrive, and be happy while they're at it.

Some of the HCC students are treated very poorly in school for their quirkiness. Some SOC are treated poorly in school and life for the color of their skin. One would think there could be more empathy between the groups considering their children are often outliers.

The board members (Burke and Pinkham) made a wise choice to recommend the ALTF have the opportunity to finish their work and recommendations. I personally don't think it matters what comes out of their work, since no Advanced Learning taskforce recommendations have been honored in the history of SPS. But at least this buys some time to let the people vote and the board shift. Hampson will likely replace Geary, and she will be louder and more divisive. The unknown is whether Liza or Eric will win and if Harris will keep her seat. If Liza wins and Harris is booted, I say buckle up and get ready for rapid change. SPS will not only eliminate advanced learning opportunities behind the scenes, as they have been doing for the past five years, they will blow their horn and make a very public celebration out of bringing everyone to the middle with their standardization approach. Option schools will be on the chopping block next, because this isn't about learning pedagogy, this is about controlling white flight and forcing people to stay in their neighborhood schools.

Buckle Up
Anonymous said…
@ Salut, when you consider it "race-baiting" when someone reports the Superintendent's recent words--but not when the Superintendent initially says them--that pretty much says it all.

shoe fits

Jet City mom said…
When my daughter attended, a few teachers ( English & Math) implemented the ACE program.( don’t remember what it stood for.)
It took care of their electives, but the teachers promised to work with them to bring them to grade level, no matter where they started from.
Don’t remember if it was considered part of 504, don’t think so, but most kids by far were not Asian or white.
MGJ did not like that it was not in other schools, and so instead of encouraging other schools to increase support of students who could benefit, she eliminated it.

Why lower the bar instead of lifting everyone up?

Isn’t that what education is supposed to mean?
Anonymous said…
@ Jet City mom,

Yes, that's what one would think. Sadly, it does not seem to be the case in SPS. At all.

simple minds
Anonymous said…
Here is something I cannot understand. The achievement gap research states that the cause of the achievement gap is the concentration of poverty. Specifically when schools are predominately poor, we have a large achievement gap. So it seems to me balancing schools FRL is what really helps low income, and students of color who are also low income achieve.

HCC has high percentages of middle and upper income kids and the pathway has been used to bring these kids out of their neighborhoods into lower income neighborhood schools. They drive access to advanced classes for all the students in that school. HCC is definitely in need of better identification to find and serve gifted poor kids, which would also increase students of color in the program.

However by sending kids back to segregated neighborhoods we still have segregated schools.

I am now wondering if the true plan is to segregate schools further, yet drain middle income schools of basic education resources. For example the district is taking funding away from middle income high schools like Garfield, leaving them unable to offer enough classes for all students to remain in their high school.

But are the low income high schools benefiting from these cuts to middle class high schools as part of "equity" or is the money going somewhere else?

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jet City mom said…
Precisely, Wondering,

I have seen the impact having a balanced socioeconomic mix in a school can accomplish.
I feel that it has more benefit than a fistful of grants aimed at a school with high FRL.

The district seems to be overestimating the effort that it takes to inspire kids that struggle and empower them to become more involved in their own education.

It isn’t just about allocating dollars, this is about their lives. About giving them the skills to successfully transition to adulthood and make a difference.
Lowering the bar teaches them that you don’t trust them to meet it, even with assistance.

That is pretty sad.
Anonymous said…
It's paramount that SPS concentrates FRL students or it would lose funding.


Jet City mom said…
But is that funding cost effective?
Are these extra programs implementing the change that they expect?
Anonymous said…
I find it interesting that Rankin is having a meet and greet with Geary at the home of Karen Kaizuka the Executive Director at MOSAIC.

Over the last 4 years Geary has not stepped up to support IEPs, 504s or SPED. I find her a complete disappointment. Rankin is Race focused activist that has not shown any particular interest in anything SPED in all her years of involvement in SPS.

So is this a political play by MOSAIC to drum up business? Is Kaizuka aware of the complete and utter failure of Geary to fix any of the issues with SPED.

There is a common interest in autism with Geary having an autistic child and Mosaic offering services for autistic children. Kaizuka has a son with a TBI and is an advocate for more help for those suffering TBI.

The SPS TBI population is very small with the most severe cases being outsourced to several companies.

SPED Parent
Chump Change said…
For 2018-19, the district overall received about:
City FEL Levy $11 million
LAP funding $11 million
Title I funding $4.5 million
Other various grants $4 million
PTA grants $2.7 million

Considering that SPS's entire budget is well over a billion dollars, the title I money is chump change. Wouldn't it be better to desegregate our schools and create inclusive communities where students can get to know and interact with all kinds of people?
Anonymous said…
@NE Dad maybe not for a young child with a zero ACE score who doesn’t need IEP support. But try not to erase others’ experience with yours, with issues taken out of context. Kthx

More Noise Please
Anonymous said…
Seattle Public Schools are desegregated already.

Woopsless in Seattle said…
Nope. Sorry. If HCC is "segregated," a high school that is 3% white in a city that is 65% white is also segregated.
So two big stories from the Times. I'll start a thread for each soon.

I have to say from the comments, neither the Ethnic Studies in Math education OR the changing of HCC has much support. I hope that those who want answers and/or don't support these efforts - in this fashion - will speak up to the Board and the Superintendent.

I deleted some remarks here. Please do not tell tales out of school without sending me proof (like the email about the "box").
Jet City mom said…
Speaking of Title one, my daughter was in a Title 1 class in elementary/ middle school.
There was a teacher in the building that the principal wanted to encourage to quit, for reasons.

So instead of documenting what she needed to do to fire the teacher, she assigned the teacher to the Title 1 class..
It took a few months but the teacher did quit.

That class really made a difference for my daughter. NOT.
What would have been better, is for the school to have accountability and for students to be supported by staff and administration instead of being used as pawns to do administrations work for them.
Anonymous said…
Never heard of a Title one class. If there was such a thing I imagine that's a civil rights violation. Ok all you low income kids get in the closet!

We never had a new car growing up or a single vacation involving taking an airplane but I was never singled out as "poor" in school even though we had very little including food.

Title one just dosn't work for less fortunate students in fortunate populations.

Reality sucks

NESeattleMom said…
Jet City mom, Kids at GHS can still sign up for AP classes.
HCC Parent said…
Rankin supports eliminating HCC tracks. She wrote an e-mail to the board regarding this issue.
Anonymous said…
Let's see the email!

HCC Parent, yes, how do you know Rankin sent an email to the Board? Again, I don't want these allegations/thoughts without backing evidence. Do I think Rankin likes HCC? Based on what I know, nope.
Public heath message said…
Who reads the school web site? The district should call every family with very explicit information and principals should alert every kid - these pills are in the community and children have them. They should know that taking the pills will kill them.
Anonymous said…
"...“Inclusion” is just a word to mitigate legal risk for services SPS doesn’t provide and a term used to make everyone feel good.."
You and I would agree on this issue. Most of the time I have special education students in my class without an aid because the district has decided that science isn't really one of the supported classes. Some programs have aids and some programs don't. I have not always seen the rhyme or reason why some students come with support and some don't. I have my opinions, but given that I have no real evidence I will keep them to myself
Anonymous said…
@Science Teacher

No offense, but every time you comment it makes it clearer that you know very little about IEPs and the services related to them. SDI encompasses every subject where a student needs supports that enable access to the curriculum. In other words, you are the support! See the problem?

I have reviewed via public disclosure documents showing just how little PD there is regarding IEPs. The average general ed teacher has no training on supporting students with IEPs. SPS special education teacher have a bit more, but not much.

SPED Parent
Anonymous said…
SPED parent As someone who has taught for 24 years and always with IEP students in my classroom, I think I have a very clear understanding of how the services work. However, as a general education teacher, who is responsible for 157 students this year, there is only so much time in the day to give to any one student. THAT is what I mean by the districts lack of support in some classes.
Anonymous said…
Science Teacher, we hear you on the 157 students. Have you discussed with your administrator and with SEA how to improve this situation, you know, to support "students furthers from educational justice". Sometimes kids with IEPs fall in to that category although our dear Superintendent seems to think that that is just a coincidence.

Anonymous said…
Sped parent, “SDI” which is actual special instruction is highly overrated. If you’re sure to want it, it won’t be in a general education classroom. That makes no sense and never works out. Inclusion, however, is completely reasonable. That is, modification, supports, and accommodations in the general education class. Like everyone else, the student learns what he/she can and will. Luckily SPS does have resource room and Access programs which provide those modifications and accommodations inclusively. If the sped staff doesn’t bother, then indeed, it falls to the general education teacher.

Roundthe Block
Anonymous said…

Wherever are you getting that information! There are a million examples of push in SDI. Just google and you will find that it is actually a topic that is taught, based on evidence, in teacher training programs all over the USA. The notion that it cannot be effective in a general education classroom is absolute nonsense.

Anonymous said…
And now you have it. Nothing has really improved for SPED, but the sky is falling for HCC and AAM students. You really have to scratch your head and wonder why people don't care?

No walk outs and no strikes over SPED. No marches and no posters over SPED.

That really says a lot about liberals don't you think?

-- Missing accountability
Anonymous said…
It’s really just plain old common sense. Are you really going to have two (or more) teachers in a classroom delivering different instruction? Teaching different materials, possibly conflicting, interfering and disrupting each other. And why would anyone want it? It’s stigmatizing and not inclusive, not to mention expensive. No thanks. When the district trots out their favorite line...”but a 1-1 in a regular classroom is too restrictive”, that is the delivery model they are talking about. An IA in the corner delivering “SDI” that is totally separate from the class. And they are right. It’s dumb and restrictive. Actually there are a million examples of differentiated instruction given with plenty of accommodations and modifications. That works. I second dittos comment.

Roundthe Block

PS. And how much “evidence based SDI” do those special educators actually ever do? Evidence by Pinterest, at best. Consider that a great many special educators are hired via the IA-to-cert route and have next to zero special education knowledge. Best to steer clear of SDI if possible. You won’t squeeze much out of that turnip.
Anonymous said…
@--Missing accountability
And now you have it. Nothing has really improved for SPED, but the sky is falling for HCC and AAM students. You really have to scratch your head and wonder why people don't care? No walk outs and no strikes over SPED. No marches and no posters over SPED.

Isn't that a question for the SPED community? Why aren't SPED parents doing those things? I'd bet liberals would be supportive. Wasn't Director Geary a champion for SPED? Have you talked to her?

Fellow parent
Anonymous said…
Wow, Round the Block, you truly do not know what you are talking about. But you are probably typical of the SEA anti-sped ideologues out there. You may not want to do SDI and you clearly have no idea what it encompasses. Fortunately for the rest of us, it is the law and not your personal opinion that matters here and heaps of reputable graduate schools do invest heavily in teaching teachers how to build classrooms where it is other than one size fits all.

Another reader
Anonymous said…
Geary? You have to be kidding me. She has done nothing for anyone but herself. The sad thing is that she promoted herself as a SPED lawyer who could make changes, then once elected she did a 180 and said she was just a school board member. Worst is she inflated her SPED lawyer accomplishments during her campaign.

The only way things will change is if someone steps up and sues and that cost money. I'm hopeful that something on the horizon.

Maybe now that Mcminimee is taking on SPS there might be hope. She knows where the bodies are buried.

-- Missing accountability
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
OK lets see if I have this right

Liberal motives for marching and protesting:


But it up to the SPED community and Geary when it comes to SPED.

Have I summed it up correctly?

-- Missing accountability
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
"No walk outs and no strikes over SPED. No marches and no posters over SPED."

And when did this happen for AL? It's okay if you think AL gets more attention (I don't agree) but actual action? No.

Geary RAN on her Sped background so yes, it should not be a surprise that many of us thought she would be a Sped champion.

I'm deleting that last comment as it's not helping the discussion.
Anonymous said…
Who's marching for gold plated services? Why would people march over the cream on top.

I want extra foam or I will march. Do you see the hypocrisy in that. I want special attention to AAM, do see the hypocrisy in that? Just because a person is an AAM doesn't mean they need help or are failing. These type of race based generalizations are dangerous.

HCC or Ge-ed parents generally have a bias against special ed, we all know it and we also know if not for the ADA that a large group of special needs students only option would be
Fircrest. Please don't throw out your 2e straw-man.

Comparing AL to SPED is shameful.

--Come on
Come On, I'm not even understanding your comment.

What is AAM? Do you mean "African-American Male?"

I disagree with all "HCC and Gen Ed parents are biased against Sped."

Lastly, the reader Missing Accountability linked HCC and Sped. I don't get it either.
Anonymous said…

Yes we talked as a building about the numbers. The district is going to give us more FTE, however it's kind of difficult to hire a .2 science teacher in October and then there are all the student schedules that would have to change if we were able to hire someone. The district does this every year and they always act like it's something they couldn't foresee. ALL SEA will support is paying the teacher a dollar or two per extra student per day. It's better than a "kick in the pants", but doesn't really make it easier to support students when all your classes are full. Oh well.
Anonymous said…
I cannot comment on the PSAT/SAT/ACT thread so will ask my question here. I have a child who will be taking the PSAT. I have read they can be considered for national semi-finalist merit scholarships based upon their scores. If they "opt out" of the optional questions that share information, aren't they opting out of being considered for scholarships by various colleges as well?

Anonymous said…
Also, this process of starving the budget via under projections in Feb, so schools have to riff teachers at schools that clearly have higher projected enrollments in April has to end. I am very disappointed Juneau made that video with the budget person. It did not indicate they are sensitive to the impact on students and schools. It does not seem as though this process will change.

Anonymous said…
Another Reader, you have assumed much. Like what profession bloggers have, like how special educators are certified, like what special education really looks like in a classroom over the 13+ years students attend school. I assure you I am no “anti Sped ideologue”. Far from it. I know what I’m talking about and how special ed is delivered. There may be countless examples on the internet of pushin SDI to regular classrooms, but not in practice. Multiple instruction at once simply isn’t done, and would never be affordable, or effective. Modifications and accommodations, yes. Instruction, no. (When the district trots out the old “but a 1-1 IA is too restrictive in general ed.” The delivery model you suggest is what they mean. Somebody giving 1-1 in the corner. And they are right.). My kid has been in a number of co-taught classes. They are always mediocre, and ghettoized versions of normal programming. SPS has offered this at various times, always fizzling out eventually. The special ed teacher winds up being a subservient homework club advisor. Btw There’s still no SDI unless homework club is misconstrued as SDI. And think about what SDI really is. It’s curricula that people hashed out over a 1 hour meeting. It is never vetted with years of adoption or research. And then after the meeting, the iep is tossed out like all others.

But you’re right about one thing. My opinion does not matter one iota. Neither does yours. Neither does “having the law on your side”. The law provides no remedies for special education, so it isn’t a particularly effective stick. The most common result of very few OSPI legal complaints is to conduct a new Iep. Since IEPs aren’t followed, creating a new one simply represents a paperwork burden but no remedy or result.

R. Block
Anonymous said…

You can also find a pdf of the NMSC PSAT guide online. The 3 most important questions to answer for NMSF are: 1) Are you enrolled as a high school student? 2) When will you complete or leave high school and enroll full time in college? and 3) How many total years will you spend in 9-12?

For students taking the test this fall, they would need to plan on a 2021 graduation and 2021 college enrollment in order to qualify for NMSF (and get qualifying scores). If you find the personal info is incorrect on your student's test results page (should be handed out at school), you can call the NMSC and get it corrected.

Students outside of the US will be asked, "Are you a Citizen of the United States?" *Note that starting with last year's test administration, they removed the citizenship question for students taking the test in the US (pretty significant change).

HS parent
Thank you HS Parent for that answer.

RBlock, you too this swipe at me because....
"Like what profession bloggers have..."

Anonymous said…
Sorry to have given that impression of a swipe at MW. I was not referencing you at all. I was responding to the assumption that I was a sped teacher.

Another Reader makes assumptions:
“But you are probably typical of the SEA anti-sped ideologues out there. You may not want to do SDI”

R. Block
Anonymous said…
@HS Parent Thank you for your post. So that means that current 10th graders are not considered, but 11th graders would be for the scholarship? Do they usually take the test both years or one year? To be clear, it also sounds like if you opt out of sharing the personal information listed in the PSAT/SAT/ACT thread, a student who opts out of sharing personal information would still be considered?

Anonymous said…
@HS Parent- Thanks for the info. Regarding the main points you listed for the PSAT and NMS, do full-time RS students qualify? I assume so, since they're still officially high school students, but since they're taking all their courses at a college, I wanted to clarify.


-Seattle parent
I'm going to take these PSAT comments and move them to that thread as the new Open Thread for Friday is up. I had turned off comments there because of one person's inability to be civil. But I think this an important discussion.

My feeling is you should be able to ask your school counselor but maybe they don't know for certain either.

Keep asking questions and I will try to call the company on Monday.

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