Monday, November 04, 2019

Geary Pushing Change in SAP...for Washington Middle School

Some directors, on their way out the door when they don't run again, try for a big flourish action. Usually, it's something like renaming a school in honor of a community member.

Director Jill Geary is doing something else that I don't even think is legal under Board policy, no less passing the sniff test.
She has put forth an amendment for this week's Board meeting to end the HCC cohort model at Washington Middle School to support the STEM at TAF initiative as part of the approved of the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2020-2021. She is the sole director on the amendment which is somewhat unusual as most of the time, when directors put forth amendments, there are two or more directors on them.

Her amendment:

This amendment adds additional language to the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2020-21 stating that if a Joint Operating Agreement between the Technology Access Foundation (“TAF”) and the District has been executed to implement the TAF model at Washington Middle School beginning in the 2020-21 school year, then beginning in fall 2020 6th grade students assigned to Washington Middle School who had been receiving HC services in the cohort model in 5th grade will continue receiving HC services in a blended model.
Now, of course, if Juneau enacts all the changes in the SAP, this amendment might be a moot point as, by Fall 2020,  all HCC students will be "receiving HC services in a blended model." 

However, the STEM by TAF agreement has not been approved by the Board.  How can there be language in the SAP about something that isn't a done deal?  

This is just wrong.

It's wrong because there has been no public discussion changing AL except perhaps at this blog.

It's wrong because the Board has to approve SAP changes and yet the district is claiming something - that AL services will be available at all schools - when there is zero evidence of a plan to do that.

To claim the district can - with any type of fidelity - provide AL services at 100 schools, in less than a year and with what resources?, is just wrong.  It is window-dressing of the highest order.*

I again state - I am for STEM by TAF and they probably can support all learners in their model.  But there is a process for the Superintendent and staff to follow and it does not appear that is happening.
Her amendment claims:

TAF would implement the STEMbyTAF educational model, which would contribute to the District’s strategic plan priority to “support students of color who are furthest from educational justice.”
The amendment also says:

Washington Middle School’s population is 67% nonwhite, which is above the middle school district average for a comprehensive middle school
Except that both Mercer Middle School and Aki Kurose have higher numbers of students of color. Why Washington if you are trying to reach as many of those kids as possible? Hmmm.

As well, we see a dollar figure on the amount that TAF will be investing - $250,000. 

There is a letter petition to object to this amendment.

Let's review where the district sits in this time and place.

- The Superintendent is moving quickly on ending the HCC cohort by Fall 2020.

- However, the Advanced Learning Task Force hasn't even issued their recommendations.  As well, there seems to be unhappiness among members of the ALTF to the point where a "healing circle" has been proposed.

- The minutes from the Operations Committee have NOT been updated since August which makes it difficult to figure out if the TAF issues has been vetted by that committee.

- In the Action Item list on the agenda is the Student Assignment Transition Plan for 2020-2021.
- Current Board Policy 2190 explicitly says: "A self-contained cohort option is available in grades 1-8."  I'm not sure that the Board can vote to override certain sections of Board policy.

- The district seems to be justifying its placement of TAF in WMS, saying it is a "program." However, program placement is the Board's purview and requires board approval.

- I believe in the past staff has said - and I think the Board agrees - that the student assignment plan does function as policy.

Here are the proposed changes:

The provisions of this action are to update information in the Student Assignment Transition Plan. The Transition Plan for 2020-21 continues most of the assignment rules in effect during 2019-20. Some highlights and changes are:
  • Changing the location of Licton Springs K-8 to the Whitman Service area and updating the Licton Springs GeoZone to extend to the west boundary of the district;
  • Expansion of GeoZones for Cleveland HS, Cedar Park ES, South Shore PK-8, Hazel Wolf K-8, Orca K-8, Salmon Bay K-8, Stem K-8, and Thornton Creek ES to align GeoZones with walk zones; 
  • Increase of the native/heritage set aside to 20% from 15% for John Stanford (JSIS) and McDonald International Schools; and
  •  Updating Advanced Learning (AL) assignment language and tiebreakers to reflect the fact that all schools offer AL programming and eligible students will be assigned to AL at their attendance area school.
So, Licton Springs K-8 to Whitman service area is a move that has barely been discussed and yet, it's a done deal.  I have heard rumblings that Juneau will be coming after Option Schools next so anyone at one of those, don't get too comfortable. 

What is interesting is the BAR has the language about taking HCC out of Washington Middle School (or rather, not having a cohort model) crossed out.  That is likely because of Director Geary's amendment.

The red-lined version also still states - 
Assignment to AL in grades 1-5 depends on space available; tiebreakers apply during Open Enrollment. 
when they are speaking of Spectrum. They crossed out Spectrum as a program but they did not cross out that language about "space available." Page 38.  Is this just an error or will they limit the number of AL students served in any given school?

It appears that the Superintendent is pushing the envelope about what can be done and when. The Board should refuse to play along. The Superintendent cannot be the sole arbiter about what is a done deal.

(I note that if you check the red-lined SAP that is attached to the BAR, look at pages 28-29.  Staff had all kinds of other ideas which got kicked out like RBHS becoming the SE pathway for international/dual language immersion as well as one at Lincoln High, updating Sped language on services and placement and clarifying that students in a K-5 can enroll in a K-8.)

* Also of interest, Geary has another sole amendment, this one attached to Board policy 2022 on the use of electronic devices in schools.  This was not introduced at any committee.

(The new title of the policy is "Digital Resources and use of the Internet."

Her amendment:

The revisions to Policy 2022 include a prohibition on use of personal electronic devices that is not uniformly supported throughout the district, nor by different communities. However, it is recognized that policies providing direction on the proper use (or not) within schools and classrooms would be of benefit to students and teachers alike. Therefore, this amendment requires each school building to engage in the conversations and outreach necessary to develop a policy that will maximize educational benefit, minimize disruption to the learning environment, and make provisions for emergencies and special needs.
From the red-lined version of the policy:

Use ofEvery school building shall develop a policy governing the appropriate use of student personal electronic devices during school hours is prohibited in all schools grades K-8,. Policies shall address maximizing educational benefit and permitted in high school only on a limited basis as provided by individual

schoolminimizing distraction in the learning environment; and classroom policies. make allowances for emergencies or special needs. Students having an IEP, 504 Plan, or Individual Health Care Plan (IHP) that includes specific accommodations for assistive technology may use a PED during the school day following the process outlined in the student’s IEP, 504 Plan, or IHP. 

Students shall not be required to own or use a non-district supplied PED for any lessons or instruction. Detailed guidance on PEDs shall be provided in Superintendent Procedure.

The Districtdistrict acknowledges the need for digital and online policies that are dynamic and responsive to diverse community standards and student learning outcomes. The Districtdistrict shall annually review its policies and procedures on electronicdigital resources, Internet safety, digital citizenship, and media literacy. The Districtdistrict authorizes the Superintendent to develop further procedures and guidelines.
This is interesting because it ties into Geary's absolute belief about each school in this district being able to make their own individual decisions on cell phone use.

I find that a bit crazy-town because:

1) not all principals are good at their jobs,
2) what if teachers and principal disagree - is each teacher in control of their classroom? and
3) the use of cell phones in classrooms without clear notice to parents about when, how and why.
4) Also about parents, if cell phones are used for classroom teaching, the school has to  recognize that not all students have a cell phone nor do parents whose child has a cell phone have to approve of their child's phone to be used in class.

 I mean, if your child is working in a group where they are sharing a cell phone and one member of the group, who is not your kid, drops the phone and it breaks, is the district going to pay for a new phone?


Anonymous said...

Don't you have anything else to post about but HCC. Everyday is getting old. There is already a blog for HCC and a blog for SPED. What are you to do?

Getting old

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, getting old, I JUST yesterday posted not one, but two stories on the NAEP results.

You know what gets old? This tired meme that all this blog discusses is HCC.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, if you actually bothered to read the thread, it's about the SAP and it's about the Electronics policy changes.

Anonymous said...

Re: personal electronics devices, if you're going to have a policy on it, have a policy. Like, a district-wide policy. Don't have a policy to require that schools have their own policies. Sheesh. If you think it's so important to set specific guidelines around what's acceptable or not, set the freaking guidelines in Board policy. Don't rely on individual schools and principals to do your dirty work because it's too hard and it'll be challenging to get agreement. Show a little backbone if you think it's so important, Director.

Re: AL services, I love how the district states as "fact" that AL services are available at all schools. I guess they're going with the Trumpian model that if you say it enough people will believe it's true? Here's an idea--how about Director Geary works on a POLICY that SPECIFICALLY identifies the AL services that need to be available at each school?

Re: TAF and HCC, @ Melissa's statement "I am for STEM by TAF and they probably can support all learners in their model," I respectfully suggest that "probably" is not good enough for decision-making. The district should look at actual data, and present actual details re: how TAF proposes to work with HC students and ensure that the TAF model actually does work for them.

The level of dysfunction in this district continues to amaze....

all types

Anonymous said...

"Except that both Mercer Middle School and Aki Kurose have higher numbers of students of color. Why Washington if you are trying to reach as many of those kids as possible? Hmmm."

Yes, this is really strange. Why is the district implementing a plan at WMS that is 67% white? Why wouldn't the district try to reach as many "students furthest from educational justice" if that is indeed the strategic plan and goal of TAF? Did anyone ask them this question and receive an answer? Do they plan to make Washington Middle School an option school focused on disadvantaged students color? That should be the plan.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Wondering, I kinda asked the question and the only answer I got was that Aki and Mercer have established programs already. Mercer maybe but not Aki.

Washington will remain an attendance area school. For some period of time, I believe that students can opt out of it because of the difference in program. Maybe if some students do opt out, then others can opt in.

Again, another question without answers.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, when you say you believe that, for some period of time, Washington zone students could opt out of it because of the difference in program," on what are you basing that? That's the sort of thing that would need to be written into the draft SAP to be the case, isn't it?

all types

Enormously Irresponsible said...

Incredibly irresponsible of Director Jill Geary, Seattle Public School Board of Director. She is actively violating board policy.

Thanks for the update, Melissa.

Enormously Irresponsible said...

A board director violating board policy!!! Fan Freaking Tastic!

follow the strategic plan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Watching said...

As of last night, the district hadn't updated Operation Committee meeting minutes since August. The minutes have been updated this am. October minutes remain missing.

Melissa Westbrook said...

All Types, I say that because if Superintendent does get the STEM by TAF pushed thru - with no HCC cohort - that would mean only one area is doing that. I was reading at a Facebook page where they had this discussion and parents in that region were upset because Wyeth Jessee told a group that this HCC change would only be at WMS.

The parents were upset because they think everyone else in HCC will get the cohort and not them and why do they have to be the only ones?

I know that parents of current 6th and 7th graders at WMS are being told nothing will change for them if STEM by TAF comes in next school year. I get that the district wants to keep WMS as an attendance area school but it seems like having a completely different model of middle school and of HCC, then it is unfair to force anyone to go there.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Follow the Strategic Plan, that's too long of a name. Try again.

NESeattleMom said...

When my kid tested for Spectrum in first grade, we found out that the Spectrum class was full for second grade at our neighborhood elementary. Luckily her test score was above the threshold for APP at the time (way back), and she was provided services, though she had to bus across the city. When kid #2 was at our neighborhood elementary, the new principal did not like advanced learning, and did his best to dismantle Spectrum there as we were on our way out the door. I don't trust the school district basing a whole student placement plan on a comment that is untrue. "Advanced learning is offered at every school." Many new friends of kid #2 came from Bryant, where if any parent asked for more challenging curriculum (they wanted to stay at their neighborhood school), the principal said to them, we won't provide that here, you should head over to APP. Spectrum is dead; ALO never existed. Basing the advance learning services assignment plan on something that doesn't exist really does not make sense. It doesn't affect our family at this point, with kid #2 in 11th grade,

Anonymous said...

Your infatuation with Geary is creepy. Four years ago it seemed you two were BFFs.

--Black Widow

Strange said...

The C&I minutes are no longer available.

NESeattleMom said...

And, removing HCC from Washington MS seems like an action that is completely opposite of the goal to increase participation of non-white students in the program. Why should HCC not be available south of the ship canal? To raise all students up, and close the opportunity and achievement gap, there should be a priority on encouraging and helping K-4th grade south Seattle kids to get into HCC, not closing down the whole program. While these various planned changes are engineered by SPS, the city demographics is changing at a rapid pace. So many people are getting priced out of Seattle, so data referring to percentages of various groups can become inaccurate quickly.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Black Widow, I am not "infatuated" with Geary. What a creepy term to use.

Geary and I were never BFFs and I only met her thru her campaign.

Get back to the topic at hand.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Strange, I viewed the September minutes where there was an update on STEM by TAF at WMS but no votes taken.

Anonymous said...

Geary is throwing bombs on her way out. So irresponsible to the Board and the students at large. The rest of the board needs to make an example of her, in order to warn the super that this is not an acceptable way to change policy. If they do not, be prepared to dig in as Juneau finds a new one to carry her water (since DeWolf can't be bother to show up).

I hear it still rains in the UK.

More Noise Please

Melissa Westbrook said...

More Noise Please, I don't think Geary is going to get any support if only because the waters are so muddy.

Know what minutes are available now? The Advanced Learning Task Force October meeting.
Interesting reading.


Anonymous said...

@MW Very interesting. Especially that there was a KUOW reporter present. Hoping that some quality reporting comes out of what looks like some heavy lifting.

More Noise Please

Anonymous said...

Some great points from the ALTF in those recent minutes. Too bad the district probably won't listen. Some excerpts:

[Re: sub-group that formed within larger task force?]
Group formed out of frustration that the voices of experts of color were not a focus of the work, although ALTF members shared their work and they are among the nation’sforemost experts on gifted ed for black and brown students.

Items POC subgroup wanted to prioritize included:
Service Delivery
Continue to deliver self-contained services,
• Holding district and neighborhood schools accountable for consistency
• Request for evidence that MTSS is appropriate tool to identify and serve AL and HC students.
• Request for specific commitments to increase identification of black and brown students
• Develop a needs-based curriculum for students receiving HC services

There was general group appreciation for the POC recommendations, especially uniformity of services. Further group discussion on MTSS as a method of service delivery vs. a plan for service delivery. Request for development of an evidence-based plan.

POC members brought up district policy clearly stating that AL students are being served in all neighborhood schools, and that isn’t always really happening.

Table discussion reports included:
• the cohort being important and essential for students who have specific needs for acceleration across all subjects, access to peers, etc.,
• Students may feel unsuccessful when they leave the cohort
• Cultural competence is different than implicit bias
• A culture change is needed in the cohort
• Agreement on vision, disagree on which groups are problematic
• Recommendation to partner with a BIPOC who has gifted ed expertise for oversight and guidance
Test and prove MTSS (pilot at Emerson suggested)
Professional development training requirements, resources from district
• AL team members can have mandatory PD
• Proportional representation AND diverse representation
• Under achieving high cap students may have poor achievement data- the need for finding students who show potential but not achievement

MTSS is focused on underperforming students currently and would need to be adapted to look for HC students. It was reiterated that MTSS is not a service model.

All in all, this sounds like a lot of thoughtful and well-reasoned work thus far, and I appreciate their focus on wanting to see actual evidence before making drastic changes. Too bad the district is poised to ignore their solid work.

I was puzzled and concerned by one thing. The minutes said: Group revisited the board member question “why change policy if practices are going to change?” Huh? A board member is essentially arguing that there's no need for the Board to make policy, because staff will do what they want? Isn't policy supposed to drive procedures and practices, not vice versa? What's up with that?

all types

Anonymous said...

Melissa, what does this comment mean in your post above? "Now, of course, if Juneau enacts all the changes in the SAP, this amendment might be a moot point as, by Fall 2020, all HCC students will be "receiving HC services in a blended model."

I'm not seeing that in the SAP. Previously I would have assumed that there'd be some public notice if a change like that were coming but...is that proposal in the SAP somewhere?

--SPS parent

Anonymous said...

all types - that comment seems to refer to this <a href="https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Resolutions/2017-18/Substitute_201718-10_HCC.pdf”>board resolution</a> from January 2018 directing the Superintendent and staff to among other things, implement more equitable identification practices by the current school year.

Madison Parent

Anonymous said...

Oops. The board resolution can be found here. https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Resolutions/2017-18/Substitute_201718-10_HCC.pdf

Madison Parent

Yep said...

Melissa posted an important document which everyone should read.

The document states:

Items POC subgroup wanted to prioritize included:
Service Delivery
• Continue to deliver self-contained services,
• Holding district and neighborhood schools accountable for consistency
• Request for evidence that MTSS is appropriate tool to identify and serve AL and HC students.
• Request for specific commitments to increase identification of black and brown students
• Develop a needs-based curriculum for students receiving HC services

The district continues to silence the voices of these individuals. Additionally, district documents continue to silence their public testimony.

Juneau is shameful and Geary is shameful for going along with her.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Juneau's Legacy said...

The ALTF clearly shows that POC want to retain the cohort. They have been showing up to board meetings, too.

Not only does the district want to pit HCC against WMS, they want to pit POC against POC. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, @Madison Parent. It sure looks like they are NOT keeping up with the Resolution, doesn't it? What do others think?

RESOLVED, that Seattle Public Schools will implement, by school year 2019-20, more equitable identification practices for advanced learning and highly capable services that may include, but are not limited to, universal screening in elementary and middle school in the home school during the school day, revising the testing criteria to allow for identification of students who demonstrate high cognitive ability or high achievement in one or more areas ( e.g. math only, reading only, or math and reading), and assessments in the native language or non-verbal instruments...

Maybe they made SOME progress on that one, making ID a little more equitable? Y/N

RESOLVED, the School Board directs the Superintendent and staff to engage in a collaborative planning process with Principals, Instructional Councils, Building Leadership Teams, Educators and parents to develop the scope and sequence of advanced courses that will be provided at all high schools and accessible to all students, and to develop the procedures for ensuring that students are more prepared coming from middle school, and are not required to repeat courses taken in middle school once they get to high school...

Is that one a big fat zero, or did they do a little better than I think?

RESOLVED, the School Board directs the Superintendent and staff to produce a report by the Fall of 2019 that will detail the comprehensive plan for increasing advanced coursework in all high schools with appropriate details on the specific strategies for increasing identity safety and cultural competency in advanced courses, impact on school and district budgets, and student assignment impacts (e.g. potential boundary or pathway changes) of any recommended highly capable service delivery model changes (e.g. the "localized" HC model) and other issues as deemed necessary...

Yeah, I don't even need to ask about this one. Obvious fail.

RESOLVED, that in order to determine if any changes are needed to the Student Assignment Plan boundaries and pathways, the Superintendent and district staff will analyze and review the progress made in the aforementioned plan, review enrollment assignment policies and practices and high school enrollment capacity projections in the Spring of 2020, and if appropriate, will recommend changes to student assignment that prioritize equitable access to programs and services and minimize disruption to all students to the school board for implementation in school year 2021-22.

Review the plan? What plan?

all types

Anonymous said...

As I recall, the state mandates specialized training for all teachers providing Highly Capable services. Will they be training all the teachers, then? Hmm.


Melissa Westbrook said...

SPS Parent, the district seems to be pushing that HCC will be blended by Fall 2020. That it hasn't quite made it to the SAP doesn't seem to be a problem for them.

Anonymous said...

This school board election appears to be critically important. It will be important to vote who you think has the proper skill set to provide adequate oversight, and not simply rubber stamp policies put forward by SPS and superintendent. Don't forget to VOTE!


Anonymous said...

"As I recall, the state mandates specialized training for all teachers providing Highly Capable services. Will they be training all the teachers, then? Hmm."

This is true. But it seems this district often puts together task forces and routinely ignores recommendations. They seem to do it over and over on various issues. The media should cover this issue, and the fact that the district seems to be just dismantling current services without a feasible plan.


Anonymous said...

I am posting on this thread because I am hoping someone might know. I am confused by everything being discussed. I had heard the HC cohort model would be phased out over 6 years. Now I am hearing it will be discontinued Fall 2020.

Or does this apply to elementary and middle? I am aware that most if not all middle schools are now offering non-cohort classes except for science, but still have a pathway so there are still many HC students in the non-cohort classes.

High school is not cohorted, just have "pathways". Although about 1/2 the high schoolers identified as HC, have gone to neighborhood high schools, there is still a "pathway" at Lincoln, Ingraham and Garfield.

Will there still be pathway for high schoolers in 2020 or are there proposals for students to have needs met at their neighborhood high schools? If not 2020, when is the district planning to eliminate pathways and send HC students back to all neighborhood high schools?

How will this effect boundaries and enrollments as some high schools are over capacity?


Anonymous said...

I, too, am confused about the SAP. What is the point of expanding the geozones of the option schools? I can only guess there is more than meets the eye based on how they are trying to sneak this in.


Anonymous said...

Can we please stop saying "blended" HCC and instead call Juneau/Geary/staff's plan what it really is -- eliminated, dissolved, axed, eradicated HCC.
You know, as in gone -- like Spectrum across the District. Or Montessori at Leschi. Or ALOs anywhere ever.

Don't buy the District's fake terminology.


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

My kid is at Washington in HCC and is really good at math, I want her to excel. Will there be advanced math classes under this model? It is what she is good at and like any parent I want the best for my kid. We need to educate people to the best of their abilities. Concerned about lack of transparency.

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

@Parent asked: “Will there still be pathway for high schoolers in 2020 or are there proposals for students to have needs met at their neighborhood high schools?”

Not sure on timing, but regardless, I think the word “proposal” is problematic. When you and I (and most logical people) wonder if there are “proposals for students to have needs met at their neighborhood high schools,” we would expect this to include plans for how this would actually work. The devil is in the details, right?

Unfortunately, SPS seems to interpret “proposals for students to have needs met at their neighborhood high schools” to mean something more along the lines of “we propose that students have their needs met neighborhood high schools!” and that’s that—no planning needed, just wish it to be. Kind of the “I want a pony” approach.

Proposals Schmapozles

Anonymous said...

Proposals Schmapozles


Regarding high school in particular, a couple of years ago district and board decided they would make Lincoln a pathway school, with the goal being to eventually dissolve pathways. But only when a plan was demonstrated on how they could provide services at all neighborhood schools. This was after the initial proposal to provide regional hubs (Ballard, Roosevelt, and a few other schools) failed due to concerns about capacity among other issues. Six years sounds much more reasonable to flesh out a plan, then coming up with something by 2020.

With what is currently going on, it sounds like over the next 6 years maybe the unofficial plan is to first to dissolve as much as possible like what is going on at the middle school level, then eliminate.


Watching said...

@ Parent, If the board votes to approve TAF, there will be no cohort model would be gone. TAF will eventually roll -up into a 6-12 program. TAF will be moved into another high school; the district has not addressed this issue.

The district will begin to dismantle HCC cohort model at WMS. They want to dismantle HCC cohorts throughout the entire district over a 6 year span of time.

Elementary school: The district will decrease HCC identified students from 98% to 99%...essentially making the cohort smaller. With the exception of the top 1%, students will be returned to their elementary school.

Middle School: Students would return to their middle school. Advanced math will be the only advanced course offering.

High School: Students will be able to take AP, IB or Running Start classes. High schools with smaller amounts of students will probably have less AP offerings. I think that the district would like to eliminate pathway schools i.e. Garfield etc.

The district wants to return students to their neighborhood schools which will cause chaos in regard to enrollment and capacity issues.

"Blended Model" is similar to Honors for All. A recent report indicated that teachers have a hard time differentiating across all abilities.

Anonymous said...

But is the plan to dismantle AP and IB classes after that?

Watching said...

I've not seen a plan to dismantle AP or IB. It is important to remember that the district placed IB in certain schools. They have not shown a commitment- or willingness- to provide IB with a steady funding stream.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reprinting for Anonymous (no anonymous comments; next time, give yourself a name or moniker):

"But is the plan to dismantle AP and IB classes after that?"

Good question but I doubt it. The district needs those high level classes and they will have their hands full just providing the level of service to the highly capable kids in the elementary, middle and k-8 schools.

But Watching is correct; the district loves to tout programs, not fund them.

Anonymous said...

Some have expressed the same criticism of AP and IB classes as they have of honors classes and HCC, too majority white etc. I suspect fewer AP options than what is currently offered at some high schools (Roosevelt, Garfield etc) that have high demand. Perhaps a core set of classes that all high schools will be able to offer due to equity concerns. This is even though some high schools will have a much higher demand for AP classes from a majority demographic of kids. As such, I also suspect that general education kids will have a tougher time accessing those courses when HCC students return to those schools.


kellie said...

I wouldn't say there is a plan to reduce AP or IB, because you can't call anything involved in this process a plan.

That said, it is very reasonable to expect some pretty sharp reductions in AP and IB availability in the immediate future.

AP English 1 & 2, AP US History and AP Gov are the most common AP courses. Because these four courses are graduation requirements and the AP version is tracking, relative to the general education version, I would not be surprised if these courses are swiftly replaced with an inclusive honors version. As students need to enroll for the AP test by Nov 1st, it would be very easy for the class to be labeled AP with the test sign up, only.

IB is specialized and has specific rules, so I have no idea how that would work. That said, we all know that IB funding has never been a budget priority.

As for math and science, the AP versions of math and science course are dependent on an advanced cohort (so that the advanced class is a graduation requirement) and will vary widely school to school. The changes to middle school math placement and Amplify science alignment, should roll up to many fewer AP math and science course. By making middle school more standard, high school courses will be more standardized.

SPS keeps listing Running Start as an advanced option. However, it is clear that SPS has not read any of the Seattle Colleges rules for math and science placement. The placement for Seattle Colleges is very different from the surrounding colleges (Cascadia, Shoreline, Bellevue, etc). Because they just don't trust the quality of SPS's math curriculum.

If you are an SPS student you are automatically placed into Pre-Calculus, regardless of your placement score. The only way to place into calculus is to have successfully completed SPS calculus. There are similar restrictions on Science.

Anonymous said...

So, is Juneau trying to influence the election here, with this Election Day op-ed? https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/seattle-schools-can-undo-legacies-of-racism-by-boosting-all-advanced-learners/


Anonymous said...

From the comments Spike, I think she will be finding herself out the door. There are deep flaws in her both her arguments and thinking that will negatively affect all SPS students by lowering the ceiling. She thinks all 53,000 students should only have access to identical curriculum, no differentiation. So, instead of lowering the ceiling, rationing education and eliminating (true) honors and AP classes, how about a plan for true rigor for all instead. How about ONLY offering the same standardized curriculum of AP and IB classes to all for high school?


Anonymous said...

We have been hearing the argument that any separate educational experience is racist and is segregation. We've heard it about HCC. But we have also heard it about walk to math and honors classes. We've also heard that any special-ed pull out for SDI or different instruction in the same classroom is unacceptable segregation. On this blog , some folks have called out volunteer tutors & reading groups.

If separating a student from their classmates for OT/SLP/PT is unacceptable then AP & IB certainly would be unacceptable. Also different levels of foreign language or instrumental music or any other elective that builds skills.

I don't really understand why age is such a gold standard for inclusion. But I suspect it is just cheaper than meeting each student where they are and providing more individualized instruction, so segregation is the ideological argument used to move the ball. I predict that it will only increase the outcome gap since families that can supplement at home or provide outside instruction will increase that like they did with EDM.

I'm curious how they are going to justify the World School.

-HS Parent1

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the school board is going to fire Juneau? No way that is going to happen.

If the election turns out how I think it will then we are going to have 4 years of social justice control.

Brace yourselves

Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to deal with Juneau blind spot about special education. It is shocking how she continues to refuse to factor students with disabilities into her equity calculations. 15% of the SPS population.

Not impressed.

Anonymous said...

Students cannot learn by existing in an ant heap, for the simple reason that we are not ants. Fire the super.

Fed up Dad

Anonymous said...

The racial (but really partly income) academic achievement disparities we see largely reflect socioeconomic disparities that exist outside SPS. If SPS isn’t going to help make up for the unmet needs of some students—via intensive supports, smaller classes, reader family support, wraparound services, more reading specialists and math tutors, etc.—then the only other way is to lower the performance of students at the top end.

Is that what Juneau and staff really want to do? If so—if they truly believe that reducing opportunities for HC studies to advance is really best for the district as a whole, not just for optics but for actual learning—they owe it to the public to be honest about that. Flat out tell people they want to decrease access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction because those widen the gap. Don’t feed us a load of BS and try to rebrand decreased access as increased access.

So dishonest

Anonymous said...


As of two years ago, it was possible for a Running Start student to take a math placement test at North Seattle College and place into Calculus I. My son was able to do this. The person proctoring the placement test did seem surprised that he was able to qualify, but he was able to take Calc I (and subsequently Calc II and III) at North during his senior year. Has something changed since then?

Also, back to the original topic of this post... I'm so disappointed that Director Geary is pushing for a last-minute amendment to the SAP, without allowing for adequate public input. This reminds me of the Growth Boundaries chaos, when last-minute amendments were passed without proper analysis by SPS staff and without giving the public an opportunity to comment. It had seemed that most of the current School Board had been taking great pains to avoid this type of situation from happening again, and I suspect that is why she is the sole sponsor of this amendment.

-North-end Mom