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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Juneau and HCC Grouping

A thoughtful reader sent me a couple of links around the issue of grouping for highly capable students.

I first want to say - as I have said all along - if the district wants to return all HCC kids to their attendance area schools, that's fine.  As long as they do/understand several things:
  • This will NOT work without extensive professional development for all teachers and principals. 
  • That means money and resources.  Nearly every school would need some kind of area in the building with resources that teachers could read from and examine in order to do the differentiation that is needed. What money do they have for this work?
  • I can almost guarantee they will need to bring back "Walk to Math."  Again, money and space.
  • The district would have to make crystal-clear to all teachers and principals - you WILL do this work, no exceptions.  Because this is a legal obligation and no extra worksheet or reading an higher-level book will do to meet that obligation. I have absolutely no doubt that if the district does not carry out this new way of services for HCC with fidelity, that they will get sued (and the parent will win).
  • From the district's own way of thinking, there is likely to be at least two self-contained cohorts, one north and one south, for the true outliers in HCC.  Question is, what will be the standards to be in those classrooms and where would they go?  (This likely to fend off possible lawsuits.)
  • Unintended consequences - like, some schools would likely get many kids back into their population. Do they have the room or what will that do to class sizes?  On the other side, what if some schools have just a handful of HCC students in the entire school, will services be as robust for those students as schools that have larger numbers?
To note, these researchers used the word "gifted."  I generally do not like that word but it is a word that is used many times in this research and is also a word that many state legislatures use when crafting their legislation.  The state of Washington has chosen the term "highly capable."

Onto the links.

The first link is to a research paper done in 2015 by Kathryn Pabst-Schaeffer about grouping gifted students.  It's called called GROUPING THE GIFTED: YEARLY GROWTH IN HOMOGENEOUS AND HETEROGENEOUS GRADE 3 READING.  

(This link does require you sign in but I am printing pertinent to this discussion issues below. Also, here is a Powerpoint of Schaeffer's that is useful as well.

It is a carefully written and researched paper. However, my interest is on page 55 where Dr. Schaeffer references a paper that came from Denise Juneau's office in Montana on this topic during the time Juneau was the head of public education there.

Juneau, D. (2009). Response to intervention and gifted and talented education

It appears that Juneau is well-aware of the difficulties in providing differentiation to highly capable students in a regular classroom. 
From Dr. Schaeffer's paper:

Juneau concluded that individualized and differentiated instruction for gifted students is “easy to articulate, but it is fiendishly difficult to achieve in schools where standardization is the norm and where teachers are instructed in being recipe followers, rather than flexible and reflective artisans” (p. 51).  
Schaeffer: Other large public entities seem to agree with Juneau’s (2009) Montana report and to question the benefits of cluster grouping in favor of homogenous gifted classes. 
“Full time programs, whether they involved special schools or a school-within-a- school, give students maximal exposure to intellectual peers and thus peer support for high achievement” (Olszewski-Kubilius & Limburg-Weber, 2014, p. 3).
Other notable quotes from Juneau's paper:

- Page 10 -  ongoing verification for fidelity of implementation
- Page 10 - Professional development for school personnel, especially regarding differentiation, 2E, knowledge of the characteristics of gifted learners and understanding of proven strategies for gifted/advanced learners.
- Page 14 - Cluster grouping - Identify and place four to eight high ability students in the same grade level in one class with a teacher who likes them, is trained to work with them and will devote proportional class time to differentiating for them.

First, cluster grouping was tried in Wedgwood Elementary, probably 6 (?) years back.  Has the district asked about how that went and lessons learned?

Second, see that phrasing - with a teacher who likes them? That breaks my heart because, like Juneau, I know that many teachers and principals do not like bright kids and actively do not want to serve them even if identified as such. This is a major obstacle.  I foresee resentment on the part of teachers and administrators who are now handed another big piece of work to get done in classrooms.

I found an excellent, if older piece of research from 1993, Grouping the gifted and talented: Questions and answers by Karen B. Rogers that walks thru the following issues on possible ways for gifted grouping:
  • What are possible grouping options to consider when grouping gifted learners? 
  • What are the academic effects of these grouping options for gifted learners? 
  • What are potential social and psychological effects of these grouping options? 
  • Are there some concerns we should have about grouping gifted learners together? 
  •  What might be the costs of not providing grouping for gifted learners?
What is the appropriate approach to managing all these data? In effect, educators, the ultimate consumers of research, have taken five basic approaches to the research:
  1. I know this student who...
  2. I found this study;
  3. famous person;
  4. apples and oranges; or
  5. best-evidence synthesis.

Some of these methods are better than others.
In Conclusion
Gifted learners need some form of grouping by ability to effectively and efficiently accomplish several educational goals, including appropriately broadened, extended, and accelerated curricula. They must be in groups so that their school curriculum may be appropriately broadened and extended. The pacing of instruction, the depth of content, and advancement in knowledge fields, which these students must have, cannot be effectively facilitated without a variety of ability-grouped arrangements.
At the same time, means must be found to address the concerns of Oakes and George as well as to address the legitimate criticisms of tracking put forth by Slavin.
Just as we readily acknowledge the complexity of the learning process, we must acknowledge that no simple solution will be found to remedy the complex issues surrounding ability grouped classes. One size does not fit all, whether that solution involves mixed-ability classroom conformations or ability grouping in one or many of its forms. Likewise, there are no easy answers to the questions raised here.
I also found this research about what students think, albeit in England.

Also, from Colorado, a study about 2E students.

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

Based upon Juneau's most recent comments about keeping smaller cohorts, I am thinking that
they will likely keep most everything the same except the threshold for identification.

They might end up providing those cohorts within all schools, but I highly doubt it given the resources. An expert recently testified as you reported at the board meeting they need to adhere to the state guidelines.

Therefore a local norm cannot be used if it is stricter than a national norm, only if the reverse is true.

Juneau has stated she wants to keep the cohort for the top 1% based upon national guidelines. That would mean there will be even fewer kids of color with those narrow guidelines. Maybe more boys as well.

This change being sold as increasing equity or reducing segregation is clearly not true but being used so they can make changes likely for other reasons.

As pointed out by a local expert and researcher, the cognitive tests are not reliable indicators when you get into the 1% range, they have an error rate of +1/-1.

That is why so many gifted programs have include a lower threshold of 2%. It actually increases diversity.

As for the kids scoring in the 98%, I don't anticipate anything being offered as they will have eliminated them from being considered for the program. The trend has been eliminating walk to math, honors courses and other flexible grouping so I doubt there will be a reversal.

A Parent

Parent2 said...

Related: Portland schools struggling to provide differentiated instruction.

Also - they are engaging the wider community in their goal to reduce achievement gap.

https://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/437152-346937-parents-say-gifted-program-falls-short?wallit_nosession=1

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/11/19/community-support-needed-to-bridge-student-achievement-gap-chairman-says/

Anonymous said...

From the district's own way of thinking, there is likely to be at least two self-contained cohorts, one north and one south, for the true outliers in HCC.

But since the district's testing is not sensitive enough to detect "true outliers," how would that work? The testing has a margin of error associated with it--statistically speaking, distinguishing between a "99th percentile student" and one at the 98th percentile may not be possible using the CogAT and state testing.

Additionally, "true outliers" are also often not the ones to score at the 99th percentile on these tests--they may be "true outliers" in one area only (e.g., math), and/or they may have learning disabilities that make it more difficult to demonstrate that they really are outliers (hence the need for private testing).

Further, a 99th percentile score on these tests does not necessarily correlate with being at the 99th percentile on something like IQ. Which is a better indicator of the need for access to special HC programming--high achievement alone, or high intellectual ability?

In other words, what is a "true outlier"--and how will we identify them? And then, how will we serve them--since even SPS seems to acknowledge that they need something different.

all types

Anonymous said...

Get some help, you're nuts. Really watch your testimony at the board meeting. Balanced people don't act like that.

Bye Bye

Melissa Westbrook said...

Bye, bye, getting choked up over leaving a 2-year effort is "nuts?" I think trolling anonymously is pretty nuts.

Go away.

Anonymous said...

Recent Nobel winners researching poverty interventions, using a randomized trial with 15,000 students found that tracking better served all students than heterogeneous groups. They also had other very interesting findings concerning ineffective education investments.

The Nobel prize in economics this year was awarded to a trio of MIT professors who do actual controlled randomized experiments on most effective methods to address issues concerning poverty. Some of their research that was cited by the Nobel committee was a randomized study with 15,000 students comparing investments in various educational remedies, like buying textbooks, decreasing absentiism, and decreasing class size. According to their studies, specific remedial intervention for children who were behind made a difference. More school days, decreased class size, and access to textbooks did not make a difference. Tracking children, grouping them in classes by ability benefited all students academically. Grouping all ability groups in the same class exacerbated inequality.

https://www.nobelprize.org/uploads/2019/10/advanced-economicsciencesprize2019.pdf

To truly address students who are furthest behind, we need to use interventions that specifically target the things they need to learn rather than just putting them in classes with a large spread of academic levels among students.

-Tutor

Anonymous said...

The status quo in SPS HC is no longer tenable. Period.

Providing a cohort for 1%, the real outliers, will be a good way to start a course correction.

Public schools are not going back to tracking in the foreseeable future, no matter what the researchers came up with. This is moot.

Thankfully, this blog won't be around much longer to feed the needs of the privileged while giving lip service to the rest.

Whew

Anonymous said...

@Whew

Are “real outliers” like “real Scotsmen”? Please advise.

Go ahead and celebrate MWs departure. When you wake up from your hangover, don’t be surprised to find that she only represented the very sharp tip of the iceberg.

More Noise Please

Anonymous said...

@ Whew, can you show me how SPS's use of imprecise testing at the 99th percentile and additional barriers to appeals does anything to better identify "real outliers"?

AT

Jet City mom said...

When you consider students with IEPs, especially those in self contained classrooms, in the past principals have just said they don’t have any space. Will they do the same thing with those on opposite end of spectrum?

Are they still allowed to do that?

I think that differentiated instruction can be successful, but they will have to reduce classroom size, especially before high school.

Scotty said...

The 1% figure to identify outliers is a fallacy.

Another Parent said...

No advanced math means no calculus in high school, because the district’s default pathway means no calculus. I guess the district should also eliminate the STEM elective in middle school because too many white and Asian kids sign up. And then there are the AP classes that must go because the social justice warriors believe they are not fair. And while the district is at it, it should get rid of orchestra, and math club, and the debate team, and the chess team, because those are also too white and Asian.

I recall walk-to-math, AP classes, honors English, calculus, etc. thirty years ago when I was in school. Seattle has become one of the top technology hubs in the country, if not the world. Its not just that HCC is written into state law, the fact is most of the kids in the advanced classes in middle school and high school are not dual-domain highly capable and do not qualify for HCC, and when the district starts taking those classes away it will upset a lot of people because those are things that many of us expect from public education, even though we were never in HCC and our kids are not in HCC.

Our family has been in the district for 9 years. During those 9 years, I recall three different superintendents. Juneau will also eventually go. For all the glee of people like “bye, bye” and “whew”, expecting teachers to differentiate in generic classes has never worked and won’t work and will do little to serve those that need the most help and long-term parents and voters won’t put up with it. The sad part is all of the disruption and harm being caused to teachers and families along the way.

Anonymous said...

The evidence that someone in SPS wants to wage a war against children continues to reveal itself. Where is this rot coming from, and why?

The Directors turn over 100% every six years.

We burn through superintendents faster than toilet paper. "Oh, this one is so much better than the last one."

The teaching staff has been cowed/intimidated into silence about it.

But there are administrators that have been there since the 1980s and 1990s, who use smear tactics, gaslighting, and other forms of knavery against all of the above to keep their places of power.

They have institutionalized child abuse in Seattle Public Schools. Racial inequality is only one aspect of this systemic child abuse. This is so pervasive that now the administrators actively discourage and shame parents for advocating for their own children. Theses parents are "resource hoarders", "racists" and "privileged".

Imagine the gall, ans the hubris of parents loving their children enough to intervene in a system that abuses them. The fossilized admins will have nothing of this kind of modeling. How else can they act with impunity and collect their checks and featherbed their fiefdoms?

Maybe they should just advocate for legislation to bring back corporal punishment. The only problem with that is that isn't as effective as physical restraint, shaming, smearing, intimidation, and all the rest. It isn't as effective as shuffling off the troublemakers into SEL or paying off parents with settlement agreements to send their kids to private school. It isn't as effective as continuing to pump kids through that prison pipeline.

We only need to look at districts like Chicago or NOLA to see what is coming. Nothing like wrecking a school system so one can promise to continually "seek solutions", a page out of the Mark Zuckerberg school of management.

Did anyone read TCG's latest rant on the old Soup FB page? Apparently best practices in youth literacy is also racist. They love her because she is a useful distraction from what is coming.

What is coming is SPS becoming a CTE school for the local tech industry; workforce development, paid for by taxpayers, for a specific set of companies. Boeing never had it this good--they never could figure out how to make every kid turn a wrench, but they are trying to figure out how to make sure every kid is completely dependent on computers for problem solving. There is no thinking in their equation.

--Another Brick in the Wall



Anonymous said...

"Whew" is likely not a low income person of color. Otherwise they might actually care that
the proposed change represent a decrease in identification for kids of color. As others have pointed out experts state the tests have a margin of error. This is why many districts have a program at the top 2%. Single subject highly capable kids are also missed in the district's current identification process. Real changes could be made to actually make the program much more equitable for all. That does not seem to concern "Whew" either. That demographic of parent want identified HC kids back in their neighborhood schools to help increase overall rigor. Those are the same parents who have spectrum eligible kids who have seen their program disappear.

MK

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about this plan. So they want to get rid of cohorts (except for the top 1%) for elementary school. What will happen at the middle school and high school levels, where we don't have to worry as much about teachers differentiating (well... I haven't seen any differentiation in the new blended history classes, but leaving that aside), but where we do have to worry about appropriate classes being available? Will they provide Algebra 2 and high school Biology in all middle schools? Or at least Geometry and 10th grade science? Will all high schools have Calc BC and AP Statistics? Or will they still allow HC kids to go to designated high schools that have appropriate classes for them? If not, do the cohorted 1% still go to certain middle and high schools? I guess I should also ask, when they say they are going to differentiate in elementary school, are they still going to teach the HC kids curriculum two grades ahead?

secondary parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just to state, I don't know that they will keep a 1% cohort; I've heard vague things about that but I presume they will.

I have these preliminary recommendations from the last ALTF meeting (not sure if they are newer) but one key rec is to PILOT in some number of schools, including Title One schools, what they want to do in all schools. That is sound advice.

Also Secondary Parent, TELL the new Board this. Demand that everything be fleshed out; if not, the devil is in the details and don't tell parents they have to wait for that.

Anonymous said...

@Secondary parent the new identification threshold is proposed to eliminate HC cohort and services K-12 except for those testing into the top 1%. However the tests have a margin of error and are not accurate at that threshold, which is why districts have a 2% threshold. Those testing below 1% there is no plan except the current differentiation they report they have been doing for all general education students. Keep in mind the top 1% will likely shrink the program alot. I had heard (may not be accurate) the current 4-5000 students may shrink to 500 or so K-12 students out of 53,000. They are likely at that threshold to be majority white/Asian and mostly boys. I believe the public does know yet the entire plan because it is not being communicated very clearly.

MK

Anonymous said...

Juneau stated in the recent KUOW interview keeping a smaller cohort for outliers and 1% has been mentioned in other various discussions. AP classes are likely the next to go because who opts to take the AP courses? Some board members such as newly elected Hampson have made negative comments in relation to AP courses. I suspect AP courses will still be offered, but they will likely shrink the number of AP offered, so be equalized between various schools not based upon student demand, interest or readiness. Expect some schools to have kids very upset when they don't get into the AP course because it is full. I hope I am wrong, but that seem to be the direction of the conversation and actions thus far.

MK

Anonymous said...

@MK did a great job putting the privileged parents' HC talking points into a single comment: "We suddenly care about children of color in HC, not the low numbers themselves, because it's a good talking point to keep the status quo; You are jealous of our smart kids and also want to benefit from their return; You are more privileged than we are, you SJWs who want to change our cushy gravy train."

For the record, I am fully in favor of local norms. I also support a threshold where students who are in a school with low numbers of students can opt into the cohort of 1%.

Oh, yeah! Juneau is about to do what others couldn't: Reform the blatantly segregated HCC golden lamb.

Whew!

Anonymous said...

Another HC talking point, compliments of MC:

This HC reform is a gateway drug into getting rid of all rigor in SPS. These SJWs are commies who want to level all education in Seattle.

Uh, no. Actually it's about educational justice and making sure all students, not just yours, can access challenges and get identified as HC without exclusions.

Whew!

Anonymous said...

@MK Retesting until the kid gets in basically invalidates the results. Where's your concern about that?

The 1% is about reining in the behemoth, btw. HCC parents have been complaining for years about the low level of rigor in the watered down program that is made up of 40% of appeals (retested students,aka statistically invalid scores).

Whew!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Whew, just for the record, I have been questioning the low number of kids of color in the program for decades. It is good to bring that up as a key issue for Advanced Learning. But clearly, what the Superintendent wants to do is NOT find more kids of color who deserve the service this program brings, but to flattened it out.

It will be too bad this blog won't be here when the rigor is reduced. You, Whew, use that ridiculous "all rigor." Nothing is truly all or never is public education.

"This HC reform is a gateway drug into getting rid of all rigor in SPS."

You certainly don't have any evidence - not a shred for that last statement about appeals but if you do, then show it. If not, then state this as an opinion.

Anonymous said...

@MW. Local norms are an active part of the current conversation about HC reform, including by the superintendent. Local norms will most definitely increase the number of underserved students in HC.

You have, for years, said HC "is open to all" as a mantra about HC demographics. Your record on the topic quite literally speaks for itself.

Whew!

Anonymous said...

It's basic knowledge in statistics, Melissa, that retesting without limits invalidates scores. Here's some more insight:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1012%26context%3Darticles&ved=2ahUKEwiU5O6Hw4PmAhUOCawKHcXADlMQFjALegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw007J3tteYNAYDskQPQpt4o

Whew!

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

@whew,

According to Juneau the problem with HCC is that it is racist. They way she knows it is racist is that the students in HCC do not reflect proportionally the racial make up of the district as a whole.

Using that measure we can identify many other racist programs in the district, like AP classes, option schools, instrumental music classes, neighborhood assignment plan. So why wouldn't all those programs be dealt with in the same way to root out the racism in the district?

-HS Parent1

Anonymous said...

What makes you think Juneau isn't looking at indicators of racism in other areas of programming and policy? If so, isn't that overdue? Are you saying there's no racism involved in the HC demographics in Seattle?

Whew

Melissa Westbrook said...

Whew, first of all, cut it out with the multiple comments. It's distracting.

Also, and again, you have zero proof that there are large numbers of kids trying to get into HC on appeal by private testing multiple times.

HSParent1, I look forward to hearing from afar that Juneau has made inroads into sports and music for all.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hilarious how the comments do not directly address the post which is that Juneau very clearly was worried about how to group highly capable students when she was in her Montana post.

Don't make this about me - it's about her.

Anonymous said...

She's keeping a cohort, Melissa.
It will be smaller. Why do you keep neglecting to mention that important fact?

Context Matters

Melissa Westbrook said...

Uh, I have said that, several times, sorry you didn't read the entire post.

Anonymous said...

"I first want to say - as I have said all along - if the district wants to return all HCC kids to their attendance area schools..." from the opening paragraphs above.

Context Matters

@Context Matters said...

Juneau is not keeping a cohort in any meaningful way. Students would return to neighborhood schools. Students in high percentages of FRL will have fewer HCC students. There is no way to predict the amount of HC students in each classroom.

Juneau's Plan is highly reliant upon differentiated learning. Elementary schools will be offered (if the district keeps their promise) Walk to Math. Middle school students will be offered a higher level math. High schools will have HFN LA and history in 9th and 10th grade. Students will have the opportunity to take AP classes (if available and not full) and IB. Rainier Beach was raising funds to maintain their IB program. If the district was actually serious, they would be funding IB- now.

From Juneau's Montana tenure: " Juneau concluded that individualized and differentiated instruction for gifted students is “easy to articulate, but it is fiendishly difficult to achieve in schools where standardization is the norm and where teachers are instructed in being recipe followers, rather than flexible and reflective artisans” (p. 51).
Schaeffer: Other large public entities seem to agree with Juneau’s (2009) Montana report and to question the benefits of cluster grouping in favor of homogenous gifted classes. "

Besides, there has been NO committee meetings to vet Juneau's proposal. In the words of Eddie Murphy: "Show me the money!"

kellie said...


Once again, SPS has managed to create an issue that consumes all the oxygen in the room, that doesn't actually do anything other than make some nice press releases.

Meanwhile, Core 24 is going to hit high school hard, despite more than enough time to plan. My best guess is that 50% of high school students are not on track to meet these new requirements. And you can be certain this issue impacts those "furthest from education justice" far more than a cohort.

Anonymous said...

Juneau is about to deal with the endemic segregation in SPS HC. That inconvenient fact keeps getting sidestepped by those who seek to keep the status quo.

There will still be a meaningful cohort. It simply will no longer be over 9% of the student population.

I don't see any reference to the Montana gifted population being anything like over 9%. More like 2% generally.

These facts are relevant. True outliers need cohorts and will continue to be in them.

Again...

ContextDoes Matter

Anonymous said...

@Kellie

Just because there are other issues doesn't mean that segregation in HC isn't important.

It's the blog that keeps its focus on HC. Talk to Melissa about why she keeps the majority of the blog's focus on this issue.

Context Matters

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't see any reference to the Montana gifted population being anything like over 9%. More like 2% generally."

Yes, and her paper states the needs even for that amount.

Context Matters, you need to stop focusing on me. The majority of the focus of this blog has never been HC and you saying it repeatedly won't make that so.

Move on.

@Context Matters said...

I'm waiting for Context Matters to guarantee meaningful cohorts in low income schools.

POC are asking for cohorts not to be dismantled. Which directors will look these individuals in the eye and tell them NO?

Anonymous said...

9% test at 2% cognitive national norms. Makes sense for this region. Neighboring districts have even more kids testing into their programs. If you have kids testing at 2% cognitive national norms, the general education SPS curriculum is not appropriate.

Local norms cannot be more restrictive than national norms according to state law. She cannot create a program for 1% of the SPS student population, because it is more restrictive than national norms.

If she does that it would result in less diversity. If she plans to offer a program for the top 1% of each school, that will be illegal and they will be sued.

Some kids come to school more ready than others unless you invest in universal Pre-k. Some kids come to school reading, while others do not. This difference gets magnified as time goes on and that is the real issue.

Rationing and reducing AP, IB classes, various levels of music and anything else is not equity. One size fits all education is inequitable.

Two cents



Anonymous said...

@ContextMatters & @ContextDoesMatter.

The racial imbalance of HCC is a symptom of the disease, not a cause of the disease. To solve problems, we need to treat causes.

Yes, there is racial imbalance in HCC. But there is racial imbalance in every aspect of SPS. Schools have vastly divergent racial make-up. FRL students have vastly imbalance racial make-up. AP classes have vastly divergent racial make-up.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it's astounding that the district (and some folks who post on this blog) are attacking a program (HCC) as racist by using demographics numbers. From the OSPI report card, 38% of African American students met standards in English last year whereas 83% of white students did so. The numbers for meeting standards for African American students in math (27%) and science (21%) were even lower. Or starting even earlier, 41% of African American students are ready for kindergarten as opposed to 70% of white students.

When the vast majority of African American students (see OSPI numbers quoted above) are not meeting standards at grade level, and are not reaching kindergarten readiness at start of kindergarten, it is absurd to expect that the demographics of HCC should represent that of the student population in general.

To be appalled at the segregation of HCC is completely disingenuous, or equally concerning, it belies a fundamental lack of understanding. It would be absurd to have 9% of African American students meeting criteria for HCC giftedness (the rate bandied around for HCC population in Seattle Schools) when only 21% meet basic standards in science.

There is so much that can be done to improve education for those furthest from educational justice. Paid preschool should be on top of the list as students that are furthest away from education justice benefit the most from enrichment opportunities.

However, the important work that needs to get done is sidelined by nonsensical debate. Calling HCC racist is nonsense, and all politics. So unfortunate that well-meaning parents are uncritically accepting the nonsense spouted by the district.

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

I find the term "true outliers" confusing. How far out is an outlier?

Having known a few "severely gifted" students over the years, for whom the "curriculum" in APP/HCC was mainly just a slowed-down review of what they had already learned on their own, I remember being told explicitly by district staff that there is no way the district has resources to provide instruction targeted to that type of student. District staff recommended private school and/or homeschooling.

Do these "true outliers" that people are talking about constitute some optimized slice of the student population, students that are very highly capable but not TOO highly capable? Honestly I would be astonished if a suite of tests exists that can reliably identify such a group of students.

Irene

Anonymous said...

"Or starting even earlier, 41% of African American students are ready for kindergarten as opposed to 70% of white students."

Exactly why even the idea of taking the top 1% from each school is an issue, disregarding the fact it will be challenged in court. And what if the top scoring 1% at high FRL schools end up being FRL white or Asian kids?

If they want a program for African American kids who mostly enter school below grade level, create a program to serve those kids specifically. Create a better program designed to work, best practices. Putting kids who are working below grade level in an accelerated program working two grade levels ahead makes no sense at all.

Two cents

Anonymous said...

Irene "Honestly I would be astonished if a suite of tests exists that can reliably identify such a group of students."

There is not according to experts, but some ignore the experts and think they are experts instead.

MK

Anonymous said...

"9% test at 2% cognitive national norms. Makes sense for this region."

Many SPS schools have test scores above state norms. If the standard is higher, the need for special services also is proportional to that.

Folks, SPS already has segregated neighborhood schools with like high achieving peers.

As I stated above, I am for local norming and for those students in schools without a peer group (who you've suddenly become so concerned about) to have the option to join the 1% cohort (or be bused to the nearest school with a viable cohort).

1% with local norming at 1% is fully compatible with state law.

You people are way too educated to keep throwing this b.s. around. Of course highly educated Seattle has inflated student performance at many neighborhood schools.

Get real for a change.

Juneau stated that she's surprised that "progressive" Seattle has such entrenched segregation. I'm not. I taught in SPS for twenty years and saw your antics in action, which is why I'm so onto your games.

Btw, it will certainly be challenged in court by this privileged contingent. But you don't have a leg to stand on. Read the RCWs. Besides that, once it gets to the courts they will be more appalled than Juneau by the segregation and 40% entry by private appeals, mostly white. Bring it on!

Context Matters

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

Context Matters, you have made your point and now are being ugly about it. Just stop.

Also, it seems that a couple of you want to post the same thing over and over. Please do not do that; if it continues, I'll just delete your comments.

Anonymous said...

If you set the cut-off at 99th percentile, you don't get 1% of the student body because Seattle (like almost all midsize and large cities) has 4x the national rate in that percentile, so while nationally the 99th percentile would suggest about 519 students of 53,000 if Seattle followed the national stats, Seattle would actually end up with about 2,076 students in such a highly capable program, cohorted or not, or 4% of the student body. With the margin of error, that number might actually end up closer to 3,000. You can't use the top 1% just of Seattle performers because that is not nationally normed and would be more restrictive than nationally normed cut-offs - state law clearly requires us to use nationally normed measures.

At the 99th percentile on existing instruments, however, there are twice as many boys as girls, and more Asians than any other race - because of instrument limitations and implicit gender and race bias in test design and administration - so not only would using the 99th percentile be even more racist than the current model but it would also favor boys 2 to 1 over girls.

Urban
The 99th percentile is not defensible on racial or gender equity grounds and would worsen, not improve, the demographics of highly capable eligibility in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

"because of instrument limitations and implicit gender and race bias in test design and administration"

Why the concern about test bias now?

Interesting

Anonymous said...

State code on HC identification:

RCW 28A.300.770 Highly capable students—Identification procedures.
"(1)(b) Highly capable selection decisions must be based on consideration of criteria benchmarked on local norms, but local norms may not be used as a more restrictive criteria than national norms at the same percentile"

*What’s equally important is that the legislature now allocates funding based on “5.0 percent of each school district's population.” (changed in 2017?) That is an INCREASE – the state previously allocated just over 2%, which corresponded to 2 SD level. The state is now providing HC funding based on 5% of each school district’s population, which is an acknowledgment that 2% is not enough to provide “all students with the opportunity to learn through the state's statutory program of basic education.” Interesting that SPS would now propose restricting HC identification when the state has expanded categorical funding for HC services.

RCW 28A.185.020 Highly Capable Student Funding
“…the legislature does not intend to prescribe a single method [to identify highly capable students]. Instead, the legislature intends to allocate funding based on 5.0 percent of each school district's population and authorize school districts to identify through the use of multiple, objective criteria those students most highly capable and eligible to receive accelerated learning and enhanced instruction in the program offered by the district.

…Supplementary funds provided by the state for the program for highly capable students under RCW 28A.150.260 shall be categorical funding to provide services to highly capable students as determined by a school district under RCW 28A.185.030.”

And under Notes: Intent—2017 3rd sp.s. c 13: "The state must provide education funding that corresponds to the cost of providing all students with the opportunity to learn through the state's statutory program of basic education."


another anon

Anonymous said...

"Many SPS schools have test scores above state norms. If the standard is higher, the need for special services also is proportional to that.Folks, SPS already has segregated neighborhood schools with like high achieving peers"

A one size curriculum should not be offered across the district. Yet despite what you might believe, differentiation based upon student population is being eliminated. It is what is actually happening as schools report the elimination of walk to math and other changes. The district wants one curriculum for all kids, but kids are not all the same in readiness.

@context matters

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Interesting, who are you speaking to? Because, again, I know I have written about this over the years multiple times.

Another Anon, very interesting; thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

The state is providing funding for 5%, not 2%? What in the world is this district doing then with the rest of that funding? So interesting as the kids who national norm tests determine are 2% cognitive will no longer even be provided services.... until perhaps they are challenged in court.

The district should be providing more opportunities, not less for all kids including formerly spectrum those outside of HC access challenging materials.

Jane

Anonymous said...

One has to ask, why 99%(ile)? Will services be significantly different for this supposed smaller cohort? If not, why restrict services? We have yet to see a plan.

no plan

Anonymous said...

Reference to past HC funding allocations:

http://leg.wa.gov/JointCommittees/Archive/BEF/Documents/Mtg06-09-08/IX-b.pdf

(from 2008)

"State funding for Highly Capable Programs were authorized in 1984...More than half (124) of the reporting districts provided 50.1% or more of the program funding from their own funds, while only 24 provided less than 10% of program costs from their own funds. In all, local funds totaling $30,730,018 supported highly capable programs.

...In 2005-06, Highly Capable Programs were funded at $353.77 per FTE for 2% of the school population. (Beginning 2007-2008, funding is at the 2.314% level.) This amount is over and above the basic education funding provided for all students. In 2005-06, state funds were spent on programs for 34,445 students but a total of 48,275 received services. Since a highly capable program is basic education for a gifted student, the state’s obligation to fully fund basic education for this student population is limited. HC students constitute 5% of the total students enrollment in the state."


another anon

Anonymous said...

Curious re the sex / gender breakdown of HCC. The literature on sex differences and IQ testing is problematic and inconsistent. A number of studies show boys with higher IQs, with the differences getting more pronounced into adulthood. Other population-based studies find that women have a slightly higher IQ. Since there is controversy in the published literature, I would be curious as to the sex / gender breakdown for Seattle's HCC population. This concern that moving towards 1% will exacerbate sex differences in eligibility may or may not be real. If there is no large difference at 2%, then (extending from the curves from data in other populations) it makes it unlikely that at the 1% cutoff a gender imbalance will be much of a real concern for HCC. Anyone know where to find data for Seattle's HCC population looking at sex / gender breakdown?

Thanks!

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

From race / gender breakdown for AL, its hard to argue that there will be a sex difference. This is from the district's website. But it would be nice to see data for HCC specifically. Anyone have this data?

Here it is for all of AL which shows that our girls are doing just as well, if not better, than our boys.

June Advanced Learning Eligibility by Race/Ethnicity and Gender
Ethnicity Gender June Year Advanced Learning Percent Advanced Learning Eligible
African Amer. Female 2014 2% 95
African Amer. Female 2015 2% 92
African Amer. Female 2016 2% 104
African Amer. Female 2017 2% 105
African Amer. Male 2014 2% 94
African Amer. Male 2015 2% 93
African Amer. Male 2016 2% 107
African Amer. Male 2017 2% 110
Asian Female 2014 11% 484
Asian Female 2015 12% 497
Asian Female 2016 14% 582
Asian Female 2017 15% 607
Asian Male 2014 10% 424
Asian Male 2015 10% 441
Asian Male 2016 13% 520
Asian Male 2017 14% 551
Hispanic Female 2014 4% 142
Hispanic Female 2015 5% 172
Hispanic Female 2016 6% 192
Hispanic Female 2017 6% 203
Hispanic Male 2014 4% 144
Hispanic Male 2015 5% 157
Hispanic Male 2016 6% 213
Hispanic Male 2017 6% 231
Multiracial Female 2014 14% 275
Multiracial Female 2015 15% 342
Multiracial Female 2016 18% 458
Multiracial Female 2017 18% 506
Multiracial Male 2014 14% 271
Multiracial Male 2015 15% 352
Multiracial Male 2016 18% 465
Multiracial Male 2017 19% 526
White Female 2014 21% 2,293
White Female 2015 21% 2,473
White Female 2016 25% 2,933
White Female 2017 25% 3,084
White Male 2014 20% 2,423
White Male 2015 21% 2,653
White Male 2016 24% 3,121
White Male 2017 25% 3,308

Of note, while our girls are fine, the trends for racial breakdown over time is highly concerning. We need to focus on the real problem here and think creatively and in a data / science driven way to identify solutions.

THINKS PLS

Anonymous said...

"The state is now providing HC funding based on 5% of each school district’s population, which is an acknowledgment that 2% is not enough to provide “all students with the opportunity to learn through the state's statutory program of basic education.”

SPS is clocking in at over 9%. Services will be provided at neighborhood schools for those who test in at 2% CoGAT, NOT 2% of the population. Basic math here.

The superintendent is a former state official and an attorney. What makes you think she isn't fully aware of how to follow the law?

C'mon

Anonymous said...

"Of note, while our girls are fine, the trends for racial breakdown over time is highly concerning."

This is the entire point. Local norms need to be used. Rainier Scholars was created to help identify and nurture the talent that SPS excludes.

Court Anyone?

Anonymous said...

@C'mon, what, exactly, are trying to say?

If you look at the linked info, you will see that, statewide, more students are served than funded. Basic education is not fully funded (and HC is considered part of basic education), but the state has at least tried to increase funding for HC (to 5%, or almost double what was previously allotted). The level of categorical funding is NOT meant as a cap for those a district will serve (as you seem to imply). There was an effort to provide additional funds for districts who identified more students than the funded %, but Gov. Gregoire did not approve that provision.

There's following the law, and there's following the INTENT of the law - the intent of categorical funding is to provide basic education to HC students, which is access to "accelerated and enhanced instruction." In SPS, the funds largely support AL staff and testing.

My point was to contrast the state's increased funding levels with the district's supposed plan to restrict HC services.

another anon

Anonymous said...

@C'mon:

"SPS is clocking in at over 9%. Services will be provided at neighborhood schools for those who test in at 2% CoGAT, NOT 2% of the population. Basic math here."

What services? Show me the money. Or at least a plan.

"The superintendent is a former state official and an attorney. What makes you think she isn't fully aware of how to follow the law?"

Classic fallacy. "Appeal to authority", not facts. Attorneys also mitigate legal risk for organizations who wish to break the law. Just ask Rudy Guliani.

Next.

More Noise Please

Anonymous said...

@ THINKS PLS
I cringe when I see the numbers by race. Period

Fed Up

Anonymous said...

2% limit being served at each school sounds like a quota, capping who qualifies for highly capable services at schools where there are many more of them. Do I understand this correctly? That sounds illegal.

It may not result in the intended outcome to increase AA students, as perhaps Asian or white kids, not African American kids will be those who qualify in the lower income FRL schools.

So they may be offering accelerated education above grade level to some kids in schools who are not ready and below grade level, and others at schools that have been "capped by the quota" grade level instruction even if they have higher cognitive/achievement scores and readiness?

Sounds inappropriate, unless perhaps they will provide more than grade level instruction to the newly defined general education population.

Jane



Anonymous said...

Uh, this was an appeal to reality, not authority!

And you can also bet Juneau knows the 2% Black student HC percentage, along with the demographics of private appeals, will be quite the defense in court.

The services will be forthcoming. Probably not what you want, but they will satisfy state law, which allows a lot of district discretion.

Court Anyone?

Anonymous said...

@Jane. That's not the plan. There are no quotas. Self-contained will be reserved for outliers. Those who aren't outliers will receive services at their neighborhood school. There will be options for students without a viable cohort.

C,A.








Anonymous said...

@CourtAnyone said:
"Of note, while our girls are fine, the trends for racial breakdown over time is highly concerning." This is the entire point. Local norms need to be used. Rainier Scholars was created to help identify and nurture the talent that SPS excludes.

Yes. Identifying and nurturing the talent not served by SPS is essential. Both at advance grade levels (e.g. Rainier Scholars) but equally important, at early education (e.g. free preK). This should be where the district focuses now that it has identified African American boys and young men as a priority group.

What is strange is that anyone would argue to dismantle a separate program for those identified as at least 2 standard deviations above norm in giftedness (HCC) in the name of equity. The only affect that dismantling HCC would have on equity is pure optics (as has been said over and over again). We have had numerous folks writing on this blog advocating for the district to dismantle the 'racist' HCC, without a single one of them articulating effectively how HCC is 'racist' nor how dismantling it would help those furthest away from educational justice. And pls, the tired argument of the racial breakdown of HCC as evidence of racism is simply ludicrous - we can think a little more critically. The racial disparity is the symptom of the problem, not the problem.

HCC isn't perfect. It's too big, etc. Private testing has its problems, etc. Thoughtful analysis and solutions needed here - not meaningless accusations of racism.

But let's not conflate the two issues. Racism and disparity in racial outcomes and how to remedy it is one issue (at all levels of education!). HCC and providing services to learners two standard deviations above the norm is another.

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

@Context Matters, in the context of HCC cut-offs, when you say "many SPS schools have test scores above state norms. If the standard is higher, the need for special services also is proportional to that" you are essentially saying that you're cool with some entire schools providing higher level baseline instruction than others. That, for example, a low-FRL, predominantly white school with a lot of high achievers should actually be expected to provide a more advanced third grade experience--let's call it "3rd Grade Plus"--than a high-FRL, high-minority school that typically has lower state test scores. Maybe those kids get more of a "3rd Grade Minus" experience, with a lot of attention actually devoted to 2nd grade level work. How is that equitable?

Rearranging the deck chairs so that there are more HC students in GE classrooms has the potential to FURTHER increase the level of instruction in schools where it's already higher, while not having any significant impact on the level of instruction in schools with fewer HC students. That WIDENS THE OPPORTUNITY GAP.

all types

Anonymous said...

@C,A said: "That's not the plan. There are no quotas. Self-contained will be reserved for outliers. Those who aren't outliers will receive services at their neighborhood school. There will be options for students without a viable cohort."

This is really reassuring. If self-contained continues for outliers, and those who aren't outliers receive services at their neighborhood schools, I think this is exactly the common-sense outcome we've all been advocating for. Apologies as I may have misunderstood your prior posts.

If we have a system that would do the following, I think many folks would be supportive: (1) limit the number in HCC to the true outliers (smaller than current cohort, currently a bit too large - if its this large, then there is the critical mass for most of the current HCC to be served at local schools), service them in a cohort as there is no other way; (2) provide acceleration opportunities at the local school level for those who need them.

I think the problem is when the sup calls HCC racist without justification - lots of rational discourse goes out the window. Of course another area of concern is for the gifted at local schools who don't make the HC cutoff. Providing acceleration is exactly what they need - but the concern is that the district has done the exact opposite in the past few years by dismantling spectrum and eliminating walk to math. There is clearly much distrust.

If you are with the district - and your proposal above is the district's policy - better messaging would get more of us fully supportive of your efforts. Transparency and partnership will help quiet the noise and help move forward policies that help children.

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

All types, I said several times that there should be an option for those without a viable cohort at their school, like staying with the cohort or going to another school.

This is Talking Point #12. Refer to how it's already included above.

Of course, the lack of viable cohorts goes to lack of local norms plus segregated schools.

Yeah, segregated schools. How about looking at dealing with the cause and not the Talking Point symptom?

C'mon

Anonymous said...

@FedUp said: "I cringe when I see the numbers by race. Period"

I do too. Let's address the problem. When you look at the numbers for FRL by race, that's equally horrifying.

Ethnicity October Year Free & Reduced Lunch Percent Free & Reduced Lunch
African Amer. 2017 82% 6,652
Asian 2017 48% 3,671
Hispanic 2017 61% 3,957
Multiracial 2017 26% 1,516
Native Amer. 2017 62% 184
Pacific Isl. 2017 77% 189
White 2017 9% 2,195

There's so much research to support free preschools. The data is solid - those furthest away from educational justice benefit most from preschool opportunities. Those who can afford it already have a ton of preschool and other enrichment. It also frees up time for the moms and dads at home re childcare needs. Economically, this is also a smart move for the family. Free preschool is an urgent need.

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

@Fed Up,

Do you also cringe when you see the kindergarten readiness numbers by race? The trends you see in AL and HCC eligibility are due to larger trends that are apparent BEFORE kids enter school.

The K readiness results show that at the outset of K, some students have the skills and abilities typically associated with a student 0-2 yrs old, some more like a 2-yr-old, some more like a 3-yr old, some more like a 4-yr-old (generally considered "K ready"), and a large number (about 50%!) already at the K or higher level. How much higher? Doesn't say. But if so many of our incoming kindergartners already have the skills and abilities of at least a kindergartener, while others are at more like the 2- or 3-year-old level, we're looking at a skill/ability gap of that spans about 5 years--all by the time of K entry. That's huge. I don't think the state or district make the specific details available by race, but if they did, I suspect we'd see the K readiness data are similar to HCC/AL eligibility data.

In other words, it's the K readiness data that are so cringeworthy. The HCC/AL data are just another sign of the larger issue--and issue that will NOT be solved by changing HCC or AL.

all types

Anonymous said...

Those testing at the 98%ile - 2 SD - are outliers. There are outliers among outliers, but those testing at 98%ile still need something beyond grade level. What does the term "true" outliers" mean? Enough Already. And do you really and truly think SPS is going to create something different from what they are currently offering? So unlikely. The district has made it an ongoing battle for parents who try to accommodate their "outlier among outlier" students within the SPS system, from making it difficult to part-time homeschool or take online coursework or just walk to math beyond grade level.

reality

Anonymous said...

@C,A., you said: "That's not the plan. There are no quotas. Self-contained will be reserved for outliers. Those who aren't outliers will receive services at their neighborhood school. There will be options for students without a viable cohort."

Yeah right. Like Juneau said, it's easy to say that's the case, but hard to actually deliver.

Oh, and can you point us to the actual "plan" of which you speak? Something that will clarify who will get what, and what that "what" will actually be? Who will get services in their neighborhood school, and what those services will entail in reality? How "true outliers" will be identified, when the testing we use now has too much error to be sure a 98th percentile student isn't really a 99th percentile one (and vice versa)? How we'll identify 2e students, who often really are true outliers? How we'll identify--and serve-- "true outliers" in single subjects? How the smaller "cohort" services will be modified to reflect that it will supposedly be limited to "true outliers"?

If a student tests at the 98th percentile but the confidence interval associated with that score includes the 99th percentile, does that student qualify for the smaller cohort? What if they have a psych assessment (more accurate) that indicates their IQ is at the 99th percentile? In such as situation, the overall evidence would suggest a 99th percentile interpretation makes more sense, and denying this student access to the cohort would seem to be an unwarranted denial of services.

AT

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, read the research I posted and read Juneau's own words about what needed to happen in Montana.

It's a TON of PD as well as resources. Where's that plan?

Anonymous said...

@AT. I understand your skepticism and request for additional info and plan.

However, re testing, not sure I fully agree here. First, private testing is not necessarily more accurate. There are inherent biases there. Second, you quibble about the 98th vs the 99th percentile. It's a slippery slope. The current 97% have the same concern now - that they just barely missed the mark and are no different than the 98%. Hence all the private testing by those who are on the border. That's not a compelling argument for keeping it at 98% (rather than 99%).

Current HCC at ~10% of the school district can clearly be served at local schools if local schools take on the model of having local enrichment (some new version of spectrum, etc). Not sure why it was dissolved. Anyone know?

Let's take the example of middle school math. All middle schools should offer geometry. Most do - but McClure doesn't - probably because all QA and Magnolia kids who would be in geometry move from local elementary schools (e.g. Coe / Hay) to Hamilton, depleting McClure of the more advanced kids who previously had not made the 2SD cutoff. Nonetheless, if all middle schools offered geometry, almost all kids could get their math needs at their local schools. Its the 1% or more extreme that need Algebra 2. Hence, the argument for cohorting these kids.

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

A lot of talk about HCC concerns the racial disparity which is definitely true. However, another problem with it is that it also negatively affects white kids who aren't in the program. They also might be just as smart at some HCC kids but they never got around to taking the test to get into the program. The middle school HCC program separates kids socially and makes them feel inferior. The term "gen ed" is really unfair to all of the non-HCC kids in SPS. My child is in HCC but it makes her uncomfortable that her friends in different programs don't mix socially.

Helen

Anonymous said...

McClure could absolutely have geometry right now with the students it has. Not offering it is an administrative decision unlikely to change with the return of hcc students. How will this be better for anyone?

QA parent

Anonymous said...

Current HCC at ~10% of the school district can clearly be served at local schools if local schools take on the model of having local enrichment (some new version of spectrum, etc). Not sure why it was dissolved. Anyone know?

I have heard both 7% and 9%, but not 10% in Seattle. In neighboring districts it is this high and higher.

Spectrum was dissolved at our local middle school because of parents complaining that spectrum classes had more focused students than general education classes. I can't tell you about the spectrum elementary schools.

Walk to math was eliminated at the neighborhood elementary school (I heard) because of the principal. I have heard some principals oppose walk to math and any sort of flexible grouping.

LA Honors classes were replaced by honors for all classes at the high school which are definitely not honors as compared to other true honors classes kid has taken. Same school but the true honors classes (opt in) focus on rigor and getting ready for AP classes.

Some board members expressed concern over offering AP classes because of who opts to take those classes.

MK

Anonymous said...

@QAParent said: "McClure could absolutely have geometry right now with the students it has. Not offering it is an administrative decision unlikely to change with the return of hcc students."

I don't understand this. McClure is one of only two middle schools that does not offer geometry. Have parents pushed the principal on this? And what is the response? If that is true - that there is the need but principal has decided not to offer - I'm surprised that there isn't more fuss being made. QA parents are not ones who would suffer fools gladly (or quietly).

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...


The fact is that this district has been systematically eliminating, not adding as they state they intend, advanced learning opportunities at all elementary, middle and high schools. Then they expect the parents to believe them?

Jane

NSP said...

Think Pls, the real problem is that principals are rulers of their schools. If they don't like something, they rarely have to do it. If it's inconvenient, it goes out the window. Parents making a stink is rarely effective. This is particularly true when the principal's goals are largely aligned with district HQ, like it was with getting rid of Spectrum.

That's why nobody believes Juneau when she says that there will be geometry at every middle school and real differentiation in every classroom. If the principals don't feel like doing it, it won't happen.

Anonymous said...

Whitman doesn't have geometry. Or any other honors class that I am aware of. And I am aware of several HCC students and honors adjacent students going there that could absolutely use a few honors classes.

I have no idea why there are none. I have no idea how to convince the admin there to offer any, and have little hope that there will be any in the near future.

SPS is frustrating and I see no path to real change.

-NW

Anonymous said...

Ok. For those folks who have advocated for dismantling all semblance of advanced learning (Spectrum, Walk to math, Honors classes) at local schools in the pursuit of equity - can you point us to the research that supports these policies? I'd like to read the research to better educate myself to have a more informed position.

Thanks in advance.

THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

@reality is 100% correct. SPS has shown zero interest in serving the "outliers among outliers" and will continue to put up barriers to meaningful gifted services for such students. That's probably why there's no actual "plan" for how to do so anywhere to be found. The district merely wants to move relabel things and pretend that what's currently known as HCC is a special new program for a smaller cohort of super-outliers, even though what's currently known as HCC is not really appropriate for this smaller group of outliers and is instead a better fit for the larger group of HCC students they want to kick out of HCC. It makes ZERO sense.

The question is whether or not folks down at JSCEE simply don't understand this, or just don't care. As some have said, Juneau is a lawyer and can thus be assumed to be super smart. She also, in her prior position, seems to have fully understood the challenges of providing gifted ed, as well as the need. Soooo...that suggests it's the latter--she understands completely, but doesn't give a rat sass about these students.

Outliers--regardless of which end of the curve we're talking about--apparently aren't worthy of educational justice in SPS.

DisAPP

Anonymous said...

One high school teacher told us that Honors for All (LA) was part of a teacher plan district-wide to "dismantle racism and white privilege in SPS". By stating "white privilege", she revealed she does not clearly understand the meaning.

The LA honors class is definitely not honors work. My belief is that HFA classes vary widely in rigor based upon teachers and students. One class IMO is not a big deal. As a parent I am on board to encourage students who would not normally take honors to challenge themselves.

But I am also a parent of an outlier and super high achiever who dreads those classes. If they eliminate all stand alone honors classes and start on AP/IB classes that is a bigger issue.

@THINK PLS

Anonymous said...

@THINK PLS and I are two different people - but I do mirror their sentiment.

THINK PLS

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, do NOT use someone else's moniker. @ThinkPls, find another name.

Anonymous said...

@THINK PLS,

No type of testing is without flaws, but private testing is the gold standard. IF SPS decides that being at or above the 99th percentile is what makes a student an outlier in need of "new and improved" cohort-delivered services, SPS should take steps to make sure they are finding those outliers. If SPS testing show they may be at that 99th percentile (i.e., the confidence interval includes the 99th percentile), then they should allow additional testing so the multidisciplinary committee can better interpret the results and determine whether that student is an outlier. SPS tests alone are not sufficient to do so. The same holds true for many students who are 2e.

As for "quibbling" about the 98th vs the 99th percentile, it's less analogous to the current 97v98 issue now IF the proposed new cohorted services will be modified to better meet the needs of outliers. If they will truly be "outlier"-oriented services, the ID criteria ARE worth quibbling about.

AT

Anonymous said...

Read the McClure website. Geometry is available.

White supremacy hurts whites as much as black and brown people. Let's get rid of it.

Good luck on your future endeavors, Ms. Westbrook.

May the District heal from the divisiveness you have promoted.

JJ

Anonymous said...

JJ, you're buying into the divide and conquer that SPS staff have always promoted.

HP

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Anonymous said...

@JJ. I looked on the McClure website math page and it seems that they only go up to Algebra. I just called McClure because I was curious and they confirmed that they indeed do not offer geometry. Perhaps there is an older site that you were looking at that suggests they do.

https://mcclurems.seattleschools.org/academics/academic_information/math

Also, while I think everyone on this blog agrees with your statement about white supremacy, I'm a little puzzled about your intention of mentioning it here. Happy to hear your thoughts.

THINK PLS