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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Revenge of the Students - Garfield Speaks

From the student newspaper, The Garfield Messenger (bold mine):
Dear Superintendent Juneau,


In the past months, you have made it your mission to make the district more equitable by ending the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC). We know from firsthand experience that the HCC program has its flaws, and we appreciate that you want to make it equitable for all. However, we don’t believe that your approach to this issue is appropriate.



Despite your good intentions, The Messenger feels that your perspective on the issue and the words you have used have alienated the people you are attempting to help. By using terms like “slave ship” and “Apartheid High” to describe the most racially diverse high school in Seattle, you not only disrespect and belittle the students of Garfield, you also oversimplify the effects of a complex issue the district created in the first place.

The term “Apartheid High” was born out of a history of segregation and racial conflict at Garfield — and the student body is very aware of this. However, this language is extremely outdated. Today it sounds less like a word that a Garfield student would use, and more like a slogan that has been dug up to garner public support for your agenda.

Your efforts to turn the public against HCC has taken a toll on the students at Garfield. By unjustifiably targeting Garfield and using our school as an example for everything wrong with HCC, you are contradicting your mission of serving us, the students. Talking about us, rather than with us, will do little to fix the district’s mistakes.

We are not another piece of evidence for your campaign. We are not the sole example of what a racist school looks like. This narrative you are perpetuating simplifies broader racial issues and paints an inaccurate, black-and-white depiction of our diverse community. Instead of working towards unity and pushing for true reform, your choice of words overlooks the many ways Garfield is impacted by HCC. It also overlooks the other schools and families that are impacted by HCC.

If you are truly urging the community to pay attention to the voices of students, please do so yourself first. Instead of relying on snippets from the few students you spoke to, take the time to truly connect with our student body. Instead of visiting our school on Purple and White — a day that does not show Garfield at its best — come in on a regular school day and talk to us.

Garfield is not a slave ship — it is a school. A school which brings together students from all walks of life to learn together under the same roof. A school that we are proud to attend. And it’s time you begin to treat it that way.

Sincerely,
The Garfield Messenger
 I can only add - Boo-yah! Good for you, kids, for seeing the obvious truth about this mission to burn HCC to the ground.  I'll just add, a real leader does NOT seek to divide, but to find ways to bring people together. 

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo to the Messenger team for this thoughtful, well crafted editorial. The school and teachers should be proud of these young journalists.

extra credit

Anonymous said...

Trying to keep the real story in the family! Too much bad news is bad for the reputation. Too late, students. The cat's out of the bag.

Let's see the next editorial address this:

https://southseattleemerald.com/2019/11/21/qa-student-author-and-activist-azure-savage-discusses-racism-and-centering-students-of-color-at-seattle-public-schools/

Colleges Google

Anonymous said...

I hope more students express themselves.

Fed Up

Anonymous said...

Someone please explain to me what "centering" actually is in the context of "centering students of color", or people being accused of 'centering whiteness"

A Boomer

Anonymous said...

Will the Seattle Time please reprint this editorial

fair and balanced

Melissa Westbrook said...

A Boomer, interesting you should ask because I have asked for the district to define what THEY mean by "parents of privilege", "suspend your privilege" and "hoarding opportunities." You add another phrase.

So here's a Twitter interchange I had with Keisha Scarlett, Chief of Equity, Partnerships and Engagement at Seattle Public Schools.

"Keisha Scarlett, Ed.D.
@ScarlettFevah
@WestbrookMel
- I first learned the term “opportunity hoarding” in @johndiamondphd
and Amanda Lewis’ book - Despite the Best Intentions - How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools. I am happy to share my copy and discuss. Email me."

My reply:

"I have not read that book but yes, I know what “opportunity hoarding” is. But if senior SPS leaders are using it, it needs a district definition, along with explaining the ask of “suspend your privilege.” I have no issue w/the route the district takes; just explain what it means"

And I hope everyone heard the point - if the district's senior leadership is going to use phrases as part of enacting policy, they MUST define them.

I have the time to research and read but certainly not all parents do. And, if you have read up and think you understand these phrases but the district means something else, what then?

Now, of course, the district probably won't do it and doesn't want to do it. That would mean singling out some parents and they don't want to have to actually do that hard work.

And again, if these phrases are used, what is the "ask?" Is it sit down and shut up? Stay out of the way? Write a check to a PTA at a school your child isn't at?

It will be interesting to see if Director Geary's anti-racist district policy has a glossary.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, parents are not "hoarding opportunities." Rather, the district is rationing them.

give more

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also, I get the vibe that I'm supposed to read up and communicate it to people via this blog. Notice to the district: I'm leaving. That's your job.

Anonymous said...

Couple of points.

First, not sure the editor, or whoever wrote this, meant for this sentence to be included, or maybe they did:

"We are not the sole example of what a racist school looks like."

Wow! Are they admitting Garfield is a racist school, just not the only one?

Secondly, the writer gives the impression that the entire staff or at least the editors are all in the HCC cohort. How odd.

I think an article that reporters going around the school, getting interviews from students who would go on the record, seeing what they felt about the "slave ship" and other descriptions of Garfield and the HCC cohort, would have been more interesting and honest.

JJ

Anonymous said...

And why are these students getting so defensive about these words that invoke a horrible, horrible legacy of white supremacist ideology?

Why don't they do a little research into slavery and apartheid? It sounds like they are reacting with a classic white tactic of playing the victim.

The students in HCC at Garfield are not victims of anything except the hideous pall of white supremist and privilege that has pervaded this hemisphere since the arrival of Columbus and this country since the Jamestown Settlement.

Those students need to understand that the HCC cohort is part and parcel of racist white supremist ideology.

All students are victims of a system that has failed many black and brown students, even those in the HCC cohort. They are being used right now to try to slow down equity and racial reform in the District. Adults are applauding them for striking out at the Superintendent and others who are trying to right the historic wrongs that white people have committed.

JJ

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I have a kid at Garfield so know many of the names on the board. All the kids I know on the editorial board are students of color. Most not HCC. Seems like you decided a lot about them because they disagree with you.

Bulldogger

Anonymous said...

Fair and balanced. Everyone needs to listen. Juneau is not listening. Voters Google too. Juneau obviously is no longer concerned with future office after Hurricane Emily assaulted WMS.

TEARY BRAIN

Anonymous said...

Another Garfield parent here. Kudos to these students. Juneau is doing much more harm than good to her cause by dusting off long-outdated terms denigrating a school which is a jewel not just in Seattle but across the country. Shame on her.

"give more" above nails it - it's ridiculous to accuse parents of opportunity hoarding when it's the district rationing access.

FNH

Anonymous said...

@FNH That's your perspective. Juneau heard from students who are currently using those terms. Apparently, the dust never had the time to settle.

Read the article referenced above by current Garfield student.

Garfield will no longer be a "gem" when googled. Colleges used to see their demographics on paper. Now they will get to see the nuanced picture called segregation.

Look at the ballistic response to Honors for All as Exhibit A of the Tale of Two Cities aka Garfield.

Colleges Google

Anonymous said...

@Colleges Google,

We moved cross-country specifically for our kids to attend Garfield, and this is our third year inside the school. There is nothing about Garfield that I haven't already researched exhaustively, including talking to multiple college admissions counselors from east to west coasts who know Garfield and the caliber of its graduates. I guarantee admissions counselors don't give a fig about any social justice cause célèbre ginned up by a Superintendent-du-jour, that point is laughable. People recognize that Garfield's diverse student population engenders issues that other schools simply need never address, but those issues are merely a reflection of society at large and are not any fault of a school.

FACT: minority representation in advanced classes at Garfield is higher now than ever before, even as the school itself is approaching majority white population. Garfield is less segregated now than it has been in decades, and two anecdotal accounts (one from over thirty years ago) don't trump real numbers.

FNH

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wow! Are they admitting Garfield is a racist school, just not the only one?"

Did you miss the messaging from JSCEE? The entire district is racist, hence the need for an anti-racist policy.

JJ, kind of harsh and just to note, they are there and probably know their school fairly well.

Juneau heard from students who are currently using those terms.

Really? Because the Garfield kids I know there believe it is old news and no one says that now (and yes, a kid of color).

And this?

Garfield will no longer be a "gem" when googled."

Were you rubbing your hands together and channeling Mr. Burns? Why so gleeful?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also to state, Juneau is always saying we need to listen to students more. I hope that's not a selective group.

Anonymous said...

@ JJ "And why are these students getting so defensive about these words that invoke a horrible, horrible legacy of white supremacist ideology?"

Re-read your own post. Why should these students, kids, be targeted by the district with language referring to them as both racists and slaves? This is a situation and program the district created. Both students of color and white students at the school obviously feel upset and their school is much more complex than how it was described.

They are talked about by adults used to further an agenda, majority not interviewed because that might disrupt the agenda of the powerful. Only a student or two interviewed used by the district is interviewed to further the district's agenda.

The students did not define the entrance criteria, nor decide to place this program at Garfield. Many of the students are social justice activists and their teachers do a great job of educating all students on issues such as racism.

IMO this is a dilemma of the modern day discourse. If white students attend racially diverse schools, even schools focused on social justice, some feel they are "gentrifying it" and they are not wanted. If they attend predominately white schools in their segregated neighborhoods, they are viewed as "segregationists".

We must remember that economics factors heavily into this equation in our city as SPS intersected with race. The whites in SPS are predominantly students who are middle or upper class with only 9% FRL, while 80% of AA students are FRL.

I hope we can move together somehow in this country. This is a symptom of a wider economic divide (in some areas) and racial situation that American needs to address much better.

HS Parent


Jon said...

The Seattle school district administration is attacking its own schools to try to distract from their failures.

It's an old tactic, drum up anger at something else, find a target any target, to distract and deflect.

It's sad. I hope it doesn't work. But, from the comments in this thread, I can see some are only too happy to jump in.

Anonymous said...

@ A Boomer "Someone please explain to me what "centering" actually is in the context of "centering students of color", or people being accused of 'centering whiteness"

I will tell you intuitively what I think it may mean. But I would also like a defined universal explanation by the district if they are using this term. As whites are a majority racial group in power, they often define and shape the discussion. Centering students of color likely means participating only as a listener, letting students of color shape the discourse.

I would understand it being useful when you think you have groups that identify strongly with their own group.

But feel it can have its flaws too, as it also assumes homogenized groups. No person speaks for their own racial or ethnic group, because of diversity within groups. Within any group there are individuals. Individuals within any racial or ethnic group have varied experiences, histories and backgrounds that shape their own viewpoints.

HS Parent

Anonymous said...

@JJ "The students in HCC at Garfield are not victims of anything except the hideous pall of white supremist and privilege that has pervaded this hemisphere since the arrival of Columbus and this country since the Jamestown Settlement."

You do realize that not all white HCC individuals share the same advantaged uniform Anglo Protestant history. They are not all descendants of the original Protestant Anglo-Saxon people. Many even had immigrant ancestors a couple of generations ago that were considered the brown people of that time.

Multiple ethnic and religious groups suffered severe discrimination historically, I think its easy to lump individuals into neat groups of us versus them in 2019.

Although they do now benefit from being in the white group and many have risen on the economic and political ladder. But as one example it can be fragile. For example when in conflict with modern day white supremists that spew hatred and Anti-Semitism, we realize the fragility.

Research more US history regarding various ethnic immigrant groups.

HS parent

Anonymous said...

@Melissa

The students know their school's reputation is suffering from recent reports and the book by a current student, who had a reading at Elliott Bay. Some of these students are now applying for college. I have no glee about the situation at Garfield. It's been pathetic for a long time.

The school is so segregated that teachers had to make a special class in order to bridge the gap. The parents of those receiving the "elite" education that FNH "researched" went ballistic, as chronicled on this blog.

When the new superintendent toured the school, CURRENT students filled her in on their experience, including the terms they use. It wasn't pretty.

Of course, students don't like their school getting bad press. And, yes, that may help explain the one-sided editorial. If a school needs to create a special class because the segregation is so bad, something's rotten. Students, especially, know...

Colleges Google

Anonymous said...

JJ One more comment. Even the Protestant Anglo-Saxon group in the US were not a monolithic group and history is not linear. There were those who fought for ideals we share today. As far back as the early 1600's there were white Anglo abolitionists who actively advocated against slavery and thought it "an abomination". Advocated for fair dealings with the Native Americans arguing for their rights, even if that meant losing their own community and home. Believed in Freedom of Religion and welcomed Jews and people from all religions back in the 1600's.

HS Parent

NESeattleMom said...

As. 7 yr GHS parent, I appreciate the Messenger’s editorial. I think Juneau repeating those old expressions does a disservice to black students at GHS, and might make them feel bad. First, I don’t think students actually use those words. Juneau never said who said it, nor how many students said it. I think she may have heard it from staff at John Stanford center digging up history. Also, the several biracial students who have been speaking to media and publishing articles are telling their personal stories, that are their stories, but to me, are not a reason to end a program that helps students achieve a high level of academic achievement. Their two or three stories cant be generalized to the whole program as fact. They are personal experiences and feelings. There may be other stories to hear and to celebrate. As the editorial in the Messenger states, Juneau should help improve things. The video with Juneau and Berge smiling as they try to normalize a month of lost learning this past fall at GHS for many students through estimation/calculation errors at John Stanford Center bothered me. There may be political reasons GHS had more negative effect from having to RIF teachers who’d been there for a year or two and rehire a month into school from the hiring pool. Such a waste. Juneau should consider if she visits a town and hears a bad word, should she generalize that is how people in that town think, and then repeat it over and over?

Anonymous said...

C'mon, folks. White privilege has been the foundation of this country. You are grasping at straws with these continued attempts at false equivalence and minimization.

JJ nailed it. The analysis was spot on. Reread it a few more times.

Nuff Said

Anonymous said...

@NE Seattle Mom

Juneau heard slave ship and Appartheid from current students, as she's stated.

Why blame the messenger? The problem is the segregation in the school by race. It's real.

Nuff Said

NESeattleMom said...

Nuff said, what are their first names or pseudo names or did she really hear it?

Anonymous said...

@JJ,

I suspect the reason "these students getting so defensive about these words that invoke a horrible, horrible legacy of white supremacist ideology" is because their school is being unfairly singled out for this, when other schools across the city are also impacted by this legacy of discrimination. I suspect that many/most also don't feel the words accurately describe the atmosphere at their school today, and they can see Juneau is using them as pawns in her political game.

It's also interesting that you say "they are reacting with a classic white tactic of playing the victim," when it sounds like many on the editorial board are not white.

You say "the students in HCC at Garfield are not victims of anything except the hideous pall of white supremist and privilege that has pervaded this hemisphere since the arrival of Columbus and this country since the Jamestown Settlement." This is equally true at any school across the city. Look at racial disparities in our test scores, graduation rates, FRL numbers , etc. You're also conveniently forgetting about "Asian privilege," which by HCC number must be a thing now, despite the fact that Asians have been, and in many cases continue to be, discriminated against in this country. Maybe that's part of the super-secret Asian "supremist" ideology?

Yes, " all students are victims of a system that has failed many black and brown students." This includes students in SPS, outside of SPS, in HCC, outside of HCC, in Seattle, outside of Seattle. It's not just a Garfield problem, and Garfield shouldn't be made out to be the poster child for these widespread challenges.

Why is the sup't only repeating these slurs--slurs that many say are outdated and/or not used by many--when there are so many other slurs used against other groups across the district? There are plenty of ways to tackle disparities besides repeating gossip.

Adulting 101

Anonymous said...

We're all victims of white supremacy. It's an insidious dehumanizing ideology created by white people to exploit other human beings in the most horrific methods possible: slavery and genocide

And before somebody starts up with the well-worn "Africans had slaves" trope, let's establish that Greeks, Romans, Aztecs, as well as Africans enslaved their own race.

What we are talking about is conquest of the New World and the beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

This was the beginning of modern white supremacy. This white European supremist ideology was used to justify the destruction of Natives peoples and slavery.

I'm not calling anyone racist especially the kids. They just don't seem to understand the history of white supremacy and how it has permeated our society so deeply.

So deeply that privileged white people can feel victimized and feel that they have to give something up for there to be a fair society.

Some whites seem to feel that that it's zero sum when in fact we are all hurt by white supremacy.

And again, I wish the Messenger staff had done some actual reporting and interviewed real Garfield students. They complain about cherry-picking by others, but they have the whole orchard right outside their door.

JJ

Anonymous said...

@Adulting 101

Chances are very strong that the students are feeling the heat from the student author's book referenced above, too. It's much easier to focus on the superintendent.

Gossip is defined as "idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others." The superintendent, however, is proposing educational justice remedies for an entrenched program that virtually excludes historically underserved students.

This very blog has featured posts in recent years condemning Garfield being referred to as Apparteid. It might be an old name but it's still being currently used. Too bad people are more upset about Juneau restating what she heard than having desire to get rid of the injustices that gave rise to the terms in the first place.

Slurs? Description of actual experience is not the definition of slur.

Trying to minimize the issues at Garfield and this onslaught of Whataboutism ("everyone else is racist, too") isn't working. Garfield is the main HC hub, where parents like the one above moved to after "research," which has two schools within a school: one for the historically underserved (those many parents are outraged about sharing space with in Honors for All) and the other one, the elite school.

Maybe reading the book by the student will provide some insight about how the other half lives at Garfield. Or maybe that's too threatening.

Time's Up

Anonymous said...

The Garfield Messenger letter to the Superintendent is painful reading. It’s poorly phrased, defensive and awkwardly argued. If the letter is indicative of what HC cohorted tracking produces, then that system is an educational failure. But more than that, The Messenger letter writers chose to take umbrage with “the messenger,” Superintendent Juneau, rather than delving into why Garfield and slave ships and APPartheid are mentioned in the same breath.

It’s not Superintendent Juneau giving Garfield a bad name, but rather the ostrich like attitudes on display in the letter.

Salut

Anonymous said...

JJ The things you are discussing are so much more complex, than to reduce it to blaming only all the people (& kids) who look "homogenized white" to you in 2019, and thus currently have advantages from the power system in the US. History is much more deep, messy and complex. I suggest you research more deeply perhaps with the help of historians and academics, not only history in the US, but throughout our world through the centuries.

HS Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

"When the new superintendent toured the school, CURRENT students filled her in on their experience, including the terms they use."

Well, interesting that the leadership on the student newspaper weren't on her list to talk to. I mean, the people who actually write about the school.

And, yes, that may help explain the one-sided editorial."

Yes, the op-ed that Juneau wrote was one-sided. I agree.

Salut, watch that tone when writing about students.

Scrooge McDuck said...

Wait a minute, Garfield is the assignment high school for all the McGilvra kids when they're teenagers (you know, the school with fewer than 250 students that gave the district $358,705 of PTA money to pay to actually implement MTSS for themselves) and the Eastlake kids (the TOPS PTA is sitting pretty) and Montlake with their 6% FRL rate. I hate to break it to you, but (NEWSFLASH!) Montlake's PTA brings in almost as much per student as McGilvra's. Garfield is privilege city, and it's not because of HCC. There are plenty of privileged students at Garfield and the majority of them live in the Garfield assignment zone. They come from Garfield's own feeder schools (like affluent McGilvra and Montlake and TOPS) and feeder neighborhoods (privilege central: Madison Park, Montlake, the Arboretum, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, Madrona).



Anonymous said...

Please. Garfield is no more or less "privilege city" than Roosevelt or Ballard. And certainly no more or less affected by racism.

I applaud the Messenger. These students regularly report on issues of race, class and privilege - the articles are right on the website for all to read. Good for the editorial team for calling BS on Juneau's ugly, cheap shot.

Shame on her for using these children to try to score points. I guess "calling out" is easier than actual leadership.

Ruthie

Anonymous said...

There is only one word to describe the tone and positioning of the people who will not listen to facts, but instead, revert to name calling and confirmation bias to deflect from their talking points.

It's called puritanism.

It would merely be another term, if this mentality wasn't so dangerous. It is quite similar to the cries of "fake news", "communist", and "terrorist" that is used by people who want to gin up people's emotions to shame people, short circuit rational thinking and discussion, in order to dominate. They shout their epithets louder now because the jury is in. And the verdict is not looking good for the people who now are okay with calling peoples' employers to smear them.

Our superintendent in the media, and her acolytes that are ever present on the SPS Comminity Discussion FB page are Exhibit A of puritanism on the issue of advanced learning. Now that students have weighed in--as in "not legal adults", we are now seeing these epithets and bullying being directed at students BY ADULTS. But, not to worry, they are "other people's kids". People who do this have no business being within 500 feet of a school.

It is sad these people who claim are for social justice not only side with an administration that encourages parents to neglect their children ("stand aside", "stop hoarding resources", when as a commenter pointed out, it is actually rationing that is going on), are now engaging in the smearing of kids at Garfield who disagree with the adults. People employed as administrators as well as leaders in PTSAs are doing it.

This is the example that is being set. This is the so called modelling we are allowing to happen. Maybe this will fly in their tiny little bubble who think they are the advanced revolutionaries that are going to transform public education, but I will guarantee you the general public will not put up with it when it is finally exposed. And it will be exposed. And people will be leaving the building when it happens.

There is only one word for puritanism in action: bullying. It's time to call it out. People have the right to be angry, and to call out racist behavior, and to demand it stop. But people do not have the right to be cruel to their colleagues, or students and their families because of a policy issue. They do not have the right to bully students on the internet.

More Noise Please

Melissa Westbrook said...

More Noise Please, I agree.

Anytime it is tried to shut down discussion by some kind of name-calling that would seem to be shaming, that's bullying. What is worse is to name-call but not truly explain who you are talking about ("parents of privilege" which would seem to indicate all white parents/guardians but again, who knows plus "suspend your privilege" which would indicate some action by those parents but the district won't say what they mean).

Interestingly, I can't find either phrase being used at either the Times or The Stranger. I don't think The Stranger would use it without explaining it and the Times would be on thin ice in some quarters of their readership if they used it. I'm out the door but it would be an interesting issue to track. As well, if the Times did start using it - in an effort to prop up Juneau - you all should call them up and ask, "Tell me, what does this mean?"

Keep 'em honest.

Anonymous said...

As JJ pointed out above, we've got the beneficiaries of the system playing the victim.

You are actually name calling as you react to people who disagree with you.

Just because you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean you have any claim to victimhood. People have a right to disagree with you.

Making a solid observation about writing skills is now an attack?

SMH

Anonymous said...

Melissa, do a search of your own blog. There have been multiple comments in recent years about people being upset about the term "APPartheid" being used at Garfield.

This continued diversionary tactic to focus on Juneau repeating what she heard, rather than the issues that make the terms get used in the first place, is a desperate attempt to avoid dealing with the obvious.

It's obvious to Juneau.
It's segregation in our "progressive" city and she's not afraid to do something about it.

About Time

Melissa Westbrook said...

SMH, I don't see anyone crying victim but it has to be okay, in a public school district, to have open discussions.

About Time, those comments don't mean that this is still on-going. I heard about that comment such a long time ago.

I don't get trying to discredit the students, though.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, do a blog search. The comments about APPartheid are recent on your own blog.

Juneau is relatively new to Seattle so she heard the terms recently by Garfield students, as she stated.

Again, why is the focus on the words and not what caused rise to them--the segregation? Where's the outrage about that?
The Garfield student is on a book tour with real-time details about the segregation and privilege in Garfield HC. Why is this not the topic here?

"Discredit the students" is more of the victim-speak. Legitimate opinions were offered about journalistic prowess. If the journalism isn't up to snuff, they discredit themselves.

About Time

Anonymous said...

@SMH

Do you think the ends justify the means? Do you think it is okay for adults to bully and target students? How about threatening to doxx them and their racial identity on Facebook? Are we teaching students that vilifying the press is okay?

How are you with all that? People are asking.

More Noise Please

Anonymous said...

Of course doxxing or threatening to do so is horrible.

Get real.

SMH

Anonymous said...

@JJ "This was the beginning of modern white supremacy. This white European supremist ideology was used to justify the destruction of Natives peoples and slavery.I'm not calling anyone racist especially the kids. They just don't seem to understand the history of white supremacy and how it has permeated our society so deeply.So deeply that privileged white people can feel victimized and feel that they have to give something up for there to be a fair society."

Wow, you are reaching if you think that this SPS program is directly related to the slave trade. What about all the Asian kids who predominate in the programs on the Eastside and nationwide with rates higher than whites?

This issue relates much more to class and education, than race. The affluent people of color I know have kids achieving at the same rates as affluent whites. Those with parents who went to college are achieving at just as high rates. Many also chose to live in higher income neighborhoods, as opposed to lower income.

Class is the big elephant in the room in these discussions because this is Seattle.

Go to a rural or small town and see how many white kids outside of Seattle are doing, many receiving public assistance and try to relate that directly to the slave trade and white supremacy.

Elephant in room

Melissa Westbrook said...

About Time, yes, there were comments about that phrasing but that doesn't mean that comment is recent but only that it was said at one time. You'd have to show me that there is student who said it to Juneau.

Why no outrage on segregation? I have said to district officials that something should be done and for years I'd get a shrug.

As for the student, I did write about him.

Sorry, if you are picking on kids, it's NOT victim-speak. And saying high school kids have to have " journalistic prowess" is a bit much.

Anonymous said...

JJ, SMH and others, please please read the most up to date data being shared by the education world and scholars and researchers.

Are you aware how much the black-white achievement gap has narrowed in the past 50 years?

The data points squarely at class at perpetuating a gap. Multiple studies are pointing to this as the cause...not race! You must look more broadly than Seattle where race & class are intersected in order to broaden your understandings.

If we don't address the root cause, we get nothing but more segregated schools. Honestly, integrating schools so we don't have schools that are predominately FRL is the answer.

"While racial segregation is important, it’s not the race of one’s classmates that matters,” the researchers concluded in the study released today. “It’s the fact that in America today, racial segregation brings with it very unequal concentrations of students in high and low poverty schools.”

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/09/we-should-integrate-schools-based-on-class-not-race/
https://news.stanford.edu/press-releases/2019/09/23/new-data-tool-sh-achievement-gap/

https://edsource.org/2019/poverty-levels-in-schools-key-determinant-of-achievement-gaps-not-racial-or-ethnic-composition-study-finds/617821

And this research http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may13/vol70/num08/The-Widening-Income-Achievement-Gap.aspx

"The black-white achievement gap was considerably larger than the income achievement gap among cohorts born in the 1950s and 1960s, but now it is considerably smaller than the income achievement gap. This change is the result of both the substantial progress made in reducing racial inequality in the 1960s and 1970s and the sharp increase in economic inequality in education outcomes in more recent decades."



Elephant in Room

Anonymous said...


From the Mother Jones Article:

"Even after controlling for economic status, attendance at a school with a big racial attendance gap (i.e., heavily black or heavily white) leads to big differences in black-white achievement scores (0.610). However, once you control for differences in school poverty, the effect goes away (0.013)."

In other words, this confirms what we’ve known for a long time about the effect of concentrated poverty. If a black student goes go to a school that’s heavily black but middle class, it’s no big deal. But if a black student goes to a school that’s heavily poor, he’s doomed.

Needless to say, schools that are heavily black tend to also be heavily poor, so this effect can be hard to tease out without careful study. Nonetheless, Reardon is clear:

Using scores from hundreds of millions of tests taken in the last decade by students in thousands of school districts, we find a very strong link between racial school segregation and academic achievement gaps. More segregated school systems have larger achievement gaps, on average, and their gaps grow faster during elementary and middle schools than in less segregated ones.

….Why is this? We find that the association between racial school segregation and achievement gaps appears to operate entirely through differences in exposure to poor schoolmates….Racial segregation matters, therefore, because it concentrates black and Hispanic students in high-poverty schools, not because of the racial composition of their schools, per se.

If you want to take away any good news from this, here’s a glimmer of hope: If the problem really is class more than race, then we can make a case for desegregating our schools based on class. According to Reardon, this would actually be more effective, and it’s probably slightly less incendiary than desegregation plans based on race."


Elephant in Room

Anonymous said...

@Elephant in th Room

I am fully aware of the research already.

Here's what you're skipping over: Black, Latino and Native American students are disproportionately living in poverty BECAUSE of white supremacy.

Therefore, segregation by race usually accompanies poverty.

The cited research and what was stated by myself and others is complementary, not mutually exclusive.

This question remains: Why do so many of you keep trying so hard to deny the obvious? It's called the history of racism in the United States that continues. Here are some basic facts about its persistent effects, in terms of FRL:

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/reports/2018/02/21/447051/systematic-inequality/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/03/14/new-explanation-stubborn-persistence-racial-wealth-gap/%3foutputType=amp

SMH

Anonymous said...

In the context of Seattle, race is pretty much a proxy for class. The difference is that race is visible. Were we simply to use income, as a correlative of class instead of race, we run the risk of devaluing the optical reality and lived experience of students in favor of something more abstract and thus more easily discounted. Challenges we can see will always get more attention than ones we can’t. That is why race and policies addressing it have to have premier significance in a diverse and unequal city.

Salut

Anonymous said...

Salut & SMH Of course racism is involved. There are important differences between groups. The AA (native born) & Native Americans have the legacies of hundreds of years of systematic oppression as well.

The Latinx population, many of whom are immigrants or descendants, who identify with various races including white, there are distinctions similar to other immigrant groups historically to the US. Many have reached the middle class after a generation or two. However many more low income Latinx are still immigrating, so we always have a large population that is less well off.

Education research and policy implications are clear in K--12, we need to focus on eliminating the concentration of high poverty schools. The integration of socio-economic class is a way forward. In Seattle this would also correlate to race. As I stated repeatedly, in Seattle race & class are intertwined. We have highly segregated schools both racially and socioeconomically.

Elephant in Room

Anonymous said...

I realize I may have made things sound more simplistic than intended in regards to socio-economics. In many cases immigrants do in 2-3 generations climb the socio-economic ladder in the UW, despite prejudice toward various immigrant groups. Sometimes even in 1 generation nowadays, although that is not the norm. However, in many other cases it is much more challenging and difficult. Poverty, lack of quality and higher education combined with other factors can make it near impossible, and this is for all groups, even non-immigrant poor whites. Historical oppression and the legacies toward AA & Native American people is a unique factor in why these groups continue to face obstacles socio-economically.

But regarding policy in education, research is clear we need to eliminate high poverty schools. We need integration of socio-economic class to best work on the achievement gap in education.

Elephant in Room

Melissa Westbrook said...

"But regarding policy in education, research is clear we need to eliminate high poverty schools. We need integration of socio-economic class to best work on the achievement gap in education."

This is very much the bottom line to move that needle.

I will observe that for all this talk of segregation, you need only cast your eyes over to charter schools. They are more segregated than traditional publics AND parents like it. I've read story after story where Black mothers prefer a school where the majority of staff are of color and so is the student population. That has made for interesting dynamics especially at the "no-excuses" KIPP-type schools. In LA, there are several charters where the primary population is Hispanic/Latinx and again, the parents like it especially for those whose first language is Spanish.

Should charters be required - for the good of their students - to be more integrated?

I'm not say charters and HCC align perfectly but to believe that segregation is always a problem stand in stark contrast as to what is actually happening out in school districts across the country.

Anonymous said...

Why are you talking about the desire for opted in racial/ethnic segregation and HCC alignment as somehow related? HC programs across the country are working toward increasing representation of underserved students.

Your implication is disturbing, at best. Parents who choose those Charters overwhelmingly have students who are FRL and/or EL, and have been failed by their local public schools. Seeking a school that might finally recognize the needs of their culture and produce good results is what is driving these families to charters. HCC is supposed to be identifying ALL highly capable students.

The Office of Civil Rights is now tracking demographic data for HC programs. Yeah, folks, SPS is being watched nationally.

https://www.nagc.org/blog/gifted-and-talented-finding-and-calculating-representation-rates

About Time

Anonymous said...

According to the article, "Nationally, students from African American, Latinx, and Native American families are underrepresented in gifted education by 43%, 30%, and 13% respectively (as of 2016). Students with disabilities and who are still learning English are also underrepresented by roughly 75%." Our Supt just doesn't get it.

sigh

Anonymous said...

Employers google too. The Garfield student's book contains some very personal info. There may come a time that they regret having shared so much.

privacy proponent






Melissa Westbrook said...

About Time, oh so if parents like the segregation, that's okay but if they don't, that's also okay. I'm getting dizzy from the whiplash.

Privacy Proponent, I say this over and over - in the future everyone will have some embarrassing online problem in their youth. But if the nature of it was leaning in a direction like being racist or sexist, etc., again, colleges/universities and companies might choose differently just to avoid any possible problems.

Anonymous said...

westello writes in South Seattle Emerald letter:

"There’s another elephant in the room. Why did the district pick Washington Middle School when it is majority white and TAF, by choice, serves mostly minority students. The district could have chosen at least three other locations with majority minority populations and yet they didn’t."

Elephant in the Room sounds like Melissa writing under an anonymous name on her own blog.

Oh Brother

Anonymous said...

"As I stated repeatedly, in Seattle race & class are intertwined..."

Who stated repeatedly?...Oh, yeah, the elephant in the room.

Oh Brother

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Brother, I have NEVER submitted an anonymous comment. Never.

I don't have to because there are plenty of readers - like you - who chime in. The comments I made about TAF are the same ones I have said over and over. I note that those who have no problem with the choice of WMS seem to look away when I point out how many fewer minority students there are there AND that it just happens to be an HCC location.

Funny how that works out.

Anonymous said...

@Oh Brother Elephant in the Room is not Melissa. I had previously stated in a previous post, race and class are often intertwined, especially in Seattle. We do not to have a large majority of low income whites like other places, nor middle income blacks like some other places. We do have a majority of affluent Asians on the Eastside, and low income whites outside of Seattle.

Educational research in this area has been focused on teasing apart race and class to better understand the achievement/opportunity gap to best inform policy decisions for schools. The latest research has important implications. There have been some landmark studies on the topic. Sharing again below for those interested.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/09/we-should-integrate-schools-based-on-class-not-race/
https://news.stanford.edu/press-releases/2019/09/23/new-data-tool-sh-achievement-gap/

https://edsource.org/2019/poverty-levels-in-schools-key-determinant-of-achievement-gaps-not-racial-or-ethnic-composition-study-finds/617821

And this research http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may13/vol70/num08/The-Widening-Income-Achievement-Gap.aspx


Elephant in Room