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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

From SPS Communications:

Parents and guardians of students in grades 6th through 12th will now the opportunity to create a Naviance account to view their student’s activity and add colleges to the prospective college list. You will need a valid user account on the Source, the district’s parent portal, before creating your Naviance parent/guardian user account.

High School FamiliesStarting November 20, 2019, invitations to register for a Naviance user account will be sent to all parents/guardians who have Source accounts and whose student or students are “opt in” for using Naviance. Look for an email in your inbox (or your junk folder) from naviance@seattleschools.org.

Middle School FamiliesIn mid-December 2019, invitations to register for a Naviance user account will be sent to all parents/guardians who have Source accounts and whose student or students are “opt in” for using Naviance. Look for an email in your inbox (or your junk folder) from naviance@seattleschools.org.
Or you can just get your student to sign into their account and look at everything. You, as the parent, don't have to and it's just one more email address for Naviance. 

This post at a Facebook page for another district generated a HUGE number of replies.  I've never seen this as an issue in SPS but, then again, I'm not in every school.  Parents, do you include a sweet for your child's lunch or does your school ask you not to?  And note I said, "asked" not "told", meaning there is no direct policy for this.  I can see food allergy issues but generally kids with those issues sit at their own table.  Also, this is in the cafeteria, not the classroom. I know teachers do not want kids bringing food or sweets to class unless there is enough for all.

I'm changing the story to protect the parent:
I packed my kid's lunch and put water, a sandwich, bag of chips and a piece of hard candy. She told me that a teachers said he can't bring candy to school. How can the school tell me what I can feed my child.
A good story from Crosscut about one mom's realization that her district - not SPS but Shoreline - was not providing her Special Education student the education needed to succeed after high school.
"It's like glorified day care,” said Kathy Lynn, whose daughter, Casey, spent two years in the program. “It's not getting them where they need to go."
Just a devastating report via The Washington Post - ‘There’s something terribly wrong’: Americans are dying young at alarming rates
The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), was immediately hailed by outside researchers for its comprehensive treatment of a still-enigmatic trend: the reversal of historical patterns in longevity.

Although earlier research emphasized rising mortality among non-Hispanic whites, the broad trend detailed in this study cuts across gender, racial and ethnic lines. By age group, the highest relative jump in death rates from 2010 to 2017 — 29% — has been among people ages 25 to 34.

“Some of it may be due to obesity, some of it may be due to drug addiction, some of it may be due to distracted driving from cellphones,” Woolf said. Given the breadth and pervasiveness of the trend, “it suggests that the cause has to be systemic, that there’s some root cause that’s causing adverse health across many different dimensions for working-age adults.”

“There’s something more fundamental about how people are feeling at some level — whether it’s economic, whether it’s stress, whether it’s deterioration of family,” she said. “People are feeling worse about themselves and their futures, and that’s leading them to do things that are self-destructive and not promoting health.”

“These kids are acquiring obesity in their early teen years, sometimes under the age of 10,” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “When they get up into their 20s, 30s and 40s, they’re carrying the risk factors of obesity that were acquired when they were children. We didn’t see that in previous generations.”
Kind of a fun idea - four square played like volleyball.  The kids at the school I used to volunteer at really like four square.

What's on your mind?

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

PBS had a fantastic Ken Burns documentary on College Behind Bars. I encourage others to watch it, there are 4 parts.

It profiled both male and female inmates at jails in NY, completing AA and BA college degrees, though a program offered by Bard college. It offers them an "elite" higher education comparable to classes typically only affluent students take on campus. The debate team debates Harvard, among other prestigious schools.

The program is part of a focus on rehabilitation, versus punishment. Some of the inmates were imprisoned as young as 16, having served over 20 years.

The heartbreak of their personal stories, backgrounds from NYC are similar to my own father. He also grew up in the S Bronx, worst schools, single mom on welfare, the gangs, drugs and multiple disadvantages. Yet not only overcame the odds, but become quite the highly regarded leader in his career, impacting thousands of people.

His success broke the cycle of multiple generations of poverty and bad luck hardships. That's what this program does as well.

I was so impressed with what these individuals had overcome in their growth. It's not easy to get into or through this program, which is a demanding program even for those with various advantages. As jail is noisy and chaotic, they had to study late at night 12-3AM. The language and skill set that have to be learned to succeed in college, especially an elite college. So much of it comes so naturally to those raised with that generational knowledge. I try never to forget that as a college educated person, I have advantages, and my kids benefit.

The recidivism rate is 4% versus nearly 50% for those inmates who do not go through the program.NY Governor Cuomo introduced legislation a few years ago to increase funding for these type programs, but it failed due to lack of public support, and thus is funded through private sources.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Research has shown that underserved gifted students have a higher likelihood of winding up in prison.

How about working at the local level to reduce segregation in neighborhood schools and exclusion of underserved gifted? Television shows are a great way to stimulate progressive righteousness, but we have a huge problem in our own backyard.

Here's a way that less "progressive" places are making it happen. Louisville also has a school assignment plan that keeps deals with segregation.

https://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp;jsessionid=6C62EDFD625813A5ACD9D289C9604031.santino2?rssid=25919751&bcid=25919761&item=http%3a%2f%2fapi.edweek.org%2fv1%2few%2findex.html%3fuuid%3d6087DF18-0D63-11EA-A22D-8AF258D98AAA&cid=25919761&intc=mob-topnav

Backward inSeattle

Anonymous said...

@Jane You have made it sound like you were the one to overcome hardships in past posts when you were denigrating Superintendent Juneau. Kudos to your dad. In other words, you personally didn't grow up on the other side of the tracks. Thanks for clearing that up.

Interesting

Anonymous said...

KUOW The Record had a segment on SPS this afternoon. Anyone listen? I only caught the last minute and will wait for the episode to be posted online.

missed it

Anonymous said...

@Interesting I was also the first in my family to attend college. What makes you think I did not also have to also overcome hardships? Black/white thinking?

@Backward in Seattle What makes you think I have not advocated for various causes as related? Assumptions here abound.

I share the understanding that underserved gifted kids often end up in trouble, sometimes in prison. My father was one of those under-served individuals. It is also apparent that many of the inmates in the documentary as well were not given opportunity to reach their potential.

It struck me how one inmate stated he actually had access to good public schools. However, what he came home to in his environment every day was an issue for him. Education is very important. But for many it takes much more than school. Prison is an extremely tough environment. But as a positive they were out of a distracted environment and given lots of support. Small classes, were self motivated and laser focused.

I don't agree that a the obsession by some on a small group of HCC kids and parents (they personally hate) will create magic in this district. Some of these people seem incapable of understanding multiple viewpoints outside of their own despite any data shared. I share the view of others that the current focus is a distraction.

A big investment and program specifically targeted toward kids at risk could so so much more IMO. It would be so much better.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Reforming HCC certainly will benefit numerous underserved students who have been excluded from SPS. These are actual lives we are talking about. Rainier Scholars had to form in order to help nurture unidentified talent.

So, no this is not an "obsession" but a matter of basic justice. Trying to turn the beneficiaries of the injustice into victims ("they personally hate") would be ludicrous were it not so grandiose. In fact, those of us in pursuit of educational justice have our focus on more important matters than HCC parents.

Backward inSeattle

Anonymous said...

@Jane You misrepresented your personal struggles when you were comparing your history to our Native American superintendent's, whom you were denigrating. You minimized her experience as a member of a group in this country with the poorest outcomes, and implied you were personally more in touch than she because of your personal struggles in poverty.

You now just stated your father led a successful company. Next time, it would be helpful to be more on the up-and-up. We get the picture now.

Interesting

Anonymous said...

Justice? "Reforming" by removing an appropriate education for so many kids? I don't agree with it at all. The Bard program is not focused upon removing educational opportunity for anyone. It is focused on expanding it wider to include those traditionally being left behind. That is the difference. That IMO is a better path forward.

You may not be one of those who spew vitriol toward parents, kids and any teachers who are advocating for a different direction. However there are some in that crowd that do. Good for you.

Jane

Anonymous said...

You have misinterpreted by post. I did not state my father "lead a company". I stated " He became quite the highly regarded leader in his career, impacting thousands of people." Different.

I come from generational disadvantages dissimilar in ways to our superintendent. Her mother is a senator and she also comes from educational legacy. I never implied anything different. I did not denigrate her.

Jane

Anonymous said...

@Interesting Let me be clear, that I do question when people grant some people more insight or authority than others based upon appearances, or one aspect of who they are as a person. It seemed some were doing this about Juneau and the HC issue. People are complex and have many experiences.
Jane

Anonymous said...

Backward inSeattle, how so? You said:

Reforming HCC certainly will benefit numerous underserved students who have been excluded from SPS. These are actual lives we are talking about. Rainier Scholars had to form in order to help nurture unidentified talent.

First, underserved students aren't excluded from SPS. I assume you meant HC services.

Two, the proof is in the pudding. Until there's a proposed plan we can see, there's no basis for your statement that reform will "certainly" benefit anyone. There's also no reason to think it won't also hurt many.

Details matter. A modified HCC program that focuses on "outliers among outliers" on one hand (e.g., 99th+ percentile nationally) AND the top 1% of students in low-performing schools (possibly <85th percentile nationally, based on prior AL qualification demographics) may not be a recipe for success. While both groups may be outliers in different contexts, their current needs may differ widely. The nature of the "reformed" HCC services--not the qualification criteria, but the actual services--is key. How will they change, how will they accommodate both groups? How will the intervention(s) be tailored to the target population(s)? The current HCC approach is not the right one for either of the groups mentioned above.

DisAPP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Backward in Seattle, my experience in SPS is that many teachers and principals do not believe in supporting highly capable students. I suspect if they did and/or had the training to know what to look at, there would be more students of color in HCC.

And this:

"How about working at the local level to reduce segregation in neighborhood schools..."

Well,given the decades of redlining in this city, it might be hard for parents to move. However, BOTH the district and parents could support gerrymandering the attendance areas. I have read of this in other districts in the country. You find possible pockets of families of color and draw the assignment school regions to find those. It certainly would impact historical trends in who goes where but if the district is serious, they would consider this.

Interesting, watch that tone.

Anonymous said...

This thread is heartbreaking. Everyone here fighting over scraps of really mediocre services. HCC is nothing more than a cohort allowed to work two grades ahead. That’s it. No funding. Let’s say the 1% of all students was actually proportionately allotted HCC slots, we are talking a handful of students of color would receive these services. And how? Under a neighborhood model, an elementary school of 300, teachers need a new separate class of three students? How is that a good use of resources, particularly for the non HCC students? And education advocates are having it out over this? It is just too easy to miss the forest for the trees. Lord help Seattle Schools!

Sad Seattle

Anonymous said...

Some one says earlier that "Reforming HCC certainly will benefit numerous underserved students who have been excluded from SPS. These are actual lives we are talking about. Rainier Scholars had to form in order to help nurture unidentified talent."

These students (I presume you mean those futherest from educational justice) are not excluded from SPS. From what I hear, some SpEd parents might argue it is their kids that are actually excluded - until they get lawyers involved. But SPS doesn't exclude kids who are AA or live in a poorer part of town, or have disadvantages in their life. And reforming HCC will do nothing to address the issues with these kids. I don't know how anyone can seriously believe it could. Such a lack of critical thinking!

Rainier scholars did not form in response to the HCC program. It is totally different. It identifies kids from less advantaged backgrounds who have potential but are not at the level of qualifying for HCC or whatever yet. And it provides highly intensive mentoring, tutoring, development of this talent with the goal of getting the kids into elite private schools and then college. This has nothing to do with HCC. BUT, the district could also do this with the same population of kids, in house, as a way of getting them to the level where they would qualify and succeed in HCC. SO Why doesn't the district do this? Money I suppose? It's had decades to figure it out but instead of actively doing something to identify and develop talent in the underserved group it's decided to blame the ones that do qualify and punish them. That's all they are doing, and its disgusting to see how some folks are so gleeful about it.

Same old misinformation

Repeated over and over

And people believe it (Even if the Sup doesn't actually believe it - she didn't when she was in Montana at least, why doesn't anyone call her out on that?)

Fake news


Anonymous said...

@Melissa Your teacher and staff bashing comment is easily disproven by an actual fact:
School-wide Title One HC testing had no significant impact on identification of underserved students.

You continue to ignore the main cause of the lack of underserved students and instead blame dedicated teachers and principals. The main issue is the ENTRANCE CRITERIA. as the Ed Week article above spells out, and is why progressive districts are seeking alternative measures of talent:

"...tests are expensive and they may not differentiate a student who comes to school with deep background knowledge and lots of educational advantages from one who may be less advantaged but can actually learn faster."

Backward inSeattle




Anonymous said...

Why would someone call something quickly verifiable "fake news"?

From Rainier Scholars web page: https://www.rainierscholars.org/our-approach/

QUICK FACTS
Students of color account for two-thirds of all students in Seattle Public Schools.

Students of color account for 10% of high school students in the district’s advanced learning programs.

It is these inequities that Rainier Scholars seeks to address.

SMH



Melissa Westbrook said...

"School-wide Title One HC testing had no significant impact on identification of underserved students."

That may be true but some teachers and principals don't help. Look at Juneau's report page 14. Want to do cluster grouping in a classroom? Among the things to do: "find a teacher who likes them." Yup, even Juneau knows this.

It's interesting that the district says very little about Rainier Scholars.

Anonymous said...

@SMH - what i am calling fake news is the idea that HCC is the source of inequity in the district and that the proposed changes will do anything at all to address this. Its window dressing. Cant you see the demographics of HCC are a symptom of an underlying problem, not the cause. When less than a third of AA males are achieving reading and math standards in elementary grades, of course they going to are underrepresented in HCC. But that is not the fault of the entry criteria of HCC. Getting rid of HCC will not miraculously make those kids achieve grade level standards. What is the district actually going to do to improve those figures? Crickets.

And speaking of fake news - the link you provide does not say anything of the sort about SPS demographics. From the Rainier Scholars website "We offer a pathway to college graduation for hard-working, low-income students of color by providing access to transformative educational opportunities. Few of Seattle’s low-income students of color get the education and mentoring they need to gain admission to college and become leaders as adults. The disproportionately low numbers of low-income students of color on college campuses, as well as the lack of men and women of color in positions of leadership nationwide, point back to a lack of equitable opportunities at a foundational level. We believe a college degree greatly increases an individual’s chance at economic self-sufficiency, not to mention the inter-generational impact which results once that educational barrier has been broken in a family. That is why we created Rainier Scholars."
"Students in the fifth grade start with a challenging 14-month Academic Enrichment Program designed to provide the skills and support to thrive in the most competitive academic programs. As members of a cohort, our scholars belong to a community of highly motivated and hardworking peers who share a vision of college success.
"Our program consists of:
14-Month Academic Enrichment Program
Academic Counseling
Leadership and Career Development
College Counseling"

Pay particular attention to what they provide in terms of Academic Enrichment - this is what they offer "This initial phase has been designed to prepare and place scholars in college preparatory settings in independent schools and public schools offering highly capable programs. Our scholars receive more than 1,000 hours of academic enrichment, the equivalent of an entire school year beyond their regular school schedule and work approximately 1 to 3 grades above their current level. They develop the skills needed to master advanced content found in college preparatory settings." These kids who come out of Rainier scholars are aiming a lot higher than Seattle's HCC program - with scholarships to Lakeside etc. I bet a lot of FRL white families would love to have opportunities like this for their kids, but they don't.
So I ask again. Why hasn't SPS sought to replicate what Rainier Scholars does (even to a small degree) in order to try to balance the demographics of the HCC program.

Fake news

Anonymous said...

@Fake News

You nailed it! Rainier Scholars needs to be expanded and/or replicated.

But why isn't SPS already doing this? Oh! They already are! By partnering with Rainier Scholars. See:

https://www.rainierscholars.org/school-partners/

Rainier Scholars is a student educational "cohort", aimed at getting disadvantaged students into advanced learning programs, like the SPS Highly Capable Cohort (HCC). So why is it wrong to have a "cohort" like HCC within SPS?
Juneau has no justifiable grounds to disband HCC, while maintaining an active partnership with Rainier Scholars, which aims at getting its students into advanced learning cohorts, like HCC.

Well done, Rainier Scholars, for doing your important work.
As @Fake News points out clearly, Juneau's arguments to disband HCC, to increase racial equity and educational opportunities for AA students in SPS, have no credibility.

Eyes Opened

Anonymous said...

@Eyes Opened

Juneau isn't "disbanding" the cohort. She is appalled by the segregation and self contained will be much smaller.

Local norms will allow more identification of underserved students.

40% have gotten in HC on appeals, mostly white. Not tenable any longer. Period.

Get your facts straight, please.

Extra Special

Anonymous said...

@extra special
Maybe local norms would help. BUT Has the district announced they plan to change to identification criteria to use local norms? No! I'm not even sure they can do that, as others have pointed out.
Juneau is appalled by the segregation so she apparently wants to make the cohort much smaller. Which will increase the appearance of segregation in the cohort if anything, certainly it won't increase the numbers of underserved students in it.
A proposal to integrate highly capable students (or most of them) back into neighborhood schools where they will receive, ahem, differentiated instruction is = disbanding most of the cohort.

YOU get your facts straight.

Its magical thinking on the part of the district and those who support it in this. You just believe what you want the district wants you to believe with no critical thinking whatsoever.

How are they going to get their failing AA male target group to meet the grade level standards?
How are they going to get more underserved students in HCC.
What is the future of HCC anyway, if the proposal is to provide differentiation for all students in all schools (like they are supposedly doing now, right - what a joke).
How will this be equitable when schools differ significantly in the achievement levels and socioeconomic and racial make up of their student populations
What is going to change in schools that makes differentiation happen (that is different from the status quo)

Juneau is a consummate political animal - she's running a great political/PR campaign over this issue - she conveniently forgets her previous insights (quoted in academic papers) around this issues of educating highly capable kids and now turns them into a handy straw man here.

Fake news

Anonymous said...

Juneau wrote the article before she came to SPS and inherited a segregated and bloated HC program.

Were she a "political animal," she'd kick the can down the road and not deal with this charged issue.

Her article was about Montana, which averages 2% in HC and doesn't include 40% in on private appeals.

Just because you're a parent who benefits from the current system doesn't mean it's okay to falsely portray someone's motives.

Apples Oranges

Anonymous said...

Any HC cohort parents realize their golden prize is not even properly serving their kids? If you only want the status of being in an "elite" group, by all means fight tooth and nail. If you want real advanced learning opportunities and Highly Capable services, then advocate for that. I am on your side.

Fed Up

Science Teacher said...

“…Backward in Seattle, my experience in SPS is that many teachers and principals do not believe in supporting highly capable students…”

Melissa. It’s not that teachers and principals don’t believe in supporting highly capable students, it’s just that many don’t agree that the cohort model is the best way to do this. Why is that? This statement is a bit of a clue, “…HCC is nothing more than a cohort allowed to work two grades ahead…”

I can only speak for science, but what I know is this. HCC students are taught the science content for two grade levels ahead HOWEVER, that does not mean it is actually taught to the same level of difficulty as it is for students who are in that grade level. From what I’ve seen and heard this very rarely happens, especially for the Biology.

Math classes seem to be the easiest to move students ahead in and many schools, like mine, all students are tested as sixth graders and move them to the appropriate class. This could be done for HCC, general ed, and special ed students.

As for all other subjects, my suggestion has always been that students who are advanced, should be moved ahead to the next grade level.

Anonymous said...

Fed Up Your post is unclear. On the other thread someone alluded that offering various classes (such as varying levels of math at a middle school) supported "white supremacy". I assume because more white students are taking advanced math in Seattle in middle school.

This seems to be the sentiment from this anti-HC group. I believe the goal is appearing to narrow an achievement gap on paper, by offering less diversity in coursework. This includes flexible grouping and opt in coursework, ie. advanced learning classes and options.

It's unfathomable that there are actually some who believe we should not tailor education to a student's readiness. What district, especially the size of Seattle with all its diversity, does not offer multiple levels of classes?

All students should be challenged, that includes those at or above standard. This is public education and there is a civic duty to serve all the kids.

On the Eastside more Asians are taking advanced math than other racial groups. Is it now "Asian Supremacy" and advanced math should be eliminated?

Does "white supremacy" exist in low and working class neighborhoods as well where many white students are working below grade level? This wording linking race to socio-economic and other related issues is inappropriate and inaccurate.

It is being used politically this way by SPS for a reason.

Suspicious



Anonymous said...

Science Teacher Not all schools are Eckstein and offer advanced math such as geometry. Whitman and McClure do not even though they have the students. Read the other HCC related thread.

Suspicious

Anonymous said...

Suspicious, and why aren't all schools following the model spoused by Eckstein? Test kids and place them where they belong. I'm pretty sure JAMS has also advanced math, shouldn't we be advocating for that?

-TyRed

Anonymous said...

I understand NMSF #s should be looked at in perspective, but comparing cutoffs by state can give one an indication of regional differences. According to Compress prep, cutoffs "range from the Commended Student cutoff at a PSAT Selection Index of 212 all the way to the 223 Selection Index cutoff in New Jersey and Massachusetts."

Washington: 221
Montana: 214

So Montana's cutoff is near the lowest and Washington's is near the highest. Given those numbers, it should not be a surprise that higher numbers of SPS students are being identified for HC services. The Seattle area (Bellevue and beyond) is a large driver of those WA PSAT metrics. Let's just be aware of significant regional differences.

“…HCC is nothing more than a cohort allowed to work two grades ahead…”

That is what it's been reduced to under the tenure of MT (now at another district). Before the initial splits, there was more curriculum compacting and many classes used above grade level texts. With the high school LA adoption (some 10 years back?), middle school HC classes were restricted in what texts they could use - they could no longer use texts that were adopted for HS. There were books approved for middle school APP, but I don't know that the district ever purchased them. Some older, now retired, APP math teachers created their own materials rather than use the adopted texts.

So when people suggest the smaller cohort will somehow magically be different - it's very, very difficult to believe, as little remains of an "accelerated, enhanced" curriculum. What incentive does SPS have to make HC curriculum improvements when the cohort is even smaller? Zip.

reality

Melissa Westbrook said...

"She is appalled by the segregation"

And so next on Juneau's list should be redrawing the lines for attendance area schools. Because this city, because of many factors, is so segregated that she should not wait for that to change. I've said this before - some districts are trying redrawing boundaries to dip into pockets where people of color live in any given region. (And fyi, along the boundary line of the city, there is a huge number of families of color.)

And if you think Juneau is not a political animal, you probably need to take those rose colored glasses off. She tweets during Board meetings (which is pretty rude to those speaking before her). That video with JoLynn Berge about the high school situation at the beginning of the year? Very much political. Lastly, I will be willing to bet that if a Dem wins the White House, she will be gone, gone, gone to the Department of Education.

"If you want real advanced learning opportunities and Highly Capable services, then advocate for that."

Count me in. This is always the sticking point - we can agree on the issue but how it gets addressed is the hard thing.



Anonymous said...

@Backward inSeattle, you said the main cause of HCC disparities is the entrance criteria: "...tests are expensive and they may not differentiate a student who comes to school with deep background knowledge and lots of educational advantages from one who may be less advantaged but can actually learn faster."

Isn't that why students can enter HCC at nearly any grade? If a less advantaged student can actually learn faster, they will rise to the top of their class. Teachers will notice. They'll do great on state tests. If they are learning faster, they should make up the gaps, right? Especially compared to those "slower learners" who maybe got a head start in the pre-K years due to their more advantaged situations, right?

The same argument could be made about 2e students, too: tests may not differentiate a student who comes to school with deep background knowledge and lots of educational advantages from one who may be less able to demonstrate their intellectual giftedness due to a learning disability but can actually learn faster. Those arguing for local norms, however, always seem to dismiss this group of similarly underserved students, who will be even more underserved via the presumed draft plan.

And seriously, will the "local norms" people FOR ONCE talk about how they think this would actually work in practice? Details please.

all types

Anonymous said...

Most recent SPS demographics (from OSPI, beginning of 2018-19 school year):

American Indian/Alaska Native <1%
Asian 14%
Black/African American 15%
Hispanic/Latino 12%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander <1%
Two or more races 12%
White 47%

As reposted from Rainier Scholar's QUICK FACTS:
"Students of color account for two-thirds of all students in Seattle Public Schools."

Seems they need to update their info.

moving numbers

Anonymous said...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/27/health/chickenpox-vaccine-meningitis-study/index.html

(CNN)Doctors described what they believe are the first known cases of meningitis due to reactivation of chickenpox vaccine in two 14-year-old boys who received both recommended doses, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics.
Experts say the varicella vaccine -- licensed for use in the United States nearly a quarter century ago -- is exceedingly safe, though it is not recommended for people who are pregnant or immunocompromised.

--exceedingly safe

Anonymous said...

TyRed - Of course. Read my post. That's my point, the district and/or principals have been eliminating options even at schools with enough student readiness. Many schools that used to offer 1-2 years ahead math do no longer.

Suspicious

Anonymous said...

@TyRed I ask how long and closely have you been following this district if you believe advocating changes anything for many parents? The district's most recent message to those (like yourself) who believe all students should be placed into courses at the appropriate level is to "suspend your privilege" if you are also at a majority high performing white school.

Suspicious

Anonymous said...

@ Fed up says "Any HC cohort parents realize their golden prize is not even properly serving their kids? If you only want the status of being in an "elite" group, by all means fight tooth and nail. If you want real advanced learning opportunities and Highly Capable services, then advocate for that. I am on your side."

HCC families are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

If we advocate for some sort of actual curriculum, actual material designed for highly capable students, consistency in material between sites etc (things that were promised by the district many years ago but have never materialized) it just gives ammunition to the haters who say we want something special for our kids, that we are opportunity hoarding, a privileged demanding clique who want special treatment for our special snowflakes. I've read it here before. Families recognize what is delivered by the district as is a poor imitation of a gifted program - just 2 years acceleration in some subjects and even that has been whittled away in middle school. All of the district HC/AL resources seem to go toward administering testing and appeals and sending out eligibility letter. I can't see evidence of a single other thing the department does that impact students. No prof development, no curriculum development, research, implementing best practices in the classroom etc. Nothing, But what as families can we do about it? And imagine the outcry if the district did actually do all this - a special curriculum and all the trimmings just for these privileged mostly white kids - wouldn't that go down like a lead balloon!

If we settle for what the district provides, you say we just don't care about real advanced learning and want the cachet of special status. Why do you think it is a status symbol to be in HCC? Because I don't think there are many actual HCC parents who think this way. We don't want HCC for the status, we want it so that our kids who performing at a higher academic level than their peers can access appropriate instruction. We do want real advanced learning services for our kids who have met the district criteria for them. But we settle for what the district provides because we have no other choice.


Fake news

Skip It said...

If SPS won't place students based on what they already know, can't we get an affordable private school or charter school that will educate kids where they're at? It's great that Trish Dziko's kid was able to skip a grade, but that is no longer an option to kids. You've got to allow something, SPS. Little kids can't just sit there not learning anything day in and day out.

Show me where great skipping is an option for SPS students.

Anonymous said...

Any successful superintendent, especially in an urban area, needs excellent political and people skills.

If Juneau were a "political animal" she simply would not be tackling HC. She has made the reason very clear, which is not what a political animal would do: so-called progressive Seattle has been very surprising to her because of its entrenched segregation.

Juneau is acting on her moral compass and is doing something about it.

Great news

Anonymous said...

Great news, ask the Special Education PTSA if Juneau demonstrated excellent political and people skills. Not at all, none. She is absolutely a "political animal" with a compass that is opportunistically aimed at getting a nice job in the next DC administration. I see a total opportunist here, that is all.

Not a fan

Anonymous said...

Juneau's moral compass says that students who are already advanced should sit in classes working below their level, with teachers who don't have time to provide meaningful differentiation?

Juneau's moral compass says it's ok to deny HC services to a highly gifted student who also has a previously undetected reading disability or other challenge (which is not uncommon, as gifted students are often able to hide their LDs for many years)?

Juneau's moral compass says an outlier (e.g.., a student scoring 2+ SDs above the typical student of that grade level) should be content sitting in class day in, day out, working on a curriculum that does not challenge them, since it was designed for the bulk of students working around grade level?

Juneau's moral compass thinks it's ok to equate racial disparities with "segregation," and that "segregation" is ok if it's smaller in size?

Juneau's moral compass thinks it's ok to disregard "Asians" if they don't fit her "white privilege" narrative?

Juneau's moral compass says the way to academic equality is by removing access to harder work for high performers, rather than improving access for lower performers?

Juneau's moral compass says ok to (hypothetically) nudge the level of instruction further upward in high-performing schools (via an infusion of HC students), increasing the instructional quality gap between those schools and lower-performing schools with few (or no, if they are sent elsewhere) HC students?

That is one

bizarre compass

Anonymous said...

Grade skipping? Isn't that what smaller districts might do if they have no programming? It's not a solution - perhaps an option for individual students, but not a real plan. Is that the proposal for the 1%ers?

do better

Melissa Westbrook said...

Not a Fan, I think Juneau may want to better by Sped students and families; it may be her undoing.

Anonymous said...

"This is why institutional inequality persists. Not because of white hoods and racial slurs. It is because this insidious double-talk erases the problem by camouflaging it. Because it is painted as a problem of black lethargy and not white apathy."

https://www.theroot.com/pete-buttigieg-is-a-lying-mf-1840038708

What JuneauKnows

Anonymous said...

That is some wishful thinking, Melissa. This superintendent will not let that happen. She has a pattern of leadership where she supports her staff in public and takes care of business behind closed doors. That has been very clear and is called a united front. She doesn't throw her staff under the bus when everyone is looking.

Watch and see what happens. She is cleaning up.

Backbone

Melissa Westbrook said...

What JuneauKnows, you need to clarify NOW what the link to that story has to do with - I assume - HCC. Because NO ONE here has said anything about any student of color not being able to do the work. (I do think that last sentence a great line but that's a pretty different issue.)

Anonymous said...

Almost ALL arguments about reforming HC have to do with the underrepresented students not being able to do the work. Here are two examples from this thread alone. Seems these folk think HC isn't about talent, but level of performance. Seems these folk think gifted means working two grade levels ahead only.

At least people stopped talking about lead paint as the cause of underrepresention.

"Rainier scholars did not form in response to the HCC program. It is totally different. It identifies kids from less advantaged backgrounds who have potential but are not at the level of qualifying for HCC or whatever yet."

"And seriously, will the "local norms" people FOR ONCE talk about how they think this would actually work in practice?"

JuneauIs OnIt

Anonymous said...

@Great News, Not buying your puffery. Juneau is definitely a political animal. She ran for Congress in Montana and was named as a potential Ed Secretary if Hillary had won.

She's just biding her time in Seattle until something bigger comes along --- and doing a pretty crappy job running the place. Wildly inaccurate enrollment projections? Unnecessary teacher layoffs? Nutrition services? Washington Middle School principal? Licton Springs and Native American communities? Science adoption? HCC and TAF? Failure after failure. Where's the accountability?

It's clear Juneau is all about politics and herself.

If Juneau & Co. really cared about equity in HCC they would do everything they could to make HCC and AL bigger and better with greater diversity. Instead we've been told for years that "MTSS" is the answer, will serve all SPED kids, all HCC kids, all kids everywhere! Where's the evidence? Instead schools have eliminated Walk-to math, Spectrum, Honors classes. Gaps are still there.

If this was about equity and not politics, SPS would invest in growing learning opportunities, not eliminating them, bring more students into programs, not shutting them down. Where's the district's investment in identifying underrepresented students for HC or even AP and IB? You know why the district isn't interested in doing that? Because it takes EFFORT. And TIME. And actual WORK.

This is not about equity. It's all about optics. Ask Juneau why she couldn't find enough money to keep teachers in the spring but found money to hire a PR company to polish up her image. Take a look at Juneau's Journal. It's all about her. Take a look at the District web site. There isn't even a photo of the schoolboard -- just a bunch of kids. But there's Juneau of course.

This is not much different than when Goodloe-Johnson closed Title 1 schools, dispersed hundreds of kids of color and divided up APP into multiple locations 10 years ago during the closures. How did that benefit the FRL kids of TT Minor and Cooper and AAA who all got kicked out of their schools? How did it help Thurgood Marshall kids to suddenly share their school with the APP cohort? Didn't help anyone but the bureaucrats at the JSCEE who could say-- "Look ! Problem solved! Schools are integrated! APP is more accessible! Fewer FRL schools in SPS! We've closed all gaps! Magic!"

This is not about equity. This is all about optics and Juneau's resume. Just you watch how long she sticks around.

Tick Tock

Anonymous said...

@JuneausOnit?
HC isn't just about talent. It's about both innate talent as measured by IQ type testing and performance as measured by achievement tests in reading and math. Presumably the main reason underrepresented students are underrepresented in HCC is because not many of them are fulfilling the current eligibility criteria (that is why the universal testing in 2nd grade didn't help the numbers). No one is insinuating anything about innate intellectual talent but when less than 30% of AA males are achieving standard in math by 5th grade for example that clearly implies a problem with performance. Rainier Scholars also uses the same IQ and achievement type tests as SPS. I think the assumption is that the students Rainier Scholars is identifying are those that are not quite at the levels required to qualify for HCC initially, comes from their stated goal which is to prepare them for such ("to prepare and place scholars in college preparatory settings in independent schools and public schools offering highly capable programs. Our scholars receive more than 1,000 hours of academic enrichment, the equivalent of an entire school year beyond their regular school schedule and work approximately 1 to 3 grades above their current level.")
If those students picked up by RS were already achieving HC-qualifying scores in required domains - they should have already been in HCC. It's difficult to know exactly what terms to use here to denote HC qualified students versus those that have not been identified as qualifying but would likely thrive in such a program. But isn't that who we are talking about when we talk about underrepresented students?

Of course we know that gifted does not mean "working 2 grade levels ahead". But in the context of seattle's HCC program that is it - working 2 grade levels ahead in some subjects is the entirety of the HCC program offered by SPS.

Fake News

Melissa Westbrook said...


"Almost ALL arguments about reforming HC have to do with the underrepresented students not being able to do the work."

Nope. That's not true but you read into people's words what you want. I think it is REALLY weird that the discussion circles back to the cohort and NOT find kids of color who could benefit from the service.

I would have to concur with Tick Tock.

Something else to add to the list - it appears that someone at JSCEE is starting to dismantle the ELL program. I have the early word on that one.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the science curriculum, how is Amplify working out? Didn't it get rolled out to all K8s this fall? Haven't heard much about it.

Inquiring Minds

Anonymous said...

An actual gifted program would be seeking talent, not just well prepared students from highly educated families.

That approach, the SPS HC approach, has perpetuated injustice...and ya know it!

CogAT is NOT an IQ test, folks. It measures learning readiness.

Study Up

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If there are problems with CoGAT - what is to stop the district from using different test? What tests do other districts use for this purpose?

Some folks are arguing that SPS testing just identifies well prepared students from highly educated families, so why doesn't the district evaluate different ways of testing, look at the best practices research etc, look at which tests minimize these kinds of biases and adopt them instead?

It is well within SPS capabilities to reevaluate the type of tests and the scores required to qualify for HCC. It may be that the ones they use currently are widely used and reasonably accurate - I don't know. But I don't understand why this is being bypassed altogether in the quest for equity.

And even if those tests are primarily identifying well prepared kids from highly educated families - those kids are still academically advanced beyond most of their same grade peers and still require instruction beyond grade level.

talk about throwing the baby out with

the bathwater

Anonymous said...

@See Ya, don’t worry, the Board is so ineffective and the district so dysfunctional that much won’t happen. We’ll just continue to circle the drain until the State shuts us down for failing to improve and drop out rates soar because it’s so unbearable to go to school. We got this!

Sad Seattle

Anonymous said...

I hear some people will be eating crow instead of turkey tomorrow:

https://www.garfieldmessenger.org/5295/editorial/letter-to-denise-juneau/

More Noise Please

Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

I have just deleted several comments because that topic got its own post and has been discussed. You are welcome to go revisit it there.

Anonymous said...

MW says
"someone at JSCEE is starting to dismantle the ELL program. I have the early word on that one"

If you know something, say something before you leave town.

Fed Up

Anonymous said...

"And even if those tests are primarily identifying well prepared kids from highly educated families - those kids are still academically advanced beyond most of their same grade peers and still require instruction beyond grade level."

I agree with this and I think most reasonable people would as well. Seems to me the district should be offering multiple programs targeted towards goals for different populations? I think low income minority kids actually deserve a much better program than what HC provides. The district should offer a program like some here have described Rainier Scholars.

Here is something that might be of interest to people that I read awhile back in an education journal. I apologize as I looked again but cannot find the source. A hundred years ago the special education dept in NY formed as a response to the children of Southern Italian immigrants to NY. Many were children of laborers. The cognitive tests used at that time served to segregate and label them as inferior from Anglo Americans considered white. I assume we have made improvements in cognitive testing for immigrant and other kids. I hope.

I don't believe in a one size fits all education. We do need various programs targeted toward various kids. But I also get the complex issues surrounding this debate and race and poverty.

KL

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fed Up, I can't say more without causing issues for others. But my source is solid but do ask your Board members about it.

Another Parent said...

I want to share my perspective as an HCC parent because I believe many kids have been and continue to be hurt by a skewed reality.

- You Must Do Everything You Can to Support Your Child

Between our two “HCC” kids, one is better at math and one is better at reading, so I understand that different kids have different strengths. But I can guarantee 100% our kids would not be in HCC if as a family we did not support them. 50 books always at home from the library when they were age 1. Math facts in the car on family holidays. Screen time limits on their devices. Etc. It’s virtually impossible for a kid to score better than all the other kids in the same class in both reading and math if they are not also learning outside of school.

- You Must Appeal if You Believe it Might Help

So a first grader blows the reading test because the kid next to him was kicking his chair for an hour, or because he was feeling sick, or because it was time for recess and he wanted to go play football instead of answering more questions, or because of who knows what. And the parent pays for the child to be retested privately, the kid passes, and the parent appeals. If you’re poor, demand the district retest your child for free. If they say there is no chance, they’ll pass, demand your child is retested for free. If they refuse, go testify at the school board.

- You Must Help Your Child Prepare for Every Test in Life

I looked at copies of the CogAT sample tests because I studied for the SAT, the author recommends students take a practice test, and the CogAT tests “learned reasoning”. What I learned was I had better drill my kids on their math facts. I realized that the CogAT tests classification, and it would be a good idea as a parent to explain to my kids that apples are fruits when in the grocery, and cows are animals when driving through the countryside. And I realized that if they were to pass the reading test, that instead of watching TV with them, I needed to read with them every single day.

- You Must Not Believe Everything the District Tells You

My daughter had a teacher once told her that she would not assign her math homework because it was unfair to the kids that have nobody at home to help them. I had my son’s principal tell me that “all the research shows” that homework doesn't help after eliminating the weekly writing prompts. The administrator’s car sitting in the school parking lot would have taken my wife 23 years to pay for at her job before immigrating to the U.S. Doesn’t mean she’s right.

- You Must Move if You Are in An Underperforming School

If your child goes to an underperforming school, I would encourage you to pick up and move next week. It’s not because the teachers are bad, but it’s because the cohort does matter. Every single child in my student’s first-grade class that couldn’t read what tutored by a “privileged” volunteer college-educated parent. But that rarely happens in a school full of immigrants because it can’t and not because they don’t care.

- Eliminating or Shrinking Advanced Learning Won’t Help Anyone

There used to be a Spectrum Program that the district has gotten rid of. Did that help more students pass the SBAC? And the district got rid of walk-to-math. Did that help more students get into college?

I believe the district should pay for every student to be retested that wants to be retested. I believe the district should encourage every student to prepare for every single test, including the advanced learning eligibility tests. My son can retake his math tests after school if he wants a better grade, which simply encourages him to learn more. I believe the district should assign every student math homework, writing prompts, and reading assignments, because regardless of “all the most recent research”, its basic common sense. I would encourage parents to endure every hardship to move from a failing school. And I would encourage parents to never stop supporting and advocating for your kids.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have to amend that comment, Fed Up. I meant BOC (Bilingual Orientation Center)which is equally bad because these are the really recent immigrant students. My bad.

Another Parent, thank you for those insights.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course, it's not EL under the chopping block since it's part of civil rights law.

Glades Kravitz

Anonymous said...

BOC?!?!?
Over my dead body. Not that I have any influence but it will not go down without a fight.
Thanks for the tip.

Fed Up