Breaking: Center School Race and Gender Curriculum Reinstated—Mostly

Comments

1
Hmm. Mostly good, probably. But some people find any talk about race (and gender and sexuality) that doesn't conform to the "that-was-then" model threatening.
2
We're never going to find out what the original complaint was, are we?
3
As long as white people aren't uncomfortable everything will be just fine.

I still cannot get over the irony of a school district that is being investigated for racist practices trying to lecture teachers on how to teach race and social justice issues.

5
@4: A white student felt uncomfortable when the whole 'courageous conversations' about white privilege were occurring, and his rich, white parents complained about it.

Disgusting.
6
@2 and @4: We're working on it.
7
Wait, what? Courageous Conversations was specifically written for professionals working with K-12 students. The book itself wasn't meant for students, but the curriculum inside it is.
8
Wait - and this is a totally minor point - but if the course was calling itself an AP course it should have had its curriculum approved way back around 2006. The CB has been requiring that for years and years now.
9
My feelings on this ending is mixed. It sounds to me like this is almost a gag order. Go ahead and teach the subject, just don't "talk" about it. I'm hoping it turns out well for Greenburg and TCS. My son graduated from there in 2010 and Mr Greenburg made a lasting impression.
11
Marone, good point and, in fact, Courageous Conversations IS used by other districts for use in the classroom. The district is wrong on this point.

There are those of use who are working on finding out what the real issue was. Students in the class have been asked - by journalists, not the district - what they saw or heard. They have no idea.
13
@10, You can be skeptical about race and social justice classes all you want. But there is plenty of evidence to indicate that this kind of curriculum, available to minority students, can lead to dramatically better grades and much higher graduation rates. Sure, it makes some white students (or more likely their parents) uncomfortable, but they are in fact very effective classes.
14
There's a lot not to like here.

This review of the course was not done in accordance with District policy and procedure. There is, in fact, no written procedure for such a review. The district created a committee to review the course but did not follow the procedure for creating a committee.

The District did not follow the procedure for investigating the student's complaint. The complaint was not about the course or the content but about Mr. Greenberg's conduct. The complaint was made under policies 3207 (intimidation) and 3210 (discrimination). Both policy 3207 and 3210 have clear procedures for handling complaints but neither of those procedures was followed.

The superintendent is supposed to follow policy and procedure and the Board is supposed to make sure he does. The Board failed in their duty and failed spectacularly.

The course does not have to meet the AP requirements because it is not an AP course. The school believes that the course provides the necessary rigor and depth to prepare a student to take the AP test, and they invite students who take the course to take the test, but it is not an AP class. Nathan Hale High School offers classes on a similar basis.

There is lots of reason to believe the Courageous Conversations are age-appropriate for high school seniors. You should see what is on the district approved reading list for them:
http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/gr…
It includes
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez, Black Boy by Richard Wright, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Odyssey, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.

But they are too immature to discuss their own experiences or hear about their classmates experiences? Really?

Every part of this thing stinks.
15
@6 - I hope so. This story isn't very interesting without the one detail that serves as its crux.
16
The Seattle School district has been famously incompetent since I can remember.