Task Force to Seattle Schools: Don't Dismantle Gifted Program

Comments

2

Dismantling the HCC will only drive more people into private schools and lessen voter support for Seattle Public Schools.

Instead, why don’t they concentrate on improving the education for the “regular” kids, and provide universal free breakfast and lunch, so that children will be prepared to learn?

3

" The task force recommends all students be tested for HCC."

The school district refuses to do this because they know they'll get the exact same outcomes.

4

Maybe parents need to be more involved in parenting at an early age? Engage their children in early learning and enrichment before they make it to school and force the school district to make gifted programs the normal for everyone?

5

"but low-income and English-as-a-second-language students may score 13 points lower and still be admitted."

So affirmative action. Which is illegal.

6

Turns out one of my colleagues has a kid in this. He's an Asian immigrant (now a US citizen), and he says that most of the kids he sees there are from immigrant families.

Maybe the School District needs better outreach to non-Asian communities to help them test their kids and get into the schools?

My kid already graduated from Seattle public school, so what do I know ... and his other kid goes to the same mixed-race elementary school my son started in as well, it's her older brother who is at one of the public gifted schools.

7

@5 move back to Idaho.

8

@3 This is true. The outcome would fall largely along socio-economic lines, which, guess what, will still fall along racial lines.

@4 Yeah, if you are a poor family or have a single parent, forget that 2nd job and paying your bills. You should be spending more time on early learning and enrichment for your child. It also costs a fortune, but you'll figure it out.

10

" The outcome would fall largely along socio-economic lines, which, guess what, will still fall along racial lines."

All the Chinese and Korean kids in my kid's HCC school come from non-english speaking, immigrant homes with parents who work insane hours and are not wealthy by any measure.

Some parent(s) simply don't care. Spend a few years in SPS and you'll spot them.

Turns out, values matter,

11

@10 and that's why China is kicking our ass

13

Will is kinda sorta autistic and doesn’t deserve all of his money and this is how he copes.

Maybe instead of making it sound like they pull all of the white kids from class they could say “I wish there were black kids in this class”?

But no. They’d rather whine and tear down than take the fucking time to tutor a black kid up to the required level.

Because progress isn’t in the dictionary.

14

Some parents game the system by privately testing their kids, even multiple times, in order to get a qualifying score. If you're wealthy enough and determined, you can make kid exceptional. Or at least separate them from the neighborhood kids.

15

@14 Poor parents (free and reduced lunchers) can get free private testing paid for by SPS. Of course, few make the effort to avail themselves of the opportunities laid out in front of them.

16

Because they don't have the money to afford themselves the time. "Laid out right in front of them" Life is easy when it's easy for you.

17

@11 -- What a stupid statement (you obviously weren't in the gifted program). China doesn't kick our ass in anything (except maybe table tennis). We still have the best universities in the world. Our inability to compete with various countries in Europe and Japan has a lot more to do with the way the country is managed. Put it this way, imagine the Dream Team -- the best set of basketball players in the U. S. -- losing to Senegal. That's embarrassing. To be fair, Senegal has good players, but nothing like the U. S. It would be obvious that management is to blame. Same with economics. We have the best workers in the world, but we fall short. Companies are too focused on short term goals, and not about long term ones. Boeing, for example, went from a company focused on building the world's best airplanes, to one interested in next quarter's profits. Ask anyone who has worked there for twenty years, they will repeat the same stories. They went from a great company to a fucked company. They don't have much competition (one company, really) yet they find themselves falling farther and farther behind.

The teachers are fine. The principals are fine. What differentiates us from most advanced nations are that we don't have the social support system of those other countries. If you come from a messed up family in Sweden, your family gets support. So when you get to school, you get a good education. In America, if your parents are fucked up, you're likely to be fucked up. Of course there are exceptions, but the safety net is so thin, that you are unlikely to get a good education. Not because your teacher can't teach, but because they only have so much time to deal with kids that are hard to teach.

Not that it matters. You are way better off being a dumbfuck in school with rich parents than you are a great student with poor parents. Studies have shown this, quite clearly. Nick Hanauer of all people, wrote a great article for the Atlantic recently where he broke it all down, and what that means for society. We shouldn't expect the schools to build a great middle class, we should expect a great middle class to build good schools: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/

As for what that means for the gifted program, it doesn't really matter. Most students in there aren't gifted. They are just hard working kids from a good (typically upper middle class) background. They work their ass off, and learn a bit more. But there is little evidence that they actually achieve more when it matters most -- in college and beyond. Oh, without a doubt they will get good SAT scores, which in turn (because they come from an upper middle class background) get them into a nice private university. They may go on and work at McKinsey. But in terms of actually achieving more, there is simply no evidence to support that. Those same kids, in regular classes going to state schools, are bound to achieve more than average, given their parental advantage and willingness to spend huge amounts of time in class.

It is also quite possible those classes are counterproductive. Their is a lot of evidence that kids need more time to think -- more time to eat lunch, more time to play at recess. It is quite possible that the gifted programs only help a handful (those that really are gifted; kids that can do algebra at six) while simply giving the rest of the students not enough time to be creative. Without a doubt that those students do better at tests -- it just that greatness doesn't come from doing well in tests. More and more, the only thing that matters is creativity -- something that can't be measured by filling in bubbles.

19

I demand more equity in high school basketball teams!

20

“Because they don't have the money to afford themselves the time.”

I know lawyers who work 60 hour weeks who find the time. Maybe turn off the TV for a while and do some research. Oh, and have two parents in the house who are married.

21

No no no.
There is a reason the AG office declined. EASEL has no case - Highly capable services are mandated, a cohort is not.
SPS has been operating under a racist system for generations, and the HC delivery model is a prime example. This is the time real change happens. And with Supt Juneau at the helm and the current school board. It will happen. We have the numbers. Trust me.

22

@1 - Teachers and principals are following program guidelines. That does not make them racists. But some even hide the program’s existence from parents.

So much to unpack below from @

“Most students in there aren't gifted.”

You’d have to define “gifted” but according to state standards for “highly capable” which is the legal phrase the State uses, these students are. Are all of them the 1% outliers? No.

“They are just hard working kids from a good (typically upper middle class) background. They work their ass off, and learn a bit more.”

They learn to their ability and that’s all any parent can ask. But “a bit” would seem to be code for “ no big deal.”

“But there is little evidence that they actually achieve more when it matters most -- in college and beyond.”

There’s also little evidence for that statement because gifted programming varies so widely.

“Oh, without a doubt they will get good SAT scores, which in turn (because they come from an upper middle class background) get them into a nice private university. They may go on and work at McKinsey. But in terms of actually achieving more, there is simply no evidence to support that.”

Does SPS say they will achieve “more?” No and it’s unclear why you harp on that.

But you want to know what there is real evidence for?

SPS has a near-zero record for implementing any large-scale reform. Take their districtwide MTSS reform which was going to take 3 years and now is in year 10 of implementation.
Given that many principals and teachers don’t like any kind of gifted programming, expect to see wide variations from school to school and lack of fidelity to implementation.
Show me the money. It will take huge amounts of money to differentiate both curriculum and teaching. Oh and time.
smaller class sizes would be nice if sending kids back to their attendance school is the plan. Not going to happen.
Unintended consequences - 1) some schools will become overenrolled and watch for the fallout from that. 2) if a school, like one with minority kids, has few highly capable kids, I’ll bet those kids will not get what they need.

I’m for reform and there are several thing the district could do. But breaking up the cohort should not be one of them. If it is, the Task Force says to pilot it at some schools first. Good call.

24

So typical of SPS: they feel the gaps between the achievers and the dullards is too great, so rather than try to push the dullards to higher levels of performance, they seek to shackle the smarties.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery" - Winston Churchill

25

“ SPS has been operating under a racist system for generations”

Then how come African immigrant children are doing so well that Juneau now separates their scores from african American kids.

Racism?

And good to see you ignoring all the Asian kids and their families. Like that’s not racist.

But I’m glad you see this setback for your cause. Clearly you’re not HCC material.

26

Punishing success, rewarding failure. The soft bigotry of low expectations.

27

@25
You are cute. I cannot help it but smile at your attempt to offend me. If you knew who I am you would apologize and leave the room.
The fate of HCC including the silly “pilot” has been decided. You watch it unfold.

28

"If you knew who I am you would apologize and leave the room."

Miss Apatos dear, if you are a fellow public servant or - worse yet - an elected official hiding behind a slog account, you should resign over that trumpian statement. You serve at the will of the taxpayers, just as I serve at the will of the ratepayers. You have no right to be grand, particularly if you can't defend your positions against the low-grade trolls of slog. And your smug assurance that a public policy's fate has already been decided is no better than Mitch McConnel or Lindsay Graham's assertions about the Senate trial of trump.

SPS depends on the largess of the Seattle voters. They've been exceedingly generous, I think to the point of a fault - especially when it comes to capital projects. Those voters should not be taken for granted.

29

Oh Catalina, don’t get worked up sweetheart. The beauty of it is I am not a public servant or elected official. I am just powerful.
Don’t worry about your tax paying dollars wasted on me. There are plenty others to worry about.

30

@29 Then wrap your SJW superpowers around my question: if SPS is so racist, how come African immigrant children are doing so well that Juneau now separates their test scores from african American kids?

31

Self-appointed "Powerful" people, in my observation, usually means a crank or bully who screams louder and longer than everyone else at "community outreach" meetings, or during public comment time at various civic boards or council meetings.

Enjoy your "power", dear.

32

@31 Nope. Not the case. You’d be surprised.
Have a good weekend sweets.

33

@30
I don’t have any SJW superpowers (is there such thing?) but can easily answer your question. How about you get yourself educated and read up history of the oppressed, how AA came to this country in chains and other undeniable facts?
And if you have questions for Juneau ask her directly.
Next.

34

@33 Ah, so It isn’t racism today then. Good to know because that explains why African immigrant kids are testing well in Seattle Public schools.

Must be values.

35

@21 etc

Dear Miss Apatos:

Or should I say, Manuela, president of the SCPTSA. Yes, it was easy to identify you by reading all of your comments on another blog.

The AG is still reviewing the complaint. You can call them and ask them. Ashley Gross did.

How did you know way back in June that the fix was in to get rid of HCC? And why are you putting confidential HR matters concerning principals on line for all to read?

Please be truthful. Discovery should be interesting.

36

@Miss Apatos: So you're "just powerful," huh? Bullshit. You are not a secretly influential person with special inside knowledge about the workings of the School Board. You are just another nobody trolling a comments forum.

37

@35
No, I know who Slye is and I don’t adhere to her beliefs. Good try. Throw some other names at me. You might just get lucky on this game of “Guess Who?”

38

@36
No, not school board or even Superintendent. There is a bigger picture. Keep guessing.
For now, I have had enough fun. Signing off.

39

Seattle already has a much higher percentage of school age children in private schools than the national average. Gutting programs intended for "smarter" kids will drive that percentage higher. That, in turn, will lessen support for the school district, and the ones who will suffer will be the low-income children.

I'm for reform where it makes sense, and a lot of the recommendations seem to make a lot of sense, as long as the programs stay high quality. And as long as it's not going to be some political nonsense, as hinted at by Our Dear Miss Apatos.

40

Miss Apatos had her time being annoying elsewhere. Coyness isn’t something most powerful people need in their toolbox. And all that “sweetie” stuff? Pretty juvenile.

41

As the parent of a Seattle student currently in the HCC, let me give a giant fuck no to this idea. My daughter will not receive anywhere near the education that she requires if she's forced to sit in a classroom with the disruptive morons who attend our neighborhood school. I've never considered moving to the suburbs, but if this happens, I'm out.