Monday, February 22, 2010

No response to the APP Review?

Over on the Seattle Public Schools community blog, Charlie Mas writes:
There has been no response [from the District] to the APP Review [PDF], done about two years ago.

When will we see a response? When will we even see any news about the efforts to make a response?

An aligned, written, taught and tested APP curriculum was supposed to have been implemented concurrent with the splits in the program. The legitimacy of the splits was predicated on the implementation of this curriculum, but there is none.

Where is the APP curriculum? When will it be implemented? How will it be enforced? Who will enforce it?

Update: In the comments, Charlie Mas adds that because "the curriculum, which was promised and promised and promised, has yet to appear" that "it is time for APP families to advise the District that their children will not be participating in the WASL this year - nor any year until the APP curriculum has been implemented." That seems sure to generate a lively discussion. What do APP parents think of that?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Open thread

Discuss whatever you like!

Update: There are a bunch of topics in this thread, but this recent comment by ArchStation seems particularly likely to generate sparks. Let me highlight the key bit:
We know of other families leaving APP because they are dissatisfied with the math curriculum and perceived instability of APP and SPS ... [I] think that there might be room for another gifted private or co-op school in Seattle.

Who would really be interested in leaving the APP program for an alternative gifted school? Is there enough of a critical mass to make this a viable option? What model would appeal to you: a small homeschool co-op, a new private school for gifted kids, something in between, or some other model I haven't mentioned?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Q&A for new APP parents

With the APP eligibility e-mails out, parents new to APP are full of questions. For example, in the earlier open thread, one parent asked:
We got our letter on Friday with good news (qualified for APP). My daughter is a 7th grader right now, so if we chose to join the program, she will move to WMS in the fall for her last year of MS. I would appreciate any comments/suggestions how to handle such a "late" transition to the program. She is very strong at math (homeschooled after school using Singapore math books) and theoretically she would be ready for Algebra II in the fall. However, I heard that they do not offer it anymore in WMS. How do they place the newly coming kids into the appropriate math level: testing in September? Also, what languages are they offering in WMS?
Another wrote:
I am new to this site as my daughter just qualified for middle school APP (Hamilton). We didn't expect it, really, but want to explore this option fully.

So can any Hamilton parents tell us what they think? We are especially concerned about math and science as we have a girl who is good in both. I heard science is a weak link. Thanks!
In addition to those questions, let's do a general Q&A here. New APP parents, please post questions as comments on this thread. Existing APP parents, please chime in to help answer them.

Update: Please also use this thread for questions about appealing APP eligibility. There are already a few questions about that in the comments.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Court cases on state funding and Discovery Math

Charlie Mas writes in the comments to an earlier thread:
Two important court cases decided today.

1. Court rules that the state is NOT fulfilling its constitutional duty to fully fund education.

2. Court finds that Seattle Public schools choice of high school math textbooks was capricious and arbitrary and directs to Board to reconsider the adoption.
More details and good discussions going on the posts ([1] [2]) over at the Seattle Public Schools Community Blog.

Please see also our earlier thread, "Gregoire's budget cuts APP".

Update: Five weeks later, Cliff Mass -- UW professor, well-known weather blogger, and a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the math textbooks -- writes, "Seattle, Bellevue, and Issaquah: School Districts Versus Good Math Education".