Sunday, March 31, 2013

Transportation changes coming

Over on the Seattle Schools Community blog, Melissa Westbrook writes that many changes may be coming to transportation.

Let's open a thread here just to discuss the APP-specific changes. As Melissa wrote, one of the proposals is to "End busing and ORCA cards for APP and IB programs" to save $700K. School Board President Kay Smith-Blum objected to that, pointing out that APP and IB students don't really have a choice of where to go to access their programs and that the district gets specific funding from the state for APP transportation, but apparently the proposal is still on the list.

57 comments :

Anonymous said...

I don't see how they can only have two locations in the city for elementary and not provide any transportation.

Anonymous said...

well really for all grades--not just for elementary--and after all since APP kind of doesn't have a choice, don't they have to provide transportation? Not just a metro pass, for kids of all ages crossing town, but a ride...!?

Anonymous said...

But should high school students really have a yellow bus pick them up every morning at Garfield to transport them to Ingraham, because they would rather go to Ingraham than Garfield? And they are brought back south of the ship canal in yellow buses also in the afternoon. This happens every day. Seems like excessive choice, and quite a deluxe setup, when everyone else has no choice. Plus, these students get ORCA cards, which they pass around like party favors to friends who don't have them. And most upperclassmen drive, but still get ORCA cards. The system as it exists is wasteful on many fronts, no matter where the money is coming from.

hschinske said...

My son uses his ORCA card to get to and from the stop for the yellow bus, which is quite some distance from our house. And as we're a one-car family, he's not going to be driving.

Helen Schinske

katie said...

The yellow bus from Garfield to Ingraham is provided to all students, not just APP, because it is a cheaper way to manage capacity.

Ingraham is all the way in the NW corner of the city and not very accessible. Additionally, Ingraham's service area is the smallest because of the proximity to Ballard and Hale. Garfield is the most crowded high school service area, in part because of the huge service area.

So it is not excessive choice. It is a strategy to balance enrollment that is working. We are considering Ingraham in large part because of the yellow bus. Otherwise, it is three separate metro busses and over an hour to Ingraham.

Anonymous said...

the background on the yellow bus service from Garfield to Ingraham was based on equity for the southend(and so potentially students of color) to have access to Ingraham

Garfield is centrally located whereas Ingraham is not, it is about 20 miles from the southern part of the district to Ingraham, only about 10 miles to get to Garfield from anywhere in the city

AP and IB are not the same program and IB is the only option for joining APP at high school, so if a highly gifted student is not identified until high school the idea is you provide access, by bus

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:19am, the bus from Garfield through Capitol Hill and North Seattle and the bus from Queen Anne/Magnolia were created for the APP program at Ingraham but all students can ride. They have nothing to do with race, but as an earlier poster said, help to increase access for students who would have a long metro bus ride. They are very well used and are only provided in the morning. We know that there was a movement to start a West Seattle Bus as well, as many APP Washingtonites were seriously looking at Ingraham, not sure what is happening with that... The District really wants APP families to choose Ingraham so they are providing every incentive to do so and as a result are creating a great program with many benefits. My child is currently in 9th Grade there and likes it more than any school experience he has had this far.

Ingraham Mom

Anonymous said...

Magnolia Mom, Thurgood Mashall's capacity is listed at 383 and its enrollment is listed at 450. It is not a solution for Nothern overcrowding.

Anonymous said...

It has been suggested that anyone that qualifies for APP could rightfully request an IEP (Individualized Education Program)with an IEP comes the obligation of transportation because it recognizes the need for specialized education that may take the student outside of standard school assignment patterns. Anyone know about this?

-IEP curious-

Anonymous said...

IEP curious, who suggested this? Seriously? Arrgh, I can't take this anymore.

Anonymous said...

Sure, you can request an IEP, but good luck getting one. Qualifying for APP does not make you eligible.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

I called OSPI once inquiring about GIEP's or Gifted Individual Education Programs. They were thoroughly confused. Some states offer them, ours does not.

Anonymous said...

The idea for APP families to apply for IEPs came from an APP staff member out of desperation, as perhaps the only way to call to the district's attention that APP is valid.

It is true that our state does not recognize gifted learning as a whole. The suggestion was that it might take a pile of IEPs to get recognition from the district. Seems that it would take care of transportation too.

I am not saying I think it is a great idea, but it is one idea.

-IEP curious-

Anonymous said...

Door to door taxi service, too, with IEPs!

Anonymous said...

As someone who has an APP child with an actual IEP for a bona fide learning issue, this suggestion frustrates me. As if we don't have enough trouble getting him accommodated, now we're going to make a farce out of IEPs so no one takes them seriously? Please!

--argh

Anonymous said...

Many people believe that gifted learning consitutes the need for "an actual IEP for a bona fide learning issue." Heck there are entire states that believe it!

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, anonymous at 4:20, I should have said "disability." I'm well aware that APP students have special learning needs; I have two of them. I am just wondering what vehicle I use to get my son's disability accommodated when every child in his class has an IEP? Surely there must be another way to advocate for transportation.

--argh

Anonymous said...

"an APP staff member out of desperation" said this? I am having hard time believing an AL dept staff suggesting this, much less a teacher. Do you know how much time and cost an IEP take? This state doesn't even fund basic ed and you want to throw the money that we have for APP IEPs. Somehow other districts are able to provide advanced learning with far less drama, greater efficiency, and directly. In some cases, that means dealing with limited seats, wait list, or just 1 or 2 tier AL, and no tranportation to site. As for "states that believe it", what that does mean? Believe what? Which states are these? I go to the NAGC site and some states may fund G& T programs more, but they are also reeling from budget shortfalls and those fundings are not sustained year to year with cutbacks. Not to mention how much more and more basic ed funding is going to pay for common core and standaridzed testings.

Meanwhile, we have special ed students who in this district are poorly served and I can't justify going there for this. If you think people don't "believe" in APP now, then this stunt will seal that disbelief.

Anonymous said...

It was a teacher from HMS that offered the IEP for APP idea in a public forum.

Here is a state that is committed to serving Gifted Ed and Sp Ed the same:
"Special Education Services (SES) provides technical assistance to all education agencies serving Alabama’s gifted children as well as children with disabilities."

-IEP curious-

do we need a new thread for this?

Anonymous said...

From the Davidson Institute site, a quote from Halbert and Nancy Robinson's book "Developmental approaches to giftedness and creativity." from 1982 (language is dated)

"A "simple" solution has seemed feasible: Individualized instruction has been advanced as the answer to meeting the needs of diverse children of the-same age. The classroom teacher is thought capable of providing for differences in performance levels both between children and within the same child. Paradoxically, this is in some ways a much easier task when the child is moving slowly through the curriculum than when he or she is moving rapidly, for the duller child uses up lesson plans at a much slower rate. With bright pupils, the classroom teacher often simply can not keep up. If an enrichment program is provided by a special teacher, it in turn must provide for differences in rates of learning or the very advanced gifted child will again be seriously underchallenged."

Anonymous said...

The idea isn't as out there as some may think. An example is from Cincinnati Public Schools, where their goal is to "ensure a positive learning environment for all students...every day." The have what they call WEPs (Written Education Plans) for identified gifted learners.

http://www.cps-k12.org/Academics/Gifted/Gifted.htm

http://www.cps-k12.org/general/Pyramid/ParGuide.pdf

Anonymous said...

I don't know that folks here think the idea of IEPs for gifted kids is "out there"...it's just the reality of something like that happening in SPS that seems far-fetched.

As the parent of an extreme outlier for whom we sought a minor accommodation (at no cost to the district), we looked into this as one way to get a shred of cooperation, but no matter who we talked to at the district it was like we were speaking a foreign language.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am new to this blog and was wondering if any HIMS parents could speak to this issue. We are 5th Grade TM parents and have applied to attend HIMS APP instead of WMS APP next year for our daughter. In our conversations mainly with WMS staff, the leadership team at the school seems to have little concern for the welfare of either APP or Spectrum students. They have said, I quote, in your child's 8th Grade Year, self contained classes will not exist for science or social studies as we attempt to accomodate the learning needs of other students oustide your program. This and other tidbits I have heard along with my child's own discoveries have led us to believe the APP program is in decline at WMS from what it once was. Can anyone speak to the valadity of this? It seems that at HIMS, while many tecahers may not be the best, the overall climate is much more supportive towards Advanced Learning programs, particularly with the higher percentage of AL students in the building.

TM 5th Grade Family

Anonymous said...

Have you spoken to enrollment about your plan? I think your chances in getting into HIMS are nil. North or south families can choose the APP school out of their area, but they will only get in if there is room. There is no room at HIMS. Current APP 6th graders will likely get booted before 8th grade due to lack of space.

I have spoke to the new principal at HIMS many times, and I believe she supports APP. I hope teacher changes are made over the summer to make 6th grade and 8th grade stronger.

As for the issues at WMS, science and SS are part of APP and they are to be self-contained. I know Kay Smith Blum has been involved in this issue in the past. I would email her and your board member (if KSB isn't your rep), and make sure they know what you are being told.

Long-time app

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anon at 9:44pm, we did talk to enrollment and submitted a choice request form for APP at HIMS and apparently there is a different waiting list for APP than there is for the rest of the school. I will talk to Kay Smith-Blum about this, but I am pretty sure that 7th APP Physical Science is no longer self contained at Washington. It may be just Spectrum 8th Graders mixed in, but at least you think they would have made this knowledge available publically and it seems that those 8th graders simply skip a year of science going from Science 7 to Physical Science or are the 6th APP classes mixed too? I hope to hear back from her soon.

TM 5th Grade Family

Anonymous said...

TM 5th Grade Family-

Will you please report back here and update us on what happens about the mixed classes? If WMS is, in fact, mixing classes, they are essentially ending APP. Either APP exists or it doesn't, and WMS should not be able to claim they have it when they don't. WMS should also not be able to disband it because it's convenient.

While we are not a family who will go to WMS, I would take this as a sign of support -or lack of- for APP district-wide. If WMS is allowed to disband APP, we should all be writing to Banda to ask him if APP is going to continue. Rigor in APP has been sliding for years, and mixing classes would be the end.

-For Whom the Bell Tolls

Anonymous said...

I actually don't see the problem with mixed classes for science or math, as long as the class itself sticks to the stated curriculum, and they try to keep the mixing to 2 grade levels, not 3. If 8th grade Spectrum and 7th grade APP are "mixing" for Physical Science, what is the big deal? They should both be at the same level math wise - taking Algebra concurrently with Physical Science. Also, it would only be for 7th grade Physical Science, as only APP 8th graders take biology.

Anonymous said...

Anon-

Classes are ALREADY mixed for math and math is NOT considered part of the APP curriculum after elementary.

The only classes that are APP only in middle schools are Science and LA/SS.

I, personally, would like to keep the little that is left. If the district and schools is going to insist on little by little dismantling the program, just chop off the head already and get it over with. I would rather the district not pretend that there is a program anymore.

-For Whom the Bells Toll

Mercermom said...

This is what the WMS website says about Biology, which is what APP kids take in 8th grade:

Biology 8th grade**
Biology is a year-long course that is centered on the science of living organisms and how they interact with their environment. The biology curriculum is guided by the Washington state science standards. Students study the structure and function of cells, matter and energy, continuity, genetics, biotechnology, evolution and ecology. Students complete multiple projects to improve their understanding of systems, inquiry, and biology content. Students also participate in a science, engineering, or technology-based competition and display their work at the WMS Science Fair. The prerequisite knowledge gained in physical science is important for understanding the complex processes of biology. Students in biology have the opportunity to earn high school credit and take the Biology End of Course (EOC) exam which is now a requirement for students to graduate from high school.

**Physical Science and Biology are required APP Science classes. For non-APP students concurrent assignment to Algebra or Geometry is necessary for participation in these classes.

Maureen said...

I thought that accelerating science for APP was a very new thing? It seems to me that they just started taking Physical Science and Bio within the last few years, so even if 7th grade science includes Spectrum 8th graders, aren't the APP students still better off than they were three years ago? To currently enrolled families, is APP about acceleration, or only about the cohort? Yes, ideally both, but in practice, does it really hurt APP kids to have Spectrum kids sit in an accelerated class with them? Especially since many of those kids would qualify for APP if they didn't have to be so high in both reading and math MAP scores.

I've got to honest, this sort of freakout is where APP families start losing the support of other District parents.

Mercermom said...

I have long thought it was crazy that Spectrum kids had no access to an accelerated science class, as it seems to devalue science in comparison to math and reading/social studies. Since some APP kids may only be taking geometry by 8th grade, given the individualized assessment for math placement, it seems reasonable that their classmates who are at the same math level should be able to take an equivalent science class. This also would help address the fact that SPS provides no acceleration for kids who test eligible for APP in a single subject (albeit imperfectly).

Anonymous said...

If your child is still able to take the same level classes, then what are you losing? As long as the accelerated pathway is still available, doesn't the program still exist? No, it's not the same as self-contained, but the mixing of classes does help with scheduling and class availability. And yes, math classes are already mixed. Has it really been an issue?

-mixing a-ok with this APP family

Anonymous said...

I agree that giving access to Spectrum kids to accelerated Science is a great improvement for those kids and is not "hurting" APP students.

Most families come to realize that by the latter part of middle school and most certainly high school there is absolutely no reason not to mix kids that can all do the same level work. To suggest that APP needs to stay in a "bubble" in order to maintain the program is ridiculous.

If your child seriously is not able to function and learn in an environment that includes like-minded kids that may have scored 5% less than your child on a standardized test, then you definitely need to seek out an alternative educational and social environment.

Our child is currently experiencing the "horrible" changes to the program described by TM 5th grade family - and guess what? He is enjoying the experience.

-WMS Family

Anonymous said...

There have been many posts on this blog about 6th grade students slowing down Alg 1 for the APP 7th graders. The teachers can only go as fast as the slowest group of students.

Again, if mixing groups is fine, why have a program at all? I have never seen a kid removed from a class because they can't keep up. I wouldn't want a kid to be in this situation, but if a kid is struggling, a teacher is forced to help them instead of moving on with the rest of the kids who are not struggling.

Maureen posted: "Especially since many of those kids would qualify for APP if they didn't have to be so high in both reading and math MAP scores"

There are currently entrance requirements for APP. Changing those is a different discussion than the mixing of classes. APP middle school currently means self-contained classes for science and LA/SS. If APP is no longer going to be such, it should be spelled out and websites should be corrected. You cannot have schools willy-nilly deciding how the program should be. To me, the ability for schools to dismantle the program because they want to, is even more concerning than the mixing of the classes.

Does no one see what is happening to Spectrum around the district? I can't believe I am the only person concerned that APP is going down that road.

-For Whom the Bell Tolls

Anonymous said...

Allowing Spectrum 8th graders (or any kid who is capable of the subject, I would think) to take Physical Science sets them up for the more rigorous science pathway at Garfield. It levels the playing field for high school course work, and ultimately, creates competitive transcripts for college admission. There is no reason a capable Spectrum 8th grader should have to take Physical Science in 9th grade just because the APP cohort at Washington is offended that non-APP 8th graders are in class with their 7th grade APP cohort. The APP kids are really going to be okay, really. Why deny capable students the opportunity to excel, especially since the repercussions for high school course work and transcript are huge? As Maureen said, this kind of reaction is so exclusionary that it does help to give the elite tag some merit. Calm down everyone. Your kids are fine, and they will mix with other capable kids at Garfield, and go to great colleges.

Anonymous said...

OK. OK. Here is what the district website says:

"Service delivery is through a self-contained program during grades 1-8. "

It's not a matter of me thinking that my child is a precious flower - the first canard that ALWAYS comes out when I just want the district to follow their own guidelines for their program.

Fine, SPS, don't follow your own rules, but at least grow up and say that's what you are doing.

-sheesh

Anonymous said...

Agreed that schools should not be given such freedom in changing the program, but that is a separate issue from whether or not APP classes will suffer somehow by mixing with what would mostly be Spectrum qualified students. The AL programs have been suffering for years because of a lack of definition around program delivery.

Parents should be pushing for more definition around APP curriculum, so no matter how the program mixes, or splits, or morphs in the future, there is still some assurance of appropriately challenging classes for identified students. If there were AL defined requirements for gifted ed training and a more defined curriculum, perhaps there wouldn't be such a clinging to the self-contained model.

Anonymous said...

The 6th grade Algebra students are slowing down the 7th grade class because they were identified as being ready to Algebra based on a flawed test (MAP).

No shocker really.

Not the same thing at all as 8th Grade Spectrum students taking Physical Science with 7th Grade APP students.

-WMS Family

Anonymous said...

If the idea is that APP provides acceleration only, then I don't see any problem with mixing APP students and qualified Spectrum students for classes. However, my understanding of APP was that it goes beyond a simple wish to move kids ahead, and that at it's foundation there is a recognition that many of these kids at the extreme end of the curve learn differently--and that putting them in a class with kids who are also very smart but who learn and process more typically will not benefit these outliers, and may in fact do them harm.

I have two APP kids--one happy to work with anyone at whatever pace, and the other who would go insane sitting in a slower moving class of kids who may be less serious about their education. I'm not suggesting that all Spectrum students are less motivated than all APP students, but my middle schooler really feels a difference in his APP vs. non-APP classes. Classes that include gen ed and Spectrum students are much less rigorous--the kids goof around a lot, don't seem to try hard, and the work move slowly and is not challenging. If highly gifted kids tend to "get things" very quickly and not need as much repetition as other kids, doesn't this mean mixed classes will either bore them with a lot of unnecessary repetition, or do a disservice to those other kids who need the repetition that isn't provided? As classes are opened up to more and more students, the speed and depth with which the material is covered will likely change. Yes, they might all be getting Physical Science, but just because it's the same topic doesn't mean it's the same class. I'm sure it would all work fine for some students however it's done, but I fear for those at the extreme end of the curve--those who need APP the most.

I know this is likely not a popular opinion, and I'm sorry if Maureen and others add me to the "freakout" list for expressing my views on this. I truly don't see any problem with kids mixing, when all can get what they need out of the classes. However, I feel that many APP families and APP-criticizers don't really understand what APP means to some kids. There are a lot of "regular" smart kids in APP, who would be fine in a variety of settings and with a variety of kids. It's great that they get access to APP, but I don't think they really NEED it. There's another group, however, who does need it, and who needs it to be strong, faster-paced, more rigorous, etc. The current version of APP is not quite there, and unfortunately things seem to be moving in the wrong direction...

Mother of Outlier who Needs a Stronger APP

Anonymous said...

This has only become an issue the last couple of years since the science curriculum was accelerated in middle school, allowing APP 8th graders to take Biology for high school credit. APP kids now start high school taking Marine Bio or Chemistry at Garfield. If other capable students are not allowed to take Physical Science in middle school, they will be 2 years behind the APP kids in science throughout high school, for no reason, except the APP kids got the chance to accelerate and by doing so, their non-APP peers were pushed back a year. Before 3 years ago, all 9th graders at Garfield who had a strong middle school science background took Biology, APP and non-APP. When the Biology was pushed down to middle school for APP, suddenly APP could take the 10th grade classes at GHS and everyone else had to take physical science, a two year gap in rigor. Fortunately, the district did not follow through on this pathway. If you are in the same math sequence, whether you are in 7th or 8th grade, district policies that were put in place years before the curriculum acceleration in middle school happened just 3 years ago, should not restrict students from taking the most rigorous courses available to them, either in 8th grade or throughout high school. The district policies need to be revised to catch up with the curriculum acceleration and the consequent repercussions for high school coursework and transcripts for all students, especially those capable and working towards competitive college admission. Which is not a domain solely populated by APP students, by any means.

Maureen said...

I agree that the Advanced Learning website should reflect what the program actually is now as opposed to what it was thought to be five years ago.

I do not believe that APP/Spectrum designation (from perhaps seven years earlier) is the best indication as to which 12-14 year olds are best able to accelerate in science. I expect there are many APP middle schoolers who are holding APP outliers back more than many Spectrum kids would. If APP kids were reevaluated and reassigned on a regular basis that might not be the case, but as long as kids who got the designation when they were five automatically get assigned to APP accelerated science, I think the classes should be open to Spectrum kids who have shown themselves capable of doing the math required.

True outliers are going to have trouble with same age peers no matter what and some of them will just have to hang in there until they can enroll at UW when they are 14. If they are lucky, their teachers will work with them to make the coursework challenging.

Anonymous said...

The outlier dilemma is a matter for changing entrance requirements for APP, which is a conversation no one seems willing to have. The profoundly gifted outliers suffer as much or more with the current APP configuration as the kids who are restricted from excelling because of outdated district policies.

Anonymous said...

Let everyone who needs more challenging classes have them, but also honor the commitment the district has made to the highly gifted, giving them a chance to work at an appropriate level.

Mixing classing is not allowing that to happen for many APP kids. It does slow down classes and simply shifts the educational loss. No matter how much some like this arrangement it is against district policy.

APP and Spectrum qualifications are different for a reason and as such validate the separate needs of two kinds of learners. I am all for both groups getting properly educated.

What is not ok is to presume that the two groups have the same needs. I think anyone with a kid in the extreme end of the highly gifted pool supports higher qualification for APP entry.

ok with being unpopular

Maureen said...

ok, How many kids would you estimate are in the extreme end of the highly gifted pool in any given grade at Hamilton? How did you arrive at that number?

Anonymous said...

There is no way a random parent can guess how many outliers there are at HIMS. Our family has been in APP for six years, and I don't know half of the APP kids at HIMS because 50% of the 6th graders are new. Any guess would be only that and therefore useless.

I also think this guessing is beside the point. APP has entrance criteria and a district rule of self-contained classes. If that's not what it is, then the definition should be changed. If it is supposed to be as the definition currently is, then the district needs to go those principals not following the rules and enforce them.

-another HIMS parent

Maureen said...

I'm thinking of an order of magnitude, not a precise number. If there are 100 APP kids at any given grade level, I'm thinking there would be about two who are more than 1.5 sigma away from the center quartile (It's been over 20 years since I learned that, so I could be wrong, but I think the order of magnitude is about right.) Of course, my definition of extreme end of highly gifted pool might not match yours (and that is actually probably the real point here.)

Anonymous said...

I think the real point is that there is an existing definition for who should have specialized highly gifted classes and those are defined as self-contained for a reason.

I have absolutely nothing against kids at all ability levels, but I have seen repeatedly where kids are held back significantly because what once were classes for APP are now shared with a wider range of abilities.

It is a real problem, not elitism.

Anonymous said...

Back again,

We have talked about the mixed-grade math issue at HIMS and Ms. Watters seems willing to commit resources to make it work, and change back to the old model if it doesn't. Our family is fine, even happy at Spectrum kids getting Physical science in 8th grade but believe they should have their own class. Our family used to attend the Lawton spectrum program and after one year of mixed classes left, the cluster grouping does not work. People are at different levels, we are even, with my daughter's suggestion, holding off on Algebra 1 till 7th grade. Skipping any content, no matter how small, seems a mistake. And so many are doing poorly, and are holding up the older children, that unless they have their own class, it doesn't seem correct. Gifted ed is more than acceleration, it is a special learning style taught to a needy group of highly capable students.

TM 5th Grade Family

Anonymous said...

WMS has been a wonderful APP experience for our son. Just wanted to speak up since there don't seem to be many WMS parents here. We've had s3 years of solid science, math, LA/SS, great music, committed principal who can balance all programs, phenomenal counselors. We're so grateful we've been here at the original APP middle school. The program is strong with full support from the administration, an excellent experience for the students.

-now looking forward to Garfield

suep. said...

Maureen - On what facts did you base this notion?

"I expect there are many APP middle schoolers who are holding APP outliers back more than many Spectrum kids would."

How can you -- or anyone -- possibly know this?

Have you had much direct experience within APP?

I ask because I'm hearing random speculation that has little to do with the reality of what families are experiencing with the district's lack of commitment to advanced learning in general, and the changes in APP since the splits in particular

Exaggerated terms like "freakout" reflect a lack of understanding of the recent history of APP since the 2009 splits.

I also don't buy the notion that giftedness somehow wears off and therefore kids should be re-tested repeatedly (which, btw, would be extremely costly).

I do believe the district should test all kids for AL in first or second grade, as is done in other districts -- with an actual AL test, not MAP -- to better identify all the kids in the district who need AL, and serve them accordingly.

And I agree with those who see the dismantling of Spectrum as a bad sign that does not bode well for AL in SPS.

Syd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syd said...

I think all HS students who live more than 2.5 miles from school get Orca cards, not just APP. Does the new transportation plan affect all HS students? What about middle school? Who gets Orca cards in middle school? There are certainly a lot of MS kids on my bus in the morning, but I can't tell if these are distributed by the school.

Maureen said...

(I'm sorry, I know I helped this thread get so off topic!)

sue, I'd be happy to sit down with you and sketch out the model I am thinking of:

Think of three bellcurves (APP, Spectrum and Gen Ed) reflecting the distribution of "science ability" by subpopulation. I think that it's reasonable to believe that (especially when you control for "math ability") a big chunk of the Spectrum distribution will be at a higher "science ability" level than a significant (though probably smaller) chunk from the APP distribution. There will also,of course, be Gen Ed students who have higher "science abilities" than some APP students. The only way this wouldn't be true is if the three bell curves don't overlap at all which seems impossible given the way kids are selected to each group.

If lower "science ability" in some classmates makes the whole class go more slowly (which some posters here seem to believe is true) then there will be some APP students who are "holding back" their classmates more than many of the Spectrum qualified (and math screened) classmates would.

Anonymous said...

I think that this Spectrum vs APP as far as "different learning needs" is totally bogus. Those spectrum kids coud have higher cogs than most of the app kids, and just need more challenge, or a program that allows for their way of learning.

I have two kids, both tested in w/o appeal, son to app, daughter to Spctrum. The end of last year we had the privately tested for iq. Son is in the 99.8th percentile, daughter in the 99.9. Does anyone want to tell me my daughter doesn't deserve ap or app because she "only" tested into spectrum? I'm sure if my family is in this boat, we are not the only ones.

Jen C

Anonymous said...

No, Jen C, you aren't! My kid did not do well on district group testing and we knew his scores were low but didn't care. He didn't even get into Spectrum. The year we had him tested for private admissions he was 99.9% on the WISC.

Anyone that thinks that kids testing into APP are ON AVERAGE much different from kids testing into Spectrum is misguided I'd say!

Anonymous said...

We received our student's school assignment letter today.
It says:
School: Ingraham - 9th grade
Transportation Eligibility: Metro (ORCA Card)
Does this mean that there won't be any yellow bus service from QA/Magnolia next year?
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

HIMS mom,

Unless something has changed, the Orca cards are in addition to the QA shuttle.

APP IBX parent