Saturday, November 15, 2014

Purpose of HCC (APP)

There's a discussion in some of the recent threads about what the purpose of HCC (APP) is. Who is it for? What services should be offered? How big should the program be? Who is not being served that should? Are their children in the program now that might be better served by something else?

To start off the discussion, it might be useful to quote WAC 392-170-035
Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes
and WAC 392-170-036
Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics: (1) Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations; (2) Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers; (3) Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts; (4) Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and (5) Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.
This topic seems to come up a fair amount and doesn't seem to get a lot of traction each time, but let's open a new thread on it anyway since there seems to be a lot of interest. Please be aware that, every time we try to talk about this, trolls inevitably say that we should destroy HCC entirely and toss out personal attacks at all the parents and children in HCC, so brace yourself, be polite anyway, and try to have a thick skin.


Shannon said...

Greg, I would prefer to avoid this known and divisive discussion and focus on facilities. Could we have a facilities at Lincoln thread.

Anonymous said...

Shannon is 100% correct. Facilities please.

Anonymous said...

Me three! Can we close the thread?

Anonymous said...

I guess I wonder about something I've heard, I think I read it on Hoagies gifted, that tests can underreport giftedness but never overreport it, as in there are false negatives but not false positives. Do folks generally agree with this with respect to the cogat? Or just with private tests?

Anonymous said...

The APP program has grown tremendously since SPS started allowing MAP for the achievement portion of the entrance criteria. It used to be that only the respected Woodcock Johnson test was allowed for achievement. The Cogat has remained constant (at least for the 8 years we have been in the program). It would be hard to imagine that the number of APP qualified children has really increased this much over the last few years. I believe that using the MAP has hurt the program.

If anything, private testing is more accurate than district testing because they use the WISC, a proven test. For those who believe that psychologists make stuff up in order to make parents happy, this means nothing. I don't believe most psychologists would rick their license, not to mention their reputation, by making up results.


Anonymous said...

While I'm not one to shy away from tough discussions, I'm not sure I see the point in a lot of conversation over the purpose of the HCC and who should be in it right now. SPS doesn't seem to have any interest in determining whether the program is serving kids well or not, and also doesn't seem to have any intent to improve the program. We can discuss till we're blue in the face, but why bother?

Anonymous said...

Anon above,

Of course what you say is true. Given that what you say is true, why post anything ever on this blog or the Save Seattle Schools blog?

The district doesn't listen to parents - they do listen to lawsuits and sometimes parents are able to get together a group large enough that they have to listen. Otherwise, it's crickets.

I don't believe that the district cares about blogs, or the people involved in them, but at least it's a place to vent and hear what others think.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:21, I'm just saying pick your battles. This particular discussion, while in theory ESSENTIAL to the provision of a good program that meets the needs of those it serves, is not likely to spur any parents to action, nor is it likely to influence any change in SPS AL policies, procedures, services or programs. I believe strongly that this question of the intent of HCC--who it serves and why--should be central, and should drive services, but very clearly it is NOT an issue of interest to anyone at SPS. If there was strong consensus among SPS families that things should be a certain way, perhaps we could change things. As it is, however, there's a divide--folks with kids who could be considered very smart/high achieving and who appreciate having something a bit more rigorous than gen ed may feel one way, while parents of kids who score way in the upper tail on eligibility assessments and who exhibit more of the "highly gifted" characteristics, might see their kids aren't getting what they need and thus may feel another way. Both parents are "right" in their thinking. But until SPS has money and a genuine interest in meeting the needs of both sides, all the discussion we like isn't likely to change a damn thing. Better to focus the little energy we have left on things where we might stand a chance of making a difference (although I'm still searching for those... )

Anonymous said...

Using the MAP instead of WCJ for achievement testing maybe one factor causing an increase in HCC, but during the same period the district has also eliminated most of the traditional Spectrum Programs. Now parents of high achieving kids that are not satisfied with the Gen Ed classroom see HCC as the only option.