There are a lot of other interesting issues raised in the article but relevant to our focus is this paragraph:
"Part of the answer may lie in more money for counselors trained in dealing with trauma and for academic tutors. But Howard is no longer waiting. Next year he intends to abolish most out-of-school suspensions and, in response to a push from the faculty, cut honors history and English for ninth grade, chipping away at a system that traditionally tracks gifted middle-schoolers — mostly white — into Garfield’s Advanced Placement curriculum."
There have been whispers that this might be coming but as far as I can tell this is first official confirmation. (Why has this not been discussed in more normal channels?)
Assignment to the classes was not based on HCC eligibility but respectively:
English: "Students will be assigned based on their HSPSE test scores and their grades in 8th grade Language Arts."
World History: "Passing the Reading and Writing sections of the previous WASL exam and reading at or above grade level, or approval of History Dept Chair"
PTSA EmailHere's the email from the Garfield PTSA received today:
Garfield HS PTSA
June 25, 2016
Dear Garfield Community,
As you may have seen, the Seattle Times published an article this morning about Mr. Howard and Garfield. The in-depth article addressed race and equity issues at Garfield and quoted a number of people, including Mr. Howard, the Mayor's education adviser, students and parents.
In the article, Mr. Howard says there are plans to make changes to the Honors Social Studies and Language Arts program for incoming ninth-graders. The PTSA is now engaging with the administration, teachers and parents to learn more about the plan. Specifically, we are asking for an implementation plan that addresses the timing and requirements to launch this change.
We are planning to have a meeting next week with the school to ask questions, share parents' concerns and learn about the preparations the administration and district has and is undertaking to make this change a success.
We appreciate that many of you have questions and concerns, and we would like to hear them. Please email or call Barbara or Sally with your thoughts. We will update you as we learn more.
Sally and Barbara
Garfield HS PTSA
Please treat each other respectfully and think before you post.