- SBAC testing is coming up. Are you planning to opt out or not? Feel free to share your reasons.
- The April meeting HCSAC meeting will take place tomorrow evening 5/4 in the Garfield Library at 6:30 pm. Kari Hansen, Director of Student Support Services, will be at our meeting. She was unable to attend last month, so she will be there to discuss advisory and advocacy opportunities.
Future meetings to be held include:
May 2, Hamilton International Middle School Library
June 6, Madison Middle School Library
- There was another poorly written article about advanced learning in the Seattle Times which they keep tweeting about every few hours: https://t.co/GRNSWHufei There are real issues here with equity but this was not fairly or intelligently argued. I've talked about the imperfect system we have here in Seattle before but I also don't believe any district has really found the right answer to this problem. Several of the logical fallacies were troubling enough that at the risk of being overly defensive I'll enumerate them below:
Quick Stream of Issues with the Seattle Times
- Are Asians a minority or not? The first sentence includes them so it can say minorities are almost half of the student population in the state. By the third sentence they're gone and the ratio of minorities that are underrepresented in the state is 1/3 of the population.
- The piece then continues to blue the line between AP class participation and HCC programs paragraph by paragraph despite them not being the same. So its hard to say what's being referred to in quotes like this "Whites occupy 66 percent of the seats in Washington’s accelerated classrooms, and Asians much of the remainder." In our district for certain but I believe this is generally the case AP classes are open to everyone and don't require being in a gifted program.
- The focus on Federal Way AP, IB participation is interesting but as the article admits "And even now, after years of funneling more kids into Advanced Placement courses, only to watch two-thirds fail their end-of-year A.P. exams, the district’s new superintendent Tammy Campbell is doubling down on basics like third-grade reading" The followup quote: "Campbell still believes that participating in demanding classes benefits students in the long-run, and over 90 percent of those in Federal Way’s accelerated high-school courses pass their classes — if not the final test." begs the question how rigorous are the classes now? Unfortunately, the article didn't dig into what's going on any further in its model district.
- Then there are several quotes from Nancy Herzog at the UW Robinson Center and Pedro Noguera an academic at NYU. The one from Dr. Herzog claims high IQ doesn't necessarily mean giftedness. First of all we don't have a gifted program in the state, we have a highly capable program. Secondly, under what conditions does a high IQ not indicate a need for advanced material? The one from Dr. Noguera casts doubts that testing results indicate anything other than economic advantage. The inconvenient fact here is that IQ type testing is fairly stable over time per individual and has a long documented correlation with achievement. Worse, there is no good replacement beyond the various national tests the various districts use that doesn't come with its own series of trade offs.There are real issues here with equity but this was not fairly or intelligently argued
- There's a quick hit piece on private testing that follows. Its a privilege of wealth despite the district offering it for free to anyone qualifying for FRL. Note: test prepping exists for group tests like the cogat also. There are several test centers in Bellevue that offer sessions for this.
- There's a criticism of the fact the district identifies in Kindergarten without realizing that its a state requirement that every district must follow.
- The section on Rainier scholars talks about how they only select students outside the HCC program which is patently false.
- The section on TAF again is interesting but there is no data to back up its approach vs what occurs in an entire school district. I really like what TAF is doing and an article on it going into depth would actually be interesting. I assume they are a lot more promising than Federal Way but again in a selective much smaller pool.
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"It looks like the city is giving the $2.3 mil needed for SPS to move to the 2 Tier bell schedule. They are also giving $300,000 or so to fund crossing guards at 100+ locations around the city! It still needs to be officially adopted by the Levy Oversight Committee and council, but that's a formality"