Monday, May 22, 2017

If you could interview the school board candidates...

What questions would you like answered? I'd like to come up with a set of questions that I could email to the various candidates and see if we can get responses. Anything school board related is fair game but I'd especially like questions relevant to Advanced Learning.


Megan Hazen said...

I would like to know their thoughts on 'inclusion' in middle schools - particularly, how can we ensure that children can continue advanced work during the middle school years, when the movement is towards inclusion on everything.

Middle schools seems like a particularly problematic time in Seattle - I wonder if there are things they can point to that are working from various middle schools in the district? Is there a school that gets the balance between inclusion and advanced learning right? If so, what can we learn from them?

Anonymous said...

Why do they believe people move their students into the HCC program?

Fix AL

Anonymous said...

Better phrased: what do they think motivates people to move their student(s) to HCC?

John said...

Thanks for asking. Here's a few questions:

What should Seattle Public Schools do with children that are working above grade level?

What do you think "every student achieving" mean for students already passing grade level standards?

If a classroom has some children who have already mastered the material and some behind, what should the teacher do? What should the school do? What should the district do?

Anonymous said...

What is the status of MTSS for students working above grade level?

Anonymous said...

What evidence is each of your beliefs/plans based on?

Cap hill said...

HCC Parents, my name is Alec Cooper and I am running for the District 5 seat. I have two kids in SPS who both were in the APP program at Washington and are now at Garfield. As a parent, I've found SPS's approach to these programs to be extremely counterproductive and shortsighted - as a result, we have an opt out rate (from the public to the private system) at a rate of almost one in three kids. A recent Seattle PI article put it best - "Seattle Public Schools can, at times, behave like the United Airlines of public agencies."

The goal for our schools should be to enable every child to reach their potential - this is goal is equally important for all kids, including those working beyond grade level. As a district, we should be expanding the options for Advanced Learning, not reducing them - and more importantly, we need to have realistic expectations for what we are expecting our teachers to do. I believe the district does need to do much more to create equity in our HCC programs - but I also believe that a strong HCC program and consistent district support is a prerequisite for this.

We need to change the culture of the district - how it is run, its strategic plan and how it is measured - to make it more responsive to families, now. We need to make sure that principals have accountability to the communities they are designed to serve. We need a strong governance model at our schools that ensure parent feedback is solicited and changes are rolled out in a way that provides families with predictability and confidence.

We can do so much better than we are doing today - we live in a city that is one of the most educated in the country and is experiencing a time of strong growth and job creation. I believe we can have great public schools in Seattle, and that in having great public schools, we can provide the best opportunities for all kids.

Please message me if you would like to join me:

Sonya said...

I would like someone to ask the school board candidates this:

In practice, MTSS often results in students needing to fall two years behind their age peers in order to qualify for school diagnosis and accommodation/assistance for a learning disability. My question is how does MTSS work for 2E kids ("twice exceptional," aka highly capable students with learning disabilities)?

Anonymous said...

Which policies should be consistent among schools and which should be up to the school's discretion? Should families have an expectation that their child will learn the same basic content and skills no matter which school/program site they attend?

Given the variation among schools from everything from PE waivers to middle school math placement, I'd like to hear a candidate's ideas on what should be standardized at the district level - and enforced. On one hand, you want flexibility for schools, and on the other hand, you want some consistency for students. Curriculum wise, the difference among HCC sites is but a small example of variation within the district.

John said...

I'd also like to see a bunch of broader questions not necessarily related to advanced learning. Questions like:

What would you do when the staff has failed to comply with policy, including policies on advanced learning?

What would you do if the superintendent fails to act for a month after you have notified him or her about being out of compliance with Board policy?

What role do you see for the Board in the budget review? What has the Board not been aggressive enough on when reviewing the budget?

Benjamin Leis said...

It took me a while to get everything put together (there are a lot of candidates this cycle.) But I'm now starting to get responses from people and I'm up to about 4 so far. My plan is to setup a new thread sometime soon with everything I'm sent.