Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Advanced Learning Task Force being formed

The Advanced Learning Task Force provides a District-recognized forum for the parent community and agencies that support children’s advanced learning needs, including Highly Capable.

Role of the Task Force

The primary responsibility of the Advanced Learning Task Force is to provide Seattle Public Schools with parental and community agency perspectives on Advanced Learning and Highly Capable services, including current operation and management, policies, proposed changes, future plans, and goals.
The Advanced Learning Task Force will present its findings, recommendations, and opinions in a final report to the Superintendent. The final report will include a review of all projects and activities, as well as all recommendations of the task force.

Family and Community Representation

The task force will include up to 20 members appointed by the superintendent or his designee.

A minimum of one-third of the members will be parents of children currently designated as advanced learner or highly capable (HC) and/or parents of children who hold the designation of advanced learner or highly capable.

The balance of the council will include: parents of non-advanced learners and non-highly capable children, students, staff representatives, agency personnel, civic groups, and college or university personnel who have an interest in advanced learning and highly capable services for students in Seattle Public Schools.

Expected Timeline

Advanced Learning Task Force is established as a task force to run for one full year. Term of office for members is set at one calendar year (May-May).

Applications are due by April 27, 2018. [Update: this is being pushed back.]

Official Link:


Michael Rice said...

I was unable to see on the page where the link to the application is. In general the page seems not well done. There is no contact information, for one thing.

Benjamin Leis said...

Apparently the deadline is being pushed back and the link has been taken down.

Michael Rice said...

That is odd. How is anyone able to apply if the link is taken down?

J. Lardizabal said...

As of April 27, the website says, "All applications must be received by Noon on Thursday, May 24, 2018. Application coming soon."

CliffM said...

I heard from Kari Hanson of SPS, who said that the application should be finalized and posted early next week, possibly Monday. My understanding from her was that this Task Force page inadvertently was "live" on the website before they wanted it to be.

Anonymous said...

Kari Hanson and Wythe Jesse brought us ThoughtExchange. Jeezus what a sh*t storm that was. Kari Hanson and Wythe Jesse take their orders from Michael Tolley. Michael Tolley has gone out his way to get rid of HCC's legal services with initiatives like: no HCC pathways, then only north pathways, honors for none, experimental social studies at TM, no more AP classes for 9th graders at GHS, splitting Lowell to TM with an obvious disadvantaged group of Somali immigrants and HCC kids and starting Madison with 20-30 kids when the ALTF recommended needing 90 kids.

All of these have been supported by Devin Bruckner (in the name of equity(?)) and probably her employer a Bill Gates supported company. Surprised? Don't be, corporate ed reform is coming for our kids.

Route 66

Anonymous said...

So will this be an "Advanced Learning" task force along the lines of programs (theoretically) supported by the Advanced Learning Department (i.e., HCC and Spectrum); and Advanced Learning task force that focuses on those who qualify as "Advanced Learners" (i.e., Spectrum only, not HCC); or an Advanced Learning task force that focuses on providing advanced classes to anyone, regardless of eligibility for the AL Dept's programs?

The distinctions are important, yet we saw from the recent Advanced Learning survey and prior Nyland memos that the district doesn't seem to have a solid grasp of the differences.


Anonymous said...

I'm just hoping Benjamin hasn't the opportunity to delete the reference that links someone by name, their employer, and draws an unsupported and inflammatory conclusion.

Disagreeing with someone doesn't mean you get to do impugn them. If you don't have reasons to support your own position and need to go there, then maybe you don't have a suportable case?

Very Low

Anonymous said...

Route 66 is right on the money.


Anonymous said...

Devin Bruckner has repeatedly stacked the Board meetings,even on times when HCC is not on the topic, so much so they got the AL department to tighten their testing requirements. What I say is truthful and not misleading unlike her and her cohorts' testimony. In addition, she doesn't divulge that she works for a nonprofit who spends Gates' money. What portion of the dismantling of HCC that I put forward doesn't she support, then?

You go public with 'your' positions, repeatedly, you should be glad people know the full truth. Oh and for what it's worth, it's not like I am divulging their online moniker. So get real please.

The makeup of the committee as drafted by Kari Hanson sadi AL and HC and that seven of the 21 would be parents of either one of those groups. The rest would be gen ed parents, staff, members of some equity group - guessing it is Devin's but they are parents too- and other interested parties.

Seriously anything coming from Michael Tolley can not be trusted, IMO.

Route 66

Anonymous said...

A group of parents, including DB, have repeatedly provided public comment on "Equitable Access" no matter the items on the Board agenda (speaker #16 at last week's Board meeting).

Are task force committee meetings generally open to the public? Can any parent attend and observe?

Anonymous said...

According to a Spring 2018 update, they "are not formally organizing speakers and supporters at board meetings."

What I find lacking: it's all about the testing. If there is no "there" there when it comes to programming, what's the point of it all?

Anonymous said...

Anon @9:24, there's not a LOT of there there, but there is SOME there. For one, the curriculum is accelerated. It's not a better curriculum, or a curriculum tailored to the needs of more advanced students, but at least they are learning things a year or two above grade level. Two, depending on the school and the year and possibly the luck of the draw, they may have a teacher who is supportive of and familiar with teaching highly capable students. Three, they have the opportunity to be with other HC students, instead of always being the odd one out.

As an aside, it can also be nice for parents. In HCC, no longer is it taboo talk about the challenges you have in parenting your HC student, since other parents are in the same boat. You can freely share resources, strategies, opportunities, challenges, etc. in a way that is just not socially acceptable to do with GE parents.

HCC point

Anonymous said...

Someone can "stack" the board meetings if the board policy allows it.

She can work at a non-profit that has Gates financing all she wants.

Your attempt to act like that makes her a tool of ed reform is not only off-base and not supported by facts, but a pathetic attempt to discredit someone who has a different opinion than you.

Still surprised (and disappointed) that such slander/libel hasn't been deleted.

Very Low

Anonymous said...

@ Very Low, I don't have a horse in this game, but I'm not clear on where you think the "slander/libel" is. From what I've seen of her involvement, the above comments seem fairly accurate. What is untrue and thus potentially libelous? (Slander is oral, libel is written.) Even referring to someone as an ed reform tool is not necessarily libelous if their main audience is other ed reformers.

Anonymous said...

I hate horses, enough on that.

Devin Bruckner has decided deceiving the board and promoting Ed Reform is ok, FWIW.

She is also coordinating that deception with other parents, FWIW.

Finally her day job is to promote both of those elements, FWIW.

Benjamin Leis said...

Moderator NoteI'm not sure this is productive. Let's try to steer the conversation back towards the task force.

Anonymous said...

This is the third task force in 5 years. Seems unwarranted to me. When was the last SpEd task force? How about a task force on language immersion? Also, the formula is to have 3-4 HC parents out of 20 member team as it is a mix of 7 AL and HC (AL is not HC - and nearly dismantled). Would such a makeup be allowed for a SpEd task force? What are they afraid of -- the truth?


Melissa Westbrook said...

I was on one of those past taskforces. We were not allowed to talk about ALOs or Spectrum, just HCC. It was a huge waste of time and, of course, staff and the Board did nothing out of our recs.

I would warn people off being on the current one except that only 20 people have applied and I worry it will be packed with people who see HC one way. Apply if you have the time; they need a variety of voices.

Yes, you can attend taskforce meetings as an observer.