Thursday, September 17, 2009

Social Promotion comes to Graduation
Wake Up Seattle!!!!

The Seattle proposal to make 1.0 good enough for graduation is not about the kids rather it is about the money. The WASL math & science achievement gaps continue to expand for almost all minority children as a direct result of discriminatory instructional decisions. Rather than fix ineffective practices that have adversely effected educationally disadvantaged learners for over a decade, the proposal is to lower the bar because the SPS wants our money. If the SPS was interested in more effectively educating children, then they would revise their poor practices and lousy instructional materials, but such remedies are never even considered.

For Team MG-J the money is more important than providing a quality program for kids. As Dr. Carol Simmons testified 1.0 for graduation is needed because this district does such a poor job of educating kids. I say until the leadership steps up and admits they do a lousy job, they should not get more money. Those in denial never fix a problem.

Consider the growing Math & Science achievement gaps noticed at last night's board meeting. “Project Follow Through” was the largest study in the history of education. PFT specifically dealt with finding the best instructional methods to serve educationally disadvantaged learners k-3. The SPS does the exact opposite in math and science of PFT recommendations. “Exploration/Inquiry” does not work for educationally disadvantaged learners and the SPS continues to ignore this fact.

The SPS ignores lack of progress by students, fails to provide the effective interventions specified in school board policies preferring social promotion above education. The school board chooses to endorse the use of ineffective discriminatory math materials and ignores Project Follow Through, the National Math Advisory Panel's final report, and the failing results of their three year math collaboration with the UW.

The SPS continues to violate article IX of the state constitution: “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.” The last thing these educational decision-makers need is more money. What they need is a lawsuit big enough to get their attention but the ACLU, NAACP, and others are silent.

This is all about keeping more kids on the attendance rolls and the money that comes with it.

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