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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Guest Post - HCC and SPS

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Guest Post - HCC and SPS
Guest Post - HCC and SPS

Editor’s note: I’m happy to publish any essays about SPS or public education in general. This one is from Megan Hazen who has three children in Seattle Schools.

Last Tuesday the Seattle School board passed an amendment to board policy 2190, which governs how Highly Capable (HC) students are served in Seattle. These students have demonstrated an atypical cognitive capacity to learn academic subjects quickly and deeply. State law says that basic education for these students includes specific adaptations from general education programming. The foundation of the state law is research and scientific understanding about the variance in human learning as well as recognition that students who learn atypically must be specifically served atypically in order to be served at all.

The changes to policy 2190 reflect a multi-year effort on the part of SPS to change the HC service model, but this specific step (which removes the guarantees of the old policy) is highly contentious. The proponents will claim that they need these changes to address the racism visible in the current service model, while the opponents claim that they need to retain the current model in order to get any service at all. Watching the debate is like watching two trains speeding towards each other, but on different tracks. There is no hope they will ever meet in the middle because they are holding different arguments.

The proponent side of the argument recognizes visible racist inequity. They appear to believe that they can solve the problems by treating the symptoms - take away the current model and you will take away the problem. The arguments for the changes all focus on historical barriers to access, not on the CONTINUE READING: Seattle Schools Community Forum: Guest Post - HCC and SPS