Yet more thoughts on school closures

The Seattle School District has two autism inclusion programs, one at Thurgood Marshall and the other at Graham Hill… both of which the CAC has recommended for closure. Which of course makes sense, because if there’s one thing we know about autism, it’s how easy it is for these children to make new friends and adapt to new environments.

Comments

  1. 1

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    MTR,

    Arguing with you is like talking to the cat (no, it’s not. The cat likes having it’s ears and neck scratched. No way are you going to get that kind of love from me), but here goes:

    1) Seattle enrollment is declining because of demographics more than anything else. It’s a fucking expensive place to have a house and a quarter acre of grass. Some people will trade living in smaller spaces for access to urban ammenities, but a lot of young families would prefer to set up someplace where paying for a modest house doesn’t make half your paycheck disappear. Who can blame them?

    2) The Seattle schools are fine. The school-wide test scores are lagging in a lot of places. Maybe the tincan engineering school they sent you to didn’t teach statistics real good. An aggregate test score for a student body of 300 tells you very little because schools don’t take tests. Kids do.. If you want to play funny games with stats in the other direction, check out Lowell Elementary (in the Seattle public school system):

    How does this school produce the best scores in the state? Well…

    a) Excluding poor children. Poor children are a leading cause of low test scores. If you flip to the demographics on page 2, you will notice that only 7% of the student body at Lowell is receiving free lunches. District-wide, it is approximately 40%. Other districts like Bellevue, Mercer Island, and Lake Washington have solved this problem by not having properties inside their districts that poor children could live in. (* shocked look *) How could we be so thoughtless as to not have places for the other half to live? We’re sorry. It’s our bad. We’ll get on that right away. Yep.

    b) A self-selected student body. Nobody gets placed into Lowell becuase their parents forgot to enroll until the last moment. You have to sign up your kid for tests, go through the testing battery, your kid has to score well on the tests, and then you need to choose to enroll in the school.

    The public school system in Washington State IS underfunded. Ass (just above) was talking about national average spending per kid being at $10,000-$15,000/per year. Well, I don’t live in the nation. I live here. Spending is more like $6,500 per student. If you go to a school with a rich student body (Bellevue, Lake Washington, North Seattle), the PTA will hit you up for four digits per year to bridge the gap, you sigh, say it’s cheaper than private school, and go on with it. If you live in the South end, the PTA will hit you up for money, you will write the check, and it’s like pissing in the ocean. You are one of four parents in the school who has the ability to write large checks.

    Mostly, you will only get out of schooling what you put into it. If you spend time with your kids, read to them, do activities to reinforce what was learned in class, ride them on their homework, etc. you’ll come out of the other end of whatever system you put them in with a well-educated kid, whether they go to a public school, a private school, or are homeschooled.

    If you hit the snooze button and don’t do this, you will get something that’s well below that. The nice thing about being middle or upper middle class is, you can choose a number of ways to accomplish this. You can write checks to the private school of your choice and let them take care of (some of) this for you, one parent can choose to stay at home, you can hire tutors, or whatever.

    When you’re poor and both parents are working, it’s not impossible to do this, but it sure as hell gets a lot harder.

    Fuck poor people I say. Fuck them. They all deserve to be poor. Most of them dress badly, and speak some fucked-ass language like Cantonese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Spanish or some shit like that I don’t understand anyhow.

  2. 2

    howcanyoubePROUDtobeanASS spews:

    ever decreasing tax dollars

    Are you out of your ever loving liberal mind??

    The AVERAGE expenditure to educate a kid in the failing US schools is over $10,000/student/year… in some places it’s closer to $15,000 and OVER. How much is enough to produce kids that can’t count up to make correct change or write a coherent sentence? How much dumber shall we make the SAT so these pitiful examples of the US education system can pretend they earned their way into college where they can waste most of their first year taking remedial classes.

    If you want ALL kids, the talented, the lacking, the disabled, the special needs kids, to have the best at a realistic cost: DEMAND COMPETITION. Competition will allow the autistic kids the best education for their needs THE VERY SAME WAY goldsteins Montessori does for his traditional student. OFFER choices to parents… we CHOSE to send our kids through elementary Montessori, we CHOSE to send our kids to private schools BECAUSE THEY OFFERED THE BEST DAMNED EDUCATION to meet our needs. We lived in what was in the late 80′s the top rated school system in the country… we still chose private schools and you know, tuition was cheap because they had to COMPETE with a QUALITY school system.

    Why, why, why are you stupid koolaid drinkers so damned afraid to let the same competition you want when buying your cars, your TIVO, you hiking boots, your damned Monorail bids, in education. Oh we all know that damned answer – because the morons you choose to put forth to represent you are stuck at the tit of the union thugs.

  3. 3

    spyder spews:

    Even taking the most conservative CDC numbers published earlier this month regarding autism rates, and these combine problems like aspergers and ODD in with autism, as similar etiological manifestations, the increases are still staggering. Autism is very expensive, both at home and in school. I doubt whether any of the precious private academies and any of those that would love to voucher their children in some parochial school, would tolerate autistic, aspergers, ODD, etc children in their schools. Moving programs, and consolidating them, are hugely disruptive, in some cases violently so. Decades ago, we institutionalized the kids in psychiatric facilities for the rest of their lives. Today, we, as a society, seem to choose to use the ever decreasing tax dollars for mainstreaming them in the public school. Certainly a cheap alternative, but a horrible one for all concerned. Of course, so few people care anyway, especially those who claim to be rich enough to keep their children safeguarded in private academies. More power to them. Too bad the burbclaves haven’t been properly militarized to really handle the insulation.

  4. 4

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 10: I am glad all you trolls realize that the Kennedy surname will get you more points than the neo-con label will. How ’bout Puddyamigo Rickey Cheney? or Mark the Phyllis Schlafly or Rufus P. Robertson? Don’t sound so bueno, do it?

    The Seattle District realizes that the heart and soul of the district resides in these old, correctly built buildings — which were built with union labor before they hired us NAFTA REFUGEES for peanuts to construct the cardboard buildings you now build. All the modern amenities are added to the revamped buildings and the classico touches of the past still remain, Mark the Phyllis Schlafly.

  5. 5

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Puddyamigo: You are as correctementiento about my identity as you are everything else. Por tu who has ears to hear: Let him hear!

  6. 6

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Nearly every school district in the puget sound area is expanding. As enrollments increase, they’re building new state of the art schools and hiring teachers and staff.

    But not in Seattle. How can that be? How can it be that in the librul center of FUWA that the school district is contracting, that they’re laying off teachers and staff and closing schools?

    Hmmm… maybe it’s because the quality of education is shit. Maybe it’s because they’re so focused on political indoctrination that they’ve forgotten that we send our chirrens to school to get educated. Obviously market forces are sending a message to seattle schools in the process of “creative destruction”.

    The only people who send their kids to seattle schools are the following:

    1) Those who don’t give a fuck if their kids grow up stoopid.

    2) Those who fucked up their lives through bad choices and are stuck there with no alternative.

    3) Those who can’t afford to send their kids to private school.

    Which of the above are you Goldy? All 3?

  7. 7

    Puddybud Robert Kennedy Jr. spews:

    Whazzamatta Pellet, I blew your cover? You gave it away long ago! Don’t you remember that pristine ASSHead post two weeks ago?

  8. 9

    Puddybud Robert Kennedy Jr. spews:

    Autistic kids need every friend they can get. And they got me.

    Commentby GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO— 5/26/06@ 8:14 pm

    Hey Rabbit Pellet I totally agree.

  9. 11

    Goldy spews:

    Judkins @2,

    Yeah, well, you can’t have it both ways. If I’m wrong about TOPS, adn in fact its an all city draw in which very few local residents get in as a reference school, then it will continue to be an all city draw at Thurgood Marshall. Thus, you may have that great program in your neighborhood, but have no better chance of getting your kids into it than anybody else.

    Clearly, TOPS and other K-8 program are popular. So perhaps the thing to do is to reproduce them throughout the city, rather than just move them around?

    We’ve been trying to talk to the district about creating a K-8 at Graham Hill for years, and they’ve been totally unresponsive. Then the CAC comes to us and tells us we should have been proactive if we wanted to save our school.

    As for the autism program, where they move it, or how they might improve it or expand it is not part of the CAC’s mandate. Their job is to close schools, period.

    So the fact that we have bilingual students in our autism inclusion program, at a school which happens to also conveniently have a bilingual program, didn’t seem to factor into their decision. How the district picks up the pieces, well, that’s not the CAC’s job.

  10. 12

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Observer—-
    Clever! Goldy then becomes the “Michael Jackson” of Bloggers when he finishes his self-gratification stunts.
    These KLOWNS have way too much time on their hands and there heads in the clouds (or whatever dark place it may dwell).

  11. 13

    Observer spews:

    Just jumping on any cause to beat his drum or whatever else he wears the fingers of his gloves off doing….

  12. 14

    Judkins Parker, P.I. spews:

    You didn’t do your homework about Thurgood Marshall before, so I’m not convinced you did it here.

    Have you ASKED what the plan is for the autism inclusion program? It might be (gasp) an improvement!

    I asked the CAC what the plan was for squeezing TOPS into Thurgood Marshall. They said “portables” (T. Marshall has acreage). An inelegant answer, but an answer still.

    Also, in a previous post you felt it was safe to ass-u-me that the majority of Thurgood Marshall’s students come from within its reference area. I live here. That is NOT a safe assumption. I am now trying to get the facts on that. (Maybe I’ll, duh, ask someone who knows?)

    There are many (of all colors) in the Thurgood Marshall reference area who refuse to send our kids to a school with such lousy academic performance. We would LOVE to see TOPS (or something like it) come in. That way we might be able to save the private school money for, oh, the mortgage. Or… college.

  13. 15

    spews:

    According to the late Kent Pullen (R-Maple Valley), autism is caused by minute amounts of mercury used in modern dentistry.

    Anti-dentite bastard. He deserves it.