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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Restless in Seattle: Asians, achievers are 'quiet quitting' public schools

Asian-American and affluent parents are"quiet quitting" Seattle Public Schools, writes Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat.

Seattle Public Schools are losing Asian-American students. Photo: Ron Lach/Pexels

Overall, enrollment fell from pre-pandemic levels by 13 percent among Asian students, 9 percent for whites, 5 percent for Blacks and 4 percent for Hispanics, state education data show. Middle- and high-income families left at twice the rate (10%) as low-income families. Elementary school enrollment is way down.

Westneat asked parents why they're pulling their kids out. “Because the kids were at home we could see what they were working on, and we wanted more acceleration than that,” an Asian-American parent told him.

"Many parents have become frustrated with the SPS curriculum," said a parent at a school that lost 40 percent of its students.

The district angered some parents when it decided to stop grouping "highly capable" students together for "advanced learning."

“If you have a kid who is doing well academically, and you want to accelerate them, SPS may not be the place for you,” said a parent whose child's elementary school lost 25 percent of its students.

"Twelve elementary schools in the city lost more than 100 students," writes Westneat. "Licton Springs K-8, was down to just four third graders when school ended in June." (The school stresses "Native experiences, cultures and historical perspectives" and "social justice education.")

Seattle Public Schools students scored above the state average on the latest round of standardized tests, he points out. That's not good enough for these parents. They want more. Without their children in public schools, scores are likely to fall.

Seattle teachers settled with the district after a week-long strike, reports Mike Antonucci. The district is adding staff while losing students. Compared to 2013-14, there are 1,725 fewer students and 1,711 more employees.

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