Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:32 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the key battles shaping up in Olympia this year is over education reform. The Senate’s new majority coalition is proposing a series of measures aimed at getting better results in the classroom. Among the ideas: a state takeover of failing schools. Meanwhile, a key Senate Democrat says the focus should be on school funding – and proposes a new capital gains tax.
Next month, Seattle voters will be asked to renew two expiring levies to fund Seattle Public Schools. Proposition 1 would raise nearly $552 million over three years to fund day-to-day expenses like textbooks, transportation and student activities. Proposition 2 would raise nearly $695 million over six years to pay for building renovations, earthquake safety improvements and security cameras. The two levies combined would cost the owner of a $400,000 home an additional $152 per year in property taxes. Should Seattle voters renew the levies? We'll take up Prop 1 and Prop 2.
Finland’s public education system consistently ranks among the top in the world in terms of achievement and efficiency. Professor Pasi Sahlberg’s presentation talks about what the United States can learn from Finland, where education policies focus more on professional development rather than standardized tests, and pedagogy above technology. Sahlberg spoke at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on November 14, 2012.
The Seattle School District warned teachers Wednesday they face a 10 day suspension without pay if they refuse to give students the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. The announcement came nearly two weeks after the teaching staff at Garfield High School announced they were refusing to give students the district-wide MAP test.
The Seattle School District announced Wednesday that teachers may be suspended for 10 days without pay if they fail to give students the Measures of Academic Progress test. Following the announcement, teachers rallied outside district headquarters to demand that the district stop using the MAP test.
Clarification: This story has been changed to clarify School Board President Kay Smith-Blum’s thoughts on educational delivery models, including one advocated by the charter school company Rocketship Education.
In 1991, a small group of local CEOs sat down with Seattle Public Schools officials to ask how the CEOs could help the struggling district. "At that time Seattle Public Schools weren’t even wired – I mean, wired for telephones, in some cases. It was really sort of a Dark Ages problem," said Sue Tupper, the first executive director of the Seattle Alliance for Education.
Increases in tuition and investment shortfalls have left Washington state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program with a nearly 20 percent funding gap. Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom says it's time for the state to get out of the prepaid tuition business. Tom says that if everyone now enrolled in the program wanted their money right now, the program would be short $631 million. The State Actuary puts the chances of GET not being able to meet its obligations at about one percent. Should Washington state end the GET program? We take a closer look.
A group of teachers at Ballard High School in Seattle has come out in support of Garfield High School teachers' refusal to give students the district-mandated Measures of Academic Progress standardized test. The teachers say the test is useless and shouldn't factor in to teacher evaluations. Ross Reynolds talks with educators and education experts on both sides of the issue.
Seattle Public Schools officials and the company that produces the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test are defending the school district's use of the standardized test after Garfield High School teachers refused to give it to their students this quarter.
Teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle say they have voted overwhelmingly to refuse to administer a district-wide standardized test. A statement from Garfield teachers called the test a waste of time and money.
What makes a good self-help book? Book commentator and author Nancy Pearl joins us to think about it. Her favorite is “The Dance of Anger” by Harriet Lerner. What's yours? Call us at 206.543.5869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every summer, five dozen mostly low-income students of color from Seattle Public Schools begin an intensive academic program designed to get them ready for college. In Rainier Scholars, middle-schoolers commit to eight-hour school days in the summer and then after-school and weekend classes during the school year. Most of these students would be the first in their families to graduate from college.
Last session, Washington state legislators introduced some "title only" bills into committee — essentially blank legislation with the details to be filled in later. They also held hearings on some bills with only two hours public notice, violating the intent of their own rules. Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center tells us why he wants to see more accountability in Olympia through greater legislative transparency.