Education Reform

Politics
9:50 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Reform vs. funding: battle shaping up in Washington legislature

Austin Jenkins

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.

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Washington State Legislature
4:12 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Senate Democrats unveil government reform ideas

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senate Democrats are unveiling a series of reform ideas that won't bank much money for the state's immediate budget problem, but which they say will save hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.

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Education
8:06 am
Wed April 13, 2011

Senate approves performance-based teacher lay-offs

The State Senate has approved a controversial proposal to base teacher lay-offs on performance - not seniority. The vote late Tuesday triggered a heated debate on the Senate floor and split majority Democrats. Senator Rodney Tom is a suburban Seattle Democrat. He led the charge for performance-based lay-offs:

“Why in the world would you ever lay-off a second year or third year or fourth year teacher of the year in lieu of maybe an eight or ninth year teacher who is on probation? It just makes no sense.”

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Education Reform
6:12 am
Fri April 8, 2011

Despite data, state supe Dorn says new evaluation system needed for teachers and principals

State Superintendent Dorn and Principal Kelly Aramaki. Dorn says Washington's primary schools need new evaluation systems to improve teaching and leadership.
Courtesy Washington OSPI

If you listen to the numbers, there's no need for any change in the way teachers and principals are evaluated in public schools here in Washington State. 

Data is in from a first-ever statewide survey about their performance. It says very few teachers are a problem: not even 500 were rated unsatisfactory in all of Washington.

That's less than three quarters of one percent (.75%) of the state's public school teachers.  And even fewer principals – only 41 of nearly 3,000 – got a bad write up.

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News Roundup
7:49 am
Mon March 14, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

It will be a rainy and windy Monday around Western Washington, with high temperatures in the low 50's.  Rain is in the forecast all this week. 

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Mudslides Affect Commute
  • Northwest Relief Workers to Japan
  • Obama's Education Secretary Here, Virtually

 

Rails and Roads Covered in Mud

Sounder rail lines, Amtrak routes and at least one major highway are blocked by mudslides this morning. Sunday's heavy rains caused at least three separate slides over Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks: two north of Seattle, and one in southwest Washington near Vancouver. 

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Education Reform
7:50 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Gregoire makes another push for 'Education Czar'

Governor Chris Gregoire is making another push to create a cabinet-level Department of Education. The idea appears to be faltering in the Washington legislature.

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K-12 Education
4:10 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Teacher layoff reform bill dies in Legislature

A proposal to base teacher layoffs on performance - and not seniority - has died in the Washington legislature. The bill's demise is a victory for the state’s teacher's union, but a frustrating defeat for some lawmakers. 

Currently, when school districts reduce staff newer more junior teachers typically lose their jobs first. A bipartisan proposal in the Washington legislature would have changed that.

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Gregoire makes rare appearance before legislature to tout education system reforms

Christine Gregoire says she had an "aha moment" last summer about why Washington's education system isn't getting any better.

The governor made a rare appearance before a legislative committee Wednesday to talk about her proposal to create a new cabinet-level Department of Education that would oversee all the state's education efforts, committees and boards, from early learning to college.

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K-12 Education
6:36 am
Mon December 6, 2010

African Americans most affected by low-performing schools

African American students get tutoring and mentorship from The Urban League.
The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

African American kids are more likely than any other students to start their educations in Seattle’s worst public schools.  That’s according to a new report from University of Washington researchers.  Community groups and school district administrators say it means schools are disproportionately failing kids who already face big hurdles to education. 

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Education Reform
10:50 am
Wed November 17, 2010

Seattle debating merits of Teach for America

A Teach for America trainee in a Florida classroom in 2008. Seattle Schools are voting on a proposal to allow TFA corps members in their classrooms.
AP

A full slate of public testimony is expected at tonight's  school board meeting in Seattle.  The board is voting on a controversial proposal to allow new recruits from a national organization called Teach for America into Seattle's public schools.  The program places top college grads – who don't have traditional teaching certificates - in underperforming schools. 

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Education
9:20 am
Mon November 8, 2010

Report cards for Seattle schools: grading each building

Seattle Schools will issue report cards on the quality of education at each of their buildings, a move that will reflect the overall quality coming out of this building - school headquarters.
Charla Bear/KPLU

A lot of attention has been focused on improving public schools. But figuring out how schools are doing can be tricky. Some people say test scores and graduation rates don't show the whole picture. Now administrators in Seattle say they've come up with a better system.

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