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Archive for 2009

Question of the Week

Currently, teacher salaries are determined through negotiations between the local union and the school district.  One implication is that salaries can differ dramatically from district-to-district–even neighboring ones.  This makes it difficult for poor districts to attract and retain highly qualified teachers.

Should the state take over the responsibility of negotiating teacher salaries or leave it to the districts?

Leave a comment below to join the discussion with other parents, educators and advocates.

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We have the plan, now we need an investor

Early LearningThis morning, early learning leaders released a 10-year statewide Early Learning Plan to provide all kids the support they need to arrive at school ready to succeed.  The immediate question is “how do we fund it?”

We may have found a major investor.  The federal government is poised to create a new $1 billion Early Learning Challenge Fund for select states to develop birth-to-five programs that boost kindergarten readiness.  Our state is well-positioned to compete for these grants, but we need to take action in 2010 to secure a win.

In its latest report, LEV Foundation is proposing five actions for the 2010 Legislature to capitalize on the opportunity to compete for future Early Learning Challenge Fund grants.

1.  Protect early childhood education investments in these tough fiscal times;
2.  Continue developing the Quality Rating and Improvement System to ensure more kids participate in high-quality early learning programs;
3.  Include high-quality pre-Kindergarten in the state’s definition of Basic Education;
4.  Invest in birth to three programs, such as home visitation; and
5.  Accelerate the integration of early care and education data into the K-12 longitudinal database.

    Here’s what you can do to improve Washington’s early care and education programs.

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    Question of the Week

    Great Teachers and Leaders is one of six selection criteria for Race to the Top (R2T).  R2T calls for the use of a fair evaluation system for teachers and principals that differentiate effectiveness using multiple rating categories and take student growth into account.

    Should student performance be included in teacher evaluations?

    Leave a comment below to join the discussion with other parents, educators and advocates.

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