Editorial: Some sensible steps forward

This is editorial originally appeared in the Everett Herald  on Tuesday, March 1st.

Despite all the budget cuts the past few years, at least some foundational progress has been made in Olympia regarding the state’s paramount duty, basic education. Plenty of hard work remains, but some rational outlines of that work are taking shape.

A significant achievement this past legislative session was passage of ESSB 5895, refining the evaluation process for teachers and principals to include student growth data among the criteria. The new evaluation system will also move beyond the old pass/fail rating system, replacing it with four meaningful levels: unsatisfactory, basic, proficient and distinguished.

That legislation follows action in 2009 and 2010 to broaden the definition of basic education, the funding of which is the state’s No. 1 duty, according to its Constitution. As it did that, however, the Legislature also cut education funding as the recession blew a hole in tax revenues.

Read the whole story here.

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