Much happiness and successful drafting to you and your NFL team of choice! Only 10 more months until the Super Bowl and all I can say is Go Packers! While hysteria builds over a football season that is still months away, something equally palpable is growing in Olympia. The reality of a special session.
Sessionology: Unable to come to a budget agreement, legislators are gearing up for additional days that could take them into June. What does each side want? That depends on who you ask. Looks like pretty much everyone is in agreement that more money is going to end up in education. Where that money goes and where it comes from is still to be determined. And, while it may sound like the start to a tired joke, (how many ex-presidents does it take to change a light bulb…) the real question of the day is what happens when you put two Microsofties in charge of writing the budget?
Passed by House and Senate, awaiting Governor’s signature
Charges OSPI with the development of a tiered system of intervention and support for challenged schools and establishes two levels of required action for persistently low achieving schools (PLAs). PLAs will receive additional support to implement the three-year required action plan. OSPI will develop criteria for required action plans and the corresponding system of supports for each level of challenged schools.
Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) may identify and accept other tests and test scores for admission to approved teacher preparation programs and for out-of-state Washington teaching certificate applicants.
Requires school districts to count Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science as equivalent to high school mathematics or science toward graduation requirements for seniors who have taken or are currently enrolled in Algebra II.
Encourages districts to adopt Academic Acceleration policies. Creates the Academic Acceleration Incentive program that provides resources to support districts in the adoption of Academic Acceleration policies. In one of those, I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it moments, the Senate was poised to pass a stronger version of the bill that would require academic acceleration. Due to a clerical error, however, the version that was passed encourages academic acceleration but does not make it mandatory.
Establishes the early start program to provide high quality and accountable early learning opportunities for parents and children. Creates a legislative task force on early learning to review existing funding sources and program goals. Increases Working Connections childcare rates pending funding. Provides school districts three days to meet with families to assist with kindergarten transition.
Passed out of the Senate
Increases the number of ECEAP slots and the rates paid for these slots by 10 percent over the 2011-13 biennial levels. Requires the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to conduct a short- and long-term evaluation of ECEAP.
Show Me the Money: Never one to shrink from a Supreme Court decision, initiative – meister, Tim Eyman is planning to take his 2/3 vote for new taxes to new heights. He’s proposing a new initiative that is basically intended to motivate, or perhaps force, legislators into allowing a constitutional vote on requiring 2/3 votes for new taxes and fees. Like my love of salted caramel, it’s complicated.
- Shout out to schools in Bellevue and Lake Washington for cracking the top 25 of U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of schools.
- Hats off to Battle Ground Schools - for passing their levy on a second try this year.
- Congrats to the Road Map Project for the hugely attended parents forum they held in Tukwila last weekend. Parent engagement is often the missing link in the edu-sphere.
- The Common Core train is leaving the station. The NYT says we should get on board.
- You may have missed it, but this week marked the 30th anniversary of “A Nation at Risk,” the siren song of projected mediocrity and worse for our education system. For an entertaining look at the past married to the clouded education political environment of the present, check out Fordham’s video.
- Speaking of the elevated dialogue we achieve in the afore mentioned clouded political environment, here’s a good example of the “she said,” “she said,” nature of the debate sometimes. When did real life become talk radio?
- Appropriately, some parting words from Blair Butterworth, LEV co-founder and political strategist who passed away last month.
Ok kids, that ought to do you. Enjoy the remainder of the draft and all of your weekend! Thanks for all you do on behalf of our kids.
Chris and Team LEV