Thank you for joining our seventh annual LEV Breakfast on Thursday, March 30, a celebration of Washington’s teachers and an engaging conversation on how we can advocate to put great teachers in front of our kids who need them most. We featured LEV President Chris Korsmo and an inspirational talk with 2017 Regional Teacher of the Year recipients Kendra Yamamoto and Elizabeth Loftus on how great teachers are the key to student success.
Special thanks to Workhouse Creative for this amazing film, featuring 2017 Washington state Teacher of the Year Camille Jones, teachers Jamilla Norris and Donte Felder, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee:
Here are a few photos from the event:
LEV Director of Policy and Government Relations Daniel Zavala moderates the discussion with 2017 Washington Regional Teachers of the Year Elizabeth Loftus and Kendra Yamamoto
LEV President and CEO Chris Korsmo front and center
LEV Board Member and Teacher Cate Simmers (2nd from R) and her table mates
LEV Board Member Bob O’Hara (R) and former Board Member Thelma Jackson with guests Lyle Quasim (L) and Mark Jones
The interactive exhibit in the Sheraton Seattle Lobby
From left: 2017 Washington state Teacher of the Year Camille Jones with 2017 Regional Teachers of the Year Kendra Yamamoto and Elizabeth Loftus
Thank You to Our 2017 Sponsors
LEV FOUNDATION is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that provides strategic, accurate, and timely information to citizens, educators, policymakers, and the media; highlights research-driven educational practices that prepare all students to reach their full potential; and advocates for reforms and revenue to implement the research-based practices in Washington. Donations are tax-deductible.
OUR VISION is that every student in Washington state receives an excellent public education that provides the opportunity for success.
The Washington State Legislature recently submitted a report to the Supreme Court detailing their progress in fully funding basic education as ordered in McCleary v. Washington. In anticipation of this report, both The Olympian and The Seattle Times continued their solid coverage of Washington education by publishing strong editorials on the topic.
Regarding the contempt ruling, Chris said: “We know the opportunity, we know the urgency, we know the obligation. Let’s give the state the opportunity to make good on their word to do something this session.”
While the League of Education Voters was not a plaintiff in the McCleary case, the foundation did file an amicus brief in January 2012.
League of Education Voters CEO Chris Korsmo and Stand for Children Executive Director Dave Powell chat with Austin Jenkins for TVW’s Inside Olympia program.
The League of Education Voters’ CEO Chris Korsmo and Stand for Children Washington’s Executive Director Dave Powell sat down with Austin Jenkins yesterday to discuss education funding and reform on TVW’s Inside Olympia program.
In particular, Chris and Austin chatted about the League of Education Voters wish to redefine “basic education” to include early learning and higher education.
(This is a guest blog post by Susannah Malarkey, executive director of Technology Alliance, a statewide, not-for-profit organization of leaders from Washington’s diverse technology and related businesses and research institutions.)
If “innovation is in our nature,” then sticking with the math and science graduation requirements should be the natural decision for state policy leaders to make.
On behalf of the Technology Alliance, I feel compelled to add my voice to the growing chorus of indignation at Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn’s proposal to delay math and science graduation requirements. Washington’s innovation community is deeply concerned that this proposal signals a retreat from a commitment to ensure all students possess the foundational knowledge and skills they need to be successful in post-secondary education and 21st century careers.
Sticking to the task of preparing our students to be informed, engaged citizens and to compete for family-wage jobs is not only a matter of economic competitiveness; it is a matter of basic fairness. Our state has a diverse technology sector that creates high-wage, high-impact jobs. Unfortunately, we are not preparing the vast majority of Washington students to benefit directly from the opportunities our economy is creating.
We continually tout our highly-educated and innovative workforce (we rank 4th in the nation for intensity of scientists and engineers), but we ignore how we got there (we also rank 4th for net-migration of college degree-holders).
For years, we have made do with minimum high school graduation requirements that don’t align with the level of preparation students need to be successful in college-level work (around half of Washington graduates entering community colleges must take non-credit bearing coursework on content they should have learned in high school), or even be eligible to apply for admission to our public 4-year institutions.
And now, when we have an opportunity to make significant strides in bringing our education system into the 21st century through the basic education reform work currently underway and federal investments aimed at spurring innovation and accountability within our K-12 system, Washington’s education leader proposes yet another delay in math and science graduation requirements.
How can it be that one of the most innovative states in the nation is still having a debate over whether students should demonstrate proficiency in math and science before exiting high school?
As state education strategies go, it does not inspire confidence. Instead of repeated delays and watering down of expectations, we should be pursuing reforms that would help our students to meet those expectations:
– Implementation of CORE 24 to align minimum course-taking requirements with the expectations of college and the workplace;
– A concerted focus on improving teacher quality and our teacher evaluation system; and
– Data and accountability systems that will empower teachers, school leaders, parents and policymakers to take the steps necessary to ensure our K-12 system is serving the best interests of our students.
Our state leaders need to maintain their commitment to providing a meaningful high school diploma to all Washington students. Anything less is unfair to our kids and unsustainable for our state economy.
Education advocates and newspapers quickly weighed in on Superintendent Dorn’s proposal to delay math and science high school graduation requirements last week. LEV has begun to post in-depth analysis on the final Race to the Top guidelines on our blog. We’re also introducing a Question of the Week to encourage discussion on thought-provoking questions about education and public policy.
Question of the Week
In Portland Public Schools, budget cuts could hit home to students and parents. Up to five classroom days could be cut from the school calendar because of furlough days. Recent polling shows that 60 percent of Washington residents don’t believe our state is facing a budget crisis even though higher education and K-12 have been cut by 12 percent.
Should policymakers consider eliminating all-day kindergarten or cutting school days to help balance the budget?
Join the discussion with other parents, educators and advocates:
Superintendent Randy Dorn’s speech to the state school directors
TVW filmed Superintendent Dorn’s speech to the Washington State School Directors’ Association on delaying math and science graduation requirements.
Wrong move, wrong time
In case you missed it, here’s LEV’s reaction to Superintendent Dorn’s proposal to delay high school graduation requirements for math and science.
What’s at risk in the state budget?
Our friends at the Washington State Budget and Policy Center have put together this excellent narrated slide show about the very real impacts of the projected $2.7 billion state budget shortfall.
What are Washington’s chances of winning Race to the Top dollars?
LEV reviews the eligibility requirements for Race to the Top and how Washington stacks up.
Final Race to the Top guidelines released
Each Race to the Top application will be evaluated based on a 500-point scale. Here’s the breakdown for how points will be awarded.
The report recognizes the Legislature’s work in the 2009 Legislative Session to include a program of early learning for at-risk children in the new definition of basic education. They briefly describe the work of the December 1st Drafting Team, the group of government agencies and early education advocates (including LEV) to develop recommendations to Gov. Gregoire for next session, including adding voluntary, universal preschool for all four-year-olds in basic education.
Want to learn more about how Preschool for All in basic education would ensure all children are ready for school and ready for life?
Want to tell early learning leaders that you agree with [pre]know? Go to a local town hall near you in the next two weeks.
Click here to show how this program would serve all at-risk three-year-olds by expanding ECEAP, all four-year-olds with universal preschool, and all kindergartners with full-day kindergarten.
Cutos to Sen. Oemig and McAuliffe for their great quote and support. Here is the full text from pre[k]now’s report:
In Washington, the high-quality Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), which served 6 percent of the state’s four year olds in 2008,12 will suffer a funding cut of nearly 3 percent for FY10, reducing enrollment by about 170 children. Despite the cut, lawmakers attempted to preserve some momentum in the state by bringing pre-k into the state’s definition of basic education. Though the bill did not include funding provisions, the new language stated that early learning for at-risk children should be included in publicly funded education, just like kindergarten or first grade, and seemed to signal a real intent on the part of state legislators to provide high-quality pre-k for more children.
In a last-minute move that caught early childhood advocates and lawmakers entirely by surprise, the governor vetoed the legislation, citing a concern that the change did not define pre-k as a basic educational requirement for all children. Though the veto was disappointing, the governor did follow up by asking state education agency leaders to develop a proposal for the 2010 legislative session to ensure that all children have the benefit of early learning. Lawmakers and the governor will need to communicate and collaborate effectively to bring that plan to fruition, but should they do so, Washington could be on the path to offering pre-k for all four year olds – a smart strategy for the state’s economic future.
Washington State Senators Rosemary McAuliffe (D) and Eric Omeg (D), chair and vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee: “Our students, educators and teachers deserve better, and we can’t give that to them without changing the way we invest in our schools… We must include early learning as a cornerstone of our school system.“