In 2014, after eight long years of work, Washington state updated its high school graduation requirements. The League of Education Voters worked with partners and community members to pass this 24-credit College and Career Ready Diploma.
Now the work begins for many school districts in implementing the new diploma. However, a number of districts are ahead of the game, and some have been for many years.
One such school district is West Valley, in the Yakima area. West Valley began requiring 24 credits for high school graduation beginning in the 2001–2002 school year, when they increased their English language and social studies requirements. The second phase of the transition to a College and Career Ready Diploma happened in the 2006–2007 school year, when the district increased their math and science requirements. In 2013, more than 80 percent of their seniors graduated from high school, and of those who graduated, 67 percent continued onto college. (more…)
After one long legislative session (followed by three special sessions), Governor Inslee signed Washington’s 2015–2017 state budget into law late in the evening on June 30, averting a government shutdown by less than an hour. An unprecedented series of events ultimately delayed sine die until today, but with the true end of our historically long 2015 legislative session at hand, we take a moment to reflect.
What we see in this budget is a more comprehensive investment in education than at any other time in the state’s history. Through their strong investments in public education across the spectrum, early learning through postsecondary, the Legislature has given all Washington’s students more hope for their future.
The League of Education Voters has long argued that a child’s education should be a continuum with seamless transitions from early learning through higher education. We have worked with partners around the state in pursuit of that vision, including with the Cradle through College Coalition. It is gratifying to see the Legislature following through with strategies and investments that support students at all ages. (more…)
If there was ever an opportunity to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families, education is the way to do that.
–Elson S. Floyd, Tenth President of Washington State University
I was deeply saddened to learn of Elson S. Floyd’s passing today. As the tenth president of Washington State University, President Floyd’s commitment to higher education was clear. President Floyd was a champion for affordable, accessible higher education, which he described as an “individual good and a common good.”
Elson S. Floyd, President of Washington State University, gives advice to College Bound Scholarship student Kaysiana Hazelwood prior to her speech at the League of Education Voters’ 2015 Annual Breakfast on March 26, 2015.
The League of Education Voters was honored with President Floyd’s presence at our 2015 breakfast, where he spoke passionately about the potential education has to transform lives: “If there was ever an opportunity to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families, education is the way to do that.”
One moment of inspiration for me that day actually occurred prior to our event. One of our College Bound Scholarship students, Kaysiana Hazelwood, was extremely nervous about speaking in front of such a large crowd. My staff worked to make her feel comfortable, and President Floyd joined their efforts after noticing her nervousness. He coached Kaysiana and gave her tips for speaking. Kaysiana did a fantastic job in her speech, and President Floyd later urged her to contact him or his office as she moved closer to her goal of attending WSU.
This is just one example of how much President Floyd cared, not just for WSU students, but for all Washington students. President Floyd was an inspiration through his work, and his legacy leaves a lasting impression on all of us regarding the value of education in our state. My deepest condolences are with his family and with Washington State University.