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Posts Tagged Transforming School Discipline

The Opportunity Gap Bill is now Law!

Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1541, which addresses the Opportunity Gap.  Here are highlights from the ceremony at Aki Kurose Middle School library.

Governor Jay Inslee signs Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541 into law, with (l-r) Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Tina Orwall

Governor Jay Inslee signs Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541 into law, with (l-r) Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Rep. Tina Orwall

League of Education Voters board treasurer Kevin Washington kicked things off as the MC

League of Education Voters board treasurer Kevin Washington kicked things off as the MC

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, chair of the House Education Committee, talks about the significance of her opportunity gap bill becoming law

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, chair of the House Education Committee, talks about the significance of her opportunity gap bill becoming law

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self shares her experiences seeing the opportunity gap firsthand as a middle school counselor

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self shares her experiences seeing the opportunity gap firsthand as a middle school counselor

Washington state Middle School Principal of the Year Mia Williams talks about the importance of closing gaps

Washington state Middle School Principal of the Year Mia Williams of Aki Kurose Middle School talks about the importance of closing gaps

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the crowd at Aki Kurose Middle School before signing Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the crowd at Aki Kurose Middle School before signing Opportunity Gap House Bill 1541

Governor Jay Inslee congratulates Aki Kurose Middle School students after he signed Opportunity Gap HB 1541

Governor Jay Inslee congratulates Aki Kurose Middle School students after he signed Opportunity Gap HB 1541

Posted in: Legislative session

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Activist of the Month: Dakoda Foxx

At the League of Education Voters (LEV), we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state. We are pleased to announce our Activist of the Month for April: Dakoda Foxx. Read more about Dakoda’s advocacy and activism in her community.

Dakoda FoxxDakoda Foxx’s advocacy work began close to home in 2011, after her daughter was suspended for 100 days. Dakoda knew this “wasn’t right,” so she went to TeamChild to talk to them about her daughter’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) and her options for reengagement. Through her conversations about school discipline, Dakoda learned that many parents in her Puyallup community had children facing the same issues.

From there, she began advocating in earnest. Dakoda advocated at all levels—from doorbelling to testifying about discipline. In 2012, Dakoda began looking for organizations who would work on legislation about school discipline, and that’s how she learned that the League of Education Voters was already working on Senate Bill 5946.

The rest, as they say, is history. Dakoda has continued testifying about school discipline and closing the gaps on a regular basis—most recently in support of Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos’ bill on closing the achievement gap (HB 1541). Shortly before that testimony, Dakoda also spoke at the March State Board of Education meeting in Tacoma about transforming school discipline. (more…)

Posted in: Activist of the Month

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Specializing in the impossible

Highline Public Schools has been in the news over the last few years regarding its work on school discipline, and for good reason. The district’s out-of-school suspensions and expulsions have dropped precipitously since 2006, when the district began implementing positive behavioral interventions and supports, known as PBIS, in its schools.

And Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield has a bold goal—zero out-of-school suspensions (except those necessary for safety reasons) for her entire district by 2015. (more…)

Posted in: School Discipline

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Activist of the Month: Quontica and Marlando Sparks

Quontica & Marlando SparksAt the League of Education Voters (LEV), we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state. We are pleased to announce our Activists of the Month for October: Quontica and Marlando Sparks. Read more about their experience advocating for parent engagement and their plans to open a public charter school for at-risk youth in Pasco.

Quontica and Marlando Sparks first testified about education in Washington state this past April, when they spoke about the impact of school discipline on families they worked with. But their involvement in education advocacy started much earlier. (more…)

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Transforming School Discipline: The Next Step

Transforming School Discipline: The Next Step [image of children running]During the 2013 legislative session, many of you helped us pass a law (SB 5946) that makes school discipline data public and limits the number of days that students can be removed from class.

That was the first step in transforming school discipline policies. Now it’s time to take another.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is inviting public comment on its implementation of the new law.

There are a few ways you can get involved. (more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism

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Bringing the Lessons from Baltimore to Washington State

Representatives from the League of Education Voters (LEV) and community-based organizations recently traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to learn more about the discipline reforms that have  been implemented by Baltimore City Public Schools with great success. This is the ninth and last in the series, Lessons from Baltimore: Transforming School Discipline.

Tre' MaxieBy Tre’ Maxie, Member, Washington State Board of Education

I come from a family of educators. My family always valued education, and they set an expectation that I would not only attend college, but that we would also assist others in doing the same. I have been working to improve public education for a long time, so when the League of Education Voters invited me to visit Baltimore to see how Baltimore City Public Schools has successfully implemented equitable discipline reforms, I jumped at the chance. (more…)

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Baltimore Schools Make an Impact on African American Students

Representatives from the League of Education Voters (LEV) and community-based organizations recently traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to learn more about the discipline reforms that have been implemented by Baltimore City Public Schools with great success. This is the eighth in the series, Transforming School Discipline: Lessons from Baltimore.

Reverend Dr. Carey AndersonBy Dr. Carey G. Anderson, Reverend, First African Methodist Episcopal Church

As a Pastor serving a local congregation in Seattle, Washington, I was greatly inspired to attend a trip sponsored by the League of Education Voters. This trip was an opportunity to interface with school administrators, teachers, and education partners in addressing school discipline and impacting the high school dropout rate in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.

One key observation with the school administrators that spoke with us was the inherent interest that is shown to each student. The model of student management focused on keeping students in the classroom, which included methods such as cognitive reasoning with students, behavior modification, active parental interaction, and the power of making choices. (more…)

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It’s about data

Representatives from League of Education Voters (LEV) and community-based organizations recently traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to learn more about the discipline reforms that have been implemented by Baltimore City Public Schools with great success. This is the seventh in the series, Lessons from Baltimore: Transforming School Discipline.

Beth RicherBy Beth Richer, Government Relations, League of Education Voters

There were a number of messages, strategies, and lessons that the Baltimore City Public Schools staff and administrators shared with us on the issue of school discipline. Three of these messages have remained with me:

  1. First and foremost, take children as they are
  2. Policies cannot replace positive school culture
  3. What gets measured gets done

There is a critical step in revising school discipline policies that involves looking at the practical rather than the socio-emotional, and that involves data. (more…)

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It’s about collaboration

Representatives from League of Education Voters (LEV) and community-based organizations recently traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to learn more about the discipline reforms that have been implemented by Baltimore City Public Schools with great success. This is the sixth in the series, Lessons from Baltimore: Transforming School Discipline.

Reverend Reggie WitherspoonBy Reggie Witherspoon, Reverend, Mount Calvary Christian Church

Mount Calvary Christian Church has been working for years with members of our community who have been to prison, and we’ve been aware of the “school-to-prison pipeline” for some time. Working with the League of Education Voters (LEV) has allowed us to begin working with members of our community sooner—during the “school” portion of the aforementioned “pipeline”—with the goal of preventing the “prison” part of it altogether.

At Mount Calvary, we believe that education plays a major role in nurturing a strong community. Education is power, and it’s what liberates us. Without education, poverty always leads to crime. One of the things we’re doing through our youth ministry is developing relationships with Meany Middle School, Franklin High School, and Garfield High School so that we can implement mentorship and tutoring programs to help students study and prepare for college.

I ultimately decided to join LEV on their listening tour of Baltimore schools because of the plight of our community members—particularly that of African American males. I wanted to see what was going on in Baltimore and what had been implemented successfully that we could bring home. (more…)

Posted in: School Discipline

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It’s about the future

Representatives from League of Education Voters and community-based organizations recently traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to learn more about the discipline reforms that have been implemented by Baltimore City Public Schools with great success. This is the fifth in the series, Lessons from Baltimore: Transforming School Discipline.

Tony MooreBy Tony Moore, Member, Federal Way School Board

The problems of the world will be solved by our future generations.

But when you look at where our kids are ending up, it’s clear that we are failing many of them. Our country has made a practice of punishing rather than nurturing our young, and it shows—in our school discipline practices, and in how we imprison so many of our citizens. Americans make up just five percent of the world’s population, but American jails hold a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Of those prisoners, nearly forty percent are African American, even though African Americans make up just thirteen percent of the United States population.

Many of the people in our prisons got there by way of archaic school discipline practices and the school-to-prison pipeline. To change this trajectory, we need to reform our school discipline practices. From there, we can work on solving the problems in our prison system and rebuild our communities so that everyone has a chance for success. (more…)

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