May 23, 2013



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Common Core Debate Heats Up;

New Charter Association Launches

As the national debate about Common Core State Standards heats up, Washington state continues to move forward in implementing the college-and-career ready learning standards. The standards, adopted by 45 states, will be fully implemented in Washington classrooms next school year.


Several states have introduced and passed legislation to delay or withdraw from using Common Core, but only Indiana has signed a bill into law that "pauses" the implementation of the more rigorous standards until more studies and evaluations can be completed. Education Week is extensively covering the Common Core debate.


Funding for Common Core professional development is crucial in any state implementing the standards. It's not yet known whether Washington lawmakers will include funds when they finalize the state budget.


Last week, Partnership for Learning attended a national conference on "Implementing the Common Core Standards." The attendees were primarily state education agency employees from nearly all 50 states. The Council of Chief State School Officers, which hosted a conference, released a tools and resources kit promoting nationwide best practices for implementing Common Core.


Other resources include: 


Partnership for Learning is partnering with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on a public awareness campaign that will help the public and parents understand the value of Common Core and why it's an important of helping to prepare Washington students for college, work and life.


New Washington charter school association launches

The League of Education Voters announced Wednesday the formation of a new nonprofit organization called the Washington State Charter Schools Association. The association "is a new statewide nonprofit that will support the start-up of high-quality public charter schools in Washington, with a focus on serving at-risk populations and students who do not currently have access to high-performing schools."


The Association focuses on three key areas or support: providing information about charter schools; supporting leaders who want to grow high-performing public charter schools; and providing general support and services to help charter schools operate.


Partnership for Learning, Stand for Children Washington and Democrats for Education Reform have also participated in the effort to launch the new association. Read the full press release below and visit for more information.


All quiet in Olympia as budget negotiations continue

Since the legislative special session began May 13, little news has come out of Olympia that would indicate an imminent budget deal. State lawmakers continue to debate how to put $1 billion more toward K-12 education to meet the demands of the McCleary v State lawsuit, and also balance the budget. 


As special session began, Jana Carlisle, executive director of Partnership for Learning, wrote an op-ed for the Washington State Wire outlining how student and school performance needs to increase and be more closely monitored along with addressing K-12 public education investments.



RSVP for first annual 'Night School' for teachers

Teachers United has scheduled its first annual "Night School: An Evening With Excellent Educators" on May 31 in Seattle. Three public school teachers will teach mini-lessons on topics ranging from elementary school high-tech to the next generation of Spanish lessons. Plus, teachers will celebrate the future of schools in our state. The event is from 6-8 p.m. at McKinstry Innovation Center. For details and to RSVP, click here.



ANNUAL BENCHMARKS: The Washington Roundtable released its annual benchmarks with the vision of making Washington a Top 10 state in quality of life, innovation and the cost of doing business. The Roundtable uses 13 specific categories to determine Washington's progress toward being a Top 10 state, four of which are education related.


CHARTER SCHOOL COMMISSION JOB: The newly formed state Charter School Commission is seeking an executive director.The commission is an independent state agency that authorizes high-quality public charter schools and ensures the highest standards of accountability and oversight for these schools.



Partnership for Learning, the education foundation of the Washington Roundtable, is a statewide nonprofit organization that builds awareness, understanding and support for improving public education in Washington. As a trusted source of information, Partnership for Learning makes complex education issues accessible.