WA Common Core State Standards Awareness Campaign Debuts
The Ready Washington coalition launched a new public awareness campaign today called "Real Learning for Real Life" to help parents and the public better understand the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core, K-12 learning standards in math and English language arts, will be fully implemented in Washington public schools at every grade level in the 2013-14 school year.
Ready Washington is a new coalition formed by state and local education agencies and associations, as well as community and education advocacy organizations, to promote the value of college- and career-ready standards. The coalition has launched a new Website (www.ReadyWA.org) and has developed materials explaining the Common Core for the public, community organizations and schools.
Partnership for Learning and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) received a grant from College Spark Washington in late 2012 to partner on the campaign. Since then, many organizations have joined the Ready Washington coalition to support higher learning standards and improve our students' ability to compete and get good jobs in the global economy.
Washington is one of 46 states to adopt the Common Core standards in math and English-language arts, which are designed to better prepare students for college, work and life. Until now, every state has had different learning expectations and standards.
For more information on Common Core and the Real Learning for Real Life campaign, please visit www.ReadyWA.org.
Second special session nears its end
With the 30-day second special session nearly halfway over and a threat of government shutdown on July 1 if a new biennial operating budget is not adopted, the legislature is under pressure to reach an agreement.
Both the House and Senate approved new versions of their respective budgets in early June. Overall, they are coming closer to agreement on issues surrounding taxes and policy bills -- but both chambers continue to stand firm on their "must haves": more revenue for the House, more reforms for the Senate. Specific to education, the House remains committed to seeking additional new revenue to meet the McCleary decision, with the Senate focused on policy reforms bills such as 3rd grade literacy supports and accountability "A-F" school grades and mutual agreement.
On Tuesday, June 18 the state's chief economist briefed legislators and shared some positive news: that for the fiscal year ending June 30th revenues increased by $110 million, and for the 2013-15 biennium, revenues are projected to be up $121 million. The revenue increases should make it easier to wrap up negotiations on a new biennial operating budget before June 30.
93 percent of Class of 2013 passes reading and writing
Preliminary results released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on Thursday showed more than 93 percent of Washington's 12th grade students in the Class of 2013 passed both the state reading and writing high school proficiency exams (HSPE) prior to reaching their respective graduation ceremonies.
Students who have still not passed a math end-of-course (EOC) exam (algebra I or geometry) won't receive those results until late August, leaving graduation status unclear for those respective students. EOCs are administered during the last three weeks of school. Final results for all exams will be available in the fall.
ROAD MAP PROJECT
Campaign to boost summer reading begins
To help fight summer learning loss, the Road Map Project has partnered with communities, libraries and local organizations to develop a summer reading campaign called "Let's Read!" The effort aims to encourage children to read during the summer by connecting parents and families to helpful resources, such as library summer reading programs and regional summer meal sites.
Research shows that children who don't read over summer vacation can lose months of learning and start off the next school year behind their peers -- watch this great video about the important issue. To learn more, contact Kelsey Landes, Regional Summer Reading Campaign Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE: The deadline to enroll in the College Bound Scholarship program is June 30. The College Bound Scholarship program encourages low-income, middle school students to choose a path that will lead to educational success after high school. The program promises tuition (at public institution rates) and a small book allowance for income-eligible students who sign up in the 7th or 8th grade, work hard in school, stay out of legal trouble, and successfully apply to a higher education institution when they graduate. For additional information, contact staff at the Washington Student Achievement Council at email@example.com
NCTQ RELEASES REPORT: The National Center for Teaching Quality (NCTQ) has released study that evaluates the performance of more than 1,100 colleges and universities that prepare elementary and secondary teachers. The study, NCTQ Teacher Prep Review, allows aspiring teachers, parents and school districts to compare programs and determine those that are preparing students well, as well as those that are not, for the job of training new teachers.