WPC's Center for Education conducts objective research and makes practical policy recommendations to improve Washington State's ability to carry out its paramount duty to educate every child within its borders.

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Union leaders brag about Hawthorne Elementary, a school with charter-like independence

November 21, 2013 in Blog

Dennis Van Roekel, president of National Education Association union, visited Seattle’s Hawthorne Elementary School this week in recognition of the dramatic gains students have made since 2010, when Hawthorne become one of Seattle’s six Creative Approach schools.

Governor helps Boeing, but don’t school children deserve protection from union disputes too?

November 6, 2013 in Blog

Governor Inslee is clearly worried, as are many Washingtonians, about the power of union executives and their ability to disrupt our state’s aerospace sector. There is a very real danger that the threat of union action in the future could lead Boeing to locate 777x assembly in another state. 

Thirty-one parent and community groups seek approval to open charter schools in Washington

October 27, 2013 in Blog

Last week, Tuesday, October 22nd, was the preliminary deadline for parents, teachers, school principals and other community groups who wish to open a charter public school.  Because the required Notices of Intent had to be postmarked Tuesday, it wasn’t until Friday the state commission realized the full extent of the public’s pent-up interest.  By Friday, twenty-eight groups had filed notices with the state commission, and 3 additional groups had filed their notices with Spokane Public Schools.

TVW interview of Minnesota Senator who wrote nation's first charter school bill

October 24, 2013 in Blog

This week Ember Reichgott Junge, the Democratic Minnesota state senator who wrote the nation's first charter school bill, visited Seattle to share her charter school knowledge and experience. TVW's Anita Kissee conducts an informative interview of the Senator, which I've posted below.

Senator Reichgott Junge said that charter schools will give Washington children new, exciting learning opportunities.  She also said charter schools will benefit teachers, too, because these schools give teachers new opportunities to try creative approaches with their students.    

Charter school application deadline today

October 22, 2013 in Blog

Today, October 22nd, is a key deadline for parents and community leaders who wish to open a charter school under Washington’s voter-approved charter school law.  Charter schools are popular with parents because they allow local educators to adapt their learning program to meet children’s needs. Notices of Intent to submit an application are due today.  

20,000 parents march to defend charter schools in New York City

October 10, 2013 in Blog

Today’s WSJ column by Daniel Henninger reports that two days ago, on Tuesday, 20,000 African-American and Hispanic parents marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to New York City Hall.  This is a very large number of people to be marching on the City.  Why did they do this?  These parents marched to defend their charter schools from a new threat: the leading candidate for mayor of New York City, Democrat Bill de Blasio.  Mr. de Blasio is supported by the city’s teachers union.

Parent group hopes to open Sunnyside Charter School to serve disadvantaged students

October 9, 2013 in Blog

Last fall voters lifted the ban on charter schools, making Washington the 42nd state in the nation to provide a charter school choice to parents.  In approving Initiative 1240, voters passed one of the strongest charter school laws in the country.  Now that this law is being implemented, engaged parents hoping to open charter schools are emerging all over the state. One such group comes from Sunnyside, Washington, a small agricultural community in eastern Washington.