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.

What's New

44 of 65 Olympia-area Schools Ranked as 'Fair' or 'Struggling'

April 9, 2011 in Publications

The Olympian published this op-ed on April 7, 2011.

Spokane-area dropout & graduation numbers improve, without new program & taxes

April 8, 2011 in Blog

Fewer students are dropping out of Spokane-area schools, and taxpayers didn't have to spend an extra $30 million to make it happen.

Spokane Public Schools says its on-time graduation rate improved by almost 8% in 2010.That means the district's graduation rate increased to 70%.

Other Spokane-area school districts saw similar improvements, including East Valley, which saw its graduation rate improve an astounding 27%.

Hearing on SB 5914 lays out the arguments for and against

April 7, 2011 in Blog

Yesterday in Olympia, I attended the Senate Ways and Means hearing on SB 5914, the Excellent Teachers for Every Student Act.  Here is a summary of the arguments pro and con, plus my observations.

1. Authorizes school districts to decide layoffs on the basis of teacher performance, not seniority.

Teachers' unions, school bullying topics of WWU forum, workshop

April 7, 2011 in In the News
The News Tribune (Tacoma)
The News Tribune (Tacoma)
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

At Kent Schools, the Grown-ups Can Find Cuts that Don't Hurt Kids' Programs

April 6, 2011 in Publications

Parents in Kent are rightfully upset to learn that school district officials plan to cut music, sports and classroom support programs in an effort to bring district spending in line with revenues. School officials say the cuts are needed because, “Our funding has been greatly reduced.” Kent school funding is actually increasing, as the chart below shows.

Senators Tom and Zarelli Introduce "Excellent Teachers for Every Student Act"

April 5, 2011 in Blog

This morning, Senators Tom and Zarelli introduced the Excellent Teachers for Every Student Act, SB 5914.  This bill would help school principals choose, reward and  retain the best teachers for every student in Washington schools.

This bill would:

Online Learning in Washington State

March 29, 2011 in Publications


If today’s students are to thrive in the modern, knowledge-based global economy, public schools will have to provide individual learning in a way that is nearly impossible with the current 19th-century education system. By tapping the power of the Internet, however, education officials can transform today’s centralized, factory-style school model into one that is more affordable, mastery-based and centered on students. As pointed out in Education Week: