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

Will Governor Gregoire's budget transform school finance?

December 12, 2010 in Blog

This week,  Governor Gregoire will release her proposed 2011-13 budget.  Will her budget incorporate the ideas offered by last summer’s Transforming Washington’s Budget Committee, or not? 

Why Superintendent Randy Dorn will continue to fail

December 6, 2010 in Blog

In his op-ed in The Seattle Times recently, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says he wants to “redouble our efforts to educate our children.”  Imagine my excitement as I eagerly began to read about the bold and innovative ideas Superintendent Dorn has for improving student learning in Washington schools - and imagine my growing disappointment as I discovered he wants to continue the same tired, worn-out bromides of the past:  spend more money and lower acade

2011 Education Breakfast

November 29, 2010 in Events
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Seattle Westin
1900 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA

What We Can Learn from Baltimore City Schools, Featuring Baltimore City Public Schools C.E.O. Andrés A. Alonso

Put the focus on classroom

November 28, 2010 in In the News
Spokesman Review (Spokane)
Spokesman Review (Spokane)
Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bill Gates, Arne Duncan and Joel Klein criticize the way we pay teachers

November 27, 2010 in Blog

Last week Bill Gates and Arne Duncan, Obama's Secretary of Education, spoke in favor of re-examining the extra bump in salary states give to teachers who hold a masters degree.  This bump amounts to $11,000 per teacher in Washington, totaling $330 million.

Spokane's Dropout Problem Needs a Real Focus, Not More Money

November 24, 2010 in Publications

Spokane's Spokesman Review newspaper published this column on November 28 as part of WPC's monthly column.

The signs were all there—literally thousands of them. Yard signs urged Spokane voters this fall to “put children first.” Spokane has a school dropout problem. But Spokane voters wisely rejected a poorly-drafted initiative that tried to tug at people’s heart strings. The Children’s Investment Fund had just one problem: it wouldn’t have worked.

Negotiators in Other School Districts Beware: Union Gains Additional Protections for Low-performing Teachers in Seattle

November 19, 2010 in Publications

Seattle parents are beginning to wonder whether the recently approved Seattle teacher contract will improve teacher quality.  Regrettably, the densely-worded document does anything but clearly explain what is really happening.

Parents deserve better answers. They worry about teacher quality and know that the number one factor that determines if their children learn is whether teachers are performing well.  Here are a few answers for parents.

Seattle School Board votes 6-1 in favor of Teach for America teachers

November 18, 2010 in Blog

Last night the Seattle School Board voted 6-1 to allow only 20 Teach for America candidates to apply for teaching positions in the Seattle Public Schools.  School principals will now be able to include a few Teach for America teachers in the pool to fill one of 200 expected open teaching positions.  

The Seattle teachers union steadfastly opposes allowing Seattle's school principals to interview a teacher trained by Teach for America.