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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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.   

Seattle teachers union leaders are spreading misinformation against bright young Teach for America talent

November 11, 2010 in Blog

Next week, on November 17th, the Seattle School Board will vote on whether or not to let Seattle's school principals hire bright young Teach for America (TFA) teachers to teach Seattle's children.

New contract will drive good teachers away

November 10, 2010 in In the News
Seattle PostGlobe
Seattle PostGlobe
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Waiting for Superman" Movie Showing & Charter School Panel Discussion

November 9, 2010 in Events
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Metro Theater
4500 9th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105-4737

Panel discussion on Charter Schools begins at 6pm, and the movie starts at 7pm.  No RSVP necessary.  Tickets are available at the box office for $10 and seating is limited, first come first serve.

West Seattle Elementary fourth-grader says "this is slavery all over again" when she discovers she is behind in school

November 8, 2010 in Blog

In yesterday’s Sunday edition, Seattle Times reporter Linda Shaw provides a terrific front-page description of the transformation of West Seattle Elementary.  Federal grant requirements gave the school a new principal and replaced half the teachers. 

Shifting control over school spending from districts to school principals would free up money for schools

November 3, 2010 in Blog

Last night, Washington state voters delivered a clear message to lawmakers in Olympia--no new taxes, figure out how to spend within existing revenues.  Voters do not appear to believe that schools need new tax money to fund education.  Voters apparently understand that schools receive more than enough money already.  Perhaps they have noticed that central school districts are overstaffed.

What We Can Learn from Baltimore City Public Schools

October 26, 2010 in Publications

Forward-thinking school superintendents, like C.E.O. Andres A. Alonso of Baltimore City Public Schools, are reorganizing the way they run their schools, and achieving dramatic gains for students. They are implementing Fair Student Funding. This reform shifts control over school spending from central districts to individual school principals. Under Fair Student Funding, school principals are able to control the actual dollars in their school budgets, instead of having to manage a building already staffed by the district.

Supplemental school levy would increase taxes to give school district employees bonuses and raises

October 20, 2010 in Blog

This morning I was on a conference call with Our Schools Coalition and others to discuss Seattle’s new collective bargaining agreement with a national expert on these agreements, Ms. Emily Cohen of the National Council on Teacher Quality.  Her written analysis is available here. 

The quiet revolution in public education

October 18, 2010 in In the News
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
Monday, October 18, 2010

Teacher standards board undermines legislative intent in new ProTeach Portfolio requirement

October 17, 2010 in Blog

The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is the state regulatory board which decides all the state rules around teacher quality and certification. In 2007, the legislature directed the board to "set performance standards and develop, pilot, and implement a uniform and externally administered professional-level certification assessment based on demonstrated teaching skill." RCW 28A.410.220(13)

Note that the Legislature explicitly provided for an assessment and that it is to be based on "demonstrated teaching skill."