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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Overview of the Seattle School District Collective Bargaining Agreement

in Press releases

Seattle – A new study released by Washington Policy Center, a non-partisan public policy research think tank based in Seattle, describes how the current collective bargaining agreement affects the School District’s ability to carry out its educational mission.

North Thurston School District saves spots at Aspire Middle School for children of school employees

April 29, 2010 in Blog

The North Thurston School District has created a lottery for the assignment of students to Aspire Middle School, and has stacked it to give preference to children on the basis of their race, which appears to violate their civil rights under Washington law RCW 49.60.400.

North Thurston School District employees design school assignment plan to favor their own children

April 29, 2010 in Blog

Last week I wrote about the North Thurston School District using race to assign children to a popular new school, Aspire Middle School.  The school district created a "lottery" for assigning children, but then designed this lottery to ensure that Aspire Middle School is populated by the "right" percentages of white children, and the"right" percentages of minority children.  Minority students represent 27% of Aspire Middle School's population. The district wants the population of this school to be 37% minority to reflect district-wide numbers.  This appears to be a violation of the children's civil rights under RCW 49.60.400, which expressly prohibits schools from giving preferential treatment to students on the basis of race.

Dance of the lemons poor method to deal with ineffective teachers

April 28, 2010 in In the News
Tacoma Weekly
Tacoma Weekly
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

North Thurston School District may be violating civil rights of students hoping to go to Aspire Middle School

April 20, 2010 in Blog

The Olympian reports today that the North Thurston School District is denying students placement in the new Aspire Middle School on the basis of race.  This appears to be a violation of their civil rights under RCW 49.60.400, which states:

 1) The state (which includes school districts) shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race....

Michelle Rhee achieves great leap forward for D.C. students

April 8, 2010 in Blog

After two years of rancorous bargaining, Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the D.C. school district, reached a tentative five-year agreement with the Washington Teachers' union, which still must be ratified by rank and file union members.

Seattle public school student learns Algebra I after his father finds a competent math teacher on Craigslist

March 29, 2010 in Blog

Leslie D. Helm, editor of Seattle Business Magazine, describes here how he and the parents of 30 other students handled an all too familiar predicament for parents. His son was receiving a terrible math education in one of Seattle's K-8 schools.  For two years in a row, the boy had the same incompetent math teacher.

Teachers' Union Loses TV Debate

March 26, 2010 in Blog

On March 17th, on TV in New York City, the teachers union debated education reformers, and lost.  Five hundred people in the audience listened to the debate and voted afterwards that unions are blocking reforms needed to improve failing schools.

Firing poor teachers is next to impossible in Washington

March 19, 2010 in In the News
Port Orchard Independent
Port Orchard Independent
Friday, March 19, 2010