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

Children who can't read or do math OK by Seattle teachers union

August 30, 2010 in Blog

The Seattle Times reports this morning that the Seattle teachers union refuses to allow the district to evaluate teachers in part on student academic growth, measured by test scores. They say evaluating teachers based in part on student test scores is unfair.

Contract talks are at an impasse. Teachers are scheduled to vote on the contract on Thursday, September 2nd.

WPC research and possible Seattle teachers strike

August 27, 2010 in Blog

As kids get ready to go back to school, a controversy is brewing in Seattle Public Schools. The teachers union is poised to reject a pay-for-performance teacher evaluation system sought by Seattle School District Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. This plan is entirely voluntary, except for new teachers, and would evaluate and reward teachers in part (25% of a teacher's evaluation) for improving student learning.

Westneat calls for putting principals in charge of teacher evaluations

August 25, 2010 in Blog

Check out Danny Westneat's column today.  In the midst of a possible teachers strike, he makes an astute observation about public schools that is consistent with long-standing research data.  Westneat says:

 "In the end a principal should do what managers must do in countless other workplaces: decide who gets promoted and who gets fired. And then take heat."

3,000 Teacher Layoffs and I-1098

August 17, 2010 in Blog

One of the rallying cries for the recent $26 billion federal bailout bill was the need to avoid teacher layoffs. Washingtonians we're told that quick action by Congress would save 3,000 teacher jobs. Here is how prime sponsor of the education spending, Sen. Patty Murray, described her effort:

Seattle Girds for Possible Teachers Strike

August 2, 2010 in Blog

Last week Seattle Schools Superintendent Dr. Marie Goodloe-Johnson told me the District’s collaborative negotiating process with the teachers union (the Seattle Education Association), in place since April, had broken down.  The Seattle School District is in the midst of a lengthy collective bargaining process on a new teacher contract that will determine the personnel costs taxpayers will have to pay in the years ahead.

So where does all that money go?

August 2, 2010 in In the News
The Herald (Everett)
The Herald (Everett)
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Seattle and other school districts lack fiscal discipline

July 29, 2010 in Blog

Yesterday's well-reasoned Seattle Times editorial by Lynne Varner, "Seattle Schools Lack Fiscal Discipline," starts with the statement that "the district is stuck in a culture of lax indifference when it comes to taxpayers' money." 

Lynne's got it exactly right. 

No surprise--Washington state eliminated in early round of Race to the Top competition

July 27, 2010 in Blog

Today, Arne Duncan announced the short list of 19 states which have made the first cut-off in the second application for Race to the Top funding.  Washington is not included.  Washington, which did not even try to compete in the first round, has now failed to make it past the gate in the second round of this competition.