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Spin Control

Posts tagged: education reform

WA Lege Day 4: Fight ahead over charter schools?

OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of legislators, backed by business and education reform groups, announced a push Thursday for charter schools and new teacher evaluations.
The Washington Education Association immediately questioned where the money would come from for charter schools and how the evaluation systems would be used.

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Gregoire wants tougher teacher, principal evalulations

OLYMPIA — Bad teachers and principals could be fired at the end of a school year if they don't improve under a series of education reforms proposed today by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

State universities would also set up “laboratory” schools in failing schools across the state and a cabinet-level office would be set up to coordinate and improve high school, college and technical school programs, under plans to be presented to the Legislature in January.

The office would oversee everything from high school through graduate level programs. Gregoire said she's dropped an earlier plan for a single office to coordinate everything from pre-school through Ph. D programs in the state.

The state's evaulation system would be changed from the current two levels of unsatisfactory and satisfactory to a four-level system: unsatisfactory, basic, proficient and distinquished.

A teacher or principal that was evaluated as unsatisfactory in September would be fired in the spring if he or she did not receive a new evaluation of at least basic. Teachers and principals evaluated as basic two years in a row would also be fired if they didn't move up to proficient.

Gregoire said the state needs an evaluation system that is fair, clear and effective, and helps every teacher grow. The current two-step system doesn't work, she insisted.


WA Lege Day 52: How much ed reform, how fast?

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire repeated her call for a giant leap forward in education reform Wednesday while the Legislature showed it was inclined to take baby steps.
Gregoire gathered with a handful of legislators, a parent and a Boeing executive to give another push to a plan she unveiled in January. All the state’s various offices, agencies, boards and commissions for education, from pre-school children through doctoral programs, should be in one department overseen by a secretary appointed by the governor, she said.
“It’s not adequate for tomorrow, it’s not even adequate for today” she said of the state’s scattered authorities on education. “Everybody’s defending their turf.”
But even one legislator she invited to the press conference cast doubt on the chances the Legislature would move the state’s colleges and universities into a department with pre-school and kindergarten through high school.
Rep. Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, the chairwoman of the House Education Appropriations and Oversight Committee, said the House was more likely to pass a bill to set up a council to study a way to consolidate education into a single agency and come up with a transition plan. “I did not feel her plan was going to make it through,” Haigh said of the bill she proposed to take the place of Gregoire’s.
That same afternoon…

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If students aren’t learning, who’s to blame?

Whom do you hold responsible for the problems Washington schools have graduating kids who can read, write, calculate and be intellectually flexible enough to have a dozen careers before they retire?

Put another way, whom do you blame for the fact that nearly one kid in three doesn’t graduate from high school, and among those who do, some go to college thinking a hypotenuse is one of animals in tutus in “Fantasia” or a dependent clause is a dead-beat relative?

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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