Partial Days and PD
One of the State Board of Education’s 2013 legislative priorities centers around strengthening the 180-day calendar.
With the loss of state professional development funding, many districts are adjusting their calendars, replacing full-day instruction with partial or half days. The use of half-days for professional development directly supports quality teaching, but comes at the cost of learning time for our students. In this video, Executive Ben Rarick provides an overview of the State Board of Education’s drive to reinstate statewide professional development funding in order to maximize instructional time. Continue reading »
K-12 Funding Update
Three interesting K-12 funding charts shown at a recent Senate hearing, and prepared by their staff. I’ve editorialized on the side with dialogue boxes.
The first illustrates an important point – just because nominal spending has increased over time (representing the upward trajectory of the bar graphs) does not mean K-12 programs have increased (in fact, the inverse is sometimes true, when the aging workforce makes it expensive just to keep the teaching staff we have) Basically, this chart shows that while there have been ebbs and flows, state funding has only managed to keep pace with inflation, and not much else. Continue reading »
Global Challenge States
The Global Challenge States, generated from Washington Learns, comprise the top eight states on the Progressive Policy Institute’s New Economy Index [NEI, 2002]. They were identified for the purpose of creating a meaningful comparison group that more closely approximates our state’s socio-economic situation.
You’ll notice that in the first graph, our performance on NAEP substantially exceeds the national average except for 4th grade reading, where WA is still on top but the margin is narrow. Continue reading »