Forum Hosts Community Conversation
On September 10, SBE held a Community Forum in Yakima to get feedback on the equity and adequacy of new graduation pathway options for the class of 2020 and beyond.
“SBE forums are usually focused on a particular set of work or project, “said State Board of Education Basic Education Manager, Parker Teed. “It’s special in terms of being open government, in the sense that people can speak to Board Members and staff about their views. The idea is to lower barriers in candid communication.”
“They also had constructive feedback about future law changes,” added Teed, “I think the real take-away from the table where I sat, was that they wanted to expand CTE course offerings so there’s a variety of options for students to use coursework to build their future careers.”
The Forum welcomed nearly 60 parents, educators, school district administrators, CTE teachers, non-profit professionals, and more from the Yakima area. All gave feedback on new legislation impacting graduation requirements in a round-table discussion format. Board Members and staff were present at each table.
“I was pleased with the amount of participation from the community,” said Board Member and science and CTE educator, Holly Koon. “The diversity and number of different roles represented in the room was important to the conversation at hand.”
“As the facilitator, I heard concern that there wasn’t a graduation pathway option for every kid,” Koon added. “We need to consider all students when we think about educational success. Is there a pathway for students with IEPs, for students who are College Bound, for those students testing at a Level 1 in math or ELA? These are the questions we need to ask.”
SBE Vice Chair, MJ Bolt, attended the event and had a robust conversation while seated with Yakima-area school district stakeholders and several education association and nonprofit professionals.
“Forums are an opportunity to sit across the table from people who you wouldn’t normally have the chance, and discuss questions or concerns about education policy,” said Bolt. “Education policy is always going to be a work in progress. We need to hear from community stakeholders to find out how the education system can best serve all Washington students.”
SBE will host another Forum in Bremerton on November 5 regarding the equity and adequacy of the new graduation pathway options enacted by legislation.