TAG Luncheon: A+ Washington
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TAG Luncheon: A+ Washington

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A+ Washington is a project of the Excellent Schools Now coalition centered around advocating for and supporting our schools to better serve our students.

A+ Washington is a project of the Excellent Schools Now coalition centered around advocating for and supporting our schools to better serve our students.

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  • Greetings and thank you for the opportunity to address you today. My name is XXX and this is XXX – on behalf of Partnership for Learning and the Excellent Schools Now Coalition, we are here to share with you A+ Washington – a strategic 5-year vision for improving our education system in Washington state.
  • Before we begin diving into A+ Washington, we want to make sure you know the landscape in Washington state. In Washington, today, our states business economy continues to lead the country – especially in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and employers.
  • And, these jobs that are available in our state are growing and demand employees that have specific skills and a have earned a high-quality education.
  • Again – you see that our education system is helping our students succeed for the world of work and college. And this is particularly troubling when you really think about it….for a state like Washington, where we are famous for visionary leaders and big dreams, where Washington companiesbuild planes that take people around the worldput a computer in every homegrow the world’s best applesput a great cup of coffee in every handThese companies – and many others – provide great jobs, great opportunities, and contribute to a great way of life.
  • However, as you can see by these figures – there is a misalignment between our thriving job market and opportunities available and the education our students are receiving.
  • There is a silver lining – there is hope. This is where A+ Washington comes in. Over the past year, a group of teachers, business leaders, parents and advocates worked together to create A+ Washington, which is a plan to transform education in our state.I think of A+ Washington as a roadmap to creating the kind of schools our students deserve – it’s the scaffolding with which we can build our education system to meet the needs of EVERY student.The focus of A+ Washington is to harness new ideas and practices that give teachers and schools the flexibility they need to help students succeed.A+ is built on proven models and ideas that are already working to help students succeed, both in Washington and in many communities across the country.
  • A+ Washington is aspirational, but achievable. It outlines five big ideas that will lead to concrete improvements in our schools:making sure every student has a great teacher and principal; giving teachers the flexibility and support they need to serve students best; providing families and the community new tools to hold schools accountable; expanding opportunities for students to reach their full potential;Providing access to high quality schools; These ideas will help every student start school ready to learn, improve their odds of graduating from high school and continuing their education.
  • A+ Washington believes that flexibility, innovation and choice are key elements to a high-quality education system. GIVE FAMILIES CHOICESOne-size-fits-all approaches rarely suit anyone’s needs well. Students and families need high-quality options tailored to their goals and dreams and needs. Whether it’s preparing for a great job or for college, every student will find their own path to success. It’s our job to help them find that path, and to equip teachers and schools with the resources and tools to do it. Part of this includes exploring public charter schools and learning about them and if they’d be successful in Washington. REPLICATE WHAT WORKS By adopting and replicating successful schools and innovative approaches, we eliminate the guesswork and can improve student achievement. A+ builds on what is already working in communities across the country. TRANSFORMATION ZONESTeachers, school leaders, and families need the flexibility to transform schools that chronically fail to help students succeed. To fix a low-performing school, leaders must be able to use innovative approaches, like incentives to attract the best teachers, longer school days, and e-learning.
  • Many studies have shown that the greatest way to increase student achievement is with a great teacher and a great principal. A+ Washington recognizes the impact of excellent educators and identifies what to support them: EVALUATIONSWashington is making great strides with developing a multi-tiered evaluation system for educators. For the last 30-years, it’s been “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” – now we will have a multi-dimensional, fair and equitable evaluation tool. This tool will provide data to help target professional development and make informed performance decisions. EDUCATION PREPARATIONBecause great educators matter, we need to make sure that education preparation programs are fully preparing them for success. This means diversifying recruits and aligning program requirements with educator experiences and requirements. STRENGTHEN TEACHING AND LEARNING Teachers and principals deserve to be rewarded for great work . The state is looking into a new compensation model that recognizes educator excellence and will help recruit highly qualified individuals into the teaching practice. A+ Washington supports this work.  
  • START EARLY We know that high-quality early learning programs are some of the best investments we can make for our children and our community. Washington has made significant progress, but we must do more: too many children don’t have access to high-quality early learning – we need to provide it to all students. We must provide data to on child care providers so families can pick the right program for their children and providers can have access to the support and resources to strengthen their teaching.  STAY THE COURSESchools need to expand access to advanced curriculum and programs – many of these programs result in “double-counting” high school and college credits. This means kids have a leg-up, and are prepared, when they enter a post-secondary program. We need to help students identify a pathway after high school – either certified technical program, 2-year or 4-year college – students need a vision for their future.  
  • START EARLY We know that high-quality early learning programs are some of the best investments we can make for our children and our community. Washington has made significant progress, but we must do more: too many children don’t have access to high-quality early learning – we need to provide it to all students. We must provide data to on child care providers so families can pick the right program for their children and providers can have access to the support and resources to strengthen their teaching.  STAY THE COURSESchools need to expand access to advanced curriculum and programs – many of these programs result in “double-counting” high school and college credits. This means kids have a leg-up, and are prepared, when they enter a post-secondary program. We need to help students identify a pathway after high school – either certified technical program, 2-year or 4-year college – students need a vision for their future.  
  • CREATE TOOLS TO SUPPORT ACHIEVEMENT Schools and teachers must also have the tools, information and resources necessary to meet new standards and higher expectations. We need to set benchmarks and measure against those to determine success. We need to measure a students growth over a years time – a key measurement to see if students are learning and growing or falling behind. This also helps teachers make sure that they are effectively reaching all students.We need to share data – not just amongst the state agencies, but with parents, students, educators and the community. Families and the community need better information to more fully understand how schools are preforming. And, we need to use this data. Data can help inform us when students are “at-risk” of failing. We need to use the information at hand help students achieve.
  • One last visual – you see, Washington’s students are failing behind and failing through the cracks. Our state’s economy, the livelihood of our businesses and our citizens rely on an education system that prepares our students for the college, work and life. But our education system is falling short. We can—we must—do more for all of our children.
  • So… that’s A+ Washington and its vision to transform our education system and provide a way forward for all students. How can you be involved or learn more? Well, for A+ Washington this is the beginning - we’re planning events across the state in upcoming months and into August to talk about A+ Washington . Our next event is a tele-town hall on March 16thon school choice and flexibility – with a focus on the charter school which has been at proposed during this legislative session. You can find more detailed information about this event on our website or by filling out a supporter card. And, for Partnership for Learning, you can visit our website and sign-up to receive a bi-weekly e-newsletter. We are also working to build a statewide voice for businesses in regards to education issues. We work closely with the Washington Business Roundtable but recognize other voices are missing.
  • Thank you again for the opportunity to speak, we’d be happy to answer any questions.

TAG Luncheon: A+ Washington TAG Luncheon: A+ Washington Presentation Transcript

  • A+ Washington:A Way Forward for all Students
  • Excellent Schools Now Coalition of 36 organizations working together to prepare all students to be college and career-ready. Alliance for Education  Powerful Schools ArtsEd Washington  Schools Out Washington Black Collective  Seattle Biomedical Research Institute Black Education Strategy Roundtable  Seattle Breakfast Group Coalition for Equal Education Rights  Social Venture Partners College & Work Ready Agenda  Spokane Library Ladies College Spark  Stand for Children College Success Foundation  Students for Education Reform – Whitworth Chapter Communities in School of Seattle  Tabor 100 Democrats for Education Reform (WA Chapter)  Teachers United Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma  Technology Access Foundation Invest in Youth  Technology Alliance King County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  Washington Alliance of Black School Educators League of Education Voters  Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association New Futures  Washington Coalition for School Libraries and Pacific Science Center Information Technology Partnership for Learning  Washington Global Health Alliance  Washington Roundtable  Washington State PTA  Washington Technology Industry Association
  • A+ Washington: Meet Mia
  • Washington Today: Economy & Workforce Washington ranks 1st in concentration of STEM jobs. Washington ranks 1 st in the creation of software companies. Washington’s ranks 4 th in the nation in technology-based corporations.
  • Washington Today: Economy & Workforce By 2018, the number of STEM jobs in Washington state will increase by 24%. 70% of jobs in our state will require an education beyond high school by 2020. By 2018, 94% of STEM jobs will require some type of post-secondary education.
  • Washington Today: EducationWashington’s achievement gap is the 12 th largest in thenation.1 of 4 high school students will not graduate on time.Washington’s graduation rate ranks 37 th nationally, withonly 73.7% students earning a diploma.By 2018, 67% of jobs that pay a family-wage will requiremore than a high school diploma.
  • Washington Today: Education48% of students in Washington’s 2-year colleges requireremediation.37% of students in Washington’s 4-year universitiesrequire remediation.Only 14% of students of color in Washington will obtaina post-secondary degree.Washington’s ranks 38 th in the nation for the number ofbachelor’s degrees awarded per capita.
  • Why A+ Washington? We need to support our schools and educators so that they can best help students succeed. Educational attainment is vital to the future economic success of the state and its citizens.
  • A+ Washington: 5 Strategies Early Learning Great Data Educators A+ WA College & Flexibility Career Ready
  • Strategy 1: High Quality PK-3rd Grade Expand Access to Quality Pre-Kindergarten & Full-Day Kindergarten – Align pre-Kindergarten with expectations of full-day Kindergarten. – Accelerate expansion of funding for full-day kindergarten. Improve Transitions – Align early learning provider and primary grade curriculum, assessments, teacher training and professional development. – Expand use of state’s WaKIDS kindergarten transition process to all entering kindergarteners in all districts. Empower Parents to Make Informed Choices – Implement the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) statewide to help drive and support improvement in early learning settings and help parents make informed choices about educational opportunities.
  • Strategy 2: Excellent Teachers and Leaders Evaluations – Provide support for statewide implementation of the new evaluation model. – Use evaluations one of many data points to help guide performance decisions. Educator Recruitment & Training – Develop recruitment approaches to attract increasing number of high caliber teachers and teachers of color to the profession. – Measure effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. – Recruit more math and science undergraduates to earn teaching credentials. Professional Development, Coaching & Mentoring – Use evaluations to provide targeted professional development. – Provide schools with more collaboration, planning time and job-embedded PD. Educator Compensation – Implement a new educator compensation system that emphasizes responsibility, skills, effectiveness and assignment.
  • Strategy 3: Career and College Readiness High Expectations – Align high school exit and post-secondary entry requirements. – Enroll students in a default college- and career-prep courses; parental opt-out available. – Implement Common Core State Standards and Assessments. Support Post-Secondary Pathways – Increase career and technical education opportunities. – Increase opportunities for dual enrollment programs, like Running Start. Family & Community Engagement – Develop state-school-family partnership guide. – Encourage student-community-school partnerships/internships. – Provide specialized supports for at-risk or at-need students. Increased Academic Supports – Increase access to student support programs, like AVID or MESA.
  • Strategy 4: Flexibility Innovative Approaches – Allow schools to make staffing decisions based upon school/student needs. – Encourage restructuring of school year and day based upon school/student need. – Increase technology use and explore blended learning (teacher/online). Explore High-Quality Public Charter Schools – Increase knowledge and learning of successful charter school models. Transform Lowest-Performing Schools – Develop a transformation zone, a state-wide school district, of the lowest performing schools. Increase flexibility and accountability measures.
  • Strategy 5: Use Data to Inform Decisions State Data System – Develop a state K-12 data system that measures college and career readiness. Use Data to Improve Instruction – Develop student growth model. – Disaggregate data categories to reflect state’s population. – Implement an early warning indicator system. Share Data with Community – Clearly communicate school data in an accessible format. Analyze State Funding – Assess funding formulas; identify potential efficiencies.
  • We Can – We Must – Do More
  • What Can You Do? A+ Washington – Support A+ Washington – Speak Up – Engage www.apluswa.org Partnership for Learning – Receive regular communications • E-newsletters • Twitter • Facebook www.partnership4learning.org
  • Questions?