April 30, 2018 Policy Brief

A summary for those closely following the debate.

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • Friday, May 18th: Election Filing Deadline
  • July 20th: Ballots Mailed
  • August 7th: Primary Election
  • October 19th: Ballots Mailed
  • November 6th: General Election


  • As students start taking their Smarter Balanced Assessments this month in Washington, schools with early warning data systems in place will be able to use the student result data to improve their programming and resource allocation for the next school year.
  • Eight out of ten (82%) middle-skill jobs in today’s economy require digital skills, a 4% increase since 2014. The Washington State Science Learning Standards established in 2013 are designed to engage students in hands-on technology and engineering practices. The WSSLS is in the final phase of implementation this spring with the administration of the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) to grades 5, 8 and 11.

(Our latest blog, State assessments – what’s behind the acronyms, dives into the ways educators and families can use student assessment data to plan for their future.)

Key Numbers 

  • The share of workers in “low-digital” jobs has dropped sharply since 2002, from 55.7% to 29.5%. (However, even those jobs require dramatically more computer-based skills than they did a decade ago).
  • At the Same time, seventy-percent of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers, according to the Associated General Contractors of America; in Washington, the proportion is 80%

Social Media Chatter


What We're Reading

Skilled trades get their day at school – Everett Herald

High-paying jobs go begging while high school grads line up for bachelor’s degrees – Hechinger Report

Beating the odds: How Spokane Public Schools is getting homeless kids to graduate high school - Inlander


Thank you for reading our summary. Please share any questions or feedback you may have with Katie Gustainis, kgustainis@stand.org.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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