September 29, 2017 Policy Brief

Our policy brief will follow a bi-weekly schedule until the 2018 Legislative Session when we will return to our weekly schedule.

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • October 24: Oral Argument in McCleary Court Case
  • November 7: Election Day
  • January 8: First day of 2018 Legislative Session


We are currently preparing our policy priorities for the upcoming legislative session focused on how the state can best utilize the increased funds in the 2017 legislative session to make progress on high school graduation rates and other outcomes. Please stay tuned here for announcements on how we will focus our efforts to help move the needle on key metrics for student success.

Key Numbers 

  • Children struggling to read in 1st grade are 88% more likely to be struggling to read in 4th grade.
  • Children who are having problems reading in 4th grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. 

Social Media Chatter

@Stephen_Sawchuck, reporter for Education Week, tweets about “How Teachers Are Addressing the ‘Bend the Knee’ Controversy in Class’ via @edweek”

What We're Reading

Seattle schools enrollment lower than expected; 18 schools will lose staff – Seattle Times

 “Teachers and staff members in 18 Seattle schools will be moved to other buildings, the district said this week, because of lower-than-projected enrollment and a budget shortfall. Eleven other schools will add new staff because those buildings had more students than expected on the fifth day of school — when the district does its annual head count.”

New Bellevue schools chief driven to tackle ethnic achievement gaps – Seattle Times

 “As he begins his first year at the helm of a district with strong academic success, but lagging achievement for some ethnic groups, Duran said he’s deeply driven by his personal history to think about how to create equitable learning environments and about how the district can support its classroom teachers in achieving those goals.”

Washougal opens reworked high school programs in new building – Columbian

 “The Freshman Academy will offer additional field trips and guest speakers, as well as project-based learning of core academic skills through a team teaching approach. The “On Track” program will engage students with hands-on project-based learning and focus on personalized pathways based on each students’ interests, needs and previous knowledge. They will collaborate with others, think critically, problem-solve and manage their progress. The building will also house an Advanced Placement culinary course and potentially some AP science courses in the future. The new $4.8 million building was funded when voters passed a bond in February 2015.”

Why is Ninth Grade a Critical Time for Students? A Researcher Explains – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

 “Over the last decade, ninth grade early warning indicators have shifted the way that educators perceive and address the issue of high school dropout. Rather than waiting until students are almost done with high school and so far behind in credits they have virtually no chance of graduating, educators are now working to prevent students from failing in the first place.”

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

We look forward to hearing from you.

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