A proposal by state Sen. Steve Litzow to transform the state’s most persistently failing schools was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today. The measure won broad bipartisan support from the Legislature during its regular session, which ended April 28.
“This is a great step toward ensuring that all children are successful,” said Litzow, of Mercer Island, who serves as chairman of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “In order to address the state’s stagnant high-school graduation rate and growing opportunity gap, we must address the communities that are repeatedly failed by the system, which disproportionately include minority children from low-income families.”
The measure requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to identify the lowest-performing schools and provide multiple intervention models in addition to supplemental funding for improving school performance.
“This was one of the important ways we can go about making sure our public-education system is serving all children and preparing them for the demands of an increasingly competitive job market and global economy,” continued Litzow. “I’m grateful to the many stakeholders who worked together to move this forward – especially Representative Kristine Lytton of Anacortes, and Governor Inslee.”
The policy must be in effect no later than the 2014-15 school year.
On Monday, the state House of Representatives approved a measure I proposed aimed at improving the state’s 10 most persistently failing schools by providing additional funding and school-intervention models.
Closing the opportunity gap and improving our high-school graduation rate are the best ways toward making more students successful. We already know what communities are consistently failed by the current system and more often than not it is low-income and minority students who are affected.
Under the plan the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction would identify the 10 lowest performing schools and designate the school district associated with each as a Required Action District. The school district then would be able to select one of four intervention models that could best fit the needs of the individual school and community.
We’ve already seen great success for schools operating under this model and know that turning functions around in the right direction for our students is possible. We cannot stand by while children of the same community continue to fail and do nothing about it. This is one of many steps we must continue to make to improve school performance; I’m grateful for the work of stakeholders and my colleagues in the Senate and House who worked to make this happen.
Following passage Wednesday of nine education-policy bills aimed at improving student learning, the Washington State Senate continued its focus on K-12 education today by approving a proposal that would identify and transform persistently failing schools.
“We already know which schools are consistently underperforming,” said state Sen. Steve Litzow, who sponsored the proposal and serves as chairman of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “This is about taking that information and doing something about it. Year after year students from the same communities are losing out on the opportunity to learn. These children are disproportionately from low-income and minority families and this is a major factor in Washington’s growing opportunity gap.”
The measure would require the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to identify the 10 most persistently low-achieving schools statewide and designate each school’s district as a “Required Action District” (or RAD) where they would select one of five intervention models and receive additional funds for the turnaround.
“Recently the Renton School District made significant progress after receiving the RAD designation and federal school-improvement grants,” continued Litzow. “They were able to choose a course of corrective action that best fit their needs and community dynamics, and ultimately improve student achievement.”
The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support and has gone to the House of Representatives, where a similar measure was introduced by Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle.