1 JUST THE FACTS Washington
2 The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ICW promotes the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America s greatest economic resource, its workforce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. The National Chamber Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. We provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow s challenges. Institute for a Competitive Workforce, February 2013 U.S. CHAMBER and U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE are registered trademarks of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America. National Chamber Foundation, February 2013
3 Washington 1 Are ALL children receiving a high-quality education in Washington State? Not yet. Although Washington State leads the nation in concentration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs, its high school graduates are not prepared for the rigorous postsecondary coursework needed in those industries. 1 Low-income students in particular are struggling in STEM subjects, with the vast majority lacking proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). 2 Half of students entering two-year colleges require remediation, and only 38% of students taking the ACT scored at levels that indicate a readiness for college-level work. 3 The state has taken aggressive steps to improve student outcomes but more needs to be done. It has increased college- and career-ready expectations for students with the adoption of standards aligned to Common Core State Standards, but it has been unable to implement rigorous Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements due to a lack of funding. Even though it has started to develop a teacher evaluation system tied to student achievement, teachers can still earn tenure regardless of student achievement. In addition, the state has not created a clear school rating system for parents. In November of 2012, voters passed a charter school initiative to provide new options for parents, yet the number of new charter schools is limited to eight per year. Parents with students in the lowest achieving schools lack options, and the state is still in the process of developing a new system to identify and improve its lowest achieving schools. Washington State needs to take action to build on its promising efforts to empower parents, improve instruction, and ensure that its graduates have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in its STEM-focused job market.
4 Washington 2 Washington State Schools at a Glance 4 Total enrollment 1,038,503 Number of schools 2,300 Number of school districts 295 Number of charter schools 0 Students who receive free or reduced lunch 45.5% White 60.2% Black 4.6% Hispanic 19.6% Asian 7.1% Native American/Pacific Islander 2.5% Four-Year Graduation Rate 75% Has the state received a No Child Left Behind waiver? YES (conditional) Is the state a Race to the Top Grant recipient? NO How are Washington State schools failing the business community? Washington needs more educated workers to fill high-skill jobs. Seventy percent of jobs in Washington will require a career certificate or degree by 2020, but only 39% of adults in the state currently have these qualifications. 5 By 2018, the number of STEM jobs in Washington will increase by 25%. 6 Of students who enroll in two- or four-year public colleges or universities, only 29% graduate on time. 7 On average, a high school graduate in Washington earns $9,951 more each year than a high school dropout. In 2011, approximately 30,600 students did not graduate from high school, equaling lost lifetime earnings of $4.8 billion. 8 If Washington reduced the number of high school dropouts by half, the additional spending and investments by these graduates would be enough to support as many as 1,100 new jobs and increase the gross state product by as much as $237 million by the time they reach their career midpoints. 9 High-Demand Occupations at the Baccalaureate Level 2010 Supply Compared to Demand Computer Science Health Professions Engineering, Software Eng., and Achitecture Life Sciences and Agriculture Physical Sciences Completers Entering the Laborforce Additional Supply needed each year to meet demand Source: Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board. (February 2011). A Skilled and Educated Workforce: 2011 Update.
5 Washington 3 Not enough students graduate from high school prepared for college or the workforce. Only 75% of all students statewide and only 67% of low-income students graduate in four years. 10 Eighteen high schools are considered dropout factories because graduation rates are below 60%. 11 Only 38% of the class of 2012 achieved a score on the ACT that indicated they are ready for college-level courses. 12 Fifty percent of students attending two-year colleges needed remediation. 13 Washington State High School Graduation Rates, Class of 2011 Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate % 83% 78% 67% 66% 64% Class of % All Students Asian White Low-income Latino Black Native American Source: Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction, k12.wa.us/dataadmin/pubdocs/graddropout/10-11/graddropout- Stats_ pdf. Not enough Washington State students attend high-quality schools and meet standards for proficiency in reading and math. As Washington prepares to complete the implementation of college- and career-ready standards and aligned assessments, NAEP shows that most students are not proficient in reading and math, despite comparatively high scores on the state s Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) assessment. 14 Washington also faces significant socioeconomic achievement gaps on the NAEP assessment: 82% of low-income fourth-grade students are not proficient in reading, and 75% of low-income eighth-grade students are not proficient in math. Seventy-nine percent of eighth graders lack proficiency in science. 15 Washington State 2011 NAEP and MSP Scores Percentage of Students Who are NOT Proficient % 56% 41% 33% 63% 59% 31% Grade 4 Grade 8 50% NAEP Reading NAEP Math MSP Reading MSP Math Source: Washington State Report Card, Summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1&reportLevel=State&orgLi nkid=100&yrs= &year= &gradelevelid=8&waslcategory=1.
6 Washington 4 What is Washington State doing to improve schools and prepare students to meet college- and career-ready standards? Implementing state standards and assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards. The Washington State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and math in July The state is on track to implement these standards and aligned assessments and has a detailed three-year transition timeline to meet its implementation deadlines Common Core State Standards in reading and math. Washington is committed to implementing standards in reading and math aligned to the CCSS no later than the school year. 3 Assessments aligned to CCSS. Washington is a governing state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and plans to transition to the SBAC assessment by the school year.? Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements. Due to funding limitations, Washington has been unable to implement the SBE approved 24-credit Career and College Ready Requirements. Until there is funding for implementation of these requirements, the SBE adopted a standard for the class of 2016 and beyond that requires 20 credits for graduation College and Career Readiness development. Washington has implemented a web-assisted life skills and planning program known as Navigation 101 for students in grades Over half of middle and high school students in Washington take advantage of this option. Each student is assigned an advisor who meets with the student and helps them with course planning, career exploration, and postsecondary plans. As a result of the program, Washington has seen an increase in postsecondary enrollment rates. 19 What to Watch: Staying the course. Will Washington and individual districts maintain a commitment to the timeline for implementing CCSS standards and the SBAC assessments? Implementation of Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements. Will the state legislature provide funding to implement the 24-credit Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements? Increased standards and assessments that lead to improved college and career readiness. As a result of increased expectations, will more students graduate ready to attain postsecondary credentials and meet the demands of the labor market? Holding all schools accountable for meeting state standards. Under its conditionally-approved No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver, Washington will use the Washington Achievement Index to rate its schools. However, the state has not determined how it will use the index for accountability decisions, and the index requires legislative approval. The State currently lacks the authority to take over low-performing schools. However, it has developed criteria to label certain districts as Required Action Districts (RAD) if they have low-performing schools and have not implemented significant turnaround interventions. These districts are now required by the state to implement school turnaround models in their lowest achieving schools High-achievement goals. Washington has established a set of annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for all students and each subgroup, with the goal of reducing proficiency gaps by 50% by Goals are set by grade bands grades 3 5, 6 8, and high school. Student achievement data from 2011 is the baseline for determining whether these goals are met. 21
7 Washington 5 3 Accountability for all students. Washington will use its Washington Achievement Index which includes achievement and growth in reading, math, science, as well as high school graduation rates to make accountability determinations for schools.? Consequences for low-performing schools and districts. Each year Washington will identify Focus and Priority schools for school improvement interventions. The state will use rankings, instead of its achievement index, to identify low-performing schools and will limit these designations to the bottom 15%. Districts are no longer required to provide supplemental services and public school choice for students attending the lowest achieving schools. The state estimates that it will identify approximately 138 Focus and Priority schools. 22? Transparent school and district grading reports. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provides detailed school report cards on its website, but does not have a rating system that provides schools with an overall score. What to Watch: Development and implementation of the revised Achievement Index and Accountability System. Under the state s NCLB waiver, it has until June 2013 to revise its accountability system. What will the new system look like, and will it be approved by the legislature? Will the state legislature create the authority for a state takeover of failing schools? Will the state improve the transparency of its accountability system? Will Washington s new accountability system include parentfriendly school and district ratings? The lowest achieving schools need to get better! Too many students are in poorly performing schools. Will the interventions for struggling schools and districts help? Will the new accountability system identify the right schools? Improving teacher effectiveness. Like many states, Washington has taken on teacher evaluation as a way to promote a more effective teacher workforce. The Washington State Teacher/ Principal Evaluation Project, which started as a pilot in 2010 to identify new evaluation models based on state-adopted criteria for teacher and principal evaluations, will begin its statewide implementation in the school year. Each district must adopt evaluations that include objective evidence of student performance, which must be a factor in rating annual teacher performance. 23 The focus of the new teacher evaluation system is to raise teacher effectiveness by providing improved feedback on classroom instruction, better aligned professional learning, and professional development opportunities. Looking forward, it remains to be seen whether and how student achievement and growth will inform consequential decisions about teaching from policies for increasing compensation for highlyeffective teachers to tenure and dismissal policies for teachers who are consistently and persistently failing to advance student learning. 3 Annual evaluations based on student achievement. Washington requires that all teachers receive annual performance evaluations that, beginning in the school year, must include student achievement as a substantial factor in three of the state s eight evaluation criteria. 6 Tenure. In Washington, teacher tenure decisions are made virtually automatically if a teacher has taught long enough, and are not required to be informed by student achievement. 6 Pay for performance. Washington does not provide incentives or compensation for teachers based on their effectiveness in the classroom or their willingness to take on challenging assignments in high-need schools.
8 Washington 6 6 Factoring performance into personnel decisions. In Washington, school districts make decisions about teacher layoffs, when they are necessary, based on seniority, rather than on teacher effectiveness Dismissal for ineffectiveness in the classroom. Tenured teachers who receive an unsatisfactory teacher evaluation for two consecutive years are eligible to be dismissed. 25 What to Watch: Implementation of teacher evaluations statewide. Beginning in the school year, districts will be required to implement new teacher evaluations for probationary teachers and for all teachers in While the pilot efforts reached some three-quarters of districts in the state, the challenge of implementing the new system in a consistent, effective way across the state still remains. Will Washington tie student achievement data to decisions about tenure, teacher salaries, and dismissal policies in meaningful ways? While Washington s new teacher legislation moves the state forward in tying teacher personnel decisions to performance, it isn t clear if student achievement and growth will be a factor. What options are available for parents who want something better for their child? School choice, charter schools, and online learning. Parents in Washington finally have access to new school choice options: voters recently approved Initiative 1240 that allows public charters schools to operate in the state for the first time. Prior to the passage of that initiative, the primary means of accessing school options was through digital learning. 3 Charter school law. The new charter law establishes a statewide authorizer and allows local school districts to apply to the SBE. Charters are capped, however, at 40 over a five-year period and only eight can be approved in a single year. Initiative 1240 calls for the creation of a state Charter School Commission by March The SBE is required to develop rules for the annual charter school application process, as well as the timeline and process for school boards seeking approval to become charter school authorizers Open Enrollment and inter-district school choice. Washington allows for limited opportunities for inter- and intra-district school choice Parent trigger. Washington does not have a law that enables parents to initiate school turnaround efforts or charter school conversions. 6 Private school vouchers. Washington does not have a private school voucher program. 3 Online Learning. Students can enroll in a fulltime or part time online school program, or take individual online courses through their local school district. There are at least 15 statewide online programs run by local districts that service students in multiple districts. About 17,800 students were enrolled in online programs in the school year. 28
9 Washington 7 What to Watch: Implementation of the new charter law. Will the state-designed application process encourage high-quality applicants? Will parents have clear information about their options? Will charter schools flourish under the new law? Will students have access to more educational options? How are state education leaders selected? State and local governance in Washington. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K 12 education in Washington. The State School Superintendent is Randy Dorn, who was elected to office in For more information about OSPI visit: The Washington State Board of Education provides advocacy and oversight over public education. The board is composed of five members elected from western and eastern Washington, a private school representative, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and seven members appointed by the Governor. 29 For more information about current members visit: FAQ%20Board%20Members.pdf
10 Washington 8 Endnotes 1 U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation. (June 2011). Enterprising States: Recovery and Renewal for the 21st Century. library/enterprising-states. 2 National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.) NAEP Scores. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2011/ wa8.pdf and NAEP2011ScienceGrade8.pdf. 3 ACT. (2012). The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012: Missouri. Retrieved January 24, 2013, from org/newsroom/data/2012/states/pdf/washington.pdf. 4 Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). (n.d.).washington State Report Card. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from x?grouplevel=district&schoolid=1&reportlevel=state&org LinkId=188&yrs=&year= Complete College America. (2011). Washington Retrieved January 29, 2013, from 6 Anthony Carnevale, Nicole Smith, and Michelle Milton. (October 2011). STEM State-Level Analysis. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from 7 OSPI. (n.d.). Washington State Report Card. Retrieved February 9, 2013, from Summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1&reportLe vel=state&orglinkid=100&yrs= &year= &gr adelevelid=8&waslcategory=1. 8 Alliance for Excellent Education. (2012). Washington High Schools. Retrieved January 21, 2013, from all4ed.org/files/washington_hs.pdf. 9 Alliance for Excellent Education. (2011). Education and the Economy: Boosting Washington s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from 10 Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (n.d.). Missouri Comprehensive Data System. Retrieved January 24, 2013, from Pages/default.aspx. 11 Alliance for Excellent Education. (2012). Washington High Schools. Retrieved January 21, 2013, from all4ed.org/files/washington_hs.pdf. 12 ACT. (2012). The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012: Missouri. Retrieved January 24, 2013, from org/newsroom/data/2012/states/pdf/washington.pdf. 13 Complete College America. (2011). Washington Remediation Retrieved January 21, 2013, from completecollege.org/docs/washington_remediation.pdf. 14 OSPI. (n.d.). Washington State Report Card. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from Summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1&reportLe vel=state&orglinkid=100&yrs= &year= &gr adelevelid=8&waslcategory=1. 15 National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.) NAEP Scores. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2011/ wa4. pdf, stt2011/ wa8.pdf, and 16 U.S. Department of Education. (2012). ESEA Flexibility Request: Washington State. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from wa.pdf. 17 OSPI. (n.d.) CCSS Washington: Transition to New Standards. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from 18 The Washington State Board of Education. (n.d.). Graduation Requirements. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from 19 U.S. Department of Education. (2012). ESEA Flexibility Request: Washington State. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from wa.pdf. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid; George W. Bush Institute. (2012). Advancing Accountability: Missouri. Retrieved January 23, 2013, from pdf. 22 U.S. Department of Education. (2012). ESEA Flexibility Request: Washington State. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from wa.pdf. 23 See and 24 National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). State Teacher Policy Yearbook Retrieved February 4, 2013, from 25 Washington State Legislation, RCW 28A Retrieved February 7, 2013, from aspx?cite=28a Stand for Children Washington. (n.d.). Public Charter Schools. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from washington/take-action-washington-students/2012-election-endorsements/non-profit-public-charter.; The Washington State Board of Education. (n.d.) Public Charters. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from charters.php. 27 OSPI. (January 2013). Learning By Choice: Student Enrollment Options in Washington State. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from LegisGov/2013documents/LearningByChoice2013.pdf. 28 Keeping Pace with K-12 Online and Blended Learning. (2012). Washington. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from 29 The Washington State Board of Education. (January 2013). Board Composition Overview. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from Board%20Composition.pdf.
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