Perspectives on Policy

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New study blasts WA's transportation system

Driving on deficient roads costs Seattle-area drivers an average $1,845 per year and Spokane-area drivers an average $1,423 per year, says a new report.  Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Washington motorists a total of $6.5 billion statewide due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic accidents and congestion-related delays according to a study released this week by TRIP, a national transportation research group.  The report concludes that increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels is needed to help relieve congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth.  When asked by KOMO News, the state Department of Transportation agreed that more money was needed.  But that money doesn't appear to be coming from the legislature any time soon.  Despite more than a year of work and discussion, lawmakers are likely to adjourn the 2014 legislative session this week without a new statewide transportation investment package.  Given this new data and the clearly demonstrated need for new investment, the lack of progress in Olympia this year is a huge missed opportunity.  The costs of doing nothing are far too high.

Check out the full TRIP report.  Or to get a little more on what the media is saying, here are stories from KIRO TV and KPLU public radio.  More on the WashACE blog as well.

- March 12, 2014

Strong support for 24-credit diploma

With just two weeks left in the legislaitve session, it's encouraging to see continued progress this week on education policy.  The House Education Committee moved the 24-credit diploma bill. We're also anticipating a new bill will drop to make a necessary change in the state's teacher and principal evaluation system.  These are high priorities for the last weeks of the session.  More from Roundtable members on why the 24-credit bill in particular matters so much:

- Feb. 26, 2014

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Seattle Times: What does our diploma mean?

From The Seattle Times:

There is little argument about the facts: Fewer than half of all graduating high school seniors in Washington meet basic requirements for admission to public universities, and hundreds of employers say our high school graduates do not have adequate skills in reading, writing or math — even for low-level jobs.

It's time for a diploma that prepares every student for college and career. Sign the petition to support the 24-credit diploma.

- Feb. 5, 2014

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Support for 24-credit diploma - sign the petition!

We've long been supporters of a high school diploma that ensures every graduate is ready for college and work. Washington is getting closer. The Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee yesterday heard testimony on SB 6092, a bill that will implement the State Board of Education's recommended 24-credit high school diploma. The House Education Committee heard testimony on their version of the bill, HB 2181, earlier this month. It's time to get this done. Check out Partnership for Learning's legislative tracker to follow the issue and sign this Excellent Schools Now petition urging lawmakers to take action this session. All of Washington's students deserve a diploma for the 21st century. - Jan. 28, 2014
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Annual Education Week report gives WA average grade

You know we like tracking progress and benchmarks.  This news out of Partnership for Learning this week... Education Week's annual Quality Counts report gave Washington an average grade (good for 23rd in the nation) for its state education policy and achievement. You can also access an interactive map with the report's measurables. The annual report gave Washington average grades of C in five of six categories (K-12 achievement; school finance; transitions and alignment; standards, assessments and accountability; and teaching profession). The report did give Washington a grade of B- in "chance for success" using the indicators of early foundations, school years and adult outcomes. It’s the 18th year Education Week has compiled the report.

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- Jan. 15, 2014

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