The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

Ready Washington Video: North Hill Elementary

The Ready Washington Coalition released a new video highlighting a local elementary school’s success in applying the Common Core standards in its classrooms.

“Our school approached the Common Core by selecting three standards, one for English language arts and two for math,” said Nancy Melius, principal of North Hill Elementary. “And then we really just dug in deeper to understand what did that standard say, what did that look like for kids.”

The approach paid off, as the school saw impressive results in the spring 2015 Smarter Balanced assessment in those subjects.

The video speaks to the importance of standards in education as a way to prepare students for college and career. We know that 70 percent of jobs will require postsecondary education by 2020 and, already, thousands of good jobs have gone unfilled in Washington because employers here can’t find enough qualified candidates. In fact, a study we released with The Boston Consulting Group in 2013 looked at the growing job skills gap in Washington state. At that time, there were 25,000 unfilled jobs in Washington due to the job skills gap — a number expected to rise to 50,000 by 2017.  We must do more to prepare our students for the great opportunities that exist here.

As the state Legislature works to address the Washington Supreme Court’s McClearly ruling, it should do so in a way that ensures education investments lead to demonstrable gains in student achievement. Lawmakers should tie resources to strategies that support increased teacher effectiveness, expanded STEM education, and career and college readiness for all students.

Doing so will lead to more schools with results like North Hill’s — schools that better prepare children to take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities here in Washington state.



Return to News