Yesterday’s update to the Benchmarks for a Better Washington shows that our state’s education system continues to produce mix results. Washington scores among the top 10 states in the nation in 8th grade math performance, ranking 7th overall. That success is tempered by the fact that just 39 percent of our students scored proficient or better on the nation’s math exam in 2015. Looking at other education metrics, Washington ranks 38th in high school graduation rate, despite an uptick in the graduation rate to 78.2 percent in 2014. And, we’ve moved closer to the bottom 10 states for bachelor’s degrees awarded per capita, ranking 39th with 4.6 degrees awarded per 1,000 residents in 2013.
There are opportunities ahead to improve not only Washington’s education rankings, but to take actions that will lead to better outcomes for Washington students. In the short-term, the best opportunity is for state lawmakers to take action on legislation that will allow for the continued operation of public charter schools in our state. The Senate passed a charter school bill early in the legislative session and, with just two weeks left in the session, we’re getting down to crunch time. Public charter schools provide options and opportunities for students who have been historically underserved in our state, and, in just the first year, Washington’s public charter school students are making impressive achievement gains. It’s time to act and deliver a solution that will allow for the continued operation of these schools. Learn more about the charter school effort from the Washington Charter Schools Association and Act Now for Washington Students.
To view the Benchmarks for a Better Washington, click here.