OLYMPIA – Today, a bill to establish statewide education standards for K-12 success was voted off the Senate floor.
Senate Bill 5491, sponsored by Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, directly responds to the McCleary decision and court order to, “set out the State’s plan in sufficient detail to allow progress to be measured according to periodic benchmarks.”
“I am working my hardest to ensure the Legislature makes substantial investments in K-12 in order to fully fund basic education by 2018,” said McAuliffe. “Under the McCleary decision, it will be critical to monitor the education system to assure the state’s investment is actually improving student learning. Having a single set of indicators and performance goals for the state will help align the education reform efforts in order to hold every part of the system — statewide leaders, school personnel, and students — accountable to the same definitions of success.”
The six standards that would establish educational system health progress are:
1. Percentage of students meeting the WaKIDS criteria for entering kindergartners;
2. Percentage of students meeting the standard on the 4th grade reading assessment;
3. Percentage of students meeting the standard on the 8th grade mathematics assessment;4. The four-year high school graduation rate;5. The percentage of high school graduates who during the second quarter after graduation are either enrolled in postsecondary education or training or are employed, and the percentage during the fourth quarter after graduation who are either enrolled in postsecondary education or training or are employed; and6. Percentage of students enrolled in pre-college or remedial courses in college
These points will serve as snapshots of the overall health of the educational system as the program of basic education is phased in. Criteria can be used to compare Washington state’s progress with the rest of the country.The Office Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education are tasked with developing system-wide performance goals for each standard every two years and must report the results to the Legislature at the beginning of each biennium. If a report indicates that the state education system is not on target to meet the stated goals, then the agencies must recommend adjustments to the program.