Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coalition to visit Olympia . . .

I'm going through my blog file and seeing a growing number of posts and articles on Common Core push back in states with a focus on the diversity of the groups beginning to advocate for changes to the implementation schedules.  Included in these efforts is a pull back from the two national assessment consortia, potentially increasing the cost of administering these tests next spring.  But, last month I said I would take a moratorium on common core posts so I'll just keep adding to the file.

Closer to home, tomorrow a coalition representing PSE, TEA, Board, students, parents, and administrators will meet with multiple legislators in Olympia.  Our purpose is to demonstrate how one system comes together to identify common needs and advocate for what our system needs to meet the multiple accountability measures imposed by the state and federal governments.  The legislators tell us that we are the only system that lobbies with these diverse groups and they enjoy the opportunity.  It also results in them giving us more time to share our concerns and requests.

Tomorrow we will focus on the following areas.

  • Funding the McCleary decision.
  • Funding to support staff development for teachers, classified staff, and administrators.
  • Please, no new mandates from this short session.
  • Cost of living increase for school personnel.
  • Delay and restructuring of the 1080 hour requirement.  (SSB 6552 was recently submitted that both delays the implementation by a year and provides flexibility in meeting the requirement.  This is a positive move by multiple legislative leaders, something that we did not believe possible when the session started.)
We will be sharing our message with six legislators throughout the day.  This coalition is another example of the collaborative culture we are creating and contributes to what separates us from many other school systems.  I don't know what influence we will have on their voting, but I do know that our process provides us with a greater opportunity than most to be heard.

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