Boosting Washington State Higher Education: The Conversation Deepens

Boosting Washington State Higher Education: The Conversation Deepens

Representing the largest four-year public universities in Washington, the Council of Presidents on January 17 told the State Senate Higher Education Committee their institutions need additional funding to...
Apprentice changes oil on car

Job training proposal could boost employment

The House Education Committee heard testimony this week on a bill which would create a pilot project to better connect Washington state public school...
Getting A Leg Up On Income Inequality

Getting A Leg Up On Income Inequality

A key aim of Initiative 1433 to raise the Washington state minimum wage, and a theme accentuated by Governor Jay Inslee in his 2016...
New K-12 Funding Plan Aims For Middle Ground

New K-12 Funding Plan Aims For Middle Ground

With the state House and Senate clearing two rival bills to fully fund basic education, eyes are turned toward a third alternative proposal set...
Auditor: Charter schools too new gauge effectiveness

Auditor: Charter schools too new to gauge effectiveness

Washington state charter schools are still too new to determine how effective they are at educating students in their classrooms, according to a new...
Attacking the gap: the bridge from class to career

Attacking the gap: the bridge from class to career

After years spent mired in the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and battling over education funding, the legislature is now uniquely aligned around one major...
Voices Rise For Charter Schools Fix In Washington, But Time Running Short

Voices Rise For Charter Schools Fix In Washington, But Time Running Short

The Washington State House of Representatives continues to deliberate whether or not to rescue the 1,000-plus students in voter-approved public charter schools from a...
Meeting Business Needs Through State Need Grant Reform

Meeting Business Needs Through State Need Grant Reform

A new approach to distributing the State Need Grant (SNG) would better align recipients to meeting business needs and increase degree completion in high-demand...
Budget Set - Now Real Work Starts

Budget Set – Now Real Work Starts

After a 19-day special session the state legislature approved a supplemental operating budget that despite new spending preserves the four-year balanced budget and includes...
Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

At a hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday, January 30, lawmakers further staked out their ground in what will be protracted...
The Minimum Wage, And Machines

The New Baseline: Special Skills

Political and policy activism on labor conditions for low-wage hourly workers is on the rise. Yet the growing emphasis on upstream tweaks may overshadow...

Lawmakers Pass Compromise Budget

After three special sessions, the Washington state legislature Friday approved a 2017-19 operating budget signed by Governor Jay Inslee just one hour before midnight...
Washington State's Teacher Training Practices Don't Make The Grade

Washington State’s Teacher Training Practices Don’t Make The Grade

Washington state's teacher training practices barely get a passing grade from a national education reform and research group. The National Council on Teacher Quality gave...
What Should A High School Diploma Mean?

What Should A High School Diploma Mean?

As state lawmakers begin to align around two competing visions for funding K-12 basic education, they're also considering changes to requirements for a Washington...
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Employers support high-demand jobs bill

Washington state lawmakers heard from rural employers this week who support a pending proposal to support students to both earn degrees and succeed in...
U.S. lawmakers speak to the future of global trade

Securing Washington’s trade future

During the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT)’s annual Trade Summit, U.S. lawmakers weighed in on how Washington state could maintain its position in...

Bottom-Up Rumblings On Washington Taxes

Turning heads statewide recently was the unanimous decision by the seven-member City of Spokane Valley to enact a new hurdle for that body to...
Data Viz: Washington, U.S. 4th-Graders Not "Proficient" In Math Or Reading

Washington, U.S. 4th-Graders Not “Proficient” In Math Or Reading

Neither Washington state nor U.S. 4th-graders on the whole are proficient in math or reading according to five-year average scores in the long-established, widely-used...
Washington State Looks To Up Its Game On College Completion, And Job Training

Washington State Looks To Up Its Game On College Completion, And Job Training

Washington has a problem. Nearly 56 percent of students attending four-year public colleges in the state did not graduate within four years, and 71...
Engineer working on equipment

Washington technical school to partner with Oregon, British Columbia to fill workforce gaps

There will be an estimated 740,000 job openings in Washington state over the next five years and analysts are projecting a lack of qualified...
Amazon Go Store

Future of work in an automated world

Members of Washington’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTB) are recommending to the legislature that the state and its businesses should refocus efforts...
Navigating a post-McCleary classroom

Navigating a post-McCleary classroom

After six years and $9.5 billion in new spending, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled last week that the state legislature was finally in...
Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Fixing School Siting: Round Two

Washington state lawmakers are again trying to help overcrowded school districts serve students with new facilities, which in some cases would have to be built...
A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

More and more buildings are springing up around Puget Sound, but the skilled workers who build and maintain them are nearing retirement and the...
Clearing the Path To Middle-Skill Careers

Clearing the Path To Middle-Skill Careers

The Washington State House this week approved a measure which would boost recruitment efforts in high-demand industry fields, and fill worker shortages voiced by those...
Addressing Environmental and Natural Resource Sector Worker Shortages

Addressing Environmental and Natural Resource Sector Worker Shortages

Washington state lawmakers are trying a new approach to fill jobs left open for the state's environmental sectors. SB 5285 would encourage better communication...
Study: Mentoring Key For New Teachers

Study: Mentoring Key For New Teachers

A new study by the University of Washington has found a link between mentoring programs and higher retention rates for beginning teachers – research...
Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

Lawmakers Lift Restrictions On School Siting

The Washington State Legislature this week approved legislation allowing school districts to build new facilities outside of their county’s “urban growth area” (UGA) under...
Early Battle Lines Drawn On School Funding

Early Battle Lines Drawn On School Funding

Comments by State Sen. John Braun (R-20) at a recent Education Funding Task Force meeting suggest a possible push for evidence-based decision-making to ensure Washington's...
K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It's Early Innings

K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It’s Early Innings

As the 2017 biennial budget session of the Washington legislature opened Monday, January 9, all eyes were on the Joint Education Funding Task Force. Under a law passed in 2016, it...
Free Markets Versus Intervention: Murray, Vance Square Off In First Debate

Free Markets Versus Intervention: Murray, Vance Square Off In First Debate

In a debate hosted by Gonzaga University this week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Republican challenger Chris Vance promoted distinct visions of how to grow...
Alarms Ringing On Higher Ed Attainment

Alarms Ringing On Higher Ed Attainment

Hundreds of thousands of new jobs are coming to Washington in the next five years, and they will mostly require education beyond high school. State data presented last...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s skilled worker gap

Lens sat down with State Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-1) to discuss how Washington can better prepare for the projected skilled worker gap.

Secretary of Education DeVos urges school choice in K-12

At Washington Policy Center’s (WPC) annual dinner, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos addressed nearly 1,500 business leaders, elected officials and young professionals about the power...
Lens Readers Argue For Charter Schools

Lens Readers Argue For Charter Schools

As we reported here at Lens Friday night, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has let stand a bill approved by the legislature in the recently-concluded...
Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Nearly 60 percent of Washington state public school fourth-graders don't reach the "proficient" level in science, nor do slightly more than 60 percent of...
State Treasurer warns against use of emergency funds in budget proposal

State Treasurer warns against use of emergency funds in budget proposal

Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed 2018 supplemental budget released Thursday brought forth mixed tidings of discomfort and joy. His operating budget would add $1 billion...
Washington's Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington’s Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington state's maritime industries are more of an economic powerhouse than you probably imagined. According to a report from the Economic Development Council of...
More And Faster Jobs Data Shaping Higher Ed

More, Faster Jobs Data Shapes Higher Ed

Colleges are increasingly looking at the particular skills employers seek, using data analytics to mine thousands of job listings. They’re using tools rich with...
High court upholds charter schools

High court upholds charter schools

After three years of legal wrangling, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools do not violate the state constitution and can...
Improving the State Need Grant's Reach

Improving The State Need Grant’s Reach

Washington State’s higher education system is under pressure to grow capacity and improve results. University presidents say they need to increase certificate and degree attainment, and other student...
Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has filed a lawsuit he hopes will spur the legislature to assume financial responsibility for basic...
Franz Shifts Message On State Timber Sales

Franz Shifts On State Timber Sales

In a debate hosted by the Association of Washington Business at Suncadia last week between the general election contestants for Washington Public Land Commissioner, Democrat...
Bryant, Inslee Differ On Education, Taxes, and Carbon Cap Rule

Bryant, Inslee Differ On Education, Taxes, and Carbon Cap Rule

In a debate hosted by Seattle University this week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Bill Bryant outlined disparate visions for the...
Student studying

Call to expand state financial aid

New research reveals that states should do a better job of including adults in financial aid programs to reach attainment goals. The data also...
Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

House Democrats have released their proposed 2017-19 operating budget that includes over $7 billion in increased basic education spending over four years and a...
Electrical apprentices in class

Local trade school offers secure career path

Over 2,000 Washingtonians are choosing to pursue trade-related careers in the electrical field through registered apprenticeships, a choice which often leaves them with a...
Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowding

Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowding

Tom Seigel has a problem. As Superintendent of the Bethel School District in Pierce County, he's got three high schools bursting at the seams...
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...
i-Partisan Backing Was Key To Charter Schools Rescue Approved In State House

Bi-Partisan Backing Was Key To Charter Schools Rescue Approved In State House

With 10 Democrats joining the minority of 48 Republicans, the Washington State House of Representatives voted 58 to 39 Wednesday night to pass a...
Construction workers planning next step

Lawmakers: Future of work proposal “redundant”

State lawmakers disagreed over the need for a bill which would predict changes in Washington industries and work by creating the future of work...

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