Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

“Seattle Women In Software Design: Student Improves on King County Web App

by Matt Rosenberg June 30th, 2014

“Ever find yourself puzzled over how to properly recycle or dispose of unwanted household and business wastes? For King County residents, there’s a new web app for that! It was engineered by Audrey Carlsen, a Seattle woman who took on the project as the capstone of her six months of intensive classroom instruction with the Ada Developers Academy.”

Read the whole thing at Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance.

Catalyst: “Only One in 14 Washington State Public High Schools Offers AP Computer Science”

by Matt Rosenberg June 12th, 2014

From Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, a second part of their probe into how to get more computer science courses into public high schools in Washington State. An excerpt:

“Out of 709 public high schools in Washington, only 51 of them offer an Advanced Placement (AP) computer science course. When a student engages in rigorous high school computing curriculum via the AP courses it unlocks multiple career paths and the prospect of lucrative compensation.…..State Rep. Monica Stonier (D-17th), Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, advised advocates of computer science education to focus on identifying high performing programs around the state. “We’ll look at what’s working, identify the markers of a successful program, and then use that as an entry point.”

Read the whole thing.

“More K-12 Computer Science in Washington State: How?”

by Matt Rosenberg May 16th, 2014

Via Catalyst:

In the most recent Employment Projections report, Washington’s Employment Security Department identifies computer occupations as among the fastest growing and highest paying. Yet less than three out of every one thousand Washington students took AP Computer Science in 2013. The state’s skill gap around computer science dwarfs that found in other STEM fields.

Hadi Partovi of Code.org suggests the state: create clear benchmarks of what courses should cover; clarify teacher certification pathways; create computer science certification or “endorsement”; provide incentives like salary boosts for teachers who get certified; and design incentives for schools to teach computing.

Code recently announced partnerships with 30 school districts across the country, 11 in Washington. Next fall, Code will implement permanent computer science programs there, training existing math and science teachers.

Read the whole thing.

“Apprenticeships Deliver Big In Washington State”

by Matt Rosenberg May 12th, 2014

At Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, news on bang-for-buck in state workforce development programs:

“Apprenticeships are a top performer, according to a recently-released annual report from the state’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. For every dollar invested,  apprenticeships return an impressive $91 to participants in the form of increased net lifetime earnings; and $23 to the taxpaying public in additional tax revenue. On average, an apprenticeship increased a participant’s annual earnings by over $19,000 compared to someone of similar background and abilities who did not participate, according to cost-benefit research done for the Board’s report.”

Read the whole thing.

WA Teaching Standards Earn C- From Ed Reform Group

by Matt Rosenberg February 11th, 2014

In a January 30 report evaluating all 50 states on the sufficiency of their K-12 teaching profession laws, rules and regulations, a national education reform group funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other ed reform interests gives Washington State an overall grade of C- including a D+ for “delivering well-prepared teachers.” The C- for Washington includes four more sub-section grades: three of C- for policies to identify, retain and “exit” ineffective teachers, and a C+ for “expanding the teaching pool.” The information comes in the Washington detail section of the “2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook” report by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

State: Full-Day-K Packs No Sustained Punch, Academically

by Matt Rosenberg January 29th, 2014

Washington state legislators seven years ago set a goal to fund all-day kindergarten in all public schools here by the 2017-18 school year but a new report they commissioned says the practice can’t now be called cost-effective because the academic achievement gains associated with it usually fade fast and any social and emotional learning benefits to children from it can’t be adequately documented.

The new report to lawmakers from the government-funded non-partisan Washington State Institute for Public Policy reviewed the research literature and based on 10 rigorous studies that included control groups, found that compared to the half-day alternative, “the benefits of investing in full-day kindergarten are unlikely to outweigh the costs because the initial test score gains are not usually sustained.” However, if stakeholders can figure out how to sustain the initial test score gains then the investment “has the potential to be cost-beneficial with relatively low risk,” the report added.

Washington Charter Schools – The Data Hub

by Matt Rosenberg October 28th, 2013

A burst of activity late last week brought from 23 to 28 the number of proposed Washington charter schools for which operators say they intend to seek state approval, but they’ll be competing for just eight new openings per year starting this fall. Now filed are notices of intent to apply by November 22, with the first eight winners to be picked in late February by Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Charter School Commission. We’ve integrated key data from the 28 notices of intent into an Excel spreadsheet which accents a diverse range of actors intending to shake up Washington K-12 public education and model new paths to academic success.

U.S. Study: Global Challenges For WA in Math, Science

by Matt Rosenberg October 25th, 2013

A first-time ever comparison of academic achievement between U.S. states and foreign countries – focused on eighth grade math and science mastery – shows Washington’s rankings are above average globally and nationally but still have a long way to go. Released just this week, the report “U.S. States in a Global Context” from the U.S. government’s Center for Education Statistics shows that Washington eighth-graders on average ranked behind 15 other states in math results and also that their predicted offshore rankings lagged seven of the 47 foreign nations or foreign subdivisions included in study results. The Evergreen state was also bested in average science scores by 21 other U.S. states as well as in predicted global standings by Taipei, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Alberta, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, and Singapore.