July 22, 2014 | Issue No. 14 | Excellent Schools Now Newsletter
Parasa Chanrammy with Stand for Children discusses ESN's 2015 Policy Priorities selection process at the June 18 full coalition meeting.

What's Up?

ESN Full Coalition Meeting
September 16
8:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
2100 Building
2100 24th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144

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State Board of Education upholds academic rigor of the high school diploma

During the 2014 legislative session, the Excellent Schools Now (ESN) Coalition worked to pass the College and Career Ready Diploma (SB 6552). This law authorized the State Board of Education to implement their recommended 24-credit high school graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2019.

To implement the updated graduation requirements, the State Board of Education drafted proposed rules. After a public comment period, public forum in Olympia on June 6, and a public hearing in Spokane on July 9, the State Board of Education approved rules for implementation.

Among the rules approved, the State Board voted to uphold the academic rigor of the diploma. The 2-credit waiver for students with unusual circumstances is restricted to non-core subjects.

The State Board also voted in favor of parent engagement, giving parents or guardians precedence over the school and directing schools to provide information to parents in their predominant language.

Thank you for your help in submitting public comment to the State Board, writing the State Board, and testifying at the public hearing. Read more about the hearing.
A group of parents, students, and community members traveled from the Yakima area to Spokane to testify at the State Board of Education public hearing on July 9.
A group of parents, students, and community members traveled to Spokane from the Yakima area to testify at the State Board meeting.

ESN 2015 Policy Priorities

The steering committee policy team is in the midst of finalizing policy priorities for the 2015 legislative session. You are invited to join them at any of their next weekly meetings, taking place at the League of Education Voters office, 12:30–2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Dates: July 23, July 30, August 6
Location: League of Education Voters, 2734 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Unable to make it to the ESN policy meetings in person? Join by calling into the conference line: 1-800-920-7487, Participant #: 72795874.

For more information about these meetings, please contact Amy Liu or Parasa Chanramy. For more information about the policy priorities selection process, please visit the ESN website.

A+ Washington Progress Report

A+ Washington Progress Report 2014At ESN, we believe that we can and must accelerate career and college readiness and success for all young people, especially for low-income students and students of color.

To achieve our vision, in 2010 we crafted an ambitious six-year plan called A+ Washington with five strategies:

  • Expand access to high-quality pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade
  • Provide all students with access to excellent teachers and leaders
  • Position the state's students for college and career readiness
  • Implement flexible and transformative approaches to K-12 education
  • Develop effective data and accountability systems

We recently published an update on the plan detailing our progress. Read the update on our website.

The Excellent Schools Now (ESN) coalition includes nearly 40 education, business, and community-based organizations across Washington state working to achieve meaningful education reform that increases student achievement.