We should strengthen existing mechanisms to support long-term innovation and diversification in schools. As a teacher, I offer two illustrations.
Since the inception of National Board Certification, the Washington Education Association has steadfastly advocated for and capitalized on the expertise of teachers. These teachers improve education within their classrooms, communities and on the state level, often on the forefront of innovation.
Locally, Vancouver Public Schools opened a STEM school this year, selecting students based on zip code, increasing equitable access and integration. I support WEA’s proposed lawsuit to stop implementation of charter schools while continuing to strengthen and innovate through the school system. State schools Superintendent Randy Dorn has called for bringing direction of charter schools under OSPI, a step that would only partially address issues of quality and access.
Regardless of whether one supports moving forward with charter schools or not, I believe we need to continually ask ourselves how to raise the quality and diversity of educational opportunity for all children in our state and edify the vital strides we have already taken toward excellence in education.
Of particular concern is providing quality early childhood education and improving outreach to parents of traditionally underserved populations in order to genuinely guarantee equal access to those options.