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Ready & Successful Schools Action Plan

 

Clients:  Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Overview

In 2012, State Superintendent Randy Dorn charged the Ready and Successful Schools Work Group with recommending a four-year Ready and Successful Schools Action Plan. The Work Group was charged with identifying a handful of key next steps that the K-12 system can use to align with early learning system-building reforms, build connections with early learning providers, and enhance the education of children served in PreK through Grade 3 programs and classes in Washington’s public schools.

Challenge

The PreK-3rd grade years are instrumental in setting children on a path to success or conversely, in allowing “opportunity gaps” to continue, forcing students, teachers and administrators to play a continuous game of catch up. Recent data (2011-12) show that 31% of Washington’s 3rd grade students demonstrate “below basic” levels of proficiency in reading on Washington’s Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), with 8.4% percent of our students “well below” basic. The picture is bleaker for low-income children and many children of color.

This is troubling for academic, social and economic reasons. By 2018, 67% of jobs in Washington will require a postsecondary training. Unfortunately, recent data show that only 77.2%1 of Washington high school students in the Class of 2012 graduated from high school. Of those, only 62% of graduates are enrolled in post-secondary education2 leaving a serious gap between what the workforce will require and what the education system is delivering.

Approach

Dovetailing worked with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a 37-member Ready and Successful Schools Work Group (October 2012 through May 2013). The Work Group created the Ready and Successful Schools Action Plan, leadership and a timeline for advancing high impact statewide actions that can be taken over the next four years. The Work Group included school district superintendents, school board members, principals, teachers, ESD leaders, early learning providers, parents, and individuals representing the Washington Early Learning Partnership (Department of Early Learning, OSPI and Thrive by Five Washington). Financial support was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Results

The Work Group’s recommendations were crafted into an Action Plan, representing an important step in improving the education of our earliest learners, which is one of Superintendent Dorn’s five education priorities for Washington. The Ready & Successful Schools Plan has since been adopted by the Washington Early Learning Partnership with key strategies integrated into the actions of public and private funders and educators. Action teams of K-12 and early learning leaders are now working implement the Action Plan.  

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