Champions

Voices Demanding Action

Equity in advanced classes. Support for freshmen. More counseling.

Join our coalition in demanding more resources for K-12 students and increasing investment in Washington’s collective future.

“We are always seeking pathways forward for students in our community that will lead to more opportunity, equitable access to high-quality resources and supports that helps them expand and fulfill their life dreams. The programs codified in this legislation have been tried-and-tested and we are eager that in Washington, we move forward with what we know works to prepare our students to excel in earning their high school diploma pursuing opportunities beyond graduation.”

Steve Smith Executive Director of Black Education Strategy Roundtable

“For 8 years I was on the Federal Way School Board where the Board adopted an Academic Acceleration Policy in 2011, my first year on the board. Since inception, the outcomes for scholars – particularly scholars of color have been positive and very promising. I’m looking forward to taking a YES vote on an educational racial equity policy that is not an experiment, or a stepping stone, but instead an investment toward programs that are already helping scholars graduate from high school. It is significant to me that these programs are not for a single population of scholars, but instead expansive in who they will help, and how they will help them succeed. Whether a student is a struggling Freshman who needs intervention from specialists before it’s too late, or a high-achiever who would not be exposed to academic acceleration coursework otherwise, these policies remove barriers to success for more scholars.”

Senator Claire Wilson Democrat, 30th Legislative District, High School Success Legislation sponsor

“In my role as State Teacher of the Year in 2016 and as an advocate since then, I’ve worked hard to support policies that offer the same opportunities for all students. Focusing on the inequalities in advanced-course enrollment allows me to directly address a disparity based on my own experience as a student and a teacher. Fixing our education system so that it focuses on helping every kid succeed no matter where they go to school will take work from all of us — parents, teachers, students, administrators and policymakers. More than 50 districts in Washington already have Academic Acceleration; it works and it should be uniform statewide.”

Nate Bowling Tacoma Educator, 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year, Teachers United founder

“With 740,000 job openings in the state over the next several years, helping more students graduate ready to take on education and training after high school is more important than ever. Implementing proven solutions will help students stay on track to graduate and nudge them toward the postsecondary training they will need to fill those jobs.”We can decrease inequality in high schools right now by pushing more students into acceleration programs. Simple, proven. Thank you for bringing this opportunity to the legislature this year.”

Neil Strege Vice President of Washington Roundtable

“I’m asking my lawmakers to support policies that are proven to increase graduation rates because our current model for facilitating high school success in WA must improve. Preventing dropouts, ensuring freshmen stay on track, raising enrollment in dual credit classes, and ensuring that we have on time graduates ready to earn post-secondary diplomas is going to take additional school counselors, and capacity building throughout the system.”

Brad Wilson Chelan High School Principal

“Today more than ever, I believe that elected leaders are committed to helping Washington’s students make it to graduation day and to take advantage of the opportunities that await in Washington’s growing economy. Implementing policies that are proven to increase graduation rates is a commitment toward equitable access to opportunity for every youth, no matter where they come from, what language they speak at home, or where they live in this state.”

James Dorsey President & CEO of College Success Foundation

“When we have the opportunity to put a diploma into the hands of a Washington student who might otherwise drop out, we must do our part to bring graduation day closer. There is no question that tomorrow’s careers will require a baseline of knowledge that begins with high school graduation. Students may choose different paths—a career, college, or another kind of training. Our job is to get them to the point where they have those options and are prepared to compete in the global economy. Supporting Academic Acceleration and Freshman On-Track strategies will do just that.”

Senator Guy Palumbo Democrat, 1st Legislative District, High School Success legislation sponsor

“I am voting yes in support of two specific policies that I believe are important to getting Washington students graduated from high school. Our state is in the bottom 10 when it comes to graduation rates, and I am confident we can, and will, improve upon our rank because our students deserve better. One thing I will do is to vote yes of Freshman On-Track programs, which help struggling students early and often. The other program I will support is Academic Acceleration, which is a no-brainer that automatically enrolls qualified students into advanced courses, enabling them to be challenged while they earn college credit. Washington should be in the Top 10, not the bottom 10, and I urge my colleagues to join with me and vote yes on these two important policies today.”

Senator Jesse Salomon Democrat, 32nd Legislative District, High School Success legislation sponsor

Questions?

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