Frequently Asked Questions
At its core, HSSC came together because we know that we can make a difference in kids lives — right now. We are focused on implementing proven policies that close the opportunity gap in Washington state by connecting students with support they need to graduate from high school . We know that by 2030, 73% of career jobs will require a a higher degree. Finishing high school is the first step in making sure every student can attain their dreams.
Specifically, our coalition wants to: (1) ensure equitable access to academically challenging courses, (2) hire more school counselors to help middle and high school students succeed and (3) focus on the critical freshman year transition to ensure kids are on the right path through implementing a Freshman Success Strategy in every district.
HSSC is supporting several key polices being championed in the legislature. Although they all had origins in SB 5343 – which received a unanimous YES vote from the Senate Education Committee – the policies are now built in to several different bills making their way through the process. SB 5315 and HB 1265 both support these policies by increasing the number of student counselors and support staff in school. Stay tuned – or sign up here to get regular updates and lend your name!
The truth is 1 out of 5 Washington students will not graduate from high school. And within that statistic lies a great inequity. Too often, kids left behind are kids of color, and/or kids from low-income families. HSSC knows that this is because of a deep opportunity gap, not because of ability. All kids can succeed. And, while Washington leaders have recently moved leaps and bounds towards investing in education, we can do more to make sure ALL kids get the same chance at a great future.
Because we can do it! And for all of our kids, we should. At HSSC, we know that Washington’s future is brighter when kids finish school with a diploma in hand. This year we have the opportunity to make that future a reality by implementing simple, proven policies that work — and that we can put to work immediately to help kids. For years, Washington has fallen behind, ranking 44th in high school graduation yet 1st in economic growth. That doesn’t make sense and failing to address our education system will leave our kids at a serious disadvantage in the economy of the future. Recently, legislators have taken bold steps to address this. HSSC is focused on advancing that upward trajectory during the 2019 session by supporting policies that ensure access to opportunity for all kids.
Our coalition is made up of organizations, elected officials, parent, families —and students themselves!— that are advocating for polices that will help Washington state do better, now. Our members include: Black Education Strategy Roundtable, College Success Foundation, Graduate Tacoma, Stand for Children Washington, Treehouse, and Washington Roundtable. In fact, you can join the coalition by signing up.
Stand for Children Washington is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability. Stand helps channel philanthropic dollars to support policies that help improve education for all kids by closing the opportunity gap. As a part of HSSC, they are helping elevate the following policy goals this year: (1) ensuring equitable access to academically challenging courses, (2) hiring more school counselors and (3) focusing on the critical freshman year transition to ensure kids are on the right path.
Well, both! Ensuring every kid graduates and investing in a better future for Washington is something that we all can agree on, as demonstrated by members of both parties coming together to unanimously vote SB 5343 out of the Senate Education Committee. HSSC polices have bipartisan appeal because they are proven, data-driven, cost-effective and beneficial for all.
Yes! And what is more, these policies can be put into effect immediately – meaning kids in school now can experience a difference. Freshman Success strategies and Academic Acceleration policies have proven to boost high school graduation rates and have an immediate positive impact on students in districts where they are already implemented. The approaches encased in the high school success plan are comprised of data-proven policies and programs that are already working across our state, including in Tacoma, Federal Way, Spokane, Sunnyside, and Lake Chelan. How? Washington already recognizes the importance of data-proven 9th grade on-track metrics and the ability to earn credit for high school and college, which is why both are included as accountability measures in the Washington School Improvement Framework . These policies work because of real-time data systems that monitor students and appropriately intervene if they begin to struggle or are ready for more rigorous classes. It meets students where they are at with a helping hand or spurring them into the next challenge.
We need you! You can help in several ways: