Thursday, March 02, 2017

OSPI and Lt Governor's Office Get It Done

From OSPI (bold mine):

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced today that, thanks to a public-private partnership initiated by Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib, low-income students in Washington state will be able to take Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams for free this year.

Since 1999, a federal grant called the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program has provided funding for low-income students to take AP exams—which this year will cost $93 per test—at reduced rates. However, changes made during passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015 moved the federal program into a block grant, to which Congress then failed to appropriate funds in time for the 2017 test-takers.

Last month, Lt. Gov. Habib announced the creation of a coalition of private partners including Microsoft, The Boeing Company, and the Schultz Family Foundation. They, along with other individual, nonprofit, and corporate donors, committed emergency resources to help cover the loss of federal funds.

“Students shouldn’t have to face uncertainty when it comes to whether or not they can afford to take these exams,” said Habib. “Fundamentally, this is a question of equity in our education system, but it is also a wise and critical investment in our future. Students who take Advanced Placement exams are more likely to be accepted to college, and more likely to graduate on time because of the opportunity to earn college credits in high school. This is a smart program, and our success in securing this funding is a key demonstration of how government and the community can work together to find innovative ways to solve our state’s challenges.”

A combination of private funds raised by the Lt. Governor’s Office, along with one-time unspent federal and state money diverted to help fund the effort, will allow the program, which costs about $800,000 per year, to continue in 2017, ensuring no cost to low-income students. The College Success Foundation, a nonprofit organization with experience facilitating public-private partnerships for educational purposes, is managing the private funds.

“I’m thrilled that Lt. Gov. Habib, the College Success Foundation, and others have stepped up to ensure our low-income AP students will be able to afford to take these important exams this year,” said Superintendent Reykdal.

“Students should prepare to take their exams, knowing that financial assistance will be available for those who need it, and I’m hopeful that Congress or the Legislature will move forward with a permanent funding solution for the 2017-18 school year and beyond.”

The initiative has received praise for its swift and innovative response. Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President at the College Board, wrote in a Feb. 17 letter addressed to Habib:
What you are doing is, frankly, unprecedented in state educational leadership; we have never yet seen a state leader rally private industry to contribute to students’ college readiness and affordability through a small, but incredibly meaningful way – reducing the cost of college credit exams like AP and IB.”
According to data recently released from the College Board, of the seniors in the 2015-16 school year taking an AP exam, 25 percent received a low-income test fee subsidy.


Anonymous said...

I think the Russians are trolling this blog and many others. I don't have proof just a gut feeling. You should contact the Clintons for help. In my class we openly talk about how the Russians are trying to undermine our public ed system. I think the Russians are attacking our colleges and local public schools.


T. Liu said...

Go, Cyrus! I am so thrilled to see such a useful, constructive, strategic gift given to hardworking students.

Anonymous said...

Trolls win when they can post anything and get their screed seen before it's taken down. With moderation, those who have something significant to add to the conversation will, and you won't have people hanging around just for the comments scrum. Please turn on moderation, if I have to read another offensive comment I think I will stop visiting this blog.


not mc troll said...

I thought they were over $100 per test unless i am completely mistaken; is the reduced price for frl families?

no caps

not mc-t said...

wow i think i know who posted that (type one hcc hater as i posted before) .... mw of course i am heartened to know that you will do what is right for you. moderation is too much work for anyone. and trolls loved to hear you were tired of dealing with their crap. i will pay before i would want you to spin your wheels deleting their hate. but you know what works.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Good job Cyrus and Chris Reykdal! I voted for both of them and they are doing a stellar job. Keep up the good work and innovative ideas.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your headline should have read, "OSPI, Lt Governor's Office, and Washington-based Corporations Get It Done." This was a partnership and you neglected to include one of the partners --- Challenge Seattle.

Unfortunately, I don't think this was an oversight. Vilifying local corporations is just part of your narrative.


Anonymous said...

Corporations refusing to pay fair taxes is what got Seattle into this financial mess. The CEOs should quit trying to further muddy the waters. Challenge Seattle is long on hot air and short on effective solutions. They certainly are completely uninterested in influencing the state legislature to fund education. A five-year coffee klatch is not going to solve decades of education underfunding.

BTW, Melissa, I fully support your moderation efforts. Trolling has eliminated the practicality of public blogs. I would certainly pay for this blog - however I have been reading for over 15 years so I know its value.


Tell me what you want said...

What are "fair taxes"?

Is it a tax on income? If so, how is the income computed? And then, once it is computed, what is a "fair" tax rate?

Watching said...

I agree with -TechParent's comments regarding corporations.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in for moderation in whatever form you choose. However, I'm taken aback by your threat to "out" commentators and alert the district to your guess of the identity of the commentator. I enjoy freely communicating information I think is important and sometimes that information was not intended for public dissemination, but I risk it.

If you are now going to "out" those who you do not agree with then I guess we are done.

Is this what your blog has become, a form of McCarthyism?

-Longtime commentator

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, I did not say I told the district who I thought the trolls were. I said I let the district know that a threat was made against Board members and what was said.

I can only say if you had been threaten as I have - especially the latest one which mirrored what was done to a developmentally disabled high school student - you would want it to stop as well. My outing anyone - which I have not done and am only considering - is in defense of myself and the security of those who raise their hand to be on the school board.

Headlines are suppose to be short and readers are encourage to actually read the story for the full import of the thread.

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear, sorry you feel harassed. BTW it usually means you're getting into something another group doesn't want known. Consider it a complement as an activist.

I don't mean to knock you over the head but you kind of did say you outed people to the district here,

"I remove them and the ones aimed at Board members are reported to the district along with the names of the people I think are writing them.)"

I just don't feel you need to go there, I mean why get so riled up and why give out the impression you might decide to "OUT" someone for another reason. I hope you can see the slippery slope in doing that.

-Longtime commentator

Another Commentor said...


Your blog post says,

"I do document all the comments before I remove them and the ones aimed at Board members are reported to the district along with the names of the people I think are writing them."

I also consider this a threat and if that's not your intent, then perhaps you might edit your earlier post. Not that I feel personally feel threatened or troll the site, although I certainly don't' always agree with you.

Given there is no way you can actually know who wrote something unless they sign in, the idea that you would send someone's name to the district or "out them" doesn't seem right.

Another Commentator

Anonymous said...

@Tell me...
Where have you been? It is well known that corporations - including ours in the Puget Sound hide an extensive proportion of their revenues in off-shore holdings. They benefit from the stability of being able to work and do business in Seattle, but they do not reward the city infrastructure. Instead they engage in the perfectly legal activity of hiding earnings offshore. There are many other companies in the Puget Sound region that assist companies in this activity. All legal. I have seen representatives of these companies sit on the board for LEV and other education "think tanks". Is taking advantage of offshore tax loopholes ethical? No, because of the benefits reaped from doing business in this area. It kills me then when these same business leaders yakka yak about how to improve education in the district. What I want is for corporations to pay taxes on offshore income the year they are earned, rather than indefinitely avoid paying U.S. income taxes.


Rational tax policy is impossible. said...

Corporate taxes are too high.

For some time in American politics, one important issue has been domestic corporations that keep profits earned overseas in subsidiaries and other investments, rather than repatriating those profits to the United States. The Internal Revenue Code §901(a) provides that any income corporations earned outside the United States shall be credited. Foreign income is not taxed until it is repatriated to the United States, meaning that it is removed from the foreign country where it was earned and brought back to the United States, and can be credited for taxes paid in the country from which the profits were earned. Because the United States has one of the highest tax burdens in the world, and because our tax credit allows corporations to defer taxes until the income is repatriated, the current system incentivizes corporations to keep profits in countries with lower taxes. In 2015, United States companies had about two trillion dollars in profits in overseas markets. The United States can incentivize corporations to repatriate foreign income into the United States and make the United States more competitive for business investment by reducing the corporate tax burden and introducing more elements of a territorial tax system

Melissa Westbrook said...

Another Commentator, I did edit the post.

Anonymous said...

TechParent, please provide evidence of Seattle-based corporations hiding revenues and earnings in offshore accounts.

And given that the majority of revenue for local government/infrastructure is based on property taxes, business and occupations taxes from receipts (not profits), and sales tax, I'd be surprised to learn how these businesses are hiding these real properties, sales receipts, and sales transactions.

But, again, without evidence, your posts are merely hot air.


Anonymous said...

This site has some really good ideas to help with spam. I think it's worth reading.

Hope it helps.

Longtime Reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm amused there's anyone in this country who thinks that corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Longtime Reader, my problem is not spam, it's trolls but thanks.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.