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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mayor McGinn's State of City Speech and Public Education

Thank you to reader Gail for this portion of the Mayor's State of the City speech yesterday.   I have put in red those items that I wanted to call out.

Press Release

Today, Mayor Mike McGinn gave his fourth State of the City speech. Education and our schools were a major priority. There is no probably no stronger foundation for opportunity, and long term economic success, than ensuring that our children are educated. Click here to view the speech.

Early Learning
Early learning is a critical place where we can make an even bigger difference. The achievement gap need not be permanent. Kids shouldn't have to go to their first day of kindergarten starting off two laps behind the other kids. If we focus on early learning, every kid can start on that path together.

This fall, the City Office for Education will launch an Early Learning Academy to provide high quality, evidence-based early learning training for preschool providers in Seattle. This initiative will improve school readiness outcomes for young children and serve as an important element of the City's pre-kindergarten through third grade focus. We'll work to link high quality preschool to K-3 education, to bring all children to reading at grade level in third grade - a critical milestone for success. With training for preschool providers, we can improve outcomes for all kids in preschool.

School Construction
Last week voters passed two levies to fund Seattle school operations and to build new capacity for a growing city.

We’re going to do everything we can at the City to help. We are forming an interdepartmental team that brings together the City departments who have a role in construction permits to get this new capacity online as quickly as possible.

School Safety
Last year we launched our Be Super Safe campaign and released our Road Safety Action Plan, after hearing from many in Seattle that we need to do more to make our streets safer. This plan has a long-term goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.
We’re launching an outreach campaign to reduce speeding, distraction, and traveling while impaired, while ensuring that more people know and follow the rules of the road. This campaign also encourages people to look out for each other, no matter what way you use to get around our city.

Today we made an important announcement that builds on this work: we will develop a School Road Safety Analysis and Action Plan. This effort will include:

  • Analysis of accessibility and safety at all of our public schools.
  • An implementation plan for installing additional school zone speed cameras.
  • An analysis of school zones and walking routes.
  • Development of a process and criteria for identifying and prioritizing physical improvements near schools with cameras, building on our current Safe Routes to School work.
  • Analysis of existing legislation and policies related to school safety and determine if any changes are needed.
  • Development of safety and mobility education programs for all schools.
We will also convene a School Road Safety Task Force to oversee this plan and all our work on road safety near our schools. By reaching out to parents, teachers, and community members at all public schools, we can ensure that safety and mobility programs work for all our local communities.
We will keep you informed as this project continues. If you would have questions, or would like to get involved, please contact rebecca.deehr@seattle.gov.

You can watch the entire State of the City speech here.

14 comments:

mirmac1 said...

What?! No plans for mayoral control of the school district?! Oh yeah, that's for mayor-to-be Burgess.

Anonymous said...

We need more sidewalks on the northend. I would rather have more sidewalks than bikelanes.

HP

LL said...

I voted for the levies and didn't use the opportunity to send SPS a message. How can the city perhaps create some sort of ACCOUNTABILITY board to issue reports on SPS's choices (which have been so bad in the past) and financial responsibility. We need some checks and balances here. Perhaps that's how they can help.

Anonymous said...

Within the past week, the city has installed a temporary speed measurement sign in front of Eckstein. I have no idea what they are called, the 'thing' which flashes your current speed. It is very large, and impossible to miss. I know it isn't much, but a definite step in the right direction. I hope they continue on this path.

NE Mom of 2

Melissa Westbrook said...

LL, I think that's a great wish but I'm sure they would say it isn't their role (because the levies are not their oversight except for the Families and Education levy).

I have been giving this much thought as I already see some BEX issues and I want to really get the Board to hold the district's feet to the fire.

Patrick said...

LL, the accountability board is supposed to be the school board. If you don't think they've done their job, you know what to do at the next election.

There's also the state auditor doing regular reports on the school district, and again if you don't think the board does enough about them, there's elections.

Jan said...

I second what HP said -- and I don't even live in the sidewalk-less north end.

brian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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mirmac1 said...

And here is mayor-wannabe Tim Burgess, wanting that darn downtown school so much he'll okay bulkier buildings and totally obliterate views of Lake Union.

After all, it's only fair...to his friends and patrons.

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