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Sunday, February 18, 2018

This and That

Here's the weekly legislative update on public education measures in the Washington State Legislature via WSSDA (Washington State School Directors Association).

Report from KUOW on the City's Pre-K program; so-so academically.

Three years into its four-year pilot, that publicly-funded preschool program is showing mixed results. Outside evaluations in 2016 and 2017 found that the Seattle Preschool Program offered warm, loving care for young children, but the program fared poorly on measures of teaching quality. 

Evaluators gave the 32 classrooms they visited in the 2016-17 school year an average emotional support score of 6.29 on a scale of one to seven.

But in the instructional support domain — which measures things like how well teachers develop children's problem-solving, critical thinking and complex language abilities — the average classroom scored just 3.06 on the seven-point scale. 
Programs are excelling in places like Boston and New Jersey, but that’s come after they’ve been up and running for years, Bouffard said.
What this says to me is that pre-K should really be able developing socio-emotional skills that are so important and less about having a "six hour academic day."

A deeper dive into the program is here at Seattle City Council Insight.
Between Year 1 and Year 2, the program scaled up considerably, from 228 students in 15 classrooms to 627 students in 33 classrooms. 

First, the program is hardly failing, or even delivering “mixed results” as KUOW suggests. The assessments suggest that it’s on par with peer programs, neither significantly better nor significantly worse. Students who start out behind their peers are catching up; those who are in the middle of the pack are keeping pace. 
Sound Transit has a webpage about considerations for light rail to Ballard and West Seattle.  Naturally, this is waaay off but will end up being a consideration for transportation to Seattle Schools especially for high school students.

1 comment:

Getting Tired. said...

Thank you for reporting on the city's prek program.

According to KUOW, the city's prek program is funded at $81M. The program will serve 1600 students and cost of approximately $50K per student. The city's prek program is enormously expensive and delivering mediocre results that are comparable to other prek programs. Perhaps Head Start was a better investment that served more students. The city seeks a 6 hour academic day. At some point, are we institutionalizing toddlers?

Democrats love to complain about regressive taxes. There will be an enormous property tax increase that will disproportionately impact low income homeowners and renters. This will not stop the city from asking for an increase in funding. When will Democrats wise up and demand fiscal responsibility?

Do we know: How many before school and after school programs have been displaced for the city's prek program?