Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WSPTA gives Board Endorsement of Initiative 594

WSPTA is saddened by the number of recent shootings that have taken place at schools across our country. Our mission states that PTA is a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families, schools and communities, and a strong advocate for the well-being and education of every child.

During the October 2013 WSPTA Legislative Assembly in Seatac, the following policy was adopted by members:  The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that extend criminal background checks to the purchase of guns from non-licensed sellers.

On April 24, 2014, the WSPTA board of directors discussed the upcoming initiatives 594 and 591 that will be on the November ballot. Our legislative director, Sherry Krainick brought forth information from her state legislative committee members. After discussion and debate the board voted to endorse and support initiative 594 on extending background checks on gun purchases from non-licensed dealers.  Support at this time will not include financial resources but may include very limited use of our grassroots network, action alerts and other communications that may be timely.

At that time the board also voted to oppose initiative 591 (an Act relating to protecting gun and other firearm rights; adding new sections to chapter 9.41 RCW; and creating new sections.)

WSPTA keeps kids at the focus of everything we do. While we understand this is not a solution for children’s safety, we do recognize that this is one small step in that direction. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

SBE adopted rules to implement 24 credit career and college ready diploma

Because of you, Washington State PTA was successful in working to promote key aspects of Senate Bill 6552 during the 2014 legislative session to make it better legislation for ALL kids.  On July 9 - 10, 2014, at the State Board of Education meeting in Spokane, public testimony was heard and rules were considered on the credit waiver and family engagement and the high school and beyond plan.  Below is the letter announcing the State Board of Education’s determination on these issues.

Dear stakeholders: 
Yesterday, at its meeting in Spokane, the State Board of Education adopted a set of rules to implement the 24 credit career and college ready diploma, as well as the other provisions of Senate Bill 6552 passed during the 2014 legislative session.
The Board would like to thank stakeholder groups for the unprecedented levels of stakeholder input, both in terms of the number of individuals testifying at our public hearing and community forums – many of whom traveled long distances to do so -- but also those that submitted written input. 
There are a few key issues presented in these rules.   I discuss three major issues discussed below, but the full text of the rules and the accompanying materials can be accessed on our website at: www.sbe.wa.gov/materials.php#july

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Educators, Administrators Break Down Common Core Standards For Parents

National PTA recently released a Common Core video series to educate parents on the standards and empower them to support the transition at school and home.
The series features 14 videos—developed in partnership with the Hunt Institute—to dispel the myths and provide accurate information about Common Core. The videos also provide various perspectives from educators, administrators, PTA leaders and others on the positive changes they've seen with the standards.
The series begins with "The Need for Improved Student Outcomes," a brief overview of the Common Core State Standards. Watch Now
The Need for Improved Student Outcomes

PTAs can use this video series to learn the steps they should take to effectively advocate for the Common Core standards in their communities and states.
Watch the videos and share them with PTAs and families. It's critical that we raise the bar in all schools and remain committed to ensuring all students graduate prepared to succeed.