The newly formed Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) issued its first major action yesterday, November 29th. In its “Call for Action” the WSAC urges improvements in five areas that represent critical obstacles to student achievement, but also provide opportunities for implementing fundamental change.
Entitled “Critical Crossroads: A Call for Action,” the plan was endorsed Wednesday, November 28th by the Council and will now be sent to the Legislature and Governor. The council hopes the plan will “serve as a foundation for public discussion leading to a 10-year education “roadmap” to be developed in 2013. The roadmap will contain specific recommendations to enhance educational attainment.”
Council Chairman, Brian Baird, said the action plan is a starting point for a more comprehensive assessment of the state’s educational needs and resources.
The five critical areas cited by the WSAC as critical obstacles to student achievement, but which also provide opportunities for implementing fundamental change, are:
- Readiness: What barriers to successful learning exist within the education system, and what more can be done to address those barriers.
- Affordability: How can the price of education be reduced for students and families. Possibilities include providing college credit for work completed in high school, online, or through work experience.
- Institutional Capacity and Student Success: What measurable targets and milestones can be established to meet demand for postsecondary education, including greater participation by returning adults.
- Capturing the Potential of Technology: What efforts already are under way to integrate online learning, and what would be feasible and required to fully integrate online learning into institutions’ instructional programs.
- Stable and Accountable Funding: In conjunction with institutions, state executive and legislative entities, develop a public higher education plan of financing that includes sustainable funding sources and defensible funding benchmarks that the Governor and Legislature can use in making resource allocation decisions.