A newly proposed SVSD policy, Education Pathways and Benchmarks Policy, will be up for discussion at tomorrow’s school board meeting at 6:30PM in the District Office. Geoff Doy stated that the new policy came up during board strategic planning work. The policy is considered an action item which means it could also be voted on.
The proposed policy would require the district to document a set of education pathways and courses within those pathways that, if chosen by a student, allow him/her to be part of the “competitive applicant pool” for a set of 4-year universities, such as University of Washington, University of Oregon, UCLA, Cornell and similar schools.
The proposed pathways would be in core subjects (math, science, social studies, English, foreign language) from 6th-12th grade. The policy would also require the district to establish targets against the benchmarks to show continuous improvement. According to the National Math and Science Initiative cited in the proposal, some of the most common and ideal math and science pathways contain 8th grade Algebra and 9th grade Geometry and Biology.
If the proposed policy is approved and benchmarks set, the district could set target goals, even create a district “scorecard” to report progress. Other area school districts, like Bellevue, Issaquah and Seattle, have such policies and scorecards.
In a recent speech, SVSD School Board President, Dan Popp, talked of the impact college education had on job losses during the recent recession, citing a recent Georgetown University study which showed the highest number jobs losses (5.8 million or 10%) were experienced by people with no college education and that workers with college degrees actually gained jobs (2.2 million or 5%) from late 2007 to early 2012.
Mr. Popp said to teachers in that Staff Kick-off Event speech last month: “…the foundational education we provide here[SVSD] is what sets up our students for their future. Clearly not every student we meet here will be college-bound, but I submit that it should be our collective effort to provide the guidance and the motivation for them to strongly consider it.”
Click HERE to read the proposed policy, along with details contained in it about the changing job market, possible problems the policy is addressing, what an official from University of Washington Admissions Department says about our high school admission rates and what a successful UW application looks like, common educational pathways, goals the proposed policy is seeking to achieve and the proposed policy’s next steps, including public comment meetings.
Board member Carolyn Simpson says the proposed policy is not about forcing college on every student. She says, “It’s about ensuring that there are clear and accessible pathways from grade 6 through grade 12 which allow more of our students to succeed at the coursework necessary to be successful college applicants to the colleges of their choice.”