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Sen. McAuliffe sponsors state education reform bill

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe and her granddaughters, Georgia and Olivia, attended the Race to the Top bill signing March 29 at Auburn High. - COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE
Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe and her granddaughters, Georgia and Olivia, attended the Race to the Top bill signing March 29 at Auburn High.
— image credit: COURTESY OF WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE

Washington gained a competitive edge March 29 in seeking federal Race to the Top funds as a result of legislation signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire at Auburn High.

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D—Bothell, sponsored Senate Bill 6696 to further Washington’s ongoing education reform efforts by focusing on:

  • Implementing an accountability system that recognizes successful schools and creates a mandated process for improving persistently low-achieving schools — a step that has been a local decision until now.
  • Changing the way principals and teachers are evaluated, bumping automatic tenure rights to three years instead of two years for many teachers.
  • Expanding who can offer teacher preparation programs and the types of programs they can provide.
  • Stressing overall parent and community involvement.

“We have worked very hard to move forward on education reform while poising Washington state to qualify for Race to the Top funds,” said McAuliffe. “As educational leaders, it is our duty to help the lowest performing schools and ensure high quality in every classroom.”

The federal grant program is designed to reward past accomplishments and incentivize future improvements of K-12 schools across the country.Reforms promoted by Race to the Top will help close achievement gaps, allow students to be more competitive in a global society, retain great teachers and leaders in schools and improve math and science achievement. These goals support the vision established in last year’s education reform bill, HB 2261.

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