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Hot Topics

The OSPI Communications office publishes one- and two-page handouts called "Hot Topics” to provide an introduction to an education issue. Our intent is to begin with issues that people are talking about and then expand to other topics of interest. You are free to copy and distribute any Hot Topic, but please do not alter. If you have any questions, or would like to suggest a specific hot topic, please contact Nathan Olson, OSPI communications manager, at nathan.olson@k12.wa.us.

Teacher Investigation
More than 50,000 teachers work in Washington state. A very small fraction commit acts that call into question whether they should be reprimanded or have their certificate suspended or revoked. The process by which that occurs, as well as the possible outcomes, is described.
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Education Facts
Current information about the number of students and teachers in the state, testing results, graduation rates and funding are given.
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Common Core State Standards/Smarter Balanced Assessment
A new set of learning standards will be in place beginning in 2013-14. In addition, a new test that measures how students are learning the new standards will be in place beginning in 2014-15.
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Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills
Known as WaKIDS, the inventory is given to incoming kindergarten students to see where they are developmentally as they begin public school.
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Open Education Resources Project
Developing classroom materials can be expensive. Thanks to the state Legislature, teachers can now use and develop Open Education Resources. The resources can be used free of charge and distributed widely, which could be a more efficient way for teachers to get those materials into students' hands.
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McCleary v. Washington
In January 2012, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled that the state is not adequately funding basic education. The decision, McCleary v. Washington, also lays out a solution to the problem.
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Sequestration
Federal budget cuts will affect Title I, special education, impact fees and Head Start money given to districts and schools.
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