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Dorn’s 2011 Legislative Agenda Proves Successful
Bills on math, science, school safety and kindergarten readiness were all passed by the state Legislature

OLYMPIA — May 26, 2011 — All bills proposed by State Superintendent Randy Dorn for the 2011 legislative session were passed by the state Legislature, which ended its work Wednesday. Dorn’s request legislation covered a range of topics from math to science to school safety to kindergarten readiness.

The final bill proposed by Dorn was House Bill 1410, which delays the science graduation requirement until the class of 2015. It was passed by the Legislature late Wednesday and sent to the governor on the final day of the special session.

“This was one of the most difficult legislative sessions I have ever been involved with,” Dorn said. “We continue to see painful cuts to the education system as a whole: early learning, K-12 and higher education. We can’t continue this trend.

“Although I am not pleased with the final budget, I am encouraged that we were able to pass some significant legislation and find money for important programs that will positively impact our students and schools.”

In addition to his proposed legislation, Dorn also successfully lobbied the Legislature to keep the Quality Education Council’s full-funding reform process on track and to fund $4 million during the 2011-13 budget period for the OSPI-Microsoft IT Academy.

The QEC is tasked with creating a new definition of basic education and a formula for how it will be funded by 2018. Dorn is the chair of the QEC.

The OSPI-Microsoft IT Academy provides no-cost training and certification to students and administrators for a variety of Microsoft products, such as database construction and software development. The $4 million investment makes available to all schools training and software valued at more than $25 million.

Dorn’s 2011 proposed legislation included:

House Bill 1410
House Bill 1410 delays the science assessment graduation requirement until the class of 2015, allowing for the transition to an end-of-course biology exam from the single, comprehensive science HSPE.

Dorn’s original bill requested a delay in the science graduation requirement until the class of 2017, giving the state time to add additional end-of-course exams in earth and integrated science and to examine the impending national science standards, which will be similar to the math and English language arts common score standards.

“Again, this was a fairness issue for students,” Dorn said. “I still don’t believe a two-year delay is enough time, but it does give us a chance to examine how we will better make the transition to an end-of-course biology exam.”

House Bill 1412
Dorn’s math bill (House Bill 1412) was passed by the state House of Representatives 96-1 and unanimously by the Senate. It was signed into law by the governor on April 11.

The bill amended the math assessment graduation requirement by allowing students in the classes of 2013 and 2014 to pass one end-of-course (EOC) math exam instead of two. That change allows the assessment system to be better aligned in the transition from the High School Proficiency Exam (a single, comprehensive math exam) to two end-of-course exams (algebra 1 and geometry).

Most 10th grade students this year are taking geometry and recently took that state end-of-course exam. Under the old version of the law, they would have also been required to take an algebra 1 exam a year after taking the course.

“This was a big win for fairness to students,” Dorn said. “I’m pleased that everyone worked together to get this bill signed into law.”

Senate Bill 5427
Senate Bill 5427: This bill, signed into law May 12, requires school districts that are receiving state funding for all-day kindergarten to use a kindergarten assessment, the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS). The program was funded at $900,000 during the 2011-13 budget period.

“We have received great feedback from the schools that participated in the WaKIDS pilot program,” Dorn said. “This is a valuable tool as you have families, teachers and early learning providers working together for one student. That can do nothing but help the student succeed.”

Senate Bill 5428
Senate Bill 5428: This bill, signed into law on April 28, requires that public and private schools are given at least 30 days’ written notice when a juvenile who has committed a violent offense, a sex offense, or the offense of stalking is released into the community where the crime was committed.

“The safety of our students has to be our primary consideration and concern,” Dorn said. “This was important legislation and will help schools be better informed.”

 

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

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CONTACT:
Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

Assessment Communications Manager
Chris Barron
(360) 725-6032

 

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