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Issue Position: Education: Why Elizabeth?

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

As a former teacher at Edmonds Community College, North Seattle CC, Lake Washington Technical College, and Cascadia CC (Founding Faculty), as well as at United Arab Emirates University (in the Middle East), two colleges in China, Parkland College (Illinois) and an adult community ed program in South Carolina, I know the critical role our schools and colleges play in shaping the future for all of us. It is unacceptable that one out of four students drop out of high school, and over half of our community college students find that they need remedial math or English before they can take entry-level classes. Last year we had a high school graduation rate of 70% in Skagit County, and 74% in Snohomish county, and many graduates are unprepared for college or the workforce. In fact, the 2011 NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) reported the following percentages of Washington students who performed at or above 'Proficient' levels in 2011: Reading: 37%; Math: 40%; Science: 35%; Writing: 35%. In a nutshell, two out of three kids are not 'proficient' in the 'Three R's': Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic! We can improve education, reward good teachers, give principals freedom and flexibility, give parents more choices, and stop micromanaging from Olympia if we attach the money to the student and allow competition do its miraculous work from within the system. I will work to raise academic standards by returning to an emphasis on math and reading so our students will be able to meet basic federal requirements, and by allowing principals and teachers to take a creative approach in order to help their students reach these standards. With a Master's Degree in Teaching ESL, ten years of college teaching experience, and children who have learned from public school (K-12th), private school, and homeschool (K-12th), I am well-equipped to advocate for all kids so they can get the education that our state Constitution says is of 'paramount' importance. Time to reboot. Our students deserve it.

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