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Celebrate Focus on Education Week | GUEST OPINION
November 13–19 is Focus on Education Week in Washington State — and the 90th anniversary of American Education Week. School districts across Washington, including Arlington, Lakewood and Marysville school districts, are encouraging legislators and community members to learn more about their public schools and understand the often difficult, but always important, work we do. We encourage everyone to see what's really going on in our public schools and to witness the high-quality and innovative work that happens every day in our classrooms, and to learn more about how all of us can play a role in ensuring future growth and success in schools everywhere.
Educators, students, parents, policymakers, and communities are working together to prepare students for the future. Despite significant state budget cuts, Washington's fourth- and eighth-grade students continue to perform above the national average in reading and math. Washington state students consistently score higher than the national average on the ACT. And on the SAT, Washington students had the highest average scores in the nation among states where more than half the eligible students took the test.
Education today is more important than ever. Eighty percent of future family wage jobs will require some college. Virtually all students need to graduate on time and be prepared for college and career opportunities. Public schools are asked to do what has never been done before — ensure the success of each and every student. Doing so requires the shared efforts of educators, students, parents, policymakers, and communities. Effective schools are the result of committed teachers, strong school leadership, an engaging curriculum, a safe and supportive climate and involved parents. Our districts take this responsibility seriously and work diligently with parents, educators and community members to make our schools better. Investments in education are important for the future of our students, our communities and our state. During Education week, we take this opportunity to thank our dedicated educators, support staff and school board members who work to make each student successful. To learn more about what is happening today in our schools, contact building principals or your district office. We would love to hear from you.
Dennis Haddock, Ed. D., Lakewood School District Superintendent
Kristine McDuffy, Ed. D., Arlington School District Superintendent
Larry Nyland, Ed. D., Marysville School District Superintendent