OLYMPIA -- Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-40th district, Anacortes) has been named a charter member of Washington’s Education Accountability Oversight Committee.
The bipartisan panel will monitor implementation of a new law approved during the 2013 legislative session that is designed to help persistently failing public schools improve their performance through support, guidance and, if necessary, direct intervention by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
The new law, largely drafted by former school director Lytton, directs OSPI to develop criteria to determine which schools fall into the lowest-performing category and to create definite guidelines to help them improve.
The Legislature will provide funds to help those schools – if in fact funding is determined to be a problem – and they’ll have three years to make marked improvement. If they haven’t made significant, measurable progress during that time, OSPI will have the authority to intervene with more structured guidance.
"I'm grateful that Speaker [Frank] Chopp offered me the chance to serve on the oversight committee," Lytton said, "and I'm committed to a quick and effective launch of the new law. Every school, including those that are persistently performing below our expectations, contains good teachers, capable administrators and children who can excel. We have to find the key, or keys, that will help them be the best they can, and we can’t afford to wait."
According to a summary prepared by non-partisan legislative staff, the committee’s official charge is “to monitor the effectiveness of the state system of support, assistance, and intervention in improving student achievement; review . . . determinations . . .; make recommendations as necessary; and submit a biennial report to the Legislature.”
The Education Accountability Oversight Committee will hold its organizational meeting this fall.