The Washington State PTA actively lobbies the State Legislature for issues affecting education. The Issaquah Middle School PTSA Advocacy Representative is responsible for keeping the IMS community updated on current legislative issues that affect our school, district, state and sometimes nation. Your school representative is also responsible for getting people directly involved in advocating for education, such as writing letters to our legislators and attending PTA Focus Day. IMS has students in the 41st and 5th Legislative Districts and the 9th and 8th Congressional Districts. See the list at the bottom of the page of our elected officials and their websites.
Another responsibility of an Advocacy Representative is to attend the State PTA Legislative Assembly in October. The Legislative Assembly is a gathering of PTA advocates from around the state who debate and decide which issues the State PTA will focus its lobbying efforts on during the State Legislative session.
Your IMS PTSA Advocacy Representative for this school year (2012-2013) is Stefanie Beighle. Please feel free to contact Stefanie at firstname.lastname@example.org any questions or to get involved.
Results – Homework Policy IMS Forum
For several months IMS has been collecting parent, teacher and student feedback on the current Issaquah School District’s Homework Policy. We have received a lot of responses through email and through the IMS Homework Policy Forum performed on January 16, 2013. Thank you to everyone who participated. Here are the top responses to the questions posed by the District:
Are your child’s papers and projects evaluated and returned in a timely matter?
There needs to be a better system so you know homework was received.
Homework is not an effective teaching tool if it is not returned and evaluated in a timely manner.
Teachers should lay out a timeline for when homework will be graded and returned.
Written comments on writing assignments is helpful, not just rubrics.
Review homework in class first thing like math; have consistent throughout subjects.
There needs to be a more consistent application of the current Homework Policy.
When is homework a valuable learning tool? When is it not?
Homework is valuable when it reinforces what kids have learned that day so they are able to apply it on their own.
Might be more valuable if grade is not for 100% completion, rather it should be noted when visible effort to complete homework was attempted.
Rough drafts are a valuable homework tool and should be used as homework more often.
A check that kids understood class lesson.
Craft projects should not be valued as equal to learning professional presentation skills.
How do you feel about the amount of homework your child currently receives?
Too much homework on a single day is not valuable.
Higher level classes (plus) should not have more homework than the standard classes.
Have consistent amount of homework between teachers within a subject.
Create a policy so all kids can be successful regardless of their learning style; some kids excel at tests, others at homework.
What weight should homework be given in a student’s overall grade?
There should be a separate grade for timeliness v. completion/quality of homework.
Consistent weighting between teachers should be given.
The goal should be that homework needs to be completed no matter what.
Lower grade for late homework defeats the purpose of homework.
How do you feel about using a teacher’s website as a tool or source of information for homework?
There should be a consistent use of technology and uniformity between teacher websites.
Teacher websites can be valuable when they contain assignments, documents and research tools.
Website training should be available for teachers.
Checking website should be used as a back-up and not required.
Websites should be a resource for students.
Results – Legislative Assembly
PTA delegates from all over Washington State gathered at Legislative Assembly on October 20, 2012 and voted on their top five priorities for 2013 and 2014. Here they are:
The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that implement K-12 reforms needed to meet the educational needs of students in the 21st century.
The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that fund education first in any budgetary process undertaken by the state legislature in order to implement Article IX of the state constitution that states “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.”
The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that eliminate the state’s achievement gaps and create equitable opportunities for all students. Steps can include, but are not limited to, efforts to foster:
In addition, Washington State PTA will work to ensure state committees or work groups that focus on closing the opportunity gaps include special education in their analysis and reports.
Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that raise state revenue to adequately fund K-12 education and child-related programs. Revenue increases should be fair, equitable, and ample. Options could include, but are not limited to:
The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that ensure universal access to fully prepared and effective teachers. These will include, but not be limited to:
Register to Vote
Have you registered to vote? Do you have a son or daughter who just turned 18 and can vote? Go to http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/headlines/Voter_Registration_Info_2012.pdf.
Get Connected with Elected Officials
Get connected with your elected officials in Olympia at http://capwiz.com/wastatepta/mlm/signup/?ignore_cookie=1. The State PTA Action Center allows you to communicate your views with lawmakers via targeted e-mail, letter, fax, and more. To contact the WA State Legislature directly, dial its Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/rodne.aspx - Jay Rodne, Position 1, 5th Legislative District
http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/Pages/magendanz.aspx - Chad Magendanz, Position 2, 5th Legislative District
http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/senators/pages/litzow.aspx - Senator Steve Litzow, 41st Legislative District
http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/maxwell.aspx - Marcie Maxwell, Position 1, 41st Legislative District
http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/clibborn.aspx - Judy Clibborn, Position 2, 41st Legislative District
http://reichert.house.gov/ - U.S. Representative Dave Reichert, 8th Congressional District
http://adamsmith.house.gov/ - U.S. Representative Adam Smith, 9th Congressional District
http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/ - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell
http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/ - U.S. Senator Patty Murray
http://www.governor.wa.gov/ - WA State Governor Jay Inslee
State PTA Contacts
http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/index.html – Washington State PTA
Legislative Director, Washington State PTA
Government Relations, Washington State PTA
Executive Director, Washington State PTA