Why be a School Board Director?

Twenty years ago, Federal Way

was promoted as an upcoming community with
nationally ranked schools.”

It was noted for its innovative programs in reading and strong support in strong support of Special Education Programs.

Today… Federal Way Public Schools ranks at the bottom 10% in Washington State!

198 out of 200 ranked districts = 10%!

(44 other districts weren’t ranked)

Reported by Schooldigger.com – Last updated on September 19, 2022, based on the most recent test scores available from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, National Center for Education Statistics and U.S. Department of Education

The National Assessment of Academic Progress provides a counter point of reference. The last forty years has been a period of great experimentation in an effort to improve our educational standards. Gains were made through 2015, then decreased. Federal Way School District began a
decent in 2013. Refer to the federally funded National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nations Report Card for further review.

What happened???

Common Core standards – “No Child Left Behind,” a bi-partisan effort to improve educational standards, was implemented in 2002 with national standardized testing. Basically, it rewarded schools whose scores went up and punish those whose score did not.

Race to the Top” doubled down on Common Core Standards in 2009 with the punitive approach, but added the threat of closing failing schools. The number of “managed charter schools” increased, plus teachers were evaluated by their students’ test scores.

Emphasis on standardized testing, taken online to test students over a period of months, resulted in crowding out time for untested subjects like history, science, cursive handwriting and the Arts.


Washington state adopted Standard Base Education in 2015, and began using Smarter Balanced Assessments. It is essentially Common Core Standards, but
with state goals and standards included. The intent is to establish a uniform standard, in core subjects, so students can move from one district to another and from one state to another, without experiencing learning gaps in the curriculum.

FWPS website states: The tests are challenging and the district is “prepared to see a drop in test scores. Over time the scores will improve, instruction will continually improve and students will learn more. Students will be prepared for college and career success.”

In 2019 meeting standards became a requirement for high school graduation. A consortium reviewed the test to ensure the assessment meets the needs of all students, including English Language Learners and students with disabilities.

Federal Way Public Schools.com post:

How can parents and guardians help? [See embedded links]

  • If you haven’t already, become familiar with Federal Way’s standards-based education system
  • Get familiar with what your student will need to do to be successful at each grade level using the Parents Guide to Success
  • Find the priority standards being focused on at each grade level on the FWPS Priority Standards Website.
  • Make use of on-line practice resources to help your child master the skills encompassed by Common Core.
  • Finally, help your child or children understand why they need to do their homework [and attend classes]. Not only will they do better in school now, but they will also establish study habits necessary to succeed throughout their school years and into college or other post-secondary education.

In fairness to our students a community
we must find a way
to close the Achievement Gap

It will take…

the collaboration of parents,

educators, and the

community to improve

our student’s

social, emotional, and academic outcomes.

Reading to children continues to be a primary element in school success - even when a student is in Middle School, as well as the use of graphic novels and the use of audio books.

Effective Research-Based Methods

Robert Marzano, a meta-analysis of the most
effective instructional strategies:

  • Identifying similarities and differences
  • Summarizing and note taking
  • Reinforcing effort and providing recognition vs. generic praise
  • Homework and practice
  • Nonlinguistic representations – illustrations
  • Cooperative learning
  • Setting objectives and providing feedback
  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Cues, questions and advance organizers

MINDSETGrowth Mindset verses Fixed Mindsets
by Carol Dweck, PhD – Stanford University

  • Special Education organizational strategies
  • Provide a well-designed syllabus (an advance organizer) for each lesson/class to provide a clear focus of the content with defined words.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy


  • Marzano Teaching Strategies


  • Strategies need to be readily posted and reviewed to empower and engage students to learn in ways that are meaningful…