School superintendent candidate proposes $14k raise for Washington teachers

May 30, 2016, 1:26 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm

The first thing David Spring would do as state superintendent of public instruction is cut the teeth out of a “draconian” test given to Washington students. Shortly thereafter, he hopes to offer pay raises to entice young teachers to the state.

Spring, who is one of three candidates running for the superintendent role, is a leader of Opt Out Washington, which opposes Washington state’s Common Core test, SBAC. He told Seattle’s Morning News that 50,000 parents have downloaded the form to opt kids out of the high-stakes test.

“It is such a draconian and difficult test that members of our State legislature cannot pass the third-grade test, much less the 11th-grade test,” he said. “This is not your normal test that we took when we were growing up, this is a completely new kind of test that flunks half the kids who take it. It’s not related to college-ready standards, it is just simply a Draconian test intended to flunk children.”

Related: Larry Seaquist drops out of OSPI race to run for state House

The SBAC test for English and math is a graduation requirement, Spring says, and students who fail or opts out must take an additional class that “would be harder than any previous math or English class they’d ever taken.”

Spring, a parent and teacher from North Bend with a Master’s Degree in education and child development from the University of Washington, was also opposed to the state’s former test — the Washington Assessment of Student Learning — but called the current one much worse.

“It’s like the WASL but on steroids,” he said.

“The superintendent does have the authority to end high-stakes testing as a graduation requirement,” he added. “I will do that my first day in office if I’m elected superintendent.”

Spring says teachers also need help. He says half of Washington’s schools don’t have enough math and science teachers because they are paid the fourth-lowest wages in the nation. He says he would increase the entry-level salary of $36,000 per year to above $50,000.

“In addition, because many beginning teachers have has much as $50,000 in debt from college loans, not only have I proposed free college education, but I’ve proposed to pay 20 percent of the outstanding debt of every starting teacher every year that they teach so over a period of five years, the entire college debt of a beginning teacher would be wiped out and they could go on and live a happy life.”

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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School superintendent candidate proposes $14k raise for Washington teachers