Washington state is a thriving hub for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies. Our state currently has the highest concentration of STEM jobs and by 2018 this is expected to grow by 24%, still seven points above the national average. And as Washingtonians, we wear the racial and socioeconomic diversity of our region as a badge of pride. Yet despite our promising economic future and our espoused commitment to diversity, nearly all of our struggling schools are located in low-income neighborhoods serving primarily students of color. Washington ranks 37th nationwide for high school completion and is one of the few states with a growing disparity in education between low-income students and their higher income counterparts. We need dedicated classroom leaders to teach in these Washington schools and help us bridge this gap.
Launched in 2011, Teach For America Washington believes our best hope for such solutions come from the collective impact of committed individuals—particularly principals, teachers, students, and families-- who understand these issues, believe they are solvable and have a deep sense of personal responsibility for solving them in their lifetime. To this end, we are excited to work with districts, schools, students, and communities in the Greater Puget Sound and South Central Washington regions to ensure all students have the opportunity to fulfill their potential both in school and beyond.
Amid a challenging first year inthis state, our team of corps members teaching in Washington has built strong and lasting relationships across the country and throughout the state, and partnerships with both grassroots organizations like the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition and well-known institutions such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been established. In collaboration with a cross section of educational, organizational, and community leaders, along with teachers, principals, parents, and students, we look forward to forging additional relationships in the region, and working with increased urgency to make excellence in education a reality for all students in Washington.