Priority Spokane: Educational Attainment


Priority Spokane: Educational Attainment is a collaboration of community leaders serving as a catalyst and convener for data-driven improvements within Spokane Public Schools (SPS) in Washington. In the 2005–2006 academic year, SPS had a graduation rate of 57.7 percent (the county rate was 69.2 percent). Following the release of a community assessment in 2009 revealing educational attainment as a top priority of the community, Priority Spokane conducted a series of studies identifying model practices to improve education along with student risk factors for dropping out. Working with resources committed by school superintendents, business leaders, college and university presidents, elected officials, and others in the community, many of those model practices have been put into practice. These practices include: professional training on childhood trauma; a school Early Warning System weighted by student risk factors and aligned with community services; and a STEM Education network providing hands-on learning. In the 2012–2013 academic year, the SPS graduation rate improved to 79.5 percent, almost even with the county rate of 80.8 percent. Priority Spokane has had over $800,000 of funding provided by local and state foundations during a five-year period with partners providing extensive support to the projects. To read more about this innovative program, see this brief summary [link].