"I wanted to come to Washington to meet you. I've been talking all around the country about the great work you've been doing and thought it was time to come see it for myself," Van Roekel said.
His tour was part of a much larger tour by WEA President Kim Mead and WEA Vice President Stephen Miller who have spent time this month visiting all of the 27 School Improvement Grant schools to share the news that Washington's schools outperformed the other 1,400 in the nation. Mead says she believes the success was driven by the educators and staff who took time to evaluate what is happening in their schools and focus on what would genuinely make a difference based on their students' needs.
In 2010, the United States Department of Education provided funding for three-year School Improvement Grants (SIG) to support the lowest achieving 5 percent of Title I or Title I-eligible schools identified by each state based on state math and reading test scores and high-school graduation rates. In 2011, the Education Department funded another round of three-year SIG grants.