For Immediate Release, Thursday, March 7, 2013
Contact: Carrie Shaw (425) 344-1787
Community forum to tackle improvements in public education –
Business, education leaders, and community groups seek statewide consensus on how to improve student achievement
Issaquah, Wash. – Trend lines in student test scores and education achievement are not going in the right direction for too many Washington students. What to do about it is the main focus of a community forum hosted by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Wenatchee World, El Mundo, and KOHO Radio Tuesday, March 19, 6:00 p.m. at Eastmont Junior High School 905 8th Street Northeast, in East Wenatchee.
The forum includes a panel discussion with Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Superintendent, Palisades School District and Associate Executive Director for Migrant Education, North Central Education Service District, Dr. Garn Christensen, Superintendent, Eastmont School District, Kristy Daley, teacher, Icicle River Middle School, and Anni Hisey, owner of the Academic Associates Learning Center.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, go to the
Community Forums Network website http://www.communityforumsnetwork.org/events/wenatchee-valley-k12-education-forum-march-19th/
“Rekindling constructive civic dialogue at the community level is crucial to making our
society a better place for the long-term,” said Rufus Woods, editor and publisher of The Wenatchee World, “I’m committed to the notion that media organizations like The Wenatchee World have a responsibility and an obligation to take a leadership role in building opportunities for constructive community engagement. The Community Forums Network event on March 19 is one of those important opportunities.”
“It’s important that communities can come together to share – especially on the topic of public education,” said Elliott Salmon, general manager of KOHO Radio, “It’s part of our mission to serve the greater Wenatchee area and region. We believe these forums help to foster better communication between different communities and that is essential for a healthy and vibrant city and region.”
“The CFN mission is to discover consensus on major issues and to share those insights with policy decision-makers,” said Carrie Shaw, CFN executive director. “All we hear about is how divided we are on important issues. We want to buck that conventional wisdom and find consensus on important issues like improving education success for all children. It’s a more solutions-based approach,” said Shaw.
Nonprofit partner organizations involved in the CFN forums and online survey include; Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, Association of Washington Business Institute, Association of Washington School Principals, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, El Centro de la Raza, Communities In Schools Spokane, Latino Education Achievement Project, Partnership for Learning, Solid Ground, Washington Education Association, and Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation to name a few.
CFN currently has 86 nonprofit organizations from around the state participating in the forums and online survey. Partner organizations represent education, social services, the arts, environment, youth advocacy, business and labor interests and the spectrum of ideas and perspectives on a wide range of issues. A complete list of CFN Partners is available on the website www.CommunityForumsNetwork.org
Shaw added that the CFN model to build a network of diverse organizations as a hub for public feedback is centered on the work of Dick Spady, co-founder and president of Seattle-based Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants and a longtime advocate of meaningful public engagement and community building strategies.
CFN is strictly non-partisan and works with a diverse group of Advisory Board members and partners to develop the topics and materials presented in the forums and online platform.
Data gathered during a topic round is verified independently and a “Where’s the consensus?” Report is created and shared with policymakers, the media, and the general public. Preliminary findings from the Round 3 survey on K-12 education outcomes will be released in early April, with the full Consensus Report released in early May.
For more information, or to access the online survey, go to http://www.communityforumsnetwork.org/take-survey/
or call toll free 800-369-2584