Recently, I attended the Washington State Council for the Social Studies (WSCSS) Spring Conference. As a past WSCSS President, I look forward every year to collaborate and learn with social studies teachers from across the state.
While the focus of the conference was social studies, many presenters reminded me that a world-class education—what all the children in Tacoma deserve—involves more than just math, science, and English. A world-class education requires social studies, art, foreign language, PE, career and technical education, and much more.
This education is about more than making sure the students can find a job, it is about making sure the students can live an active, engaged and healthy life in our city. As our schools do their best to provide that world class education, I see places where our city can further support that work.
Through our libraries and working with our local history institutions, Tacoma can provide a comprehensive social studies education that helps all students understand the diverse history of our city.
Through our Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality and community arts organizations, supported by the recently passed Tacoma arts initiative, we can provide a rich arts experience that helps all students experience the rich cultural and artistic legacies of our city.
Through our partnerships with businesses, higher education institutions, and non-profits, we can ensure access to the technical education that can help our students understand the future of work and life in our community.
As we think about the city we want Tacoma to become, our city of Destiny, it begins with our investments for our youngest residents and their families. If we want Tacoma to be a world-class city, it begins with building a world class education community beyond the school system that is rooted in the past, connected to arts and culture, and reaches into the future.