History

Founded in 1994, Partnership for Learning brings together business leaders and the education community in support of policies that drive better education outcomes for all Washington students.

See our timeline of some of our accomplishments and milestones.

2023

With support from Washington Roundtable and PFL, the Washington State Legislature adopts several policy changes aimed at removing barriers to postsecondary education for Washington students, including making the dual credit program College in the High School tuition-free for all high school students. A new data-sharing agreement between OSPI and public four-year colleges and universities will facilitate and improve outreach to students and the subsequent transition to college. Additionally, new legislation moves up the state’s tuition calculation date so students know the cost of college when making enrollment decisions.

2022

With support from Washington Roundtable and PFL, the Washington State Legislature addresses ongoing educational inequity and the postsecondary enrollment crises by developing regional partnerships to build and expand pathways to and through post-high school education and training as well as providing direct supports to students.

2021

In response to the pandemic and the impact on students’ learning, Washington Roundtable and PFL successfully work with advocacy partners and the Washington State Legislature to ensure federal and state funds in the budget for “learning recovery and acceleration” are targeted for students most impacted by school disruptions.

With support from Washington Roundtable and PFL, the Washington State Legislature maintains high school graduation requirements, including credits and pathways, as well as funding Guided Pathways programs at Washington’s public community and technical colleges.

2020

Washington Roundtable and PFL release two reports to galvanize action toward the credential attainment goal in the face of stagnating postsecondary enrollment and pandemic-related learning disruptions.

2019

With support from Washington Roundtable and PFL, the Washington State Legislature passes the Workforce Education Investment Act, which creates the Washington College Grant, guaranteeing financial aid for postsecondary students from eligible low- and middle-income households. The legislation also provides funding for all state community and technical colleges to implement Guided Pathways (which supports a redesign of courses into career or four-year college transfer pathways and creates student advising systems to set a student’s pathway and to address real-time challenges) and invests in additional enrollments for high-demand programs such as computer science, engineering, and other STEM fields. The legislature also establishes the Washington Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Program to provide scholarships and textbook vouchers to students from low-income backgrounds who are enrolled in Running Start or College in the High School Programs.

Washington Roundtable and PFL collaborate with Washington’s four-year colleges and universities to develop individual enrollment and completion goals on the path to achieving 70% credential attainment for Washington students.

2018

The Chief Education Officer (CEO) Network—a joint effort of Partnership for Learning, Washington Roundtable, Association of Washington School Principals, and Challenge Seattle—kicks off. The two-year CEO Network provides professional and leadership development for a cohort of high school principals from across Washington state, including individually matching each principal with a senior executive from Washington’s private sector for one-on-one discussions and support.

Partnership for Learning launches the Credential is Essential campaign to raise awareness about the value of post-high school credentials, such as degrees, apprenticeships, and certificates.

2017

Washington State Legislature adopts a funding plan to address the state Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision, requiring ample funding for public education. PFL supports the proposal, which directs more resources to students most in need.

2016

PFL, in tandem with the Washington Roundtable, releases two reports making the case to prepare Washington kids for the 740,000 jobs openings coming to our state over the next five years.

2015

With support from PFL and a broad range of stakeholders, the Legislature adopts the Early Start Act, which sets quality standards and provides for expansion of early learning programs.

2014

Legislature approves the 24-credit college and career ready diploma, which more closely aligns Washington state’s graduation requirements with college entrance requirements.

2013

Washington becomes the 8th state to adopt the new Next Generation Science Standards, which outline key scientific concepts and practices that students should master. Washington was a lead state in developing the new standards.

PFL, in partnership with the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, launches the Ready Washington coalition to help build public awareness, understanding, and support for Washington state’s learning standards in English Language Arts and math to ensure students gain skills and knowledge they need for education, training, and jobs after high school.

Ready Washington

2012

Washington voters authorize 40 charter schools to open over five years. PFL helps to create the nonprofit Washington State Charter School Association.

2011

PFL helps launch Washington STEM, a nonprofit organization to increase student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math.

2010

Washington begins adopting new learning standards in English language arts and math.

PFL teams up with other education organizations to create Excellent Schools Now, a statewide coalition to accelerate college and career readiness for all students, especially those who are systematically underserved.

2007

PFL releases a study, “Improving the Odds: Preparing Washington Students for Family Wage Jobs,” making the case that Washington students increasingly need a credential after high school to take advantage of the job opportunities being created in our state.

2006

The state Legislature directs the State Board of Education to review the purpose and expectations of high school graduation. PFL and its partners encourage the board to define the diploma in terms of college and career readiness.

2001

The state Legislature declares that, starting with the class of 2008, students need to pass the state reading and math exams. PFL teams up with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on a statewide communications campaign to explain the new requirement.

1994

PFL launches under the leadership of business and government stakeholders who recognized the need for community support and engagement to raise expectations for all students.

1993

The Legislature passes historic education improvement legislation, including a comprehensive, statewide student assessment system.