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When then-Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed people to the state’s new Student Achievement Council last year, she emphasized to its members that she wanted the group to focus on students, not institutions.

The council replaced the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board, but its focus is aligning the state’s education systems — K-12 public schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities — so that they work more effectively and efficiently to get students advanced training and higher-education degrees.

On Wednesday at 5 p.m., the council will hold a public meeting to solicit ideas at Seattle Central Community College’s Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway. It’s part of an eight-stop education tour to solicit thoughts statewide about which policies and programs are working, and which ones are not.

The council is charged with writing a 10-year road map to increase higher education in Washington and has a Dec. 1 deadline.

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Headed by former U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, the council is made up of representatives from the K-12 system and public and private colleges, and members of the public, including a student representative.

Local representatives include Constance Rice, the vice chairwoman of the council and the former chairwoman of the Seattle Community College District Board; José Gaitán, a Seattle lawyer who headed the state’s Academic Achievement and Accountability Commission; and Seattle lawyer Jay Reich, who served as deputy chief of staff to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

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Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or

On Twitter: @katherinelong.

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