Agency in the Spotlight: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

by Sarah Hamblin
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 public education in Washington State. Led by State Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s nine educational service districts (ESDs), 295 school districts, more than 2,300 schools, 1.08 million students, and more than 53,000 teachers to administer basic education programs and implement education reform.
OSPI’s mission is to “provide funding, resources, tools, data and technical assistance that enable educators to ensure students succeed in our public schools, are prepared to access post-secondary training and education, and are equipped to thrive in their careers and lives.” To support its mission, OSPI sections include:

  • Certification, which ensures educators have the proper credentials;
  • Assessment, which oversees state testing;
  • Special Education, which ensures equal access to education for students with special needs;
  • Apportionment and Financial Services, which ensures that schools and districts receive the money they need to run;
  • Secondary Education, which provides help to at-risk students; and
  • Student and School Success, which ensures that all schools perform to their highest potential.

There are many other sections as well. The 400 or so employees at OSPI work hard to support the vision to prepare “every student for career, college, and life.”
ospi-calOSPI is also responsible for hosting various activities, including the Superintendent’s High School Art Show. Each spring, students statewide are selected by their ESDs to have their work displayed in the main hallways of the Old Capitol Building and voted for by employees and representatives from art agencies, and viewed by visitors. If you would like to experience this amazing display, please keep an eye on The Arts page of OSPI’s website, which can be found here.
For more information about OSPI, a list of offices, or to view student artwork from previous years, please visit