We are disappointed in The Herald’s endorsement of Terry Bergeson for the office of state superintendent of public instruction.
The Herald correctly states that our 10th grade students have made gains in passing the reading and writing WASL. Fine, but this is only half an education, folks. What about math and science? According to OSPI, in the 2007-2008 period, less than half of our 10th graders passed the math WASL (49.3 percent) and substantially fewer passed science (39.7 percent).
The Herald states that Bergeson’s opponent, Randy Dorn, is fairly criticizing her for stubbornly standing by our failed math standards and curricula. But The Herald believes Bergeson has “learned from the experience.” In what measurable way? Recent positive changes to our math standards were forced upon Bergeson by the Legislature in SB 6534. She didn’t make these changes voluntarily. It was Bergeson who gave us the failed fuzzy math standards and curricula still in use at 80 percent of Washington’s public schools.
The remedial math rate in 2005 for college freshmen in Washington was between 50-60 percent (wheresthemath.com). This means we as taxpayers and parents are paying for our students’ math education twice. Yet The Herald believes under Bergeson’s leadership, our students are better prepared for the future than ever.
Terry Bergeson has had 12 long and expensive years to turn around our public schools and math education in particular. She hasn’t done nearly enough.
Randy Dorn understands Washington’s math education issues and has the legislative and administrative experience to effect real and positive changes. He has the support of the teacher’s union as well as Democratic and Republican legislators who have worked directly with Bergeson’s administration and are ready for a change. Let’s give Randy Dorn four years and see what he can accomplish.
Anne and Jeff Boggie