The Legislature and the governor are supposed to be working for us, the people. But it sure seems like they prefer the teachers union.
Perhaps because they can supply lots of votes. Olympia passed the McCleary bill, ostensibly to provide sufficient funding for education in the state. Instead, the money went for teachers’ pay increases of up to 20 per cent. So they had to go back and fiddle with the local school levies to (possibly) provide more funding for schools, funding that was intended to be covered by the McCleary decision. As a rsult, some local districts are already contemplating layoffs. (“Up to 45 teachers could get pink slips in Edmonds,” The Herald, May 7).
But Olympia’s crowning glory was the unanimous decision to eliminate the requirement to pass tests in English and math in order to graduate from high school (Students in Washington get easier path to graduate,” The Herald, April 28). Standardized tests exist to provide a means for comparison not only among students, but also among school districts, and even among states. By no longer requiring these tests such comparisons are not possible. So a district cannot be held responsible for poor teacher performance. Another win for the union.
And who are the losers? The students! They will find themselves unprepared either for the workplace, thus fail to get jobs, or for the challenges of college. They will need to attend remedial classes to learn what they should have learned in high school. That, of course will add not only to the time required for college, but also the expense; can you say “More student loans”?