“Our kids ain’t writing so good” (9-20 TNT reprint of another newspaper’s editorial) informs us that only 24 percent of the nation’s eighth- and 12th-graders were able to write an essay satisfactorily on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress writing test.
That is certainly a national disgrace, but might not be indicative of how well Washington state students can write. Many letter writers argue that this state does not need to introduce charter schools because our schools are fine, thank you. One letter (TNT, 9-20) noted that Washington students “lead the nation on SAT scores.”
I accept that the majority of our students probably don’t need the charter school option, but is there not a significant minority that is not served well by our present school system? Does Washington not have a problem of high school dropouts? And do not many of those who enter college require remedial English and math? If not with charter schools, how are these problems to be quickly rectified?
Initiative 1240 would only create a maximum of 40 new schools statewide. Charters should only be awarded on the basis of records of success elsewhere. Wherever charter schools currently exist in the U.S., they cannot meet the demand. Those Washington students who desperately need another education option, not currently existing in our state, deserve support of voters of the charter school issue.