Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: randy dorn

Nov.
21st

EDUCATION: Enough with high school testing

Re: “State must stick by high school graduation exams” (editorial, 11-21).

I’m with Randy Dorn on this one. If a student has passed his tests all through high school, why test him again? Better yet, what is that person to do if he fails? Keep taking the test until he passes or go back to a freshman class because he failed the algebra portion?

I don’t see the point. Besides, we all know there are those who are good at taking tests (my wife) and those who are not (me), yet we both have master’s degrees.

There is more to building

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Feb.
21st

EDUCATION: Don’t mandate all-day kindergarten

Re: “Full-day kindergarten is a key to early learning” (Viewpoint, 2-21)

I must provide some reasons why I believe full-day kindergarten should not be mandatory.

At age 5 and 6, children are still young and growing. Many cannot cope with six hours of interaction in a group environment. Overstimulation, lack of solitary imaginative playtime and simple tiredness create emotional and physical problems for many kids. The full-day kindergarten model incorporates some downtime but does not provide a complete break from constant stimuli.

The author, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, has forgotten to mention the most important educators of

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Jan.
15th

PUYALLUP: Vote no on schools’ Prop. 2

In 2007, state legislators enacted EJHR 4204, allowing for a simple majority voter approval for passage of school district’s daily maintenance and operations levies. Much as from their own guilt to fully fund education, it was written and directed to assure that all districts be allowed the opportunity to maintain and afford local school district operations, with a lower voter approval threshold.

What was prudently excluded, and remained intact within district’s taxing authority, was the requirement that excess capital funding for major renovations and improvements for schools retain the 60 percent voter approval for passage.

Even with a cursory reading

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Jan.
13th

TAXES: We already have most regressive system

Surprise! Washington’s Supreme Court finds the state still does not adequately fund education (TNT, 1-10). So Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn suggests raising sales and property taxes.

Meanwhile Citizens for Tax Justice recently reported that “the state whose tax system is hardest on poor families is Washington state.” And The Washington Post gleefully headlined, “The State that Taxes the Poor the Most is a Blue One” (i.e., Democrat).

So, notwithstanding we already have the most regressive taxes in the nation we now consider adding to them. Income tax? Forget it.

Incidentally, excepting only Alaska, where the state gets

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March
30th

SCHOOLS: Data don’t appear to be much help

Re: “School turnaround program failing here” (TNT, 3-30).

Imagine my vexation when one moment I read in The News Tribune that, according to a survey by the University of Washington, schools in this state have not done too well with their federal turnaround money
then turn around and read that a Center for Education Policy report says that most schools across the country have made gains with their turnaround money

On the one hand, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says he’s going to wait for the “actual data” before judging in Washington. On the other

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Oct.
17th

BUDGET: Dorn right to resist further cuts

Re: “Superintendent’s office won’t comply with Gregoire’s budget-cut order” (TNT, 9-29).

In the article, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn maintains that cuts to full-day kindergarten and class-size reduction for high-poverty schools, among others, are unconstitutional. So he is refusing to cut his agency’s budget by 10 percent, even though Gov. Chris Gregoire has ordered all state agencies to cut their budgets that much.

I think that Dorn has a leg to stand on. Let us look at our history. In 1977, our Legislature passed the Basic Education Act, under which the state took on the duty of fully funding

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Sep.
17th

EDUCATION: Dorn on horns of a dilemma

Randy Dorn, the state superintendent of public instruction, stated that “we’ll have students taking end-of-course exams in algebra and geometry one to two years after having taken the course. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?” (Viewpoint, 9-5).

For years, educators have told the public that students’ curriculum memories will transfer outside the classroom and be applied in new situations. Educational psychologists know otherwise. In only one year, students forget two-thirds of their algebraic knowledge. Imagine what they will forget in two years.

However, Dorn was very careful to be implicit and never to explicitly talk about forgetting. That would be contrary

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