Inside Opinion

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Tag: Randy Dorn


Our hopes and wishes for a brighter new year

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Shake up that Etch A Sketch. A new year dawns – and so does hope that the world can move beyond the blunders, disappointments and nasty predicaments of 2012.
Some of our hopes for 2013:

• The drawdown of U.S. troops – including Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers – continues on course in Afghanistan. The bleeding ends.

• The Seahawks win the Super Bowl in February.

• Gov. Jay Inslee proves better at finding money for public schools than his campaign rhetoric suggested.

• Washington’s pot smokers obey the law that legalized marijuana – especially the parts about licensed sales, and keeping the drug out of sight and away from minors.

• Randy Dorn, the state superintendent of public schools, gives up the idea of suing the voters to stop charter schools.

• Lawmakers figure out that they can’t keep starving higher education without squeezing Washington’s economic future.

• The state figures out how to fund the extension of Highway 167 from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma, and the construction of the cross-base highway from Frederickson to Interstate 5.

• Tacoma’s municipal unions join T.C. Broadnax’s effort to control city spending and preserve public services.

• Republicans start treating climate change as a scientific issue, not a partisan sledgehammer.

• After getting booted by the voters, former Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam fades into deserved obscurity.

• Afghans and Americans see unmistakable justice done for the appalling massacre of 16 Afghan villagers in March.

• Police solve the disappearance of Susan Powell, whose husband, Josh, murdered their two small boys and killed himself in February.
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Race to the Top: Who needed the money, anyway?

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

It would be giving Washington way too much credit to say the state was an also-ran in Race to the Top.

“Pathetic wannabe” would be more accurate.

Last year, Gov. Chris Gregoire pulled Washington out of the first competition for $4.35 billion in federal education money. The money was put up as a prize for the states most serious about retooling their schools for high performance; Washington could barely budge the needle on the Obama administration’s reform meter.

In round two this year, well, at least Gregoire sent in the entry form. Washington didn’t get far; it washed out Tuesday – on the first cut.

No one who’s been paying attention can claim surprise. Washington’s education establishment – meaning its lawmakers, school districts and teachers unions – is so resistant to reform that not even the prospect of $250 million in the middle of a severe recession could persuade it to accept the necessary painful changes.

The 2010 Legislature took some baby steps toward more rigorous accountability for schools and educators, but nothing close to what the Department of Education and education pioneers have been advocating.

For example, lawmakers flirted with using student performance measures to evaluate teachers and principals, but did not require districts to connect hard data to job evaluations. Other states did, some with the cooperation of more enlightened teachers unions.
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UPDATED: Randy Dorn should handle his own damage control

In our editorial today, we called on state schools chief Randy Dorn to come clean about his DUI and to give the City of Orting the all-clear to release the police report. A few minutes ago, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a statement (see below) from Dorn that includes a bit more information about last Saturday night and explains that he’s instructed his attorney to ask Orting to release all documents.

That’s certainly progress. Now Dorn should also stop using his taxpayer-supported media relations staff to field inquiries about his after-hours activities. Dorn himself (or

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Come clean, Dorn, about that DUI

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The clock is ticking on Randy Dorn’s redemption.

The state schools chief has said precious little since being arrested early Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving. Dorn, elected superintendent of public instruction in 2008, allegedly blew a 0.11 on a breathalyzer after being pulled over in Orting for speeding.
His only statement, issued Tuesday after the news broke, was a contradiction of itself.

Yes, the public has a right to information about the conduct of elected officials, Dorn said. In the next breath, he begged the public’s understanding and respect while he deals with this “personal legal matter.”

That mantra is catching on: A spokesman for Dorn’s office said on Wednesday that Dorn would have no additional statement, adding that the arrest was a “personal legal matter.”

What Dorn will learn shortly, if he hasn’t already, is that “personal legal matter” is an oxymoron when an elected official is charged with committing a crime – especially when that elected official is also charged with the welfare of the state’s schoolchildren.

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Randy Dorn, meet Richard Nixon

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn will soon figure out – if he hasn’t already – that public officials had best hang out their own dirty linen before anyone does it for them.

He was pulled over in Orting in the wee hours of Sunday morning and was then arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Four days later, Orting still won’t release the police report – a public record – apparently at Dorn’s insistence. Even a call from the state attorney general’s office didn’t pry the report loose.

Not smart. Not smart at all. Dorn’s obviously embarrassed about something in

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You don’t want high marks on a BAC test

It may be a little premature to say this, but . . . what the heck was Randy Dorn thinking?

Orting police say the superintendent of public instruction registered a 0.11 blood-alcohol content on a Breathalyzer test about an hour and a half after he was pulled over not far from Orting High School. This is not a test where you want a high mark. He was cited for driving under the influence – and speeding to boot.

In a statement, Dorn said he drank beer with dinner and was stopped on his way home. Sorry, but this isn’t computing.

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State should not retreat on math, science

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Randy Dorn’s timing is both politically astute and all wrong.

For days, the state schools superintendent was widely rumored to be preparing for battle over the state’s math and science graduation

Sure enough, on Thursday morning, Dorn’s office announced he would ask the Legislature to delay the math and science tests, and to allow students to pass math with lower scores.

Meanwhile, across the state Capitol campus at the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, chief economist Arun Raha was sucking all the air out of the news cycle. Little can compete with an ugly revenue forecast that puts the state $2.6 billion in the hole.

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