The Seattle Times has a sort of Year-In-Review editorial about education in today's paper. Nearly every statement in the editorial is either incorrect, unsubstantiated, or misguided.
"Academic standards were raised" They were? Where? How? By whom? I didn't see anyone raising any standards this year.
"The Legislature amended the Basic Education Act, a giant leap forward in an 18-year education-reform effort." Yes, they voted for it, but they didn't fund it and they are now in Court saying that they are already fulfilling their obligation to funding education, so they are denying it. The amended act is lip service - hardly a step forward, let alone a giant leap.
They said that the delay in making high stakes math and science tests a graduation requirement was a gaffe. No, the gaffe has been miseducating students in math and science for the past ten years. These tests were supposed to be used to hold adults accountable, not students. Where are the adults who have suffered negative consequences for these failures? Why punish the students, the people with the least power to influence the system?
The Times notes the reduced funding from the State for education and the increased dependence on local levies. So much for the great leap forward thanks to the amended Basic Education Act. HA!
The Times encourages the state to make long-term overhauls in the system to compete for a paltry amount of one-time money from the federal government. Not smart.
The Times seems to think that there has been progress on struggling schools and teacher quality. There has not. The problem isn't struggling schools; the problem is struggling students. We need to send the help to the students, not to the schools. All of the talk about struggling schools is misguided and a distraction from the real problem. And as for teacher quality, all of the talk about teacher quality is completely empty in the absence of a definition - there is none. All of the talk about improving teacher quality is completely empty in the absence of any metrics, assessments, or benchmarks - there are none.
The Times favors merit pay and charter schools but cannot explain the benefits of either of them nor can the Times explain how they would work or why we need them. Why does the Times favor charter schools but oppose alternative ones?
The editorial board of the Seattle Times is full of people with critical reasoning skills who are capable of asking sharp questions, but when it comes to education issues they lose all of that and become rubes overawed by jargon and sloganeering. It's pathetic.