Wednesday, October 04, 2006

yeas, hmms, and nays in various legislative races

Read this Seattle Times article for the full story. Condensed version to follow. (Positions are speculative, bound to change, and represent no prevailing orthodoxies. Darn the WEA. I'd have liked to compare my results with their endorsements, but finding their endorsements is just about impossible.)

Senate, 33rd District (SeaTac, Des Moines, and surrounding)

Hmm: Karen Keiser (D)
Saith the Times, "Keiser also co-sponsored legislation to have schools teach students basic financial skills, including information about credit cards, loans and insurance." Good, but not particularly great.

Nay: Karen Steele (R)
Says Steele: "They're not being taught to think critically and solve problems... They're being taught how to give the correct answers on the WASL. There's a big difference." Her solution: a greater variety of tests. Which, I'm sure, are bound to be better than the WASL. Right.

House, 33rd District

Hmm: Shay Schual-Berke (D)
Saith the Times: "If re-elected, she'll pursue more money for the state's public-health system and introduce a bill to further limit campaign contributions in state Supreme Court races." Education, anyone?

Nay: Mike Cook (R)
Saith the Times, "Cook says that fewer boys would drop out if schools brought back vocational classes and if police had the power to detain truants and charge them with a misdemeanor." Uh, Mike, we already are adding more Voc programs--innovative ones, like New Market--but they're suffering because the WASL and culminating projects keep sucking up revenue and staffing.

Senate, 47th District

Yea: Claudia Kauffman (D)
Saith the Times, "As an active parent leader in the Kent School District, Kauffman says she will focus on improving public education. She says the state should provide full-day kindergarten and allow voters to pass school-district levies by simple majority vote."

Nay: Mike Riley (R)
Number one on his to-do list is traffic congestion. Understandable, but lame.

House, 47th District, Position 1

Nay: Geoff Simpson (D)
His "top priority" is "improving public schools," by giving more feedback to students who fail the WASL, and revamping math curricula. Not that these are bad things, but they address symptoms, not causes.

Nay: Donna Watts (R)
She wants to "reward good teachers," but is vague on how this might be accomplished.

House, 47th District, Position 2

Yea: Pat Sullivan (D)
Saith the Times, "Sullivan says he wants the state to offer students more alternatives to the WASL to show they can meet academic standards. In addition, he'd like to expand students' access to vocational education, as a way to reduce the school dropout rate."

Yea: Andrew Franz (R)
Saith the Times, "Franz says the state should provide more money to reduce class sizes and beef up math and science offerings."

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