Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction

My choices are:

So here’s the thing, I’m note sure there’s anything seriously wrong with Washington State’s schools. I don’t know if they are being run well either. And if they are being run poorly, what can be done to fix them? I don’t think the education establishment has acquitted itself very well on it’s attempts to improve education. Both candidates are members of that establishment, from somewhat different perspectives. Whether or not we have the WASL in it’s current form I think is of little import, despite the arguments pro and con from teachers and whatnot. From my experience mentoring high school kids at Chief Sealth (one of the poorer performing and under-supplied schools in Seattle) the WASL is neither causing anyone’s downfall nor proving to be anyone’s savior. (I do wish the SPI would ban the gimmicks the Seattle Public Schools use to drop badly performing students from the official WASL statistics, but that’s not going to actually fix education.) And lastly, I don’t really know how much influence the Superintendent of Public Instruction really has on the individual school districts in the state.

So unless someone posts something really insightful here, I’ll not be voting in this race. I know I changed my mind on the Lt. Governor race, so maybe I will here too. But I’ll definitely need better arguments than either of the candidates’ web sites or the newspaper endorsements I’ve seen. Comment away, if you care.

2 thoughts on “Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction”

  1. I am voting for Bergeson. Some of the data I found online suggests that Dorn has proposed Computation and Facts, while Bergeson is on understanding concepts and using more story-type questions. Grinding numbers does not make you intelligent in math, understanding what to do with the numbers you have does.

    Also Dorn wants to go straight multiple choice on the WASL while Bergeson thinks it should be challenging and wants to include essay type answers. Reading and writing are important, yes, but Math and Science are staples. The whole ‘teach a kid to think’ as opposed to reciting memorized data is all good for me.

  2. This is true, however math and science exams should primarily test math and science skills, not reading. If you have ever seen the WASL exam, you will know what I am talking about. Even more, if you have seen the garbage that Bergeson has pushed on the districts under the guise of math curriculum, you will see why our students perform so poorly and a large percentage of them must take remedial math in college (remedial, as in Algebra 1). Open a CMIC text and you will see very little actual MATH…. just lots and lots of math-sounding terms. When my 9th grader was required to write a 10 paragraph report to explain four very simple statistical graphs which could be interpreted by the average fifth grader, you have to know something is wrong here.

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