Sen. Hewitt: “stay the course”

Apparently, state Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) didn’t get the message that the phrase “stay the course” is so yesterday.

At an Associated Press Legislative Forum held this morning in Olympia, Pete Callaghan of the Tacoma News Tribune asked the panel whether there was any “resistance” to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal to delay the math WASL as a requirement for graduation. House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) said he supported the governor’s proposal. But at around the 31:10 mark, Sen. Hewitt disagreed:

“Our caucus, and I think probably the House caucus as well, will tell you that we want to stay the course. The WASL scores are increasing, as are the math scores.”

That’s it. No problem here. Nothing to look at. Sure, a huge percentage of the state’s high school seniors are about to be denied a diploma, keeping them out of college and higher paying jobs, but… you know… stay the course.

To be fair, as Sen. Hewitt continues, he starts to sound a bit more nuanced, arguing that we need to evaluate the issue district by district. “One shoe does not fit all,” Sen. Hewitt tells the audience. But the question was straight forward: do you support the governor’s proposal to delay the math WASL requirement? And apparently, according to Sen. Hewitt, the official GOP position is “no.”

Whatever the merits of standards based teaching, something’s clearly not working right here in WA state. And to simply respond with “stay the course” in the face of a growing anti-WASL backlash is the kind of head-in-the-sand policy orthodoxy that has landed Sen. Hewitt and his fellow Republicans firmly in the minority.


  1. 1

    Right Stuff spews:

    I don’t know enough detail here, but I have some questions and opinions….
    1st, is the math portion of the WASL proportionately more difficult than other state exams? or SAT or ACT?
    Are kids failing the WASL and scoring well on the math portions of the SAT or ACT?

    I’m curious as to why we should back away from the standard? (assuming it isn’t proportionately out of whack)
    Clearly we are not emphasizing the correct curriculumn if the kids are scoring so poorly.
    I’m not of the mind to stay the course…But I think we need to raise the level, re-prioritize how math is taught, not lower the standard.

    “Nothing to look at. Sure, a huge percentage of the state’s high school seniors are about to be denied a diploma, keeping them out of college and higher paying jobs, but… you know… stay the course.”

    ?????????? lost me there.
    I question whether we are “denying” them a diploma, or that they haven’t earned one.

  2. 2

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    by Goldy, 01/03/2007, 3:51 PM

    Sure, a huge percentage of the state’s high school seniors are about to be denied a diploma, keeping them out of college and higher paying jobs, but… you know… stay the course.

    You can’t serioulsy be making the argument that those students who can’t pass the WASL have been accepted to college. The current high school students were in elementary school when the WASL requirement for graduation was created, it’s not like they didn’t know this was coming.

    Whatever the merits of standards based teaching, something’s clearly not working right here in WA state.

    The WASL was implemented as part of a bill in 1993, when the Democrats controlled of the Legislature and Governor’s office.

    So the “something” that is clearly not working is clearly as a result of Democrat policies. Yet here you are criticizing a Republican for wanting to “stay the course” of a Democrat policy. Interesting argument.

  3. 3

    Goldy spews:

    Con1st @2,

    What? I should support a failed policy, just because it was initiated during a Democratic controlled Legislative session? That’s the sort of pigheaded intransigence that has made the Iraq war longer than World War II.

    This isn’t a game. I don’t work to elect Democrats simply because I enjoy whipping your side’s ass electorally. (Though I admit it’s fun.) The goal is to govern responsibly and effectively.

    The WASL, as is, sucks. And it’s distorting our entire educational system.

  4. 4

    rhp6033 spews:


    I know we depart from one another on the “WASL” issue, and I agree that reasonable minds can differ on the subject.

    But working in an international company, with employees from a variety of developed (and developing) nations, has convinced me that we are out of time to reform our education. Our high-school graduates are being passed by countries we considered to be virtual third-world countries just a couple of decades ago.

    There is not enough time to go into everything I would like to see changed, except that I strongly support public education, and I reject privitazation as the answer, whether in the form of “charter schools”, tuition wavers, home-schooling, or other forms. I simply believe we can do a better job teaching our children, if we were willing to accept as a society that we have reached a crisis point, and are willing to kill a few sacred cows in order to find solutions.

    But the first step is standardized testing. I can understand that some people argue that the WASL isn’t the best test, and if there are better ones, by all means use them. But until that happens, lets go with the one we’ve got.

    As for the consequences of not passing the WASL, I’m somewhat dismayed that the poor math scores seem to have taken so many people by surprise. The WASL requirements weren’t adopted yesterday, they took quite a few years to implement. This shouldn’t have been a surprise for either the school districts, the schools, the teachers, or the students.

    But be that as it may, I’m willing to take steps to bring things back on track, without delaying the implimentation requirements. It just takes money and effort. Have the legislature issue a special appropriation to fund after-school and summer classes so students can catch up on their WASL math requirements. Arrange for additional tests for the math portion of the WASL, perhaps once every quarter. Make an effort to push through the problem and get everyone back on track.

    Not everyone will make it, but this should prevent those who are at risk through no fault of their own from failing to graduate.

    My own kids faced a “Senior Project” which they had to turn in before they could graduate. Lots of students left the district rather than try to do the project. In the end, it was pretty hard not to satisfy this requirement. They didn’t require a serious research paper, they only required that they do “a project” and present the results to a committee. One kid rebuilt his car. Another one sewed a quilt. Another one did a photo-documentary of their summer trip to Europe, and put it into a powerpoint presentation. Not that there is anything wrong with these projects, but they just don’t fit my definition of what a “Senior Project” is supposed to look like. But despite this, many students and parents appealed for their children to be excused from the requirement, as it was too onerous for them.

    In the meantime, a kid in South Korea knows more math by the 9th grade than our seniors in an honors math program.

  5. 5

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Goldie you are SUCH A DUNCE!

    For the Class of 2008 and beyond, the WASL is a graduation requirement.

    Head of the STUUUUUUUUUPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID Moonbat!s doesn’t fact check!

  6. 8

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    So now we see why Johnny can’t add and Suzie can’t subtract. Where does that subtrahend go?

  7. 9

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Hey Goldie said: “Whatever the merits of standards based teaching, something’s clearly not working right here in WA state.”

    Aren’t Moonbat! Libtards leading the WEA? Hasn’t a Moonbat! held the Superintendent of Public Instruction position for years? And FUWA is marching backwards.

    March on! March on!

  8. 10

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Dumbing down: Isn’t that how Furball became a lawyer? Remember we have prima facie evidence Richard Pope is a legal genius compared to Furball. I hope I didn’t diss Richard Pope in that comparison.

  9. 11

    Broadway Joe spews:

    I’m just not nuts about the whole idea of a single test determining a student’s worthiness to graduate high school. Be honest folks, did anyone ever like the standardized tests we took in school? Just having to deal with the SAT and ACT tests was, for me, frustrating beyond belief.

    When I was a child, I’d been tested by a plethora of social workers after my parents divorced, and they found that I had a fairly high IQ, with this being explained to the 10-year-old me that if I was in a room with 99 other people, I’d be smarter than 98 of them. But the scars of that experience made me into the lovable misfit that am now, and school was a waste of time for me. I just didn’t care, once I left my music classes (for the record, I’m a professional drummer and vocalist in a working R&B cover band that plays the Northern Nevada casino circuit). I barely graudated with enough credits, and I have doubts I’d have passed the WASL just becuase I wouldn’t have given half a shit about it.

    The root of this is that there are already far too many cracks our children can slip through, and the WASL just adds on. We all know that WASL is a result of the joke that is No Child Left Behind, which basically encourages the states to turn their schoolchildren into test-taking monkeys because the better the scores, the more federal funding they get. It’s basically all just part of the Bushies’ plot to get parents to abandon public schools for “better” private schools, preferably Christian schools (anyone seen ‘Jesus Camp’ recently?).

    Government not only needs to spend more money on education period, but must also broaden the entire spectrum of what is ‘learning’ today, and embrace the idea that high school should be more than just rote memorization of things that most students will never remember in ten years’ time let alone use in that period. Schools should be able to offer students the opportunity to change their tracks to something that suits them if a traditional course of academics isn’t working. If the kid isn’t cutting it in trigonometry, why punish him for it? Bring back the arts and crafts, teach trades like carpentry and plumbing, anything for fuck’s sake! Every misfit that falls through the cracks is one too many, and having your worthiness to graduate, let alone be able to move on to college (if you can afford it somehow) determined by a test score is just not right. They can help, but they should not be the be-all and end-all.

    And this shouldn’t be some political football to be tossed about, either. Isn’t our children’s future something that should be above petty political arguing?

  10. 12

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Okay, after some quick fact-checking, WASL seems to have been in the works before the Bushies staged their coup. But I still stand by my opinion. Standardized testing is still wrong in determining whether a student should graduate or not. It makes the entire course of classes a student takes, and the grades he or she gets somewhat irrelevant. Don’t like WASL, never will. End of story. Full stop.

  11. 13

    sgmmac spews:

    A PHD was paid a million plus bucks to design the WASL. It has been fully supported by Terry Bergeson until now. How many millions in makeup work did this state waste last year trying to get students up to speed on the WASL? It is also a very expensive test to administer and grade.

    One of Bergeson’s assistants believes that she can channel a dead spirit – so what you really expect out of these nutty people?

    You cannot design test without validating the supporting curriculm. The problem isn’t the WASL – it’s the classes being taught every year. If you don’t teach the basics and teach the learning objectives of each subject being taught -students won’t pass the test……

    The fact that this state has to spend millions every year on makeup classes to teach what should have already been taught previously is disgusting and heads need to be rolling starting at the top with Bergeson!

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Socking It To The Working Class

    “Port Workers to Pay Fee for Access Card

    “WASHINGTON (Jan. 3) – Truck drivers, longshoremen and mariners will have to pay up to $159 for a high-tech identity card that will grant them access to U.S. ports.

    “Groups representing truckers and longshoremen said the fee is too high and will force some workers – especially truck drivers – to quit their jobs. …

    “Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in Grain Valley, Mo., described the fees as ‘really high’ ….

    “Ultimately, as many as 6 million transportation workers in rail yards, airports and seaports will have to buy the card to gain access to secure areas.”

    Quoted under Fair Use; for complete story and/or copyright info, see

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Why should workers pay for these access cards? Why doesn’t Congress pass a law requiring employers to provide them? It’s a cost of doing business that should be passed on to customers, not borne by workers. Or, why doesn’t Congress appropriate funds for the government to pay for them? It’s a homeland security expense, so why should it be borne by workers instead of taxpayers? I’ll bet the IRS won’t even let the workers deduct it on their taxes — it would cost the Bush administration about $200 million a year in revenue (assuming an average 20% marginal tax rate) which would make their deficit numbers look worse. Besides, they need to budget several billion for tax deductions and credits for all the new private jets that are rolling off assembly lines and being snapped up by the rich. Hell, there’s a preacher in Texas who’s buying 2 of ‘em — one for him, and one for his wife — at $20 million a throw.

  13. 15

    anti-liberal spews:

    but, but, Mommy government CAN solve all my problems… she just NEEDS to take lots and lots more of YOUR money to do it.

    PRIVATIZE the education system and see our kids FINALLY start to compete on the world stage again. There is a REASON homeschoolers nationwide are kicking your kids asses – they get a NO BULLSHIT education.

    Get the damned fucking union lord, masters and hustlers out of it.

    The system YOU have now rewards no-one except those damned fucking union lord, masters and hustlers. The boots in the classroom teachers are cheated, the taxpayers are cheated, the parents are cheated and YOUR CHILDREN ARE CHEATED by lowest common denominator mediocrity. Stop the touch-feely bullshit and DEMAND that the basics of math, literature, grammar, science, history and CIVICS be taught and mastered.

    Stop perpetuating the myth that every single kid needs a college education. They do NOT. Not every single kid is capable or desirous of one. Many would be served with old fashioned VOCATIONAL training.

    I doubt your 12 grade liberal kids failing the momentous time-waster known as the WASL can even comprehend the questions of this 8th grade test… hell, I doubt many of you can answer it without cheating.

    This was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS – 1895

    Grammar (Time, one hour)

    1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
    2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
    4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
    5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
    6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
    7. – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

    Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. per bu., deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
    4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per m?
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?

    Orthography (Time, one hour)

    1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication?
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

    Geography (Time, one hour)

    1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
    7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

    Do you honestly believe in that time of SHORTER schoold days when kids and adults worked cooperatively farming, that the teacher held their little hands and taught to the damned test the way they do the WASL? HELL NO! You did the work, learned the lessons or you WERE LEFT BEHIND.

    How many kids do the damned fucking union lord, masters and hustlers FAIL because they don’t master the work?


    The damned fucking union lord, masters and hustlers even let kids pretend to graduate by letting them “walk” with their class so as not to hurt their little feelings…. it is all bullshit squared… although I sincerely doubt any of them KNOW how to figure SQUARED.

  14. 16

    anti-liberal spews:


    Health (Time, 45 minutes)

    1. Where are the saliva, gastric juice, and bile secreted? What is the use of each in digestion?
    2. How does nutrition reach the circulation?
    3. What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys?
    4. How would you stop the flow of blood from an artery in the case of laceration?
    5. Give some general directions that you think would be beneficial to preserve the human body in a state of health.

  15. 17

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    Anti Lib – U R rong… prividazashun uv edukashuns is akshually code werd fer “racism” an “elitism”. smart chirrens mus be miksed in wif dumshits sos as ta not hurd the feeelins uv da dum chirrens by brin downna smart chirrens toda levall uva dumuns.

    whassafuksa mater wif u? donchew no dese fings?

  16. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    As I pointed out in a previous thread, workers are not only underpaid and mistreated, they’re disrespected. I think those truck drivers should tell the boss to pay for those access cards; and if he refuses, they should walk off the job and let him drive his own fucking truck! This is why we need unions.

  17. 19

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    anti lib – u bein a dumshit… member hoo cums hear. u got dumshits like loocy:

    headless lucy says:
    “…but I insist on having my fair share. If taxing it away from the wealthiest is the way to get it, then that’s where i’m goin’….”
    01/01/2007 at 10:11 pm

  18. 20

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Hey you right wing ass sucking, baby raping punks. Guess what. In the morning, we begin the first official step of your nightmare. WE FUCKING TAKE OVER BITCHES! Now we’ll have some quality time investigating the republican assholes that you morons worship. Plan on standing in line to wave goodbye to your gods as we send them one by one to prison where they AND YOU belong. And just like Billy Jack says in the movie; “And you know the best part about all of this? There isn’t one damn thing you can do about it!”

    HE HE!

  19. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    According to Mark the Redneck Economist, the solution to being underpaid, mistreated, and disrespected is to get an education so you can get a better job so you don’t have to be working class. I agree! Nobody should have to be an underpaid, mistreated, and disrespected fry cook or waitress. Introducing …


    Come on in, seat yourself, fry your own fucking pancakes and make the coffee yourself — and don’t forget to bus your dishes and leave yourself a tip (so Roadkill McGavick can steal it from the tip jar).

  20. 23

    anti-liberal spews:

    I’ve said before I hope to God the peHOsi and Harry-don’t-pull-the-plug-on-my-majority paper the capitol with subpeonas early, often and publicly

    Please God, let them.

    Let the ethically challenged show themselves for the political whores they are.

    Please God, let them.

    Put it right up front so the American people can see them for the spiteful, America-hating opportunists that they are.

    Please God, let them.

    Let the mumbling, rambling, drooling, senile byrd have an extra loud mic.

    Please God, let them.

    Give teddy the drunk a (very) wide angle lens.

    Please God, let them.

    Let us repeatedly see the hilabitch and teddy the drunk’s (and CNNs!) baraq HUSSEIN osama/obama running for cover.

    Please God, let them.

    Treat us to fucking kerry juiggling both feet in his mouth… again.

    Please God, let them.

  21. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Speaking of staying the course, Bush appears set to keep beating our troops’ heads (and bodies) against his stonewall. Ouch! That hurts! But only if you’re not him or one of the generals who’s about to get sacked or forced into early retirment for offering his professional military opinion that sending more troops to Iraq won’t accomplish a damn thing.

  22. 25

    anti-liberal spews:

    I guess no one mentioned to those inconvenient Jews that Jews are only supposed follow the theology of liberals…

    Judaism Teams With Vatican to Counter Worldwide Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Push
    A “New Ecumenism”

    By Cassidy Bugos

    ROME, January 3, 2007 – In a move that Orthodox Jews assert marks a “new ecumenism” with Rome, a special emissary of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, representing over 850 Orthodox Rabbis, gathered in an emergency meeting with Vatican officials in Rome January 2 to discuss ways of blocking the worldwide push for homosexual “marriage.”

    In particular they wanted to coordinate with Rome to stop the Italian government’s proposed homosexual civil union legislation, which could appear as a bill in the Italian Senate by the end of this month.

    In a recent press release Rabbi Yehuda Levin, a leading representative of the Rabbinical Alliance, declared that this proposed legislation marks “the latest attempt by the worldwide Homosexual network to impose their amoral values on normative society. We can no longer respond to these pressures in a piecemeal manner. A reenergized religious leadership needs to reassert its role in protecting the family—24/7.

    “We support the Pope’s call for the defeat of the Homosexual Civil Union legislation now pending in the Italian legislature. This is just ‘Gay Marriage,’ by another name. Like ‘Gay Marriage,’ it undermines the special place of marriage in the life of decent family people.”

    Indeed, though the Italian government is pushing to legalize homosexual civil unions, it seems that the average Italian would not support their government in doing so. A late 2005 Ipso Ltd. poll revealed that 70% of Italians would not condone homosexual “marriage.” An even more recent poll asked 30,000 citizens of the European Union if they would condone homosexual “marriage”; 49% said they would not.

    That so many Europeans remain opposed to homosexual marriage and civil unions indicates that the homosexual lifestyle runs counter to beliefs even more fundamental than religious differences. Rabbi Levin addressed the surprise of some that Orthodox Jews should undertake to work so closely with the Vatican.

    “It is well known that we, as Orthodox Jews, are not permitted to engage in inter-religious theological discussion. However, we must join together with the Vatican, and with all others, who defend the family, lest we end up as Sodom and Gomorrah.

    “We must join together and go on the offensive against those who seek to undermine the God-given values that form the basis of our civilization—the Abortionists, the Internet Pornographers, and the Radical Homosexuals.”

    Pope Benedict XVI has likewise stated that the Italian government’s wish to grant legal recognition to homosexual couples is an issue over which he “cannot remain silent.” In a December 22 year-end address to Vatican bureaucracy, Pope Benedict XVI rejected the criticisms of those Italian politicians who say the Church should not get involved in what they claim is a political issue. The Pope insisted, “If one says the Church should not interfere in these matters, then we can only respond: should mankind not interest us?”

  23. 26

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Notice NotRightAndStillStupid can’t follow a thread topic. He probably stopped his masturbation and drooled all over himself salivating to blog.

    I look forward to the closed House session Pelosi claimed she WOULD NOT DO! Her first lie of the new year.

  24. 27

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Furball: What does post 14 have to do with staying the course?

    Oops… I forgot Roger Furball Rabbit is a fuckin IDIOT!

  25. 28

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Goldy says:

    What? I should support a failed policy, just because it was initiated during a Democratic controlled Legislative session?

    I’m not asking you to support anything. You chose to criticize a Republican legislator for wanting to “stay the course” on the WASL to score cheap political points, as ususal. The Democrats are responsible for the WASL, if you have a beef with anyone this issue it’s your party not the Republicans.

    The goal is to govern responsibly and effectively.

    Well then in 1993 the Democrats didn’t govern responsibly and effectively. You’ve yet to criticize them for it.

    The WASL, as is, sucks. And it’s distorting our entire educational system.

    01/03/2007 at 4:38 pm

    The people want accountability in education. If you have an alternative method to standardized testing, I’d love to hear it instead of your whining.

    I notice you chose not to address my point refuting your point that the WASL is keeping kids out of college. I’ll take that as a sign that this is another example of your ridiculous hyperbole.

  26. 29

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:


    First Goldie is wrong as usual. WASL kicks in next year.

    Second when has Goldie written a real mea culpa?

    Third, you are wasting your fingers with Goldie. He don’t care! It’s his blog to write stupid is as stupid does!

  27. 31

    Don Joe spews:


    Given the way you totally screwed up your own fact checking regarding Ausie gun control, I don’t think you have much of a leg to stand on regarding Goldie’s off-by-one error (which, by the way, is an inferred error–Goldie never said that the WASL goes into effect in 2007).


    You seem to be demonstrating a fundamental difference between conservatives and progressives. Progressives tend to try to resolve problems by starting with a plan, and modifying that plan when the results are less than satisfactory. Conservatives, like you and our current President, merely plan to have no plan. You folks really do have difficulty understanding the difference between a concrete proposal and a proposal that’s encased in concrete.

  28. 33

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Don JoeSmoe: I got my Aussie facts wrong? Hardly!

    Goldie said: :That’s it. No problem here. Nothing to look at. Sure, a huge percentage of the state’s high school seniors are about to be denied a diploma, keeping them out of college and higher paying jobs, but… you know… stay the course.

    Are about to be… I’m sure he meant Junior… NOT Golly Don JoeSmoe I guess those remedial English classes did your body good!

  29. 34

    Don Joe spews:


    The web site you quoted regarding Ausie crime stats was debunked by snopes. I posted the link in the other thread.

  30. 35

    Don Joe spews:

    Oh, and LSoS, go look up the meaning of the word “inferred” on m-w before you restate any inferences again.

    Dang, but you’re one of the more stupid wingnuts who hangs out here.

  31. 37

    My Left Foot spews:


    Obsolete, ignorant, stuck-on-stupid, moe-ronic…pick one. They all fit you to a tee. Oh, I left of antisemitic.

    You are a bootlicking pussy with neither the balls nor the nerve to post your name and stand behind the shit that comes out ‘cho mouth.

    Pussy RightWingNut. Typical.

    Why don’t you enlist and serve in Iraq? Too big a pussy? Of courser you are.

  32. 38

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Don JoeSMoe: You better revisit your puny argument in another thread. Your data seems to stop at 1999 and 2000 for a web site last updated in 2004. Why doesn’t he continue with more data?

  33. 39

    Mike Webb SUCKS spews:

    Don JoeSmoe@35: Goldy said Seniors about to be denied. No inference there. He got it wrong and no wordsmithing from your libtard mind will save his sorry ass!

  34. 40

    mirro spews:

    The WASL, especially in math, is focussed on being one big word problem. This approach has distorted math instruction to the point where the district 6th grade math curriculum in the Seattle School District teaches all geometry, fractions, and decimals as if everything is just one big word problem, with the instructions inviting students on a voyage of self discovery rather than giving them a grounding the the systematic disciplines of math. The nature of the WASL has determined the nature of the chosen curriculum.

    The books contain almost zero examples of how to execute a math problem and are supposed to involve a lot of discussion with fellow students. This approach, which appears to invite WASL-like mindbending and invention of ones own terminology and systems for solving problems, in the end cripples less mathematically adept students to the point where they lose rather than gain the intuitive knowledge of math applications the WASL requires. Furthermore, rather than teach the non-math language expression required to wow the WASL evaluators, it runs the students in circles, preventing them from learning what is the vocabulary of the disciplines and what is bullshit they made up to answer problems ending with the instruction “explain” and which should be discarded.

    Furthermore, this curriculum requires so much “discussion” among the students and teacher to “discover” math principles that it is guaranteed to fail with class sizes over 15.

    I’m pretty happy with Seattle schools for my child, except in the area of math, where the current attempt to come up with a district-wide approach to raising math success is having the opposite affect for my child, precisely because it is designed to address the test method of the WASL rather than teach math content.

  35. 41

    Nindid spews:

    Mirro @40 It is always highly frustrating when non-professionals think they can come up with a better idea than the people who do this every day of their lives.

    In theory simply throwing out a high standard should make students strive harder to attain it and for teachers to push them harder. But what it really does is to give teachers and students every incentive to game the test rather than teach the subject.

    For all you folks out there who have never worked in the field of education there is no method of evaluation and no perfect test that can completely cover a subject for anything besides pure rote knowledge. Evaluation and testing are only the end of the more important process of teaching.

    What the WASL has done is to distort the process to the degree that teachers are no longer teaching their subjects, but teaching the tests. It makes the schools and the classrooms less effective, not more.

  36. 42

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Don Joe says:

    You seem to be demonstrating a fundamental difference between conservatives and progressives. Progressives tend to try to resolve problems by starting with a plan, and modifying that plan when the results are less than satisfactory.

    01/03/2007 at 8:11 pm

    This is a gross generalization and untrue. This blind adoration for the Democrats here makes me laugh. Go back and read my posts on this topic. My criticism of Goldy is not over wanting to change the WASL. I’m crticial of who he is criticizing for the problems in education. Democrats shoulder most of the responsiblity for these problems, since they’ve been in power for a long time in this state. Blaming a Republican legislator for supporting Democratic sponsored legislation is childish and silly.

    The education establishment in this state has had 15 years to prepare for the WASL gradution requirement. Now, at the last minute, they want to postpone part of it. You lefties just want to let them off the hook, and give them more money. Some of the lefties here said you wanted the wrest the control of Congress from Republicans because they weren’t accountable. Well the shoe’s on the other foot, it’s time to show your criticisms were part of your beliefs and not just empty words.

  37. 43

    westello spews:

    Mirro is right; the math portion of the WASL is more about reading and writing than math. We will never see those math scores rise until this changes. Terry Bergeson knows this and yet stubbornly refuses to change it. She’s staked her whole career on this one test.

    The WASL costs between $52-$72 per pupil, depending on grade level. With NCLB, that’s grades 3-8 plus 10. You do the math (just kidding!).

    If the President had been serious about being able to gauge American students’ progress against each other or against other students throughout the world, we would have one national test, not 50 of them. With 50 you can NEVER actually know how American students are doing. So who benefits? The test creaters, graders, etc.

    It’s interesting because Washington state students have to do some amount of community service (it varies from school to school but it’s about 40-60 hours) plus a senior project (again, varying from school to school so why bother?) plus pass the WASL (and you can only get a scholar designation if you get all 4’s on the first try which sort of begs the question of why try harder on retakes if you won’t get any credit for doing better than you did the first time)plus class work. Oh, and you need to be a well-rounded student for those college apps to throw in arts, sports, etc. Other states don’t have community service OR a senior project. Why can’t graduation be about academics?

    You think the kids are doing poorly in math? Just wait until science is a WASL graduation requirement.

    FYI, you do not have to have a diploma to apply for college. If you are a bright kid with good SAT scores, UW could care less if you pass the WASL or graduate. Also, students can take the WASL as early as freshman year and it counts if you pass (it also counts as one of your “tries”). If you have a bright kid, better to get it out of the way early.

  38. 45

    thor spews:

    Hewitt will support the Governor’s approach to the WASL. Just watch.

    He made a good point today about doing a better job of assuring that college bound kids are college ready. And that college graduates be job ready.

    I think he is interested in trying to grow a majority. He is stuck with a bunch of troglodites in his caucus and it is going to take many years to win back any credibility. And the Ds have a host of issues set up this year that will be too much for the troglodites and they’ll dig themselves even deeper.

    But beware. The way I understand things, the next cycle is a bit harder for the Senate Ds than the Senate GOP. Hewitt will be challenged to produce new candidates that lead to a more moderate caucus. (He’s actually about the most progressive R in the Senate.)

    I’d look for a move by several members of the Senate GOP on a constitutional amendment to require a simple majority to pass a school levy. The D’s just need one GOP Senator to get it in front of voters in the Fall. He just might be one – along with a few others.

  39. 46

    guilla spews:

    so, dem or rep, if you aren’t a teacher, you may not really know what’s going on regarding education and assessment. these pollies may get some pretty good ideas about what’s going on, but unless one actually sees curriculum being taught in classes, the teaching methods used by teachers, and how much of what is being taught is being caught by the student, it must be fairly difficult to determine whether a test is going to fairly assess the students.
    i hear so many people blaming the students for not being prepared (uh, i’m not sure it’s the students fault entirely if their educational experience is less than adequate or they are not in a good space for learning…) i also hear the institution being blamed. when you have policies made, they have to trickle down to school administratration, which then has to trickle down to teachers and students. 10 years may sound like adequate time to get it together, but the red tape process really bogs things down. we teachers, from what i can see, are doing a damn fine job with what we are given (changing policies, changing curriculum, changin demographics, changing requirements, chaning resources, and on and on)
    it would be great to see more support regarding problem solving and support of connecting legislators and educators, especially from people like you who take the time to read and respond in this type of forum.