Friday, August 14, 2009

It's curtains down on the WASL. Kind of.

In just a short while, the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn, will release results from the WASL taken this past spring.

As pointed out by Linda Shaw in the Seattle Times today, this was the last time students had to take the WASL as we know it.

Moving forward, SPI plans to implement a more streamlined test.

Tune in to TVW at 10 to hear what Dorn has to say about the latest WASL scores. We'll post a summary following his press conference.

Dorn's office just posted the WASL results online. During the press conference he made it pretty clear that he's frustrated with some of the AYP (adequate yearly progress) provisions of the No Child Left Behind Law and its punitive approach towards schools.

Dorn's press release states:

As expected, results were mixed from the spring 2009 administration of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). Scores in grades 3-8 and 10 mirrored 2008 results, increasing in seven subject areas, decreasing in seven and remaining unchanged in six.

Yet, preliminary results from AYP, the accountability arm of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, show that 1,073 schools moved into improvement status, up from 618 last year.

“Our state testing scores are flat, yet the federal system shows an additional 500 schools are failing,” Dorn said. “What is failing is No Child Left Behind. The law is completely unfair. While we know there is certainly room for improvement in our schools, it’s a statistical guarantee in this law that all of our schools will soon be in federal improvement status. That’s unrealistic.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Upthegrove, Orwall to host community meeting on airport noise

Residents of the Highline area are invited to a community meeting regarding airport noise hosted by local legislators, Senator Karen Keiser, and State Representatives Dave Upthegrove and Tina Orwall, along with Des Moines City Councilwoman Susan White.

Although the state Legislature does not oversee and has no jurisdiction over Sea-Tac Airport flight operations, the district’s elected officials are hosting this discussion to help inform residents of the decision-making process and provide an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns on issues from flight times to eligibility for noise mitigation projects.

Joining the legislators will be the Noise Programs Manager at Sea-Tac Airport on hand to present information and answer questions. The Noise Programs Office works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, the airlines, and local communities to monitor existing noise programs and develop new ways of reducing airport and aircraft noise.

“As someone born and raised in the Highline area, I’ve experienced airplane noise first-hand,” said State Representative Dave Upthegrove (D – Des Moines), the meeting’s organizer. “Since operations have begun on the third runway, I have heard from many neighbors and Highline residents with questions and concerns about noise. This meeting will not only be an opportunity to learn more about flight operations and noise mitigation programs, but also get questions answered and share concerns.”

Join Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Dave Upthegrove and Rep. Tina Orwall
Wednesday Evening
August 19, 2009
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Des Moines City Hall Council Chambers
21630 11th Avenue South, Suite B

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New legislative office in Queen Anne opens to warm welcome from community

Last Thursday, Rep. Reuven Carlyle and Sen. Jeanne-Kohl Welles hosted an open-house celebration of their new district office at the base of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.

Dozens of constituents, friends and local officials stopped by to check out the new digs, say hello and ask questions. Take a look at some photos from the fun event on the slideshow below.

The district office is located at 3131 Western Avenue, Suite 421, and is open each weekday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.