Tag Archives: Washington


New Correspondent: Kathy White

We are happy to welcome former KSD Board member, Kathy  White, as a regular correspondent on KSD Citizens.  She will be reporting on Board meetings and will provide features from time to time.  As a former Board member, Kathy brings insight into the inner workings of the Board and has become an expert, through training provided by the Washington School Directors, on the proper role of Board members.


The Cost to Campaign for Kennewick School Board

On November 2, 2011 I met with Ben Messinger, Brian Brooks’ representative and Ron Mabry to review their school board campaign contributions and expenses.  The table presents the information collected from those meetings.  The three successful candidates shared expenses for campaign flyers and postage and Tri-City Herald advertising.  Their other campaign expenses were separate.

Messinger will continue accepting donations to offset his deficit.  Mabry had nearly $5000. in commitments for contributions so turned away a contribution from the Washington Education Association (WEA-PAC).

The postage expense of $938.98 for each candidate was a loan from Ty Haberling. 

This data was revised December 6, 2011 to reflect new or updated information.

I credit Brooks, Messinger and Mabry for providing their campaign finance data and expect to update this table as the candidates complete payments for expenses and record late contributions. Continue reading


CWU’s Industrial/Technology Education Program – Implications for Kennewick Students

Kennewick School District has access to graduates from an in-state college of education preparing teachers for programs like those at Delta High School and Park and Desert Hills Middle Schools.  Students at Highlands and Horse Heaven Hills Middle Schools do not currently have access to Technology Education classes but would benefit from these programs.

Below you will find a link for the Summer edition of Aviso, Central Washington University’s newsletter of the College of Education. After downloading, please read the article  ”Central’s Industrial/Technology Education Program”on page 8.

Aviso, Summer 2011


‘Manifesto’ should be resignation letter

Kevin G. Welner, professor of education policy and program evaluation in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and director of the National Education Policy Center has written a response to the much publicized “How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders,” recently published in the Outlook section of Sunday’s Washington Post.  Welner says, “In fact, we should start by removing the irresponsible signers of this manifesto from any position of power over ‘’the future of our children.’”  He follows with a point-by-point research-based rebuttal of each of the points made in the “Manifesto” and concludes with the following:

“Think about that – the people to whom we have handed over responsibility for educating our children are engaged in scapegoating, offering bread-and-circus diversions while the children under their care see their life chances slipping away.”

“These are the people in power – the people who have overseen the system that they now seem to acknowledge has only gotten worse under their regimes and their policies.”

“They scapegoat and divert because they refuse to acknowledge their failures and to step aside.”

“How very, very sad.”

Read the complete article, published in the Washington Post, by clicking here.


The Best Kind of Teacher Evaluation

The Valerie Strauss blog at the Washington Post is becoming a favorite for her willingness to dig below the “reform” rhetoric of the corporatists and to share the views of  those of us who believe there is a better way.  In response to the recent LA Times piece on LA teacher evaluations, she provides us with a response from a Sacramento high school teacher, Larry FerlazzoRead the blog here.


20 Years Downhill

Kennewick, along with most cities and towns in the country, has relied on standardized testing as a way to improve achievement for the past twenty years despite the arguments of assessment experts (they designed the tests) who said they were not appropriate for this purpose and instruction experts (they know what needs to be taught), who argued for whole child solutions.  Kennewick School District has claimed vast improvement over the time period although the results don’t show up in higher graduation rates, greater college admissions, or any other measure than the same standardized tests at some grades, but not others.

New research reported elsewhere on this blog shows the drill and test strategy has not worked on a nation-wide basis and now a new report adds additional data detailing the failed strategy.  The achievement gap on the NAEP declined from 1970 to 1990, but has remained stagnant during the 20 years of “standards” and testing we have just survived.  You can read the Washington Post article describing the report here (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/equity/the-achievement-gap-when-progr.html).  The article contains a link to the actual report for the aficionados among us.

Do you believe your children should continue to be subjected to a teaching strategy that is clearly not working as well as what we were doing 20 years ago?  As the report shows, the achievement gap was narrowing until precisely the point in time where Kennewick (and most of the nation) began emphasizing test scores as a means to improving achievement.  Who has benefited from this emphasis?  It was not your kids.  But the big testing companies like Pearson (WASL) and NWEA (MAP) have raked in millions, oops, billions, at the expense of these kids.  Isn’t it time to just say NO to your local school board and legislators?  We provide contact information in the panel at the right of our home page.


Ravitch to Obama: “Change Course Before it is too Late”

The Washington Post continues to give space to Dianne Ravitch and her book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. To quote Monty Neill of FairTest, “This is a very valuable interview with Diane Ravitch by Valerie Strauss of the Answer Sheet. Diane warns us of demoralized teachers, discloses Duncan/Department disinformation, bashes the tests, and points out that parents as well as teachers are angry over testing & privatization – but even members of Congress who recognize this don’t see blocking Obama-Duncan. The members of Congress must be pushed by the people with refusing to support Obama-Duncan.”

The piece begins:

“I have written a lot about Ravitch recently because I think she occupies a unique place in the world of education. For years, she was part of the conservative wing of the education world, serving as an assistant secretary in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and becoming a vocal backer of the second President Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative.”

“But after looking at the data — one of the mantras of today’s misguided education leaders — Ravitch reversed her position on NCLB, calling it a failure. And she has become a strong critic of using business principles to run public school districts.”

To read the article click here.





John C. Hattie, (2009), Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800

Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement.  London & New York:  Routledge,

Taylor& Francis Group, 379 pp.   ISBN 10:0-415-47617-8, $42.00.

By Donald C. Orlich, Professor Emeritus,Washington State University, Pullman

Don Orlich, Professor Emeritus at Washington State University, and noted education researcher, presents his review of John Hattie’s Visible Learning below.  The book, which Orlich calls “MUST reading for all involved in teacher education programs, those who determine educational policies and programs, and school evaluators,” is a detailed analysis of hundreds of studies done over the years describing various treatments to improve student achievement.  The book is highly technical and even the review is challenging to the non-technical reader, but the outcomes of Hattie’s monumental efforts are too important to ignore.  In Orlich’s words, “Nevertheless, two conclusions may be inferred: (1) Teacher quality is a key link to student achievement and (2) Most current education reform efforts have simply become “fads’.”

To learn some of the things that really work, and some that really don’t, READ MORE. Continue reading