|Letters to the Editor - July 30, 2012|
|Written by Readers|
Unfortunately, there’s currently a proposal before the King County Council that would expand the urban growth area and allow sprawl into the valley -- losing our farmlands forever. As there is plenty of land available within the city limits for urban growth, this is completely unnecessary.
Please support protecting our farmland and tell the King County Council to vote down the proposal. You can learn more at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5127/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11079.
Rachel McCarthy, Woodinville
Northshore needs Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe in Olympia continuing to provide leadership on education funding and reform!
Sen. McAuliffe laid the foundations for Northshore’s success during her many years on the Northshore School Board from 1977 to 1991. She created a district culture of collaboration between teachers, administrators, school board members and the community.
Rosemary created this culture by asking teachers: “What’s working and what’s not working?” and bringing people together to make improvements.
In the Senate since 1993, she has continued to bring people together, to ask educators what they need for their students to succeed and to pass legislation that has improved our schools.
She has two well-financed opponents. All of us are likely to receive many postcards from them filled with misinformation in the coming weeks.
Dawn McCravey is a Republican who has done everything possible to divide our school district. On the school board for four years, her “My Way or the Highway” attitude and her advocacy for the latest education fads (instead of talking with actual classroom teachers about what’s working and not working) has been an obstacle. Fortunately, she is an outlier on the school board, and we have a solid Northshore administration. Northshore’s success is in spite of Dawn, not because of her.
Guy Palumbo, a retired Amazon executive running as a Democrat, is well-intended, but offers no compelling reason to unseat Rosemary (chair of the Senate Education Committee), whose accomplishments dwarf his.
Like McCravey, he is relying on wealthy individuals and groups outside of our community to fund his effort.
Rosemary’s experience has served Northshore exceedingly well.
Let’s continue to benefit from her leadership in Olympia!
Tim Brittell, President
Northshore Education Assn
I continue to be impressed with him, but as the only non-career candidate and the only candidate not accepting special interest money, he hasn’t gotten the attention that the other candidates have. Darshan is originally from Nepal.
He came here to go to college, stayed and started a family and built a successful business. He is acutely aware of the American Dream, how unique and
precious it is, and how it is being eroded.
As an independent thinker, a successful business and family man, and someone with a valuable global perspective, he is exactly what our Congress needs!
At a time when partisan politics is dividing and immobilizing our government (and thereby, our nation), we need someone who is guided by his ideals and his common sense.
He deserves the consideration and support of every voter who truly wants a change in Congress.
Julia Craig, Bothell
Rosemary McAuliffe was elected to the Washington State Legislature nearly 20 years ago. During that time Washington state has fallen to 45th in the nation in terms of education funding. Class sizes have increased, leaving our classrooms among the most crowded in the nation.
Our state legislature wasted over a BILLION dollars on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). School districts were burdened with having to purchase expensive curriculum designed to “teach to the test.” These curricula left many of our students ill prepared for college.
Several years ago I [met]with Rosemary McAuliffe. We discussed the WASL and its negative impact on the children of Washington. She agreed that the WASL was a flawed test that was not meeting the needs of our students. When asked if she would sponsor or support a bill to remove the WASL, she refused to do so, stating that, as a Democrat, she did not want to put such a bill before the governor, knowing that the governor would veto it. She said that she wouldn’t put a fellow Democrat in such a position. It was clear to me that her party politics and friendship with the governor were more important to McAuliffe than the children of Washington.
Despite McAuliffe’s opposition, the WASL was eventually removed as an assessment tool.
McAuliffe has repeatedly blocked efforts to improve education for our children. Her refusal to allow key pieces of education reform to even be heard in Olympia is part of the reason the Seattle Times refused to endorse McAuliffe, stating that as education committee chair McAuliffe “resisted and stymied key reforms” and that she failed to provide the leadership necessary to affect positive change in Olympia.
Dawn McCravey is willing to listen to parents and educators. She has proven during her time on the Northshore School Board that she is willing to make the difficult choices, putting the needs of the students above all else.
Dawn McCravey has often been the sole voice on the Northshore School Board, voting against cutting school nurses, standing firmly and consistently against school closure.
Berta Phillips, Bothell
I’ve lobbied in from of Rosemary McAuliffe on at least three occasions. I’ve found her to be respectful of opposing viewpoints and mindful of unintended consequences of well-intended legislation. I see her as intelligent, well-informed, and willing to communicate.
I’m writing because my experience with Senator McAuliffe differs greatly than the image projected in the Seattle Times endorsement article for the seat:
While she’s certainly open to hearing the viewpoints of educators, I did not get the impression that her priorities are “demonstrated loyalties to the education establishment” but rather a dedication to do what is best for students.
I respect all the candidates in this race and need to learn as much as I can about all of them before I feel comfortable making a decision. That’s my responsibility as a democratic citizen.
From my personal experience, I will definitely weigh Senator McAuliffe’s focus on students first, knowledge of education issues, and pragmatism along with her track record when it comes time to pick up my black ink pen and fill in the bubble.
Let’s put aside all the negativity and look at what we need from a District 1 State Senator.
Both the leading candidates, Dawn McCravey and Rosemary McAuliffe, are hard working and dedicated to public service. Both their strengths are in education. This is not an insignificant issue because educational needs and priorities take up about one-half of our state’s budget. We need a senator that understands and puts in place educational policies that are effective.
In other words, have our children’s lives and education been improved by their terms in office? Do we have well qualified and adequate staff and teachers? Have the candidates demonstrated fiscal responsibility?
One ongoing, highly debated and extremely costly issue in education has been high stakes testing. McAuliffe, as the chair of the Senate Education Committee, supports and funded high stakes testing for the past decade.
Dawn McCravey opposes it as a measure of student ability. More recently, there’s debate over the inclusion of charter schools as alternatives to regular public schools.
Dawn McCravey supports charter schools as an option for students, McAuliffe does not support this option. As voters, these are some of the issues in education that we need to consider when making our senate selection.
Additionally, District 1 constituents need to consider how our senator will help improve our quality of life. Are we happy with our current economic situation? Do we see more economic opportunities for ourselves and our children, or have our opportunities dwindled? Is the state mindful of maintaining our natural resources, supporting our parks and ensuring our waterways, air and soil stay unpolluted?
... I encourage everyone to carefully research the candidates, ask questions and seek answers and make the best decision that you can make.
Lying (Lyng) Wong, Bothell
And for me, whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent is not as important as whether they are the right person for the job. As far as Dawn McCravey is concerned I think she is the right candidate for state senate.
I say this because as an advocate within the Northshore School District I have seen her stand up for issues when no one else would because they were just causes. She is honest, caring and above all wants accountability and transparency within any publically funded institution.
Annette Whelan, Woodinville