Editorial — Too much testing in high schools should end

September 3, 2015

What is happening in Washington’s public high schools gives testing a bad name.

Schools are pushing too many tests because of a mismatch between state and federal laws. The result is a backlash from students, parents and teachers with high numbers of students opting out of tests.

Test scores provide a valuable snapshot of what individuals have learned and how well schools are teaching them. But too much unnecessary or redundant testing detracts from learning and wastes time.

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Off The Press — Your contest photos are an inspiration

September 3, 2015

Hi readers! Here is a heads-up to look forward to the work of some great photographers — your very own friends and neighbors — next week in your hometown weekly newspaper. You are going to be blown away!

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

I’ve already had an advance peek on account of it was my job to sort and collate the entries, but let me just say how envious I am of the skill and the special moments captured by all of you who have once again entered our annual Issaquah and Sammamish Amateur Photo Contest.

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To the Editor — Sept. 3, 2015

September 3, 2015

Development

Stand up for your city and get involved in decisions

Like many citizens of Sammamish, I feel a great sadness driving through our town and watching the demolition of so many trees. Seeing the destruction as I drive down 228th Avenue Southeast to East Lake Sammamish Parkway (which is actually Issaquah) is heartbreaking. When did we as citizens have any say in the decisions about these developments?

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Home Country — A hot, dry summer needs some rain

September 3, 2015

There are a few universal truths in our lives: The sun comes up in the east, it rains in Ketchikan and you can tell what the weather’s like by eavesdropping on the senior members of the world dilemma think tank … meeting daily at the Mule Barn coffee shop since God made dirt.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“My hens,” said Doc, “were sweating this morning.”

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Editorial — Consider volunteering in the classroom

August 26, 2015

On Tuesday, Issaquah parents will whisk their children off to school, symbolically bringing an end to the long summer nights.

A late Labor Day means school starts Sept. 1 this year.

After dropping the kids off at school, you might feel the urge to kick back, relax and enjoy some “me” time. You deserve it after a long summer keeping the young ones entertained.

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Off The Press — Work with law officers, not against them

August 26, 2015

Let me ask you good readers a question — when did it become acceptable to aggressively ignore authority, especially officers of the law?

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

There have been quite a few truly unfortunate incidents in the media in the past couple of years involving the police, with their actions leading to the death of a civilian. While nobody else but those involved were at the incidents, certain common facts emerge from each, leading me to conclude many of those killed would still be alive today if they hadn’t first resisted arrest.

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To the Editor — Aug. 27, 2015

August 26, 2015

Police

Police can grow their budget and save lives

Police Chief Scott Behrbaum, I know how you can fund your entire budget. I can personally guarantee it’ll work.

Position an officer two blocks west of Zeeks on Northeast Park Drive, the main road feeding homes in the Issaquah Highlands.

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Home Country — The joys of memories great and small

August 26, 2015

Billy’s been a busy guy ever since he became the official town dog here. Sally had been the town dog until she passed away on Doc’s porch, and then Billy’s owner died just two weeks after that, so it was something of a natural progression. Sometimes offices are filled without an election.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

The high school wood shop boys built Billy a doghouse next to the school crossing, but Billy preferred Aunt Ada’s couch in the cold months and a nice dog depression under an oak tree when it’s warm.

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Editorial — Legislature must act on funding education

August 19, 2015

NEW — 3:50 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015

Washington state’s school-financing system has been inadequate, broken and inequitable for three decades. On Aug. 12, after multiple warnings, the state Supreme Court issued a new order in the landmark McCleary case putting a price tag on the failure to fix it: $100,000 a day in fines.

The penalty follows the court holding the state — the governor and the Legislature — in contempt 11 months ago. Despite a regular session and three overtime sessions, lawmakers still could not satisfy the court.

No more delays. Gov. Jay Inslee should show the type of bold leadership on the systemic solutions that he did not show during the six months of legislative sessions. He should work with legislative leaders to hatch a plan and then reconvene the full Legislature as soon as possible. Lawmakers must also set aside partisanship and ideology to find a sustainable new education-funding model.

The Legislature made admirable progress toward fuller funding of education in the recent marathon session. But the Supreme Court wants more detailed plans of how the state will pay for the space required for reduced K-3 class sizes and all-day kindergarten. The new order also rightly emphasized the state’s constitutional obligation to pay for teachers’ salaries. The broken school-financing model foists nearly one-third of compensation onto school levies, leaving have and have-not districts in rich and poor corners of the state. Read more

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Off The Press — Sunny remembrances

August 19, 2015

NEW — 3:48 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015

Have you driven by Sunny Hills Elementary School on the Sammamish Plateau lately?

It is, quite simply, a vast, desert-looking wasteland dotted with large construction vehicles and even larger mounds of dirt.

Construction is well underway on a much-needed facelift for the Issaquah School District building.

Christina Corrales-Toy Press reporter

Christina Corrales-Toy
Press reporter

I drive by it every day on my way to the office, and each time I pass it, without fail, I can feel a small, but noticeable, pull on my heartstrings.

You see, I’m a Sunny Hills Mustang, and so is my brother, Thomas. I started at the school as a third grader after our family moved from California. For my brother, Sunny Hills was the only elementary school he ever knew. Read more

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