Lynne K. Varner puts a positive spin on Washington’s efforts to improve our public schools [“Buoyed by changes in public education,” Opinion, Dec. 23]. But facts don’t support her. Struggling students may no longer be “relegated to low-level academic tracks,” but we have not supplied the resources they need to succeed in truly rigorous programs.
A Sunday New York Times article “Subtract Teachers, Add Students” shows Washington as having dropped from 13.7 to 13.2 employees per students between 2008 and 2013. Only two states have fewer school employees per student to give struggling students extra help.
Our own state Supreme Court has ruled that we have not supplied the resources necessary to give our children an adequate education. A majority of our state Senate proposes finding additional school funding by further decreasing the programs that help to ensure poor students do not come to school hungry, sick and homeless.
Revamping failed No Child Left Behind legislation, which pits states against each other in a contest for inadequate federal funds and bases success on test scores of questionable validity, has not improved overall educational achievement and will not do so.
Edith Ruby, Seattle
December 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM