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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 22, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Editorial endorsements: Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos is an independent voice

It’s not unusual for The Times to criticize legislators who differ with its views on education. To wit, Times’ editorials (July 31, September 7, 2014) repeatedly paint Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos as an obstructionist or tool of the state teachers’ union.

Far from it. Tomiko Santos remains an independent, strong-willed and hard-working member of the Legislature. She believes “all” means all, and unabashedly seeks solutions for students who continue to fare poorly in our school system, i.e., low-income, immigrants and special-education students.

True, she is critical of certain educational-reform measures. A good example is state-imposed, 24-credit high school graduation requirements (to take effect in 2019). A cadre of so-called education reform groups, funded by private foundations and corporations based in Seattle, have lobbied hard for this.

Whether a transcript contains 24 credits or 30+ credits, a diploma with all Ds will mean little to students when they begin the college admissions process or search for jobs in today’s technology-driven workplace.

We should thank Tomiko Santos for understanding that quality credits, where students can demonstrate appropriate content knowledge, matter most.

And credit her for questioning other misguided efforts to reform education that work against students who need the most help.

Ricardo Sanchez, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Ricardo Sanchez

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