Opinion

Q&A with Mr. FW: The collective ‘we’ can make a difference

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email it to mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com. - Federal Way Mirror
Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email it to mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com.
— image credit: Federal Way Mirror

Q: It looks like Federal Way Public Schools are going back to a more traditional grading system. Can I get Mr. Federal Way’s thoughts?

A: Mr. Federal Way has been all over the Federal Way school district over the past couple of months, criticizing a lot of the decisions that have been coming out of the district’s offices.

But now it’s time for Mr. Federal Way to give the district a little pat on the back. At first, it really seemed like they weren’t listening to the general public regarding the controversial standards-based grading system. However, the district finally is doing something about all the complaints.

They are listening and changes are coming.

Last week, the district sent out a survey regarding the grading system, and Superintendent Rob Neu penned a letter to parents and guardians stating that “modifications are needed.”

These are steps in the right direction. Mr. Federal Way firmly believes that Neu and the school board will make the changes necessary to change the current system’s “power law” equation that unfairly penalizes students and teachers.

“We appreciate your communication and advocacy on behalf of your students,” Neu wrote. “We are working to move swiftly but with care. We must ensure any changes made are appropriate to the needs of all 22,000 students, and that grades are consistent with the skills and knowledge students have when they complete the course.”

Mr. Federal Way thanks Neu and the school board for listening. It’s appreciated. Mr. Federal Way also thanks the parents, students and teachers who spoke up regarding the grading issues. Like Mr. Federal Way tells his kids, the collective “we” can make a difference.

But it’s going to be a little bittersweet after Neu and the school board go back to a more traditional grading system. What is Mr. Federal Way going to write about every week?

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving?

A: Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks (hence the name of the holiday). And there’s a lot of thanks to go around that has made Mr. Federal Way who Mr. Federal Way is.

Mr. Federal Way gives a big thank you to the patriarch of Federal Way’s first family — Mr. Federal Way’s dad. It was he who gave Mr. Federal Way the ability to look at every situation through sarcastic-colored glasses. Thanks for that, dad.

Mr. Federal Way would also like to give thanks to Mr. Federal Way’s mom. She was always there for Mr. Federal Way and makes the best pumpkin pie known to man.

Lastly, Mr. Federal Way would like to thank former Mirror editor Andy Hobbs, whose last day was Friday. Hobbs has moved up in the journalism world and is now a reporter at The Olympian.

But it was Hobbs who cultivated the idea for Mr. Federal Way writing the Mr. Federal Way column. Obviously, Mr. Federal Way puts the words on paper and the opinions belong to Mr. Federal Way, not Hobbs.

However, Hobbs is the one who kept pushing Mr. Federal Way to push the boundaries and to hold the city, school district and everyone else accountable for their actions.

Hobbs is a true “journalist” and Federal Way’s loss is Olympia’s gain.

Mr. Federal Way will continue writing Mr. Federal Way’s column, but it will be a little different not having Hobbs looking over the copy before it “hits the streets” of Federal Way.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what can we do to make Federal Way a better place to live? It seems like the city has been getting a lot of bad press lately.

A: Mr. Federal Way loves living in Federal Way. This comes despite poking fun and pointing out things that Mr. Federal Way doesn’t agree with. Mr. Federal Way has chosen to live in Federal Way and will continue to live here.

How can we make Federal Way a better place to live? There’s a pretty easy answer — get involved.

During this Thanksgiving break, Mr. Federal Way would like to point out how to get involved in making Federal Way a better place. Volunteering is a huge part of making a city like Federal Way a great community. And there are volunteer opportunities all over Federal Way. All you have to do is look a little bit.

Federal Way’s website, cityoffederalway.com, has a huge list of volunteer opportunities around the city and the list is updated quarterly. There is also a volunteer application that people can fill out and someone will be in contact with you to discuss potential opportunities.

Happy volunteering.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, do you get paid for writing your column?

A: None of your business.

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com

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