Opinion

Re-elect Bergeson to keep education on the right path in WA | Mirror editorial

In the nonpartisan race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction, The Mirror recommends re-electing Terry Bergeson.

After serving 12 years, Bergeson vows this would be her last term if elected. Despite falling short of perfection, Bergeson still has the right idea for education in Washington and deserves another term.

The office is a lightning rod for criticism. After all, education occupies the biggest slice of our tax dollars. However, Bergeson has garnered supporters from both sides of the political aisle.

Bergeson faces a formidable opponent in Randy Dorn, who supported Bergeson in 1996 and 2000.

Dorn opposes the controversial Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) in its current form. Indeed, the test needs revision. But the state also needs a test to measure progress and set standards. Bergeson sees the WASL as a work in progress, and although progress has not arrived as quickly as hoped, progress nonetheless has been made in reading and writing scores.

The candidates also differ on the Core 24, which would raise the requirement for high school graduation from 19 to 24 credits. The plan is under consideration by the Washington State Board of Education. Core 24 offers students a choice in their education path based on post-high school plans.

The biggest obstacle is funding the Core 24. Education statewide already faces a money shortage to simply meet mandates.

Bergeson supports the Core 24. Despite financial obstacles, the program is part of the overall direction education must move toward.Dorn opposes the Core 24. Dorn also gives the impression that he wants to start all over, so to speak, instead of building on what has been accomplished.

The Mirror recommends re-electing Terry Bergeson for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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