Letter: Dawn McCravey –a thoughtful, independent voice for Olympia

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Editor:

Rosemary McAuliffe was elected to the Washington State Legislature nearly 20 years ago. During that time Washington state has fallen to 45th in the nation in terms of education funding. Class sizes have increased, leaving our classrooms among the most crowded in the nation.

Our state legislature wasted over a BILLION dollars on a failed experiment called the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). School districts were burdened with having to purchase expensive curriculum designed to “teach to the test.” These curricula left many of our students ill-prepared for the rigors of college.

Several years ago I had an opportunity to meet with Rosemary McAuliffe. We discussed the WASL and its negative impact on the children of Washington state.  She agreed that the WASL was a flawed test that was not meeting the needs of our students. When asked if she would sponsor or support a bill to remove the WASL, she adamantly refused to do so, stating that, as a Democrat, she did not want to put such a bill before the Governor, knowing that the Governor would veto it. She said that she wouldn’t want to put a fellow Democrat in such a position. It was clear to me that her party politics and friendship with the Governor was clearly more important to McAuliffe than the children of Washington State.

Despite McAuliffe’s opposition, the WASL was eventually removed as an assessment tool. Although it was too late for many of our children: The damage had already been done.

McAuliffe has repeatedly blocked efforts to improve education for our children. Her refusal to even allow key pieces of education reform to even be heard in Olympia is part of the reason The Seattle Times has refused to endorse McAuliffe, stating that as education committee chair McAuliffe “resisted and stymied key reforms” and that she failed to provide the leadership necessary to affect positive change in Olympia.

Washington does not need 4 more years of wasted money and wasted time. Our children deserve better. Dawn McCravey is willing to listen to parents and educators. She has proven during her time on the Northshore School Board that she is willing to make the difficult choices, putting the needs of the students above all else.

Dawn McCravey has often been the sole voice on the Northshore School Board, voting against cutting school nurses, standing firmly and consistently against school closure. Kraig Peck WEA/NESPA staff person stated that “Dawn McCravey showed her thoughtful independence, and voted against the cuts. She deserves the heartfelt thanks of every member of Northshore’s community.”

Dawn McCravey is the strong, thoughtful and independent voice that Olympia so desperately needs. That is why I support Dawn McCravey for State Senate.

Sincerely,
Berta Phillips

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