Readers respond to our blog post "Washington lawmakers will likely allow high school seniors who failed state test to graduate" (6/23/17), about throwing out results of the end-of-course biology test:
Susan Smith Lindsey: I am concerned about the "dumbing down" of our high school students by waiving these end of course exams. Why are the students not passing these exams? If they are unable to pass these exams are they adequately prepared for college, university, or community college or will they be required to take remedial courses thereby pushing the responsibility to the community colleges, etc., for what they should have learned in high school?
Peter Hire: There's plenty of people who don't test well, others who just aren't that smart, and still others who might not need a particular area of study in their future. Didn't the shenanigans with the WASL a decade ago teach our state anything?
Lauren House: Biology is not a college requirement for many students unless they plan to go into a science based field. The test is also based on standards that have been replaced for several years so it is a no-brainer to eliminate this. It has nothing to do with "dumbing down" the curriculum. It makes no sense to have a bunch of kids as high school dropouts because they couldn't pass a biology test. The tests should not be a requirement to get a diploma. We already have SAT and ACT testing scores to determine things like course placement and college acceptance.
Readers respond to "The 'Necessity Defense'" (6/22/17), our story about Spokane climate-change activists heading to court after blocking trains carrying oil and coal:
John Sims: I'm all for reducing our use of coal and oil, but this is just stupid. Until we switch to renewable energy that coal and oil has to get to its destination somehow. We can't take all the coal and oil off of trains and start putting it on trucks. Trains are much less likely to be in an accident.
Val Stefoff: They're standing up for something, while y'all sit down for something. ♦