Begin with a stupid law, requiring schools do the impossible or face the horrible consequences, a law so widely disliked that nearly every state gets a waiver from its ridiculous requirements. To that add a federal agency intent on intervening in every state’s education policies, even to the point of dictating how they evaluate their employees, especially teachers and principals. Add a teachers’ union whose members dislike being judged, especially in ways dictated by federal authorities, especially if it involves tests. Tack on a pack of legislators terrified of offending the already unhappy teachers’ union, which coincidentally bankrolls a good deal of their political efforts, and a governor and superintendent of public instruction who smell approaching disaster but apparently have no power to persuade anybody to do much about it. Top it off with a Congress that knows the federal law that started all this is badly botched, and yet can’t muster the will to do anything about it.
This is a fine mess, thank you very much. Predictable, says state Superintendent Randy Dorn. Sadly expected, says Gov. Jay Inslee. Deeply disappointing, says Sen. Patty Murray.