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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
August 26, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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August 26, 2009

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THE IS SAQUAH PRE S S A4 WEDNESDAY~ AUGUST 26~ 2009 PRESS EDITORIAL Ill It was a lovely idea When No Child Left Behind was passed into law, the plan was simple -- make sure every stu- dent in America gets a good education by holding school dis- tricts to ever-tougher standards. But in practice, No Child Left Behind has not delivered, and has caused more trouble than it's worth. As a result, Is- saquah schools may pay a high price for it a few years down the road. In some ways, the program actually succeeded. By high- lighting problems that hadn't before been quantified, it has allowed schools across the country to better focus their re- SOurCeS. The law's end goal -- that 100 percent of America's stu- dents graduate with a set of basic skills and can pass a test to prove it -- is laudable, but unrealistic. It doesn't require a degree in statistics and educational testing to understand why. If everyone passes a test, all it re- ally means is that the test is too easy to be an adequate measure of skills. No test should expect all students to pass, without regard to their ability to learn. Washington is starting to have that realization now. Al- though WASL test scores released last week are good and es- sentially as high as they were last year, more and more schools are considered failing The Issaquah School District is failing. Parents, ask yourself, do you think your school district fails to provide students with the opportunity to receive a quality education? We imagine most parents agree Issaquah schools are excellent. It's the law that is failing, and it will get worse. As the years creep by and the standards get tougher, more schools will fall into the failing category. If current trends hold, just about every school in the Issaquah district - and, indeed, in the country - will be labeled failing within a few years, even if the pass rate is in the high 90s. Perhaps as soon as next year, congress will begin its dis- cussion on whether or not to reauthorize No Child Left Be- hind. We hope that any bill that Congress considers will ad- dress the flaws in the current law and work to improve the education system. Standards should be high, but not impos- sible. OFF THE PRESS II II aybe the newspa- per in front of you arrived atyour doorstep, fashioned from ink and paper and delivered in a plastic bag. Perhaps you steered your browser to the Web counterpart, www.issaquahpress, com. Now, another option exists: The Is- saquah Press has joined popular microblogging site Twitter. Fol- low us @issaquahpress. Wait. What? Microblogging? Let me explain how it works: Twitter users -- tweeters -- post updates, known as tweets, capped at 140 characters, or about the length of a text mes- sage. Each tweet is a condensed burst of information -- a useful device, especially as news breaks . and reporters gather information piece by piece. Users follow other tweeters to build a network. As a user fol- lows others, their tweets appear in his or her timeline. A conver- sation begins. Like other news outlets world- wide, we utilize Twitter to speed information to our readers. Un- like other news providers, we strive to deliver hyperlocal con- tent and news about regional is- sues that affect Issaquah resi- dents. Since we first tweeted July 27, we've used the medium to chronicle a record heat wave, City Council decisions, [ ArtWalk and Concerts on the Green, the arrival of new busi- nesses and the depar- tures of oth- ers. If all of the WARREN lingo and sym- ] .AGARISE bols are tough Press Reporter to comprehend, point your browser toward www. twitter, com/issaquahpress. The clever folks at Twitter, head- quartered in San Francisco, have created a slew of how-to guides for the site. In our newsroom, the Twitter idea germinated as a way to de- liver breaking news at a pace even faster than we could with our Web site. The initial proposal evolved from news updates into a way to engage our readers and ask questions about past cover- age and future projects. We use Twitter to keep abreast of news and collect tips from around Issaquah and our cover- age area. The boundaries mirror the Issaquah School District, so news from Preston and parts of See TWITTER, Page A5 /n Dim lqood oP mo ' Local Control:... / / TO THE EDITOR Highlands hospital Overlake's fight with Swedish illustrates the greed in the health care industry It was incredibly upsetting to learn that Overlake Medical Center is continuing to fight Swedish Medical Center's plans to build a hos- pital in the Issaquah Highlands by protesting Swedish's certificate of need. Overlake's actions over the years in fighting this hospital has been a waste of money, time and a denial of accessi- ble hospital services to the citizens of Issaquah, Sammamish and the surrounding communi- ties. 0verlake's behavior provides a perfect ilhs- that racked up bills totaling more than $222,000. Thankfully, we have insurance. Without it we would be financially devastated. I support President 0bama's efforts to reform our health care system so that this sort of dev- astation can be avoided for all Americans. Higher education Reaching the goal of increased gradu- ates will take more public support The 2009 Legislature dealt with our state's tration of how the greed of certain segments of fiscal crisis in a way that sought to avoid last- the health care community raises health care ing harm to public higher education. However, costs without improving the quality of care. a combination of deep budget cuts and steep tuition increases has led some to speculate we ldly Hawkins have crossed an important divide. lssaquah This biennium, four of our six baccalaureate institutions will receive more than 50 percent Health care of their operating revenue from tuition and fees. In 2007-09, state support for these insti- Personal experience re-enforced the tutions averaged 64 percent of operating rev- need for an overhaul to the system enue. Have we started down the path to a priva- My wife had an unexpected artery dissection tized funding model for our public higher edu- cation institutions? We hope not. We need a se- rious discussion about the future of higher edu- cation and a reaffirmation of why it is a solid and necessary public investment. Broad and affordable college access enables societies to compete in our increasingly com- plex and integrated world. Many states and na- tions are making the investment to raise edu- cation levels among their citizens. But Wash- ington is failing to meet this challenge. Rather, we're importing people with degrees to fill our best jobs. We need to do better. The state's master plan for higher education calls for a 40 percent annual increase in degree and certificate attainment by 2018. We believe this goal is attainable, but we recognize much work will be needed. A new system design plan authorized by the Legislature -- the first in 30 years -- will pro- vide rational rules for growth to help expand higher education access to the communities and populations that need it most. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines of this important discussion. We need advocates who can explain the importance of higher edu- cation to all of the people of the state. Ann Daley, executive director Washington H ,her gdu tion rdmang Board Laurel Redecker, Issaquah How effective do you think the 1-90 Undercrossing will be at alleviating traffic? This should help traffic flow better both on and off of the freeway and in between the two How do you think the proposed polystyrene halves of Issaquah. It should be a boost to busi- ban will affect restaurants and consumers? nesses, as it will be easier for consumers on both sides to get to the businesses on either side. I hope that restaurants will see an increase Curtis Repp, Issaquah in take-out business, because consumers only have to worry about busting their budgets and I think it will ease some congestion on north- britches and not eroding the environment, bound Front Street and state Route 900. Better Curtis Repp, Issaquah use of traffic lights and lane designation would help even more Jim Harris, Issaquah Less nonbiodegradable stuff in landfills, less roadside litter and more expensive food. Jim Harris, Issaquah The ban could affect restaurants if they are stuck with back orders of polystyrene cups. It should be phased out gradually. A bold move could be allowing customers to bring in their own favorite cups for water, which means dish- washing and water savings for restaurants. John Sheridan, Issaquah It seems to me we've heard enough of the argu- ment from Seattle taking this on. It's time to stop arguing and start preserving our enviroument any way we can. flit means a paper coffee cup, I'm in. Rick Fournier, Issaquah I think the 1-90 Undercrossing is long over- due for alleviating our bottleneck traffic. This viable alternative should lead drivers to desti- nations such as Costco, the Picketing Barn, movie theater, restaurants, etc. Alongside this road, run the Issaquah trolley. John Sheridan, Issaquah Increase congestion on Gilman, reduce con- gestion on Front, increase congestion in Home Depot shopping center...some. Connie Marsh, lssaquah There are already too few streets for too many cars. By the time it's built and ready for use, it will be past capacity. The undererossing As long as a recyclable material is allowed to won't help much if at all. be used for the same purposes, it should make Rick Fournier, lssaquah no difference, and will help the environment. I think it will be extremely helpful for us who shop both sides of the freeway, especially if try- ing to get back home during afternoon com- mute hours. We have walked through the pro- posed area as much as was possible, and think it makes a lot of sense. Laurel Redecker, Issaquah With the city facing a budget shortfall next year, whet is one creative way officials might raise money?. See RAPID RESPONSE, Page A5 LETIERS WELCOME The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, although we reserve the right to edit for space, potential libel and/or political relevance. Letters addressing local news will receive priority. Please limit letters to 350 words and type them, if possible E-mail is preferred. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Deadline for letters is noon Friday for the fol- lowing week's paper. Address:p.o. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 E-mail: Isspress@lsspress.com PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 19OO 45 FRONT ST. S.' I~0. BOX 1328 ISSAQUAH, KING COUNTY, WA 98027 $30 PER YEAR / $55 TWO YEARS / $18 PER YEAR FOR SENIORS ADD $15 OUTSIDE KING COUNTY / $20 OUTSIDE STATE Advertising: igreen~sspress.com Classifieds: classifleds@lsspress.com ADVERTISING MANAGER JILL GREEN AD REPi~ESENTATIVE VICKIE SINGSAAS AD REPI~ESENTATIVE ,~NN LANDRY AD REPI~ESENTATIVE JODY TURNER CLASSIFIEDS MARIANA SKAKIE Newsreom: IsspressOIsspress.com EDITOR KATHLEEN R. MERRILL REPORTER CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK REPORTER DAVID HAYES REPORTER WARREN KAGARISE PHOTOGRAPHER GREG FARRAR Circulation: Ip-clrculatlon@Lsspress.com Accemntlng: Ip-acct@lsspress.com PUBLISHER DEBORAH BERTO PHONE:392-6434 FAX:391-1541 WWW.ISSAQUAHPRESS.COM OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF ISSAQUAH Postmaster: Send address chan~es tO: Issaquah Press, PO Box 1328 Issaquah, Wh 98027 ,(