Upcoming Conference | 2019 Re-Wire Policy Conference, Dec 10, 2019 Register

Boldt: Give HB 1478 a hearing

Jim Boldt, President of Duckabush Communications/Public Affairs, wrote the following commentary on HB 1478, a bill “requiring state officials to complete high 2 school assessments required for graduation from a public school.”

I’m sure it’s not a joke to the sponsors. Perhaps a little tit-for-tat. The bill, HB 1478, read in Wednesday the 23rd, simply requires state officials to complete all statewide high school assessments required for graduation from a public school. State officials are people holding state elective office in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the state government. Also, for good measure, the assessment completion requirement is demanded of the state board of education. Although sloppily drafted like many bills this session, we assume they mean the members of the board of education.

Oh, Lord why stop there. Just think if your local fire commissioner or school board member also had to take the tests, excuse me, assessments, and post scores for public review. But that’s what second reading and stern committee work is for, right? Let’s perfect this breakthrough concept of good government and add these otherwise well intended defenders of local control.

For those of you who have slept through the state high school assessment arguments just know the students, participants, must take tests and prove some level of proficiency in “Smarter Balanced ELA” (English Language Arts) or a special “AIM” test for those with cognitive challenges. No comment here about any of our leaders having cognitive challenges. We know the truth.

A short-sighted and expensive hair brained public policy idea is not necessarily a cognitive challenge.

On the math side, if passed and signed into law, officials would also have to take tests in Algebra and Geometry. The citizens only hope the math section includes some understanding of basic capitalistic economics of which there is  declining proof in the experimental and expensive public policies tried year after year.

Just think if the Seattle City Council had to take these tests. What would it prove? Surely they all could pass the English, and math sections. We hope. But there is no test here to assess the impact of their “ready, shoot, aim” policies. We might have been saved from on-again, off-again street cars, or the on-again, off-again homeless taxes, or ignoring their own homeless consultants reports and turning the city into a magnate for, not those who need help, but those who congregate to suck up resources and illegally camp in the city parks. Yes, require the tests before the Seattle population starts to decline and real estate values sink.

This bill needs a hearing.