Editorials

U.S. Senate OKs reform of NCLB

FILE - In this July 8, 2015, file photo, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., looks to members of the media as she and other Senate Democrats speak to media after a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House and Senate are embarking on negotiations to merge two differing education bills that would rewrite the nation’s much-criticized No Child Left Behind education law. On Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Senate overwhelmingly approved its version of the education legislation, sponsored by Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, a week after the House passed a more conservative measure.
FILE - In this July 8, 2015, file photo, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., looks to members of the media as she and other Senate Democrats speak to media after a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House and Senate are embarking on negotiations to merge two differing education bills that would rewrite the nation’s much-criticized No Child Left Behind education law. On Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Senate overwhelmingly approved its version of the education legislation, sponsored by Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, a week after the House passed a more conservative measure. AP

YAY: NCLB REFORM MOVING

Credit U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Lamar Alexander for teaming up to craft a bipartisan rewrite of the much despised No Child Left Behind Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law in 2002. The reform bill passed on an 81-to-27 vote Thursday.

The Washington Democrat and Republican from Tennessee have created legislation that reduces some testing but returns to states much of the power to determine which schools are failing. Civil rights groups and many Democrats still want to add an accountability provision to ensure that states can’t just ignore disadvantaged children in need of more costly schooling. But it’s unclear how the GOP-led House will handle it.

BOO: UNDERAGE WEED SALES

State Liquor Control Board investigators using an underage aide caught 19 of the state’s privately run recreational marijuana stores selling to minors (younger than 21). Selling to young people was a fear of some who opposed the legalization of weed sales in 2012.

The stores found in violation will be fined, and the LCB said individuals who wrongfully sold the pot to underage customers would be referred to prosecutors for possible prosecution.

Overall, LCB said compliance with the law at the 157 stores tested in May and June was 88 percent. Locally, the stores were Sweet Greens Northwest in Rochester, Green Lady in Olympia, and TJ’s Cannabis Buds, Edibles, Oils & More in Shelton.

YAY: SCOUTS VOTE

The Boy Scouts of America are wisely moving to lift a blanket ban on gay adults serving as Scout leaders less than two years after finally letting gay youths participate. The group’s 17-member executive committee voted unanimously to adopt a resolution last week to end a policy based in fear and ignorance, and a larger national executive board must also ratify it. It’s time.

BOO: FBI GUN CHECK

The FBI said its background check system for firearm sales in South Carolina failed, which let white extremist Dylann Roof buy the .45-caliber handgun that he used to massacre nine black worshippers in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last month. The FBI is investigating the role of sloppy records, including a jail clerk’s incorrect entry, which led an FBI records examiner to call the wrong local police agency and led to approval of a firearm sale that should have been blocked.

YAY: JBLM SCHOOL GRANT

The Department of Defense awarded a $40 million grant to rebuild Evergreen Elementary School. It is the last of six schools at Joint Base Lewis-McChord finally to be replaced. Clover Park School District Superintendent Debbie LeBeau credited U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Reps. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, and Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, for securing funds for the district, which operates the school. The funding means kids will eventually learn in a state of the art school with new technology, classroom space and better access for kids with disabilities.

YAY: LOST LAKE CABIN

A log cabin thought to be about 100 years old was added to the Thurston County Historic Register recently — in the nick of time. The listing saves the cabin, which features a tall stone chimney and is located at the high-end, private Lost Lake RV Park. A homeowner association member had proposed demolishing it. The structure is in pretty good shape, but the resort owners and association can now apply for federal grants to replace chinking and fix the roof and foundation.

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