Story time with Sen. Patty Murray

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray reads Audry Wood’s “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub” to teacher Tina Brennan’s second grade class at Blue Ridge Elementary School Wednesday morning. The school was Murray’s only stop in Walla Walla on a swing through the region. The Democrat, seeking a fifth term in November’s elections, spoke with local educators about implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray visited Blue Ridge Elementary School on Wednesday, where she read to students and lauded her favorite federal education act.

The Every Student Succeeds Act — which passed Congress in December 2015 with bipartisan support — was written in part by Murray, a Democrat who sits on a Senate education committee.

The measure replaced the highly criticized No Child Left Behind Act, which also passed with bipartisanism support in 2001.

No Child Left Behind was criticized for penalizing states with federal funding sanctions if their students did not achieve adequate yearly progress as measured by standardized test scores.

States were able to receive waivers against the sanctions, but they were also required to allocate part of their federal funding to programs designed to improve test scores, like private tutoring. And states were required to send out letters to parents that their children’s schools had not met adequate yearly progress.

“There will be no more letters home to parents. And they didn’t really help,” Murray said after her tour and book reading at Blue Ridge.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at or 526-8325.

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