Our Voice: Thumbs up to WSU Tri-Cities

April 15, 2013 

WSU Tri-Cities is offsetting the cost of an education for those who are willing to work hard.

Higher education is shockingly expensive. But for those who really want it, there is a way. Our Washington State University branch campus is offering tuition waivers for new students — freshmen or transfers — for high grades.

School is expensive. This will help — a little — and encourage serious students to work hard.

Password privacy

Thumbs up to state lawmakers for removing the password provision from Senate Bill 5211.

We have long warned employees (and possible future employees) to use some judgment on what they post on social media sites and to be wise about who they connect with.

We have some sympathy with employers who fear proprietary information is being given away — no doubt some of it is.

We have to think that only the most gullible will do it on their own Facebook page, but we suppose it does happen.

Even so, employers shouldn’t be able to force their way into their employees’ social media circle. Employees deserve some privacy — and we recommend they use it.

Besides, it’s easy enough to cyber-spy most people without having their password. People are way too willing to share.

Pasco pools may close

Thumbs down to the ever-dwindling access to affordable swimming pools and lessons in the Tri-Cities.

We’re not being critical of Pasco contemplating whether to close two of the city’s three pools. Under the circumstances, it may be the fiscally responsible thing to do.

We’re content to let the elected officials make that decision.

But we do lament the loss of safe, affordable swimming. We have plenty of water that is not safe for swimming, and each year our rivers and canals claim the lives of some children and adults in our community.

It’s one element of summer that we dread.

Math is hard

Thumbs down to math illiteracy. Employers want to hire people who know basic math. Unfortunately, that puts a lot of high school graduates out of the running.

One employer in Tacoma eliminates 90 percent of applicants with an 18-question test of middle school math — even using a calculator.

Granted, middle school math ain’t what it used to be.

Many of our middle school students take, and pass, high school algebra.

But for fun, let’s go back farther. Here are a few questions allegedly from the eighth grade final from Salina, Kan., in 1865.

— A wagon is 2 feet deep, 10 feet long and 3 feet wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

— District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

— Find the interest on $512.60 for eight months and 18 days at 7 percent.

We were feeling silly because we’ve had trouble programming the new phones in the office. Now we really feel dumb. If we can use our “calculator” on that, we’re going to Google the answers.

Answers

— Therefore the wagon box, if heaped, contains 60 bushels and if struck, 1/5th less or 48 bushels.

— The cost of seven months of school equals $50 X 7 + $104, therefore $454. The levy is therefore $454 ÷ $35,000 which equals 0.013 levy or $1.30 per $100 valuation of the district.

— If the principal is held for 258 days, the proportional interest for the period held is 258 ÷ 360 X $512.60 X 7% or $25.72

For bragging rights log on to tricityherald.com and under today’s Our Voice, post how many questions you could answer.

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