They met through the Washington Education Association, and Raney was drawn to Bergeson's energy and vision for the teachers union.
When Bergeson ran for vice president in 1981, Raney, then a Snohomish elementary teacher, volunteered to help with the campaign. Raney helped Bergeson successfully campaign for WEA president and for the state superintendent of public instruction three times.
This year, things are different.
Like thousands of educators in the Puget Sound region, Raney is considering taking a no-confidence vote against Bergeson. Citing the superintendent's continued support of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, several Snohomish County branches of the Washington Education Association are discussing a no-confidence vote for later this month.
Bergeson is up for re-election this fall.
"It's hard for me not to support her, but I think we need new leadership at OSPI (the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction)," said Raney, president of the Snohomish Education Association. "The WASL is a symptom of the problems with Terry's leadership. I think that she has blinders on as far as the WASL and has a stay-the-course mentality that isn't working."
Local branches of the teachers union in Marysville, Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Snohomish and Mukilteo are among those considering a no-confidence vote.
It's difficult for Bergeson to consider losing the support of teachers and a union she once led.
"The kids and the teachers, to me, are what my whole life has been about for 44 years of work in education," she said Friday. "I would feel very sad to get a vote of no confidence."
This is the first year Washington students must pass the reading and writing portion of the WASL to graduate. In late March, lawmakers and Gov. Chris Gregoire agreed to replace the math portion of the standardized test with tests on individual math courses.
Some teachers don't want the WASL to be a graduation requirement. They believe the test devours too many resources and puts too much pressure on students and teachers.
"There's a high level of concern about the amount of money and time it takes," said Catherine Kernan, president of the Mukilteo Education Association. "It doesn't really inform your teaching. When you get the WASL results back, the students have already gone on."
Supporters of the test say it gives diplomas meaning by making sure kids know the basics before they graduate.
The WASL is part of President Bush's No Child Left Behind plan, which aims to help all kids succeed by toughening standards and requiring more standardized testing."There's no question it's made our state a better state academically for children," Bergeson said.
The Washington Association of School Administrators agrees that the WASL has improved student performance. The test has given teachers and students a benchmark to work toward, said Barbara Mertens, assistant executive director of the association.
Reporter Kaitlin Manry