|Passing WASL shouldn't be required for
Arthur Hu; Kirkland;
Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson's call for
changes and increases in funding for the Washington Assessment of
Student Learning (TNT, 11-18) is just putting more lipstick on a
failing pig. In this time of budget cuts, WASL frills like personal
congratulation letters to my son should be the first places to cut,
No amount of tinkering or repeat tries is going to fix the
underlying implausibility of requiring every student to rise above
average. How did the CEOs behind the Partnership for Learning and
the Washington Roundtable succeed in taking away your child's
diploma if you can't factor a second-degree polynomial or can't
measure up to the 30 percent who will be admitted to a four-year
university? Most jobs today require a diploma, not a degree.
Score improvement is a mirage when the WASL folks have changed
the passing scores, the difficulty of the test, the specifications
and even the essential learning standards themselves over the years.
Erasing the achievement gap with a thinly disguised IQ test is a
joke when overall pass rates have remained at two to four times that
of disadvantaged minorities.
Legislators should follow Gary Locke's recommendation to cut back
WASL. Educational experts agree tests like WASL should be banned as
a roadblock to a diploma.
Eighth-grade entrance tests that allowed only 5 percent to
continue were eliminated by progressives a century ago who thought
everyone deserved an education to be better workers and citizens.
Where are those people today?
November 24th, 2002)