Parent Empowerment Network/Mothers Against WASL

Press Conference

Sylvester Park, across from Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2006

Time: 12:00 p.m.

 

Subject: OSPI Concedes to Parent Empowerment Network Request. WASL-attached Student Survey Cancelled

 

Contact:  Juanita Doyon, Director, Parent Empowerment Network, Spanaway, 253/973-1593

 

With full-scale WASL testing set to begin Monday, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has finally relinquished plans to administer a student survey, which is attached to the WASL tests of hundreds of thousands of students in grades 3-8 and 10. OSPI plans to send a bulletin to the state’s 296 school districts before Monday, canceling the survey.

 

“This is a great triumph for children and parents,” said Juanita Doyon, Director of Parent Empowerment Network. “Once again, OSPI had failed to follow well-defined laws pertaining to parental rights. Fortunately, thanks to alert parents in our organization, no harm will be done to students.”

 

At the insistence of Parent Empowerment Network, the student survey, which asked for student identifiable, family invasive information will not be administered.

 

Upon discovery that there would be a survey attached to this year’s WASL tests, PEN members questioned OSPI as to the survey contents. Survey questions were found to be invasive of family privacy and harmful to the educational well-being of children.

 

 After consulting with Dr. Donald Orlich and with Spokane Attorney Jeffry Finer, PEN Director, Juanita Doyon, petitioning OSPI on behalf of PEN members, on March 24, for removal of the survey. Jeffry Finer also informed OSPI that the survey was out of compliance with federal statutes related to survey of human subjects. No response was received from OSPI, until Mrs. Doyon spoke several times with Assistant Attorney General David Stolier. After a final, after-hour negotiation call from Mr. Stolier on Tuesday, April 11, PEN was prepared to seek legal action to stop the survey. Finally, the following email was received from Joe Willhoft, acting Assistant Superintendent, Assessment and Research, on Wednesday evening.

 

PEN Board and members will assemble in Sylvester Park, across from OSPI, at noon, Thursday, to celebrate this victory for our children. Please join us for our formal statement and answers to any questions you may have.

 

Subj:

WASL Survey 

Date:

4/12/2006 6:07:15 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time

From:

[email protected]

To:

[email protected]

CC:

[email protected]

Sent from the Internet (Details)

 

Juanita,

This is just a quick note to inform you that OSPI has decided to cancel the student survey portion of this year’s WASL.

 

A bulletin will be forthcoming to districts and schools.  I will courtesy copy you on that when it goes out.

 

joe

 

Joe Willhoft, Ph.D.

Assistant Superintendent, Assessment and Research

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

1