Spokesman Review September 9, 2005
With the recent release of the 2005 WASL scores, Terry Bergeson spouted her usual rhetoric about how wonderful the scores are and how well the WASL is working.
She spoke about the nearly 80% that passed the 4th grade reading test. Here are a few facts and scores not widely talked about.
The actual number of 4th graders in the state to pass all 3 sections of the WASL, and therefore passed the WASL is 45%. A far cry from the misleading 80% we all heard on the news last week.
After years of use, we have less than 37% of all students passing the science WASL.
42% is the number of 10th grade students who passed all 3 sections of the WASL this year. Let me rephrase this, that’s 58% that DID NOT pass, just one year before the graduating class of 2008 takes the same test as part of their graduation requirement.
WASL validity and reliability are extremely suspect. WASL’s own technical report, warns, “Scores from one test given on a single occasion should never be used to make important decisions about students' placement, the type of instruction they receive, or retention in a given grade level in school.”
For 8 years, the
state superintendent has illegally denied access to the WASL, until parents
cited federal law. FERPA allows for parents to view their children’s
educational records within 45 days of a request. WASL is included in those records and yet the
state continues to ignore parental requests for these materials. One parent in
Stories such as
these are repeated all over the state but seldom covered by the media. The state superintendent’s office has failed
to notify parents that all student tests prior to 2004 have been destroyed.
Parents only have until
Empowerment Network urges all parents to view their children’s WASL to see what
is wrong with this test and why only 39% of all students in
Parent Empowerment Network is working to halt the shredding of these tests to give parents opportunity to request and view these important educational documents. The superintendent’s office has refused to answer questions about the storage and sharing of student test results.
Lawmakers and the media need to pay attention to all data and scores. Simply swallowing the propaganda of the state superintendent and the Washington Roundtable is not responsible leadership or journalism.
Executive Board Member
Parent Empowerment Network