http://news.bellinghamherald.com/stories/20050421/TopStories/241147.shtml

 

EDUCATION
Students protest WASLs on Lakeway
About 25 from Kulshan Middle School present

EMILY WEINER, THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Their handmade signs read "Honk if you hate the WASL" and "WASL washing away student learning."

About 25 Kulshan Middle School students demonstrated Wednesday morning, before heading into school to take the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exams being given across the state this week.

The protesters gathered on the sidewalk of Lakeway Drive, about two blocks from Kulshan. They chose the location because the previous morning their protest along the driveway between the school and Kenoyer Street was stopped by the principal.

Seventh-graders Steven Baker and Marcus Moran, who organized the demonstration, said they'd be back on Lakeway Drive with signs at about 7:30 a.m. today.

Gigi Morganti, Kulshan's principal, said she had asked students who were demonstrating on school property Tuesday morning to come inside because she didn't want them to be late and because school safety rules require students to come in as soon as they're dropped off.

"They have every right to have their opinions," said Morganti. "We're using it as a learning opportunity. We told them they can write their state and federal legislators."

Marcus said WASL tests are a waste of time and money.

"WASL overfunded, teachers underfunded," read one of the boys' posters.

"We spend the whole year taking WASL practice tests," Marcus said. "The community should be concerned, whether they have kids in public schools or not. They're funding it."

Steven said lots of kids freak out about WASL tests.

"A lot of kids are just learning to pass the WASL instead of learning to get an education," he said. "It's a waste."

"We're using it as a learning opportunity. We told them they can write their state and federal legislators."

Gigi Morganti

Kulshan Middle School principal

 

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