I am Juanita Doyon, representing Parent Empowerment Network.

 

I have brought with me a section of the technical report on WASL, commissioned by OSPI. It states:

 

“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.”

 

Now, I would like to enter into the record information concerning the WASL and surrounding policies that are of grave concern to our organization.

 

The state superintendent suggested to you, on Monday, that some rescoring of WASL tests is being done at the request of students or parents. Let me correct the record by reading to you from an email a father received last month, from state testing coordinator, Paul Dugger at OSPI, in response to a request for rescoring of his son’s test, which he had viewed and believed to be scored incorrectly.

 

“Because the WASL tests do not currently carry high stakes consequences for individual students, OSPI does not have a re-score procedure in place. 

When the WASL does become a graduation requirement we will have re-score appeals available. Our procedures for that are still under development, but will likely involve a fee being paid in advance for the score appeal, which would be returned if the score changed by a substantial amount. The appeal would be made by test, not item. We expect re-score opportunities will be available for the Spring 2006 High School WASL.”


At Monday’s hearing, a member stated that the state superintendent has not provided this committee with information about getting actual tests back to schools so that the results could be understood and utilized better by teachers and students.  I think I can shed some light. WASL was never designed to be a diagnostic tool for placing, retaining or developing educational plans for individual students.  Again, please review the WASL technical report.

 

For eight years, the state office disregarded federal rules that allow parents to view their children’s tests. It took parents to change that. When we did, OSPI’s excuse for their disregard of parental rights was that they did not see a memo from the federal office that was dated 1997 until we brought it to their attention in 2005. 

 

When parents were granted the right to view their children’s tests this past spring, it was discovered that OSPI had been destroying and plans to continue destroying student tests. In fact this was carried out with no written policy in place.  Keep in mind that this year’s 10th graders took the 7th grade WASL in 2003. Are you all aware that presently Individual Student Plans are based on tests that have been destroyed? I raise this concern because of the following.

 

Pearson Education Measurement, the testing company which scores the WASL is the same company that was found to have misscored tests in Minnesota in 2000 and in Virginia in 2005. Parents who are viewing the WASL are finding scoring errors. 

 

Only by examining these issues through a filter other than OSPI, will you be able to understand our concerns. Our findings are that there remain many questions regarding the WASL test itself and its use for effecting program policies that are harmful to our children.

 

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