The Daily World on Oct 6, 2005

 

When it comes to WASL apparently folks down in Aberdeen are getting swayed with words like “accountability” and “high standards”.  As a mother of three kids in the public school system and a regular classroom volunteer, I can assure you that the WASL has nothing to do with these things.

 

Many of us protesting WASL are not afraid that our children will fail and we are not protesting high standards.  We are protesting a test that is developmentally inappropriate at most grade levels and excessively expensive (WASL costs up to $72 per test, when other tests are available for $3). We are protesting a test that does not properly consider or accommodate children with special needs and that will unfairly punish students, teachers and schools.  We are protesting a test, and the curriculum that surrounds it, that has received failing scores from national organizations and that only serves the needs of the minority and not the majority.

 

I am tired of supplementing my kids with the basic skills at home while the schools throw all their time and money into WASL.  I’m convinced that we will have more kids that cannot count change if we continue with this WASL math that puts more emphasis on a written explanation than on the correct answer.

 

Aberdeen School Board made the right decision in suggesting we remove WASL as a graduation requirement.  After all, NCS Pearson, the company that scores WASL, has a history of scoring errors and a single, highly subjective test should never trump twelve years of education.

 

-Kathy Storkersen

 

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