http://www.spokesmanreview.com/opinion/letter.asp?ID=8961
Sunday, April 23, 2006


Letters to the editor

WASL serves no purpose


The Washington state Constitution says that
Washington children are
not merely compelled by law to go to school; they have the right to a
free, "quality" public education.

However, this is currently not happening due to the misappropriate
WASL usages, including making our children ill and counselors
admitting to using mental tricks on children ("Worries about WASL,"
April 10).

Here are some reasons to abhor WASL. The WASL assumes all children
learn uniformly, labels students and does not measure a student's
overall ability. The only endorser is the key developer. It contains
proven errors, is unfair and unreliable, many open-ended questions
are non-knowledge-based.

Identified errors are not amended, yet students must pass to
graduate – multiple measures are needed. Ignored is the mishandling
of student privacy rights plus silliness of writing student learning
plans using ostensibly erroneous scores. Classroom curriculum is
modified to pass a "test" while slashing creativity, reducing desire
and taking fun out of learning alongside lowering educational
expectations.

Schools have turned into test-prepping centers with curriculum
concentration on repetitious memorization and replicating segregated
bits of information diminishing academic thoroughness and dumbing-
down real learning. And, college readiness continues to decline.

WASL is ineffectual and ruining
Washington children's educations!


Becky Venable
Cheney

1