Parent Empowerment Network
- March: PEN members and other parents forced the Office of Superintendent
of Public Instruction to acknowledge our right to view WASL tests as our
children’s educational record. This right had been denied by OSPI for 8
- May: PEN assisted the family of 4th grader Tyler Stoken, in Aberdeen, in gaining a full
investigation of the situation surrounding Tyler's WASL-related suspension
and an apology from the school district for the "egregious"
actions on the part of the school principal. Tyler was also provided a home tutor
by the district for the remainder of the year.
- June: PEN submitted all documentation required to seek
federal nonprofit status. According to IRS, notification of status will be
received in March 2006. With nonprofit status, PEN will be eligible to
apply for federal and foundational grants. Donations from individual and
business contributors will be federal income tax deductible.
- July: PEN has brought the destruction of WASL tests to the
attention of the Attorney General and federal FERPA officials and
will continue to fight to keep OSPI from destroying student records. PEN’s knowledge of the destruction process, which
follows no established procedure or policy, was gained through public disclosure
requests and the persistence of the PEN board, director and members in
querying OSPI officials.
- September: PEN member/consultant Nancy Vernon researched and
discovered that the achievement gap between white students and
minority students and students with special needs is actually
widening, particularly in math, despite OSPI propaganda to the contrary.
Mrs. Vernon’s research was reported in the Seattle PI and has influenced
other groups to take action and begin seriously looking at WASL as the problem
- October: PEN discovered errors in released WASL items
and reported this information to the press. OSPI removed the
sample tests containing the errors from their website. PEN has since
learned through public disclosure that these sample tests were developed
by Dr. Catherine Taylor, the same Dr. Catherine Taylor who, under contract
with OSPI, has declared the WASL valid.
- November: PEN requested error and ambiguity reports on
all WASL tests that have been administered to date. PEN has received only
reports for the 2005 test and will continue to request reports from
previous years. These reports are made by teachers and other school
personnel who have administered the WASL. We will be studying and
presenting our findings to the legislature and press soon.
- December: PEN and its project Mothers Against WASL have gained
enough notoriety that newspaper
editors feel the need to attack us on their editorial pages, one going so
far as to claim to create a group called "Fathers Against Mothers
- December: PEN director and members
attended two Student Achievement Work Sessions involving former
Governor Booth Gardner. Governor Gardner may prove an
important ally in our WASL fight. He has admitted publicly that his
previous support of a WASL implementation as governor was a mistake.