Parent Empowerment Network

2005 Accomplishments


  • 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 years.


  • 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 it is.


  • 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 Against WASL."


  • 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.