WASL: Wasteful legacy

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

I administered WASL exams April 18-21, and a few questions occurred
to me.

1) How much money does it cost to develop WASLs for fourth-, seventh-
, and 10th-graders?

2) How much money does it cost to print 90-page booklets for
administrators and three different 60-page booklets for every student
in every high school in
Washington, not to mention the administrator
and student booklets sent to every middle and elementary school in
the state?

3) How much money does it cost to hire a company to grade WASLs from
every elementary, middle and high school in the state?

4) How much money will be spent on summer school for WASL-deficient

5) How much money will be spent forcing 11th- and 12th-graders to
retake WASLs, up to five times?

I feel like I'm watching the parade in The Emperor's New Clothes,
wondering if anyone's noticing these things. Everyone's doing what
they're told to do, but how many think there's something wrong with
what we're doing?

As taxpayers, would you rather have hundreds of new school buildings
and smaller class sizes in 10 years, or an enormous burn pile of used
test booklets?

ROB WOODFORD, English teacher,
Kennewick High School