Sep 20, 2006

WASL here to stay

I'm going to make a bold prediction. I'm channeling Ramtha, 88.1 on the FM dial, and one message blares through the fuzz and static. The WASL-as-graduation-requirement is here, and it's never going away.

Not ever. The Cubs will win a World Series before the politicians of the Evergreen State give up on high-stakes testing. President Bush will be crowned king by the Pope. Humans will grow gills. Kevin Costner will make a post-apocalyptic movie worth caring about.

How can I be sure? In every news article I've read about depressing math scores, no one's talking about flawed assessments, cost-benefit analyses, or statistical anomalies. Instead, it's assumed that something's wrong with teachers and students, and we'd better figure out how to boost scores so the next batch doesn't wind up failing en masse.

Then there's the science test, which should have administrators everywhere quaking in terror. Nobody's passing it. It'll be a graduation requirement by 2010. Again, the assumption: the test is good, so fix instruction so test scores rise.

And that, my friends, is why the WASL is here to stay.

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