The WASL exam reflects the reform math curricula that Warfield defends: Students are not taught, but asked to discover math for themselves, practice and competence with algorithms (such as long division and use of fractions) are neglected, and calculators are heavily applied. In fact, the WASL is too easy an exam and does not evaluate key ideas and skills needed in college and the real world. The WASL is also an extraordinarily expensive exam, and its development and scoring are done by one company, which also makes some of the leading reform textbooks. The WASL provides no usable information for the improvement of student learning or curriculum. Finally, because the WASL is used only in our state, we can't determine how well our students are doing compared with the rest of the country.
Feb 21, 2007
myth or fact? dispatches from the math wars
A while back I noted the sloppy argumentation in a piece about math "myths." Now, Clifford Mass has covered some of the same territory. A sample: