Feb 13, 2007

nothing to lose? why Ki-Be students shouldn't retake the WASL

Patronizing mo-fos.

That'd be the editors at the Tri-City Herald, responsible for a smarmy op-ed calling on 23 students to take the WASL that they already took. A-fisking we go.
To the 23 students at Ki-Be High who won't have to retake the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, you sure are sitting pretty.
Immediate tone: condescending. More to follow.
The state has decided that because your test booklets were lost, you'll receive a waiver from those sections of the test and be allowed to graduate.

It's a good compromise, and we're happy for you. Unfortunately, it's not the same as passing the WASL.
It's "good," but not good enough. We're "happy," but not satisfied. Got that?
We echo State Superintendent Terry Bergeson's recommendation that you should retake the test -- even though you aren't required to do so -- as a matter of personal pride.

We're confident you are up to the task.
Leave it at that, and we might believe you. But no, here comes the "but even if we're wrong" part:
Besides, you've nothing to lose.

If you pass the retake, you'll not only enjoy a feel-good sense of accomplishment, but you'll also earn a state Certificate of Academic Achievement. It's not a necessity, but it's nice to have.
A sense of accomplishment isn't enough. It has to come ready for wall mounting.
If you retake the test and don't pass, you still get the waiver, so it doesn't affect your graduation, and you get the bonus of knowing your weak areas -- especially useful if you're going to pursue the collegiate path.
Never mind the embarrassment--you also run the risk of having every other WASL-laden student, parent, and administrator talk about those one kids who failed the WASL but, because of a trick of fate, still got to graduate. Hello, lawsuits. Goodbye, graduation requirement.
Some grownups goofed by losing your tests.
Condescending, take two. These are high school students, not kindergarteners. Come off it.
But you have a great many advocates who want to see you succeed, including your parents, your principal, the superintendent of the regional educational service district and even the state superintendent.

That counts for a lot.
Forget them, Ki-Be's 23. They're interested in political angling, PR, and using you to make a statement. If you want to take the WASL again, that's fine. Do what's best for you, not what's best for Terry Bergeson.

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