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[Susan notes: The author has worked tirelessly against the WASL.]

Published in Seattle Times
08/08/2009

To the editor



If Times editors are grasping at WASL in its last breaths, they should take a random polling of parents and teachers throughout the state instead of relying on the results of one admittedly targeted study of a relatively small sample of teachers. Or perhaps they should look at the college success or failure of students who have been subjected to the WASL their entire school lives. Or perhaps a survey of stagnated National Assessment of Educational Progress scores would convince them that WASL is going, going, gone the way of the Edsel for a reason.



Bottom line: Sometimes, expensive experiments fail. WASL failed. The people who paid the bill recognized that it failed and voted for changeĂ¢€”not tweaking, but change!



Nothing precludes the professionals in our classrooms from emphasizing writing and reading skills. In fact, I remember teachers emphasizing writing and reading skills when I attended public schools. My parents certainly learned to read and write well in public schools as did my husband and my four children (none of whom had to take or pass a WASL).



Teachers are educated professionals who need time and support, not a standardized testing hammer hanging over their heads, to do the job they are entrusted with. The way I look at it, if the teachers in this state managed to teach children to read and write well in spite of the WASL, they can do anything!

Juanita Doyon, Parent Empowermemt Network


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