Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: Juanita Doyon, Director of the Parent Empowerment Network, is a longtime leader in fighting WASL. She makes a very good point about distracting student's whose diplomas depend on their performance with throwaway passages.]

Published in News Tribune
03/21/2006

To the editor






Re: “WASL gives students a feeling of déjà vu” (TNT, 3-18).



Here we go again with another WASL debacle. This time, a reading passage (now claimed to be a “pilot” item) is one that has been seen by students on previous standardized tests.



On what sound psychometric grounds did the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) base its decision to subject some 10th-graders taking this very high-stakes test to a pilot question that was not an actual scored item?



For those students who struggle and who are most apt to fail the WASL, this throwaway question might be a breaking point. In Virginia last year, several students missed their graduation because Pearson Education Measurement (the same testing company that scores WASL) misscored tests by two points.



A distracting, throwaway question could well cause students to perform two points under what they would have had they not wasted their mental energy on a question that is nothing more than a ruse.



State assessment officials and WASL developers apparently possess no perception of fairness and honesty, much less sound testing policy. WASL is a biased game in which our children are always the losers. It is time for OSPI to quit playing the game of WASL with the lives of our children.

Juanita Doyon


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.