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Mothers Against WASL Response to WASL and COE Score Release

Susan Notes:

For me, the research done by Mothers Against WASL/Parent Empowerment Network is the kind of research that counts. And they do it on less than a shoestring. Their research and advocacy works far beyond the Washington borders. It helps everybody.

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Parent Empowerment Network/Mothers Against WASL

Contact: Juanita Doyon 253-973-1593


At 10:00 a.m., June 3, 2008, State Superintendent Teresa Bergeson will gather the media in Renton to present "an update on the of Class of 2008."

During the next few weeks, Parent Empowerment Network (PEN) will thoroughly research numbers associated with the Class of 2008, including all students who entered 9th grade as members of the Class of 2008. PEN will poll schools and districts in an attempt to gain a sample comparison between student graduation and "credit deficient" numbers for the Class of 2008 and the same categories of students in the graduating classes of 2007 and 2006.

It is the belief of PEN leadership that the focus on WASL failure has caused undue pressure on high school and all other students. For high school students, WASL failure has forced remedial classes without due cause, forced additional, often inappropriate, math classes, and forced removal of students from well-rounded high school schedules.

The impact of concentration on WASL results has had inequitable impact on low income students, students with disabilities, and minority students. Whether these students are labeled “drop outs” before the final WASL administration or whether they fail all WASL tests and alternatives and are ultimately denied a diploma, the system and the state have failed to improve education for these categories of students in general, during the past 14 years of school reform.

It is also the belief of PEN leadership that the state has failed to:

1. Acknowledge and follow WASL Technical Report guidelines, which state: "While school and district scores may be useful in curriculum and instructional planning, it is important to exercise extreme caution when interpreting individual reportsâ€Â¦Scores from one test given on a single occasion should never be used to make important decisions about students' placement, the type of instruction they receive, or retention in a given grade level in school." See http://www.k12.wa.us/assessment/TechReports.aspx

2. Provide all parents information regarding their rights to view and appeal their students’ WASL scores;

3. Ensure all students equitable access to the Collection of Evidence (COE) and other WASL alternatives;

4. Provide appropriate and necessary training to school staff regarding WASL alternatives;

5. Provide appropriate and necessary resources to schools to support the provision of WASL alternatives to all students;

6. Provide useful COE scoring criteria information to schools, parents and students;

7. Score and return COEs in a timely manner and allow time for rescoring of COEs before graduation;

8. Provide clear guidelines and instructions to allow students to complete revision of their COE;

9. Identify a process for parents to review their students’ COE and, where appropriate, challenge the scoring process;

10. Provide proof of validity and reliability of the COE system and scoring process (Parents have expressed concern that COEs completed by students at the school level and judged to be adequate (passing) by teachers are returned as failed by the state. The state has no evidence that the state scoring system is valid. There is no alignment between local and state COE expectations.);

11. Encourage all local school boards to allow students who have completed all graduation requirements aside from WASL passage to take their rightful place beside peers during graduation ceremonies. Because the state has left this decision to local school boards, a situation of inequity has been created for seniors from district to district; and

12. Inform school districts that students in special education classes now have the legal right (see Kevin’s Law http://www.metrokc.gov/dchs/ddd/employment/KevinsLaw.pdf ) to take part in graduation activities with their peers regardless of the need to continue into a 5th year of high school to complete course work or pass WASL or alternatives.

— Mothers Against WASL
Parent Empowerment Network


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