After reading the article in the Daily Sun News (11-27-07) about the 25 percent of the class of 2008 that cannot graduate because of the WASL test, I began to ponder the question of the WASL. I have five children in the district ranging from preschool to a junior in high school. Even though my three oldest have all been doing the WASL and have not had problems with it, (my oldest has met/exceeded the tenth grade WASL), I still find the WASL test a joke.
All we are teaching our children in school is how to prepare for this one test. A test that no one but Washington state places any significance on. A student can still go to college with out having passed the WASL, my daughter who is doing running start at YVCC could still receive her AA, even if she hadn't passed the WASL requirements for graduation.
There is definitely a defect in our school system when we have students who have a 'B' average that will not be able to get their diploma because of the WASL. Something is definitely wrong with the system if we have these intelligent students being judged because of one test.
There is so much time spent on teaching our children how to pass this one flawed test that they are suffering in other areas. What happened to teaching our kids the basics of math, reading, writing and science? How is learning to take this one test that is so specialized helping our children when they get to college?
Our schools are so concerned with meeting the WASL standards that our children are not learning the basics skills that they need just to succeed in the real world. Our students should be able to receive their diploma if they are passing high school with an adequate GPA and have fulfilled their credit requirements for graduation. Our children are already doing more then we had to in order to graduate.
We are putting too much pressure on our children to be like everyone else, and by telling them that if they fail this one test that they can't succeed.
I praise all of the successful people in my life, some who barely graduated high school or never went to college, who are living a happy successful life, without ever taking the WASL. I wonder how many college educated people could pass this test, especially since it has to be done a specific way.
/s/ Michelle Perry, Sunnyside