19 April 2005

Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.

A short note today, as my AP kids took the "free response" portion of a practice exam. So, I have about 150 essays staring at me from the depths of my book bag. Plenty of answers to work with for an evening.

My sophs seemed to feel okay about the testing this morning. No specifics, mind you---but they didn't think anything on there was unfair. Their primary negative comment was just that it takes a long time to do. I agree.

In the meantime, as a pseudo-follow-up to yesterday's post, here's an article from today's Seattle Times regarding just how "high stakes" WASL has gotten this year.

And now, time for me to get out the red pen and bleed on some essays.


Anonymous said...

I found this >>Existing requirements have been clarified in more detail (for special ed) <<
interesting and infuriating!

And have say, 'Oh, really?!?!'

I've been asking for YEARS about this test that my dyslexic 9th grader is going to be held to.

This year at his IEP I was asking for help, clarifications or what accommodations are going to be available to him.

And I got back, 'Well, we'll review that next fall during his NEXT IEP.'

We are still looking at this giant black hole of unknowns about this test and we're going to wait until next fall, November, before we know what, if any, help my son will get.

So like I've done so many times during his school career I've taken matters into my own hands. I've purchased several study guides and we're going to do them this summer.

And when November comes around we'll be waiting for any CLUE as to how the test will be administered to him.

An aside.... years ago when a friend was talking to a school adminstrator about the class of '08 and the WASL, he told my friend that 'not to worry, there are going to be so many lawsuits about this test that the class of '08 doesn't have any worries'.

I've kind of held onto that as a little beacon of hope. I wonder if he still holds that opinion?

The Science Goddess said...


There does seem to be far too many unknowns at this stage of the game.

In the past, I heard several comments like the one you've heard about the prospect of lawsuits. The problem is that other states have had this "pass a test and get a diploma" requirement for some time---and they have been able to withstand the lawsuits.

Meanwhile, I'm rather nervous in my district about the other graduation requirements for the class of 2008. According to the state, these kids have to complete a senior project in order to get a diploma. My district has yet to announce the guidelines. (Hello? These kids graduate in 3 years.) The "year plus" plan that is also required by the state for seniors graduating in 2008? "Uh...yeah, we're working on that."

You should be proud of being such a strong advocate for your son. In today's "standards based environment," kids need their parents support and leadership more than ever.

Anonymous said...

>>My district has yet to announce the guidelines. <<


Now that is one thing our school is doing right.
(And I've got to clarify that our high school does a lot of things wonderfully. It really is an excellent school, have two college kids that are a product of the school.)

Our school jumped on this right away with the class of '08. They meet in groups and have been supervised through the whole process. I've gotten updates via mail, e-newsletters and they had a big table set up at back to school night.

This is one worry that I am not having to deal with. (Did think it was a bit much to ask of the class of '08, this project AND the WASL.)