Mr. McNamar and the Hedgetoad have kiddos who are WASLing this week. The Reading and Writing portions for Grade 10 began today. Math and Science (gulp!) will be in April. This is the first year that the test will count toward graduation requirements.
There was an interesting article about WASL in today's Seattle Times. Regardless of what you think of The Test, there's no denying that it is having a positive impact on instruction. When I am out and about in my district, I do see good things happening in schools. Do I see evidence of "drill and kill"? Rarely to never. Do I see "teaching to the test"? Perhaps. But I think of it more as "teaching to the standards." The "test" part comes in when we used released items with students in order to familiarize them with the format...not the material itself. I see lots of teachers who want to do the best they can. I think that can only help every child, not just those from middle-class anglo families.
To Mr. M and Hedge---best wishes to your kiddos. Keep your fingers crossed for mine.