I, personally, dislike the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) as a tool to measure our children’s academic process. That’s my disclaimer right from the get-go. My son tells me that his classmates claim that WASL stands for “Wasting All Students Lives”. Basically, I agree.
Recently, the Tri-City Herald posted the scoring breakdown for our area schools, in an article entitled, “40 Mid-Columbia Schools Failing WASL”. With a headline like that, I’m searching for my kids’ school! The link above doesn’t list the schools which consistently fail to meet passing standards for the WASL. But 40 schools is HALF of the schools in our area, and you cannot tell me that HALF of the children in our area are not getting a quality education, which is what a failing score on the WASL implies.
Can your child read, write, add/subtract/multiply and divide? Can he or she reason their way through a dilemma? Is he or she excited to learn something (anything? even if it’s a stat about Babe Ruth it means they have the fire to discover!)? Education is defined as ‘activities that impart knowledge or skill’. Just because some children perform poorly on a test it doesn’t mean they haven’t received a good education. It simply means they don’t know the answers for the questions asked on the test.
So, then you get entire schools teaching for the test…studying only what will come up on the WASL so the children will know the answers for that backwards and forwards, but will they have learned anything?
You get out of a school what you put into it. Don’t pay attention to test scores. Pay attention to your child and if he or she has been imparted with knowledge or skills(and I mean a skill OTHER than being able to pass the WASL). That’s your true measure of education.