New Superintendent of Public Schools has announced the changes to the obscene tests and testing process… End of WASLs is at hand!

But not this year, of course — though the tests themselves will eventually be changed so as to better and more reliably reflect specific areas of understanding, and the process for scoring them will be streamlined, and the teachers will receive results back in time to do something about it… it will take a little while to get things pulled together. I understand this. I just wish the Superintendent had the ability to suspend the testing for the year.

But he doesn’t, because No Child Left Behind is still in effect. Which means if Washington State doesn’t test in some way, Federal Funding will be withheld.

I hope this will be rectified shortly, I know that it is on the Obamagenda (my word, not intending to be disrespectful). There is an entire White House Page devoted to the highlights of change the new administration envisions for Education.

My dream? Big, but it includes: Provide funding so teachers have smaller classes and time to plan and opportunities to attend workshops. Provide funding so school-aged children have before and after school opportunities when their parents work. Provide a national framework so that when children from Arkansas move to Maine or Hawaii they can fit right in with the new school, and not be behind or too far ahead. And finally, take the emphasis off “testing” as the only type of assessment. There are so many other ways to judge learning…


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