Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Thought They Didn't....

I thought that the public schools weren't suppose to teach to the test. If that is true, why are public school students coming home with pages and pages of "WASL practice" for homework? These WASL practice sheets look identical to the standardized test and, from what I've read, may very well be copies of previous WASL tests. (WASL is our state's standardized assessment test.) And, if they are spending all this money, time, and effort preparing the kids for the test, when are they teaching non-test subjects?

Here's a couple of links about the WASL.

Richland School Board President discussing the cost and inefficiency of the WASL

Teacher talks about how 2 full months of the school year is spent on WASL practice and teaching to the test.

List of misleading "facts" given in 2004/2005 WASL test to make it look like students scored well

It's things like this that have led to our decision to homeschool for educational reasons. We have other reasons as well.



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2 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you on this subject.
During elementary and middle school we had CMTs, and in high school we had the CAPT tests.
We would spend a majority of the time preparing for these tests and that was basically all we did for a couple months prior to the test.
We didn't learn other subjects during this time, except with CAPTs as it does involve a science portion.

However, I can see why the school systems would do such a thing, after all they need high test scores to receive more funding, and more funding means a better school.


--Rachael

Mo said...

I very much dislike the WASL. I do believe that teachers "teach to it" and waste class time they might have otherwise spent teaching regular curriculum to kids. I spoke to J's WAVA advisor recently to tell her I do not wish either J or O to take the WASL. Even though J will be in third grade next year, we won't have to worry about it until she is 8, but at that point, I will make sure she is at 99% enrollment at whichever school she is in, so she doesn't have to take it.