This op-ed piece appeared in yesterday's PI. It was written by Fred Strine, a teacher from North Bend. His viewpoint?
"Under political pressure tax-supported public schools have simply degenerated into WASL factories."
He also says,
"I honestly believe most parents will be appalled that their children cover 25 percent less than in pre-WASL years. Some high schools even have half-day Fridays so teachers can brainstorm WASL prep."
His piece is a bit of a rant - he clearly hates the WASL, the strictness it requires, the time it requires (I am with him on the time to give it - just too much time to take a test. Also, his comment about poetry being on last year's WASL so it gets a bump the next year kind of rang true. I was really surprised at how poetry-heavy my son's LA class was this year. It seemed odd but maybe that's the reason.)
You should also read the replies; they mostly say that teachers are lazy, incompetent and that there is no teacher accountability. They have a point on the accountability. The WASL was created to check teachers' abilities, not students. It is unclear to me what happens when a teacher's class doesn't have good scores year after year.
BUT, many of these people lay everything at the feet of teachers and that's just patently ridiculous. One person even said that it's teachers' jobs to teach, not parents. Whoa! Parents are their children's first teachers and I find, by talking to my son about his classes, that I can add to what he is learning. Anyone who expects it all to happen in the classroom is likely to be disappointed.