As I was going through the PTSA box I found a booklet from the University of Washington College of Education called "Research That Matters -part 5, Taking Measure, Does Modern Math Education Add Up?"
I haven't read the whole thing but seems to be a thoughtful discussion. I've put a call in to see if it came to each school or how available it is. Here it is from the College's website. From the intro:
"Last fall, Judy Mitchell, Dean of Washington States University's College of Education, and I (Patricia Wasley) convened a group of 26 of the state's superintendents at a conference sponsored by Microsoft. We asked,"If you are to be successful with the children we serve, what would our colleges of education be doing?"
"Helping us with math achievement," they said. "Training more math teachers." "Helping us explain the 'math wars' to parents, board members and our own teachers."
I don't particularly like their section on math and the WASL but I give them credit for bringing it out as an issue. This speaks to me because this weekend I met a woman who does educational assessment materials for the state of Texas. She worked at OSPI on the WASL. She said, in her judgment, that it is one of the longest state tests with more open-ended questions than she had seen on any other state test. I had thought it was a long test but this just verified that hunch. (But, she also said kids have to pass their state test at each grade level to move on. That's not much pressure for a 3rd grader.)