A few threads back I posted an op-ed in the PI by David Marshak, a professor education, about Terry Bergeson, the state superintendent. He felt she had started off with the best of intentions for the WASL and allowed it to slowly get out of control.
Now there is an op-ed in today's PI defending her. It is by former "education" governor, Gary Locke, and Bill Brinstein, the chairman of the state Higher Education Coordinating Board. They contend she has done a good job. (Mr. Marshak's op-ed had the word "tragedy" in it and this one has the word "triumph", hence the dualing titles.) From their op-ed:
"Today our students have the nation's top SAT scores among states that test at least 50 percent of their students. We have quadrupled student participation in Advanced Placement courses. We see record numbers of students with record test scores applying to our state's colleges and universities. And we are strengthening our career and technical education programs."
"The process of reforming and bolstering academic standards is messy, but to claim that the process here in Washington wasn't managed simply doesn't square with the facts. Bergeson led the difficult but rewarding work of building partnerships with classroom teachers, parents, higher education institutions and business leaders to prepare all students for college, careers and citizenship."
Here's where I would disagree. Oh, she managed the process here in Washington but did she do it well? No. Is there clarity after nearly a decade of wrestling with the WASL? No.
She built partnerships with parents? When and where? Do parents get real and concrete information about how their student is doing in school from the WASL? Not really. Do teachers get real and concrete information about their students from the WASL? Not really.
I do not support their premise at all especially from a former governor who sure made a lot of promises to education that weren't kept.