I have heard whispers about a possible WASL boycott by APP families in the wake of a decision to split the program at the elementary and middle school levels.
I totally support the split, but I also totally support the boycott. The community SHOULD boycott the WASL until the District fulfills its commitments. Then, if and when those commitments are fulfilled, the boycott should end. This is the sort of accountability that the District leadership dreams about. They should accept this condition and welcome it.
The key, I believe, is that the community make it very clear that the boycott will end when the District fulfills its commitments. The community should totally accept the District's definition of accountability - a pre-determined, clearly defined, and objectively measured set of benchmarks that must be met. The boycott is on starting this year (spring 2009) and will be called off as soon as the community is satisfied that the District has four equitable and effective programs - two in the north and two in the south - that they have a written, taught and tested curriculum, that the professional development is in place for principals and teachers, that there are appropriate electives at the middle schools - including music, and that the community has representation on all of the committees that either give advice or make decisions about our students. If they like, the community can even add the ridiculous goal of increased access, but I'm afraid of how they might effect that. The community should demand a set of benchmarks from the District and then hold them to those benchmarks. Nothing could be more fair or just. The boycott remains in place until all of the benchmarks are fully met.
The long history of negotiations with the District has a pattern. The District gets what they want immediately in exchange for promises of future actions. Then the District fails to complete the future actions. They are trying it again. They want to implement the splits on the promise of equitable effective programs at multiple sites. Fine. The community will hold them to that promise. If the District fulfills, then it won't be any problem and the WASL boycott will be for just two years.
I think the Spectrum community should join the boycott with a demand for equitable effective programs at all of their sites as well. All APP and all Spectrum should boycott the WASL until the District has met their commitment to equitable quality programs in all locations.
Of course, the boycotts are off as soon as the District fulfills their commitments. How could the District object to that? Like I said, I think they should welcome it. The WASL doesn't provide meaningful measures of academic achievement for advanced learners anyway. What difference does it make if you meet that set of academic expectations if they are not YOUR academic expectations?