Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Randy Dorn's WASL plans

Today's news:
Bringing Change and Improvement to the State’s Student
Assessment System
By Superintendent Randy Dorn

Mr. Dorn is certainly not one to waste time.
There is a bill moving through the legislature to end the WASL as a graduation requirement.

Here is today's release from Randy:


Anonymous said...


By proposing different tests for the Integrated and traditional math, OSPI may be causing themselves more grief. If the standards are met at different times for the different curriculums, how can two sophomores, one in Geometry and one in Integrated 2 be tested fairly? The test would have to be the same to be equitable and fair. If they cover different standards in the two sequences, having the same test may be difficult at best.
I wonder how this dilemma will be rectified?


Anonymous said...

This is a compromise between OSPI's press corps and the Pearson cadre. I don't expect great changes taking place. Pearson is still in control.

First, we have a paper that says the algorithms EDM teaches are the same as the algorithms used by Saxon.

Now we have a news bite telling us the WASL is going to be improved.

Let's read between the lines:

First, Dorn failed to link this WASL to the committee he chaired in 1993.

(However, we do know that the reform we are living under is from 1993. Looks like Thorstein was right.)

Then Dorn failed to acknowledge that since then there has been-
1. low(er) student achievement
2. high(er) drop out rates
3. poor(er) curriculum
4. declining(ing) student enrollment
5. low(er) teacher morale

The public school system has succeeded in alienating half of Washington state thanks to OSPI and NCLB.

Dorn is simply distributing patronage.

"Don't make no waves, don't back no losers."

Anonymous said...

First, the WASL does not test algebra 2 or geometry. The weighting (when there is one) will be for algebra 1.

The high schools want to get credit for students taking algebra in the ninth grade, so sharp principals will encourage students to take algebra again in the ninth grade even if they've already taken it, so their school can raise its AYP. This is rather short-sighted because as one principal I know found out the hard way this year - his school made its AYP and now he gets students transferring from all over the district and they don't know any math.

His school's curriculum is not going to help those kids and he doesn't get any Title I.

Anonymous said...

The best strategy for public schools (not kids) plodding though this reform, is stay just slightly above average on the WASL, create two or three alternative programs for sure, one with an individualized computer program that covers basic skills, and then channel all those kids that are far below average into them. The state does not look at their failure rates.

Anonymous said...

Who are the Pearson cadre?


Anonymous said...

OSPI has staff that were once employees of Pearson Testing.

To correct each test costs $24.

From April 15, 2008

"During this legislative session I and many other members have struggled with the rapidly increasing cost of the WASL contract. The current agency request would double the cost of 'doing WASL business as usual.' ... This request is in addition to the $50 million, two-year maintenance level funding for the WASL contract. Are the taxpayers of Washington getting what they are paying for?"

Here's the initial announcement made in 2004. This was a done deal.

How about a lawsuit?

This is the most advanced reference I could find to the contracts covering the WASL up to 2014. I used to know the figures, but I've forgotten.

From the Seagull Manager herself -

Terry just waved her wand for a new $100K/year WASL-related position.
April 9, 2008 · No Comments
We would like to welcome a new staff member to the Division of Assessment and Student Information. This Monday Christopher Hanczrik joined our team in a newly-created position as the Director of Assessment Operations. Christopher’s responsibilities will be to direct the operational portion of the assessment system, including supervising the State Test Coordinator, Kimberly DeRousie. Many of you may already know Christopher, who has resigned from Pearson and moved from Austin for the opportunity to work with us at OSPI.

dan dempsey said...

Yes that is Austin TX
home of the Dana Center, pushers of EDM and Connected Math, that TB chose to rewrite our Standards.

Thanks to the legislature for their attempt to deliver us from the Dana Center nonsense. My lawsuit will be heard on March 27, 2009 in Thurston County Superior court at 1:30 PM.