Friday, September 15, 2006

Blacks and Hispanics did poorly on the 10th-grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning

Linda Shaw:

When Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson showed her top staff members the ethnic breakdown of scores on last spring's 10th-grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning, she said many were practically in tears.

About three-quarters of the state's African American students who took the 10th-grade WASL failed one or more of the three subjects they must pass to graduate — reading, writing and math. That was true for Latino students as well. Among Native Americans, about two-thirds fell short.

So did about 70 percent of students living in poverty, of which the majority are white and Asian.

All the ethnic groups scored 4 to 6 percentage points higher than last year. But Bergeson said Wednesday that the high failure rates are "tremendously painful" to her and need much more attention from OSPI, schools and the greater community.

"I need help," she said. "I need people to think about this with me."

Statewide, about half of the sophomores (now juniors) who took the 10th-grade WASL last spring failed to pass all three sections they'll need to earn their diplomas by 2008. Some retook the test a second time in August, and they will have another chance this spring. If they fail twice, they can choose to demonstrate their skills through one of several approved alternatives.

Proponents hope that, by 2008, all students will be able to pass. Critics, however, question whether that will happen and say it's not reasonable to let any one test determine whether a student graduates. And many have strong concerns that students of color will be disproportionately represented among those who fail.

Bergeson released most of the WASL scores last week, including the statewide look at how last year's 10th-graders scored. But she talked Wednesday for the first time about the ethnic breakdowns for the class of 2008, the first class that faces the WASL as a graduation requirement.

WASL results show strong gains, puzzling declines across the state

WASL still not making the grade


At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad truth behind this story and every other story like it, is that it is never going to change.

Several generations ago, America didn't even try to educate every single person and it didn't matter, because there were reasonably well paid and secure jobs in ship building, manufacturing, etc. that people who were not academic (which has always been and will forever be most people) could go into, after staying in school long enough to pick up some basic math and reading skills.

A couple of generations ago, students had one choice in the classroom - whatever the grade level teacher had on offer. If he didn't go for it or didn't pass, he simiply failed and shuffled off to sweep floors and try for a GED (night school, general ed. diploma) later in life.

In the past 40 years, an entire student swaddling industry, propagated and funded by the federal government, has sprung up all over the country. Bush's idiotic "No Child Left Behind" is its latest incarnation. Every time one of these programs is inflicted on state schools, teachers and administrators must spend more time documenting every little thing that is being done to keep Junior in school, and less time teaching. There is no such thing as failure or expulsion anymore. Other industries, similarly funded, working as an adjunct to various school districts and the juvenile justice system, provide endless "alternative sites" for children who can't make it, for whatever reason, in traditional schools. The sheer magnitude of coddling is mind boggling. There are many dedicated people working in those facilities, but there is only ever going to be so much one can do with a kid who has an IQ of 87, which is a fact that no one wants to face squarely. That would mean that the million bureaucrats, who make up the guilt and service of guilt business, would be out of a job.

Further, most of the teaching that is done is all geared to pass the various state mandated tests which are necessary for the student to graduate from high school. The only students who get a really "individual" program are the ones who are home schooled, which most people can't afford to do or don't want to do.

These endless "assessments" showing dreadful attainment scores are misleading. Students aren't doing worse than most of them ever would have done, we are just trying to educate and document far more of them, and there are far less well paying jobs for them to safely fall into than there used to be.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Nick T said...

Unfortunately "anonymous",the fault lies in the bureaucracy and the NEA.PENGUINS CANNOT FLY>NIGGERS CANNOT Achieve more than stone age progress without White genes or assistance


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