Evergreen Freedom Foundation on NCLB
- To: "Wa-Ed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Arn-L" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Evergreen Freedom Foundation on NCLB
- From: "Arthur Hu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 12:42:25 -0700
- Importance: Normal
Passing along this EFF study on NCLB, and my reaction to it
Behalf Of George K Cunningham
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2003 8:33 AM
Subject: [arn-l] NCLB
I came across this report on NCLB as it impacts Washington State.
Since there are several people from that state here I thought you
might be interested if you have not seen it yet. It is pretty
informative for anyone who is interested in how the law works. I
don't know anything about the organization that published it, but it
appears to be conservative. It is pretty much even handed. They
support some aspects, but criticize others. I am not suggesting it
because I agree with everything in it. If you don't agree please do
not attack me. What is interesting is its presentation of the nuts
and bolts of what is being done in your state.
George K. Cunningham University of Louisville
Took a brief scan at your No Child Left Behind report. Overall, I'm
disappointed that you're not taking a stronger position of this
federalized version of WASL and 1209 education reform, formerly known
as outcome based, and now "standards" based education. I am
disappointed that you did not go ahead with the study which led to the
publishing of the "WASL is Awful" pamphlet.
Beyond the huge defects in the WASL test and EALR standards
themselves, the very concept that a) all children can achieve at a
"high" level and b) all children MUST achieve at a high level, or face
punishment constitutes a grave threat to personal freedom. This was
the sort of stuff that we read about in high school with Brave New
World and 1984. EFF should take an unequivocal stand against all forms
of Outcome Based Education, including high stakes testing, and the
senior project graduation requirement.
Two interesting observations on your list of schools on the warning
list. All 3 high schools in Renton are on the list. If all 3 are
deemed unfit, where are the students supposed to transfer to? Why not
just allow everyone in the state to transfer to Mercer Island? Also,
Eckstein middle school in Seattle is on the list, even though this is
high on the list of predominantly white schools that parents will
absolutely kill to get their kids into.
You also might want to know that my 4th grader's school had their WASL
math test pass rate just about double in one year. My superintendent
says the fact that I think my kid's worksheets looked like an answer
key to the most difficult unrelased problems has nothing to do with
it. My 4th grader also scores in the 90th percentile on math, and well
above average in verbal, but did NOT pass the WASL since he didn't
meet the listening standard. One of the questions I saw asked about
how one character related to another as "close" or "warm" or "loving".
Another asked to choose between three equally true statements for the
main meaning of the story. Sheesh, we're not supposed to deconstruct
Chekov in the 4th grade are we?? It's bad enough they moved mean,
median and mode to the 4th grade when it was college statistics in my
education. And even after that, there are problems that require
computing the mean, median, and mode which by the test specifications
are not to be allowed until 7th grade.
About half of the originally published test problems did not fit test
standards, which led to a major revision in 2001. I saw the 2002 test,
which again had about 50% of problems out of alignment, and the OSPI
told me they'd fix it again. In the 2003 test, about 50% of the
problems are still out of bounds.
Arthur Hu Parent / Activist Lake Washington School Board Candidate
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