Monday, January 19, 2009

Randy Dorn was never a member of Mothers Against the WASL

Jerry Cornfield is confused.
Randy Dorn pledged to toss out the WASL if elected to run Washington's public schools.

He won the job of superintendent of public instruction. He's ready to make good on his promise.

Wednesday he'll reveal details of an extreme makeover of the exam, beginning with a new name because, as he says, "WASL" is kryptonite.

Questions will be fewer in number, shorter in length and able to be answered and scored on a computer in his blueprint.

His goal is to have students spend less time taking it, teachers spend less time giving it and the state spend less money on it....

Which raises the political question: If it looks like the WASL, sounds like the WASL, reads like the WASL and counts like the WASL, isn't it the WASL?
How about we head over to Randy Dorn's campaign website, then, to see what Dorn actually promised.
We don't need to spend years figuring this out. Drawing on successful tests developed in other states, in my first year in office I will work with the state school board to replace the WASL with a testing system that is diagnostic, tied to technology, more fair, more understandable, and which takes less time so that testing doesn't dominate curriculum and the school calendar. We will then phase this new test in so there is no gap in accountability for current students.
It seems that Mr. Cornfield has projected certain anti-WASL sentiments on to Mr. Dorn. To be fair, though, I know a lot of people who knowingly glossed over Dorn's make-the-WASL-smarter stance, voting for anybody but Bergeson.

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