One of the primary purposes of our public schools is to help every child become an engaged citizen who is willing and able to actively participate in our democracy. A high school diploma is our seal of approval that a young person has demonstrated their readiness for this responsibility.
There are many ways to measure this readiness. It undermines the core values of democracy to use a single test to deny this right-of-passage to students because of their minority or socio-economic status. This is effectively what a high-stakes WASL does.
Let’s use the WASL for its intended purposes: to measure our schools’ effectiveness in helping students reach state learning objectives and to help guide classroom instruction to better serve all students. Let’s not use the WASL to screen out the diverse voices and talents that our democracy so desperately needs.
Marysville Junior High School