For over 12 years WASL has been pushed as a “tool” to measure student learning in its own title: Washington Assessment of Student Learning. Often the word “accountability” is thrown around connected to WASL for students, parents, teachers and school districts. Where is the accountability for our state superintendent’s office? In recent months, State Auditor Brian Sonntag has conducted audits on many of our school districts. Our governor is repeating the line “fully fund education according to our state Constitution” as part of her campaign. Everyone knows the WASL comes with an extremely high cost, but do we really know how much the taxpayers are paying for this flawed test?
The Pearson Educational Measurement contract is to be signed again in August. Shouldn’t people know where we stand fiscally with our education dollar before the contract is a thing of the past? Isn’t it time to focus an audit on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction so we know where our money is being spent? How are we to make an educated vote without this important information?
Not only is the WASL contract coming up, but the State Superintendent’s race is hotly contested, with a field of six running in the primary, one being the current superintendent. It sure would be nice to know if the self-proclaimed “Queen of the WASL,” Terry Bergeson, is running the kind of tight ship the taxpayers of Washington expect. Shouldn’t there be accountability for the office responsible for implementing our expensive “tool”? Do we really know if the taxpayers are fully funding education without being assured where and how our money is being spent? Forty-eight percent of the state budget is a big hunk of change. Mr. Sonntag needs to let us know if OSPI is a sinking ship. We already know the WASL is.