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Friday, April 18, 2008

Test Time!

Oh here we go a WASL-ing
Among the April spring
There's tests to be taken
And students nowhere to be seen.

So may state tests come to you,
And to you, a WASL too
May this test truly prove what our kids can really do
May the WASL prove what our kids can really do.

In all the glory sarcasm provides, I just love WASL time. Thrills and chills come to my spine every year as I read through our current WASL testing schedule. Suddenly, the realizing questions hits me harder than military tanks:
Why did I decide to use a public school support program?
I know exactly why. Because I'm broke and can't afford our own curriculum. We've been living the past four years at half the income we were at in 2003. Homeschooling two kids in our house shack isn't easy when we are living with low high enough income to qualify for the earned income tax credit.

I can't afford to buy the stuff on my own. When I started homeschooling over two years ago, my clueless rating was on Pluto when it came to knowing what I was doing. I had no clue how to write lesson plans my kids would respond to. I had no money to buy anything for school use. Nor, did I want to revert to doing nothing more than the worksheets he'd gotten bored with in the private school I was paying tuition for. K12 was not available through the WAVA yet. I needed resources, and was told I could get them through my public school district.

Two years later, here we are, using K12 through our public school district. If I had the ability to pay for the program on my own, I would. For the next several years, that's just not happening. In the mean time, I can handle living under public school umbrella. Yes, including the wonderful pointless WASL.

After reading the information published about the WASL by the wonderful state of Washington, I have come to this conclusion:
The sole purpose of the WASL is to test how much the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction can spend our tax payers' dollars saying the same thing we've been saying for the past twenty years.
Big Brother does not care in the least if the common American can read, write, spell, or compute math. Big Brother prefers to veer so far away from the basics that kids will no longer understand anything beyond demands made by corporate employers. If Big Brother did care about education in America, we'd go back to the reading, writing and math methods we used over 100 years ago. I don''t think our government leaders and teachers union have figured out, or even care about, what has happened to education in America.

When I started this post, my intention was to poke at the on-site operational regulations. These rules are not posted on the Internet anywhere. Testing classroom rules include stuff like the restriction of people entering or leaving the room. Absolutely under no circumstance shall anyone enter the room. No student shall leave the room until all testing is finished. If there were to be a deranged and jaded dropout coming to campus to engage in gunfire, there is no need for alarm. The school is already in testing lock down.

More rules of our practical over-priced WASL: You may only take one test section at a time. Since we parents are not allowed to sit in a testing room, I can only speculate a proctor reads something like this:
Take only one test at a time. Do not pass STOP. Do not continue into the next section. This is not a game of Monopoly; there will be no payment of $200 dollars for your progression through each round of the test. The State of Washington has no care for your time efficiency skills. There is no concern for how bored you may be. Please take another Ritalin and sit down.

Here's another one. Just remember, I have to guess what is said. we parents aren't considered privy to this information, since we parents apparently cannot be trusted:
Speak nothing of the WASL. Speaking of the WASL before, during, or after may result in sudden and instant arrest or even death.
Should anyone even enter the room storing cases of test booklets, that person can face criminal charges. Beadgirl told me she was instructed not to discuss anything about the test before, during, or after. I realize, on this note, that the public schools were initially a concept brought about by Freemasonry to educate and elevate the honorable status of society. Since the inception of the Industrial Revolution, that dream has not been seen. Just because the Blue Lodge has secrets private information, and the school system evolved away from the dreams of the Free and Accepted Masons, doesn't mean the State of Washington has to restrict children in their use of speech. That really should be left to the parents. If speaking about the WASL is so detrimental to the taking of the test, where is the armed guard for the door? Let alone, why are tests not coming to schools via armored transport?

I have yet to see anything worth while in this particular test. Don't get my wrong. I'm a believer in routine evaluation. I just don't see how the WASL is measuring anything beyond how much tax money Washington can spend on it.

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