|2008 was an interesting year, and though sparse in visual elements, it was rich in other deeds.
In March my belief that the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, or WASL, was actually hurting children, poisoning the public education system, and costing the state millions moved me to not give the test to my 6th graders. This action precipitated my suspension from teaching for two weeks and the forfeiture of my salary for that time.
The episode actually makes for interesting reading. You can download my "WASL Book" which documents my experience. I also must thank Juanita Doyon and Mothers Against WASL who gave me their solid support and invaluable advice.
Though I was encouraged by thousands of parents, students, and educators across the country and around the world, I have come to conclude that public education is in the throes of such turmoil due to very disparate sensical and nonsensical dilemmas that a normal parent or citizen feels no solid ground from which to act logically, myself included!
Today in 2010 students in Washington State are subjected to twice as much testing as in 2007, and districts are trying their hardest to force teachers to tie employment and pay to test scores.
A few attempts at WASL humor: