He sat for the WASL math test last spring and failed by two points. He retook it in August and failed by 12. This is a kid who has never gotten below a B in math.
And, that, friends, is the reason why we have NCLB. Quality control.
"I've always been good at math. I always liked math. I totally expected to pass the math WASL," he said in a school hallway last month, exasperated.
Poor kid. You don't know what you don't know.
"We're like guinea pigs in an experiment going wrong," said Caroline Stedman, another Mountlake Terrace High School junior taking a third year of high-school math and a WASL-support class. "It's really ridiculous."
Poor Caroline doesn't realize just how right she is. Her entire educational experience has been one big failed experiment. She's been taught under an educational philosophy that's mostly wrong and has been shown to be ineffective with many students like Caroline.
Falck said it's hard to see her students struggling. "Fifty percent of the kids couldn't pass math with their graduation depending on it. It must be something with the test or something going on in the classroom. It's not the kids' motivation."
So, you're telling me it's not their motivation? That eliminates educator excuse number one. Must be educator excuse number two then -- their parents don't love them. Or could it be educator excuse number three -- we don't have enough money. There is no educator excuse number four.
Here's another poster child:
Stedman defies the stereotype of those who failed the math WASL. Like Davis, she loves math and has always gotten As and Bs. In the past, a learning disability meant she struggled with reading and writing and had to have an Individual Educational Plan — specialized instruction and materials to address her problems in processing words.
When educators finally admit that it's not a "learning disability" but a "teaching disability" we might start making some progress.