TO: HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
FROM: NORTHWEST PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS
DATE: FEBRUARY 10, 2005
Please vote NO on HB 1068 regarding elimination of norm-referenced tests.
In a 2003 survey of Northwest Professional Educators, 77% of the members believed the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) should be discontinued in favor of an effective, but less costly, student assessment system such as locally chosen assessment tools and/or standardized tests, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). Accordingly, Northwest Professional Educators opposes elimination of norm-referenced tests such as the ITBS and Iowa Test of Education Development.
Norm-referenced tests are reliable, standardized measurements providing educators with useful data for the analysis of discreet student strengths and weaknesses to use in subsequent educational planning to improve educational achievement. Additionally, norm-referenced tests provide educators, legislators, and the public with accountability checks and balances to evaluate the success/failure of education restructuring.
It would be foolhardy for the state to eliminate useful, reliable, standardized, norm-referenced, and cost-effective tests for gauging student achievement to rely solely on the unreliable, controversial, and exorbitantly expensive WASL that provides no useful analysis.
Students, parents, and educators deserve a balanced and valid system of measuring student achievement that provides a reliable comparison between students statewide and nationwide.
Northwest Professional Educators
PO Box 28496
Spokane, WA 99228-8496