Here in the edusphere, we've discussed, to the point of death, the merits of state exams that inform the public about what students learn in school. NCLB created the need for accurate measurements of student learning. And while I don't wish to debate that particular corner of the subject, I would like to bring to this page a viewpoint I had not thought about.
A student of mine, a senior, recognized that our district will go to extraoridnary measures to ensure that students have the training necessary for the WASL--our state exam. We offer summer school sessions and support classes intending to help every student meet standard. This is the reality in which we opperate, and I can't say that I don't support the premise.
However, the student then noted that our district does not do the same for other equally important tests like the ACT and the SAT. Sure, we all understand that the SAT or ACT do not affect whether or not the schools receive Federal funding--the WASL does. But if we are truly about preparing students for the worl after high school, then shouldn't we put as much effort and money that we put into a minimum competency test like the WASL into a test that will determine college acceptance.
My student is correct. We should care as much about the SAT's and ACT's as we do about the WASL.