Letters to the Editor

More children left behind | Federal Way letters

I am writing in response to your article published Oct. 10 ("Achievement gap in FW schools: Low

test scores are ‘unacceptable’").

I read some of the same information I had seen in previous stories about low test scores and the problems facing the school district, but I blew a gasket when I read the statement in there made by the district: "When students are actually required to try, the scores are higher." This is a reference to the state Legislature delaying the official passing of the math WASL to the year 2012. I cannot believe that our district and school board members could try and offload their failure on the students not trying.

The students are by no means getting a free ride. They are still required to pass the DCA and take two more math classes in their junior and senior year, and may I add, math classes that are much harder then if they had been able to pass the WASL. Not only that, I have a daughter who is a sophmore at Todd Beamer High School, and the pressure to pass this test is tremendous. They are constantly reminded how important it is to pass and they are constantly working very hard to achieve that very goal. My daughter works very hard on a daily basis in her math class, she stays after school for extra help from the teacher on a regular basis. She is currently enrolled in an after-school program where the main goal is to pass the math testing this spring.

Not only that, after she gets home, she then has to complete the math homework from her class that day. My daughter, like every other student, works very hard and gets A's and B's in her math classes, but for some reason, she has not been able to pass the math WASL. I wish I could tell you why.

It obviously is happening with a lot of students, and the school board and the district are trying to pass blame to the kids. It is outragous. I am willing to bet most of those people could not even pass the 10th grade WASL. If this very advanced math is something these kids can't live without after high school, then I guess all those school board and district members could just ace this test without studying. I bet not.

Quit blaming your failure on the kids and do something about the test. It is not a good test and it is not fair.

This testing was started with the No Child Left Behind Act. But in the wake of the mess it has created, it looks to me like more and more of the children are doing just that — getting left behind.

Jacqui Plemons, Federal Way

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