Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Carl Chew, Teaching & Civil Disobedience

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Podcast: Melinda has an indepth conversation with Carl Chew

Carl talks about how parents can opt their kids out of the WASL---

Carl Chew teaches 6th grade science at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle. This April, when he refused to administer the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning), Carl was suspended for two weeks without pay. See Seattle PI Article

How do we insure quality education for ALL students? Is your state one of the thirteen or so with high-stakes testing? Do high stakes test improve education, and if so, how?

The WASL is a complicated issue and in fact, a complicated test! Each student must answer questions by writing in several booklets for multiple subjects---reading, writing, math, and science. Each student creates over 40 pages of handwritten responses that must be hand scored! The test used to be administered at three grade levels but now but now is administered every year from 3rd to 10th grades and beyond for those who don't pass. $ $ $

Read More of Carl Chew's Thinking

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Listen To The Interview with Carl on Odeo.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

Doug Gill, Director Special Education Washington State

Join us!
Wednesday June 25
9:00 AM PDT

Bring your questions and concerns about special education and join us Wednesday for a conversation with Doug Gill. Currently the Director of Special Education for Washington State, Doug Gill served on the President Bush's Commission on Excellence in Special Education. The commission formed by Executive Order in 2001, disbanded in July 2002 after issuing their final report to the President--- A New Era: Revitalizing Special Education for Children and Their Families.

Of note this week, Congress is working to revamp the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) this week, working toward a new version of the
ADA Restoration Act.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Interview: ADDA Board Members

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Melinda talks with Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) board members Linda S. Anderson, MA, MCC, SCAC, president, and Beverly Rohman, ADDA Conference Co-Chair, about the upcoming 13th National Conference, July 10-13, that will be held at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.

Linda Anderson is a master certified coach and founder of Getting Clear. She has been actively involved in the world of adult ADHD, since 1993 and has been a coach for over a decade.

Her mission is to help ADHD individuals transform failure into success and struggle into achievement through awareness, access to resources, connection to skilled professionals and the support of other ADHD adults.

Beverly Rohman is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a long-time advocate, ADHD coach and consultant for learning differences and school searches. She is the founder of The Learning Connections, which is dedicated to helping adults, families, and students who struggle with ADHD.

Her mission is to promote a world where the challenges of learning differences and ADHD are identified, managed and ultimately valued.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

WASL: Interview with Shannon Rasmussen, WEA Rep

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Melinda talks with Shannon Rasmussen, President of the Federal Way Education Association and the head of a Washington Education Association (WEA) task force that studies education reform about the WASL.

What is the WASL?

The Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) measures student learning of skills and knowledge important to our children’s success in school and life. Educators use WASL results to improve teaching and to do a better job of meeting every student’s academic needs. (Read More)

Educators don’t trust Terry Bergeson’s WASL numbers

To much fanfare, Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson has now released WASL test scores for the Class of 2008.

The good news: Most seniors passed the reading and writing WASL. The bad news: Bergeson’s WASL figures appear to be inaccurate and may not give the full picture.

In fact, superintendents in several school districts dispute the WASL numbers Bergeson released.

Federal Way EA President Shannon Rasmussen said WEA members continue to oppose Bergeson’s emphasis on the WASL as a high-stakes test, and they believe it takes too much time away from classroom instruction.

"We support high academic standards, but we fundamentally disagree with how Terry Bergeson is implementing the WASL," Rasmussen said. "We've lost faith in her." (Read More)