Grades, not standardized tests, should measure progress
In response to the story “Schools chief plans WASL replacement by 2010” [front page, Jan. 22], I agree with the idea of at least replacing the WASL test. However, it would be more convenient and significant to completely dispose of the standardized test. Officials continue to state how the test allows them to study how students’ learning is progressing.
This isn’t the case; grades in classes show the true achievement and success of the students, not their scores on a standardized test.
I also disagree with the manner in which the chief of the schools is handling the situation. Stating that he will make these changes as if the state and Legislature have no vote toward the cause is extremely asinine and unprofessional. He should provide the public with the facts and the probability of his plan being finished. That would be the manner and attitude in which to attack this situation. Although I disagree with the chief’s techniques, I believe the change of the test at least to another form is in the best interest of every student body in respect to their success.
— Kevin Sprague, Granite Falls
AP success, though not proven, is evident
In your editorial [“Bellevue, Seattle schools at the head of the class,” editorial, June 11], you cited Department of Education studies allegedly proving that taking Advanced Placement classes improves college performance because “students who took [AP] courses but scored low on the end exam tended to do better [in college] than students who didn’t take the courses.” However, the department Web site clearly states that “difference in college outcomes between the groups cannot be attributed with confidence to the effect of AP participation.”
As a Bellevue AP student, I understand the fallacy behind your reasoning. Simply consider that the average student of an AP class is much more motivated to work and study than one in a non-AP classes.
This study only confirms what I hope is well known — that hard work and good study habits will lead to success in college. I applaud the Bellevue and Seattle school districts for encouraging students to take challenging coursework, but there is no proven causation between students taking AP classes and college success.
— Nick Rogstad, Bellevue