I will be spending this week setting standards for language
proficiency testing to be measured by WELPA (Washington English Language
Proficiency Assessment) A charge that feels dubious in light of this recent
piece. I don’t want to finish the week feeling like a cog in the assessment-for-profit
machine. So why did I even sign up for this role?
Because this year’s WELPA (it’s first role out since switching
from WLPT II) was a nightmare.
Nightmare as defined by questions and tasks that were not developmentally or
linguistically appropriate for age/time in country or in any way connected with
curricula/skills taught in the classroom. It asked kindergarten to identify syntactical
errors in sentences they were required to read independently (which part of
them being in Kindergarten did the writers miss??). It asked sixth grade to
describe science lab procedures. Which could be ok except lab-based science is
not offered until middle school in my district.
A language assessment with no sense of the stages of
language acquisition or what content is covered when is an invalid measure and
a tremendous waste of tax-payer dollars. So I am going because like Travis, I
want to take control of what I can. I would rather be a part of the process,
knowing I got my voice heard, than feel “done to”.