Monday, March 30, 2009

David Horsey

Most Non-Seattlites probably aren't familiar with David Horsey, the political cartoonist for the Seattle PI. Um, I guess that would now be the Anyway, he's a stitch and it right up there with Gary Larson (also from Seattle!) in my book. Here are a few of my favorites.

The following cartoon probably takes a bit of explaining: Carl Chew is a 6th grade science teacher in Seattle. The WASL stands for the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, a standardized test given to all WA students, that has long been criticized as detrimental and ineffective in determining a child's academic progress. Carl found himself in the public spotlight last April when he refused to proctor the WASL for his students. As he said: "I have let my administration know that I will no longer give the WASL to my students. I have done this because of the personal moral and ethical conviction that the WASL is harmful to students, teachers, schools, and families." Carl also happens to be a close friend of my parents, is an incredible artist, and a mean accordion player. Read these articles (here and here) to get a more complete idea of the controversy surrounding the test. If you're really interested, here is a long explanation by Carl as to why he is against using the WASL for measuring academic achievement.
Naturally, people felt very strongly (both ways) regarding Carl's decision to protest the test. Here is what one parent had to say:
"My child is in Mr. Chew's science class. He is one of those once-in-a-lifetime great teachers. Every kid is excited about science and it is very rigorous. I support him.The WASL is a waste of tax payer's money. It takes 2 weeks of instructional time, the scores don't come back til the following year. Then they tell you nothing, only whether you are way below grade level in reading & math. It doesn't test all the state standards. It doesn't test for advanced knowledge or disabilities. The math test gives more points for using words & pictures than using numbers. It can't be used to compare with other states or countries. And then nothing is done with the information. No extra class time or tutoring for kids who fail until 10th grade.I learned considerably more about my child's academic abilities from a one hour achievement test than the last 3 years of WASL. All for 56 million dollars."

I think that I, too, am growing gills right about now...

Obviously, this isn't a recent cartoon. I think it was from late 2006 or early 2007, when Seattle real estate prices were exorbitantly high...