February 26, 2007



Dr. Terry Bergeson

Superintendent of Public Instruction

PO Box 47200

Olympia, WA 98504-7200


Dear Dr. Bergeson,


               WaToToM (Washington Teachers of Teachers of Mathematics) would like to express our strong support for your current position on using the WASL as a graduation requirement. We are saddened by the need to delay its use, since we feel that it represents knowledge that every citizen of our state needs to have. On the other hand, the numbers of students involved make it clear that most of the burden should be on improving the system rather than on increasing pressure on the students. Requiring students who have failed the WASL to take more mathematics classes with significant content, and designing courses that address a specific portion of the test which the student can then take separately provide a reasonable stop-gap measure for a few years. Meanwhile the major effort should continue to be on improving the mathematics education of the children coming up through the schools, starting in the earliest grades. We strongly believe that this can best be done by supporting teachers in every way possible, most notably with excellent professional development, and by raising the mathematical level of incoming teachers.


               In our view, the mathematical education of WashingtonÕs children has made a great deal of progress in recent years.  We very much hope that the OSPI will manage to maintain its excellent goals despite the current strident pressures to reduce them.






                                                                                          C/o Dr. Virginia M. Warfield

                                                                                          Department of Mathematics

                                                                                          University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195


cc. list on back


The Honorable Christine Gregoire, Governor

House Education Committee, WA State House of Representatives

Representative Ross Hunter, Washington Learns Commission

Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, WA State Senate

Washington State Board of Education

Dr. Patricia Wasley, Dean, College of Education, UW

Prof. Selim Tuncel,Chair, Department of Mathematics, UW

Joanne Robinson, President, Washington State Mathematics Council