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Robert Carkhuff was a self-published Washington OSPI contractor whose thinking system was the basis for the Washington education reform movement and WASL. He has had a decades-long professional relationship with key OSPI staff members Terry Bergeson and Shirley McCune. Documents show he was paid more than $1 million to restructure Washington state education around his thinking systems.
Carkhuff created the new Three R's, relating, representing and reasoning to replace reading, writing and arithmetic as the primary basic education goals for Washington state.
A 2006 Snohomish Tribune investigation concluded that the work of Carkhuff was largely responsible for creating an invalid framework for the controversial WASL test that failed half of all students and 3 quarters of underperforming minorities in 2006 that Terry Bergeson had pledged would give all state seniors a world class diploma by 2008. Professor Don Orlich has concluded that the WASL math test contains many items which are developmentally inappropriate (much too difficult for any given grade level), and other critics say that the math test is really a test of reading and reasoning, and require the most explanation of comparable state tests.
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