"Gov. Christine Gregoire has agreed to toss out the math section of the 10th-grade WASL, after years of low pass rates and debate over whether it's the best way to gauge students' abilities.
Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday that will phase out that part of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning by 2014. Students instead will take two math tests at the end of classes often taken by freshmen and sophomores, such as Algebra I and Geometry I." from the Seattle Times on Thursday, March 27th.Can anyone at OSPI or the Legislature make up their minds? Why not just enact it now? Why create new exams? If you passed Integrated 1 and 2, you're done. I can't believe my son is going to sit through 4 days of an exam that is, as of yesterday, going to be phased out.
"One advantage: Students will be tested right after they finish a class, rather than all at once on one exam.
"Math seems a pretty steep hill to climb when you need to climb it all at once," said Larry Nyland, superintendent of the Marysville School District.
Students' weaknesses also can be uncovered earlier, with more time to correct them before graduation, said state Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, the bill's main sponsor.
The end-of-course exams, he said, "will clearly identify that you've learned algebra and you've learned geometry.""What does Terry have to say about this?
"Those include Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson. She still has reservations about making the change before she has a chance to see how the new tests work.
"We may have better performance, but it's a whole new ballgame," she said.
At the same time, she says the state's new learning standards for high-school math are being organized by class, so it makes sense to test students the same way.
"It's a common-sense approach, and it could be a better way than what we're doing ... so let's give it a shot," she said."As if she has a choice.
But then there was the sentence I dreaded most:
"The new exams will be homegrown and based on Washington's learning standards. "
"Although organized by math subject, they are expected to include a mix of multiple-choice and the kind of open-ended questions that the WASL is known for."
So they'll be like the WASL but not. Great.
[I mention Colin Farrell (a reformed drinker - courtesy of becoming a father - but not a reformed swearer) because I love the way he says (in the Irish manner) "oh for ****'s sake!" which was exactly my thought when I saw the headline.]