Randy Dorn just released details on replacing the WASL with a new assessment, called Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program (WCAP), beginning in Spring 2010.
I'm excited to see Dorn make a clean break from the WASL, as opposed to spending time and money on an overhaul. The WASL had so much baggage that its reputation could not be redeemed with most families and teachers.
What will the WCAP be? According to OSPI's site:
Measurements of Student Progress (MAP) test in Grades 3 - 8
The MSP will differ from the WASL in numerous and significant ways. The grades 3-8 tests will be used as tools for teachers to evaluate the progress of students with almost immediate feedback.
The grades 3-8 MSP tests will be:
--Shorter, both in time required to take the test and the number of days needed to administer it.
--Less expensive and tied to technology.
High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE)
The High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE) will measure whether students have learned the required basic skills in reading, writing, math and science. These will be used to meet the state reading and writing graduation requirements.
Dorn includes more details on the tests, along with some detail on math and science tests, on the WCAP main page.
I don't think Dorn has the power to singlehandedly change the test (I haven't had time to dig deeper on this front). However, given the WASL's shaky reputation and high costs, I can't imagine Dorn will face much resistance from legislators.