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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Governor Signs WASL bill

In the Times (and PI) this morning, the Governor signed the WASL bill which delays use of the math and science portions of the WASL for graduation until 2013. Students have to take and pass the reading and writing WASL portions to graduate from high school.

I'll have to go and read the whole bill in its entirety as the news articles don't answer a couple of questions. It sounds like there will be no end-of-course tests for math or science but the Times' article makes it sound like you might be able to use AP, ACT or SAT test results. (Again, I think you may have to take the WASL at least once before you can use these test results.) Also, when my older son graduated from Hale last year, he was required to take (not take and pass) the WASL (at least 2 portions) to graduate. I don't know whether they will simply not be giving the math and science portions (I'd assume so) or if you still have to take them as practice.

4 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

High school students are sometimes denied advanced math classes as juniors or seniors because they have already fulfilled their math graduation requirement (two years).

If those students intentionally failed the WASL, the schools would no longer have that excuse to keep the students out of the advanced math classes.

Anyway you cut it, this law will mean that high schools will have to add some serious FTE to their math departments. Most of that time will be taken with remedial classes for students who need to continue to take math because they failed the WASL - what class will they take? One they failed? Wouldn't they have to re-take it anyway to get their required math credits for graduation? One they have already passed? A more advanced one?

What does this mean? Students who took and passed Integrated I and Integrated II but failed the math portion of the WASL will have to take Integrated III and... what? Pre-Calculus? to graduate?

So students who failed the WASL will be required to take pre-calculus to graduate?

Somebody correct me.

Jet City mom said...

I am not goint to attempt to answer the questions individually- but this is what they are currently doing at my daughters school

She has gotten Bs in math throughout school although she also has a hard time with it- she has never come close to passing WASL- although I also have not requested to see the test- so I have no idea- what the questions were or how she answered them.

She just took for the 2nd time- the 10th grade math WASL last month.
( she is at grade level math- getting As- in integrated 3)
However- since she hadn't passed the math WASL last year in 10th grade, she is also taking this semester, a class targeting math WASL skills ( as many of the students in SPS, she passed the Reading/Science & Writing parts of the WASL easily)

She is also getting an A in her math WASL class.
Whether that will make a difference I don't know.

I also am unclear where the money is coming from to offer the WASL class- she was not given a choice whether to take it or not-some say it is coming from I-728

The way I understand it- the Math WASL class is similar to the classes offered last summer to students through the community colleges( which was not offered to her- I didn't know she could have taken it anyway)

I dont think at her school- students are not allowed to continue to take math- if they have two years of high school level math.

Students often can take additional academic classes, if they point out that the reason they are doing so is for college requirements.

I think all students in the district should be able to take 4 years of english/history/math/science- and with a full time permanent teacher not a sub.

( I also would like to see results from the WASL retakes by students enrolled in the CC programs last summer)

Jet City mom said...

I also forgot to add that part of her current math WASL class, is building a portfolio- so in the instance that she doesn't pass the WASL, she can submit the portfolio to illustrate her math level.

( She hasn't taken the SAT yet)

Michael Rice said...

Hello

Here is the e-mail I got from our WASL Dean. I hope it answers some questions.

THE LAW: What still remains is the following:

--Students will need to pass the WASL, or an approved alternative, in Reading and Writing to graduate.
--Students who wish to get the Certificate of Academic Achievement will need to pass the WASL, or an approved alternative, in Reading, Writing and Math.
--Student who do not pass the WASL, or an approved alternative, in Math will need to do the following to graduate without the CAA:
--Class of 2008 - will need to pass an additional 1.0 credit in math
--Class of 2009 - 2012 - will need to pass an additional 2.0 credits in math
VETOES: While she signed most of the bill, she vetoed four sections. Here are what those vetoed sections dealt with:
Section 9 would have put in motion plans to replace the math and science WASL with end of course exams. That is gone and the Governor wants more study to be done before pursuing this further.
Section 10 would have allowed students to appeal their failure to meet WASL standards to their Educational Service District. That is now gone.
Section 11 would have exempted ELL students who score below level four on the WLPT from taking the WASL. That is gone too.
Section 13 (my favorite) asserted that "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately." The Governor vetoed this. If mass riots break out, she will need to be held accountable.
OSPI and our district will be putting together information packets to effectively communicate all this to our students and parents. I will be passing that along as it becomes available.