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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Buh-bye WASL?

On January 14, new State Superintendent Randy Dorn released his priorities for the next few years, including:
  1. Funding Basic Education Task Force Recommendations
  2. Replace the Washington Assessment of Student Learning
  3. Dramatically Reduce the Dropout Rate and Improve Achievement for All Students
  4. Expand Career and Technical Education Opportunities
  5. Expand Early Learning Opportunities
You can find more details in his press release, here.

Also, according to a KING-5 report, Dorn plans to give details about the test that will replace the WASL this upcoming Wednesday. Talk about a week of change--we're getting a new President, and the beginning of the end of the controversial WASL!

I recently talked to education experts to get their take on Dorn's priorities, for a Seattle's Child article I wrote.

But I wonder how Dorn's priorities will change things in our own district, given the rumblings about a WASL boycott, curriculum decisions, etc.

What do you think?

5 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

What he says about the WASL is this:

"The WASL and the state assessment system has overwhelmed our teachers, students and parents because of the lack of valuable feedback and the time and resources it takes to administer. To address these concerns, Superintendent Dorn will:
- Make the grades 3-8 assessments significantly shorter by reducing the number of extended-response questions and by reducing the burden on our schools of administering the test.
- Significantly reduce the time it takes to return the results by having the assessments administered on computers in the grades 3-8 tests and the high school exam.
- Provide teachers with computer-administered diagnostic/screening assessments during the school year that will identify student strengths and challenges and inform instruction"

That's not getting rid of the WASL; that's streamlining it and making it the diagnostic tool it's supposed to be. Fine by me. I'm sure teachers and administrators will love it.

Denise Gonzalez-Walker said...

True, but the KING-5 report reads like he's going to replace it altogether, and I feel like Dorn has been vague so far whether we're in for a substantial overhaul vs. replacement... I guess we won't really know until Weds.

And just to clarify, we're stuck with the WASL for Spring 2009 regardless, although the test is supposed to be shorter than past years.

anonymous said...

Will students still be required to pass the WASL to graduate? Or get into APP?

I'm all for standardized tests if they are used to measure the performance of a state, district, school.... even teacher. But not to measure individual performance IE.. a student.

MathTeacher42 said...

Ms. Westbrook -
do you have a URL for the quote?

It isn't that I distrust you and think you'd make up a quote ;)

Melissa Westbrook said...

I got that quote straight from the link that Denise provided to Superintendent Dorn's press release.