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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The "New" WASL that isn't the WASL

So true to his word, the new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn, has done away with the WASL. There won't be one this year. Or will there?

The tests have a new name, but one of them is unchanged, another is not new so much as an abridged version of the WASL, and really only the high school math tests - not yet available - are supposed to be really different.

How are folks feeling about this? Is Randy Dorn keeping his commitment? Does he clearly intend to keep it but these things take time? Or is this all smoke and mirrors?

For reference, check out this piece by SoulNerd in Publicola, this story in the Times, and this story in Crosscut.

6 comments:

SP said...

The total # of days on the calendar atleast have changed at the high school level.

Last year there were 8 WASL days, where all of the non-WASL testers were sleeping at home for an extra 2+ hours/day (something that many parents are not aware of).

This year (as just posted on our high school's website calendar) there will be only 5 WASL test days for high schools:
March 16, 17 & 18 for Reading/Writing, and April 13 & 15 for Math/Science.

Melissa Westbrook said...

At Roosevelt, we had 10th graders taking the WASL (plus any 9th graders who had signed up plus any juniors who didn't pass a section(s). The seniors had to come to school but later to work on their Senior Projects.

Melissa Westbrook said...

At Roosevelt, we had 10th graders taking the WASL (plus any 9th graders who had signed up plus any juniors who didn't pass a section(s). The seniors had to come to school but later to work on their Senior Projects.

Charlie Mas said...

I thought the 9th graders weren't allowed to take the WASL in 2009.

TechyMom said...

So, does this mean no MAP? Or, are they planning to do both? The MAP sounded really promising, both for student placement and assessment, and also for giving us some value-added data to use to compare schools. The WASL, well I don't see much value to it.

As for a graduation test... I still don't understand why we don't make everyone pass the GED. It is already used to award diplomas, and covers what we expect people to learn in HS.

Charlie Mas said...

The MAP is a totally separate piece from the state-mandated testing for state Accountability and federal NCLB purposes.