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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Heads Up, High School Parents

I just skimmed this article but apparently all Washington parents will get a letter from their school (district?) about the rules and schedule for state testing. Look for that in the mail.

From the Seattle Times article:

State rules for who has to take the High School Proficiency Exam — and its predecessor, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, or WASL — have been confusing parents and students for years.

Four bills before the Legislature may simplify things in the near future. Some proposals take aim at the most confusing part of high-school testing — the rules that cover which high-school math exam or exams a student is expected to take this spring.

The confusion stems from the state's transition from a general high-school math test in 10th grade to end-of-course exams for algebra and geometry. As the rules stand now, some students who took algebra or geometry a few years ago may be expected to take end-of-course exams in those subjects this year.

Of course this is just more churn with more in the pipeline if, as it seems, there will now be national standards to factor into tests.

How it stands now:

The existing law says Washington high-school students must pass exams in reading and writing, or an approved alternative, to earn a diploma. In math, they must either pass a statewide exam or take extra credits in math. High-school students also take a science test, but a passing score won't be required until 2013. That year math assessments also are scheduled to become graduation requirements, as end-of-course exams.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

To reiterate what a previous post mentioned, EOC exams are for students having completed Algebra I and Geometry. If your middle school student is taking Algebra I or Geometry, it is my understanding they take the EOC exams this year in middle school.

FAQs from OSPI:

http://www.k12.wa.us/mathematics/MayWebinar/math_FAQs_for_EOC_exams.pdf

-Contributor

Maureen said...

So if you have a 9th or 10th grader who is now in Algebra 2 or higher, they still have to take end of course exams in algebra and geometry. (See page four of the Roosevelt Rider Record from February.)

SE Mom said...

I looked at the EOC exam chart from the link Maureen provided.

So why on earth would a 9th or 10th
grader in Algebra II need to take a "make up" exam for Algebra I?
If the student had a good grade in Algebra II couldn't one assume they understand more basic algebra?

Lassen said...

Please, everyone -- the real issue is that these are state tests about which we have little input. HOWEVER, our district, in the face of this, still requires our high school students to take a MEANINGLESS AND EXPENSIVE ADDITIONAL test THREE TIMES PER YEAR (MAP) in addition to these state tests, robbing our students of valuable classroom time to prepare not only for life and college but for state tests. They would rather cut teachers and support staff than cut a truly meaningless test that the students don't even take seriously. It is a travesty.

One simple, concrete, and humane thing we can do is absolutely DEMAND that the SPS district CANCEL ALL MAP TESTING at the high school level.

The millions of dollars, man hours, and classroom time expended on an absolutely meaningless test is criminal when our kids have high stakes tests for which to prepare.

PLEASE put pressure on the Seattle Council PTSA and the School Board to take a stand against MAP, at least at the high school level!