WASL requirements continue to evolve

By Megan Resler

Starting in 2009 the WASL has been changed to the OSPI Assessment. Part of the OSPI Assessment is that students, grades 3-8, will be taking the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) while students, grades 9 – 12, will now be taking the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE).

To earn a high school diploma within the state of Washington, students have to accumulate a specific amount of school credit, pass the state assessment test or an approved alternative, complete a culminating project, and complete a High School and Beyond Plan.

In previous years, students completing the WASL were expected to take the assessment their sophomore year yet many chose to sign up early as a freshman. If they did not pass as a freshman they were required to take the test again their sophomore year; the same rule applies for every year until they pass the examination. If students failed the math portion of the WASL, they were given the option of taking and passing four years of math as an alternative to help them graduate. Statistics show the majority of students tended to pass the writing and reading portions of the WASL, but not the science.

Randy Dorn, Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction, revised the state assessment because schools weren’t performing as well on the test as predictions assumed. Washington state test scores were reviewed and no school saw improvement in the past several years except for the Mercer Island School District. With the lack of visible statistical academic improvement, the state assessment was revised to meet legal needs.

The 2010-2012 classes will be required throughout Washington to either pass the reading and writing sections of the WASL/HSPE, or pass the reading and writing Certificate of Academic (CA).

In addition to passing the reading and writing WASL/HSPE, Washington studentsº also have to pass the math WASL/HSPE, pass the math CA or earn two math credits after 10th grade.