Each spring, students in every district across the state will take the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). While the WASL is important, it should be remembered that it is just one of many indicators that educators use to gauge teaching and students’ progress. We examine and analyze WASL scores as we do other data, and use the findings to improve our instruction.
The WASL has gathered more attention this year because high school students who take it this spring will need to pass the reading, writing and math tests by 2008 in order to graduate. While passing a test in order to graduate may cause some concern for students, parents and educators, it is helpful to remember that a number of actions are being taken to address these concerns:
- The high school WASL is not a one-time only do-or-die test. Students will be able to re-take WASL subject tests a number of times if they desire.
- For students who have trouble with test-taking, a non-WASL alternative is being developed. This is likely to involve some combination of the student’s grade point average and a collection of the student’s coursework. (Click here for information on alternative assessments).
- Olympia schools are implementing individual student learning plans for those students who need some extra support to meet the standard of a WASL subject.
- The Olympia School District is offering additional summer school courses for students who need extra help on one or more of the WASL subject areas.
- Enhanced practice WASL materials are now available at the Web Site below.
- Our state legislature is in the continual process of refining how the WASL should work. Expect more changes; let your legislators know how you feel.
For more information about the WASL – sample questions, advice for parents, information on how to read a WASL scorecard – click below:
The Olympia School District has a long history and tradition of providing a rich learning environment in many subject areas for our students. That’s a commitment we take seriously. Let us know how we’re doing – please contact us if you have any questions about the WASL or any other issue related to your student’s education.