Washington Test Data Rekindle Concerns Over Graduation Test
The first high school class that must pass an exit exam to graduate in Washington state has produced mixed results on its initial round of required tests, renewing debate about high-stakes testing there and raising interest in the support being offered to struggling students.
Eighty-six percent of the approximately 71,000 students tested this spring passed reading, and 84 percent passed the writing portion, on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, or WASL. But only 54 percent passed the math portion. Students are permitted four more attempts to pass. ( "Washington Readies for High School Exit Exam," April 19, 2006.)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson welcomed the progress indicated by the language arts results—9 percentage points in reading and 13 percentage points in writing over the 2005 scores. But she acknowledged that much remains to be done in mathematics. Fifty-one percent of student passed...
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