Washington state’s new superintendent of public instruction wants to replace the Washington Assessment of Student Learning with two separate tests and use a computerized testing system. But he said last week that the new exams would still be hard, and that high school students would still need to pass them to graduate.
Nothing will change for the class of 2009, Superintendent Randy Dorn said, but by next fall, he promised academic testing in the state would be completely different. He said the changes would fulfill his campaign promise to replace the WASL.
The new “measurements of student progress” would be given twice a year in grades 3-8. High school students would have multiple chances to pass the new high school proficiency exams.
The biggest changes would be the length of the tests, the speed of scoring, and how long the tests would keep children away from their regular classwork. The tests would eventually have more fill-in-the-blank questions, rather than multiple-choice, and most of the exams would be taken on a computer.
A version of this article appeared in the January 28, 2009 edition of Education Week