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SK students set to take WASL

AYP expectations higher than ever.

This week students across the state sit down to take the math portion of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning.

Students in almost every grade level take the exam, but those in the high school level may have the most at stake. But the state requirements may be even more confusing than the testing material.

South Kitsap High School Instructional Specialist Cathy Gangness said the most important thing is getting the students to the school to take the test, because information in the media and spread by word-of-mouth misleads them to think the test is not required.

“We’d just like them to get here and test,” she said. “Some of what they hear from the media is confusing. I don’t know if they understand everything that’s expected of them.”

Students can still receive their diploma without passing the math portion of the WASL until 2014, but without passing the test they must continue to take and pass math classes through their senior year, and without passing the exam they will not receive a Certificate of Academic Achievement.

Students state wide continue to struggle with portions of the WASL, and the state and federal requirements are only growing more stringent.

Last year, 50.4 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion of the WASL, down a bit from the previous year when 51.0 percent passed.

While those results remain steady, the pass rate is taking a jump to match mandated Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

To meet AYP in the math portion, 10th-graders passing the test will need to take a leap by 20 percentage points.

The test itself is not the only way to leave with the certificate though. Gangness said students are working on a “collection of evidence” portfolio showing work from their classes to show mastery over the subject.

With an approved portfolio, students can graduate with the Certificate of Academic Achievement.

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