This year’s senior class is the first required to pass the reading and writing portions of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) in order to graduate.
Most seniors in the Renton School District and statewide met that requirement. Nearly 92 percent of Renton seniors and just over 91 percent of seniors statewide passed those portions of the test.
That’s a high percentage, but the goal is 100 percent.
“It’s a high percentage as compared to the state and other schools,” says Randy Matheson, district spokesperson. “… But we’re certainly not satisfied. The intent is to have all students pass the WASL and meet all the requirements.”
Matheson estimates just under 100 district students did not pass the reading or writing WASL. Some of those students were able to graduate by turning in portfolios of work. The rest will not graduate until successfully passing the reading and writing WASL.
But Matheson says few, if any, students failed to graduate because of poor WASL scores.
“I don’t think we have any students who aren’t going to graduate because they failed the 10th grade WASL,” Matheson says. “In most cases they have missing credits or haven’t finished their culminating projects and so on. It’s far greater than just the WASL.”
Those students can finish schoolwork in summer classes or next school year. Students can retake the WASL up to four times, or more for a fee.
“One of the important things is passing the WASL is now just one portion of all the graduation requirements,” Matheson says. “Passing doesn’t mean anything unless you pass other requirements.”
The same will be true for the class of 2013 — the first class required to pass the math and science portions of the WASL to graduate.
Until then, any student who fails the math section is required to take an extra math class.
• WASL retakes for 9, 10, 11 or 12 graders are this summer. Students can register June 9 – 27. Go to www.k12.wa.us/registration or call 1-866-400-WASL (9275) between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students should have their SSID (Statewide Student Identification) number ready.
• For more information on options for students not meeting graduation requirements, visit the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Web site at www.k12.wa.us