News

Math not a problem for Class of 2008

By MARGO HORNER

The Mirror

It may be time to let out a sigh of relief for students in Federal Way who didn’t pass the math portion of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test.

Nearly half of students in the Federal Way classes of 2008, the first class required to pass the math WASL to graduate, failed to meet standard on the test. Districts throughout the state saw a similar trend.

Lawmakers voted last week to delay the math WASL as a graduation requirement until the class of 2012, the Associated Press reported. But those students who don’t pass the test aren’t out free. They will be required to take additional math courses.

The measure also delayed the science WASL graduation requirement until the class of 2013. The reading and writing portions of the WASL must still be passed in order to graduate.

Slightly different versions of the bill passed in both the Senate and the House. Now the two chambers will have to reach an agreement on the fine details and pass the measure on to Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Gregoire has said that she supports delaying the math and science requirements of the WASL.

The issue up for debate is whether or not to replace the WASL with end of course assessments, an idea that is popular among school board members in Federal Way and Superintendent Tom Murphy.

“End of course assessments would be clearer, more straightforward and really simple,” Murphy said. “I happen to believe that all students have the ablitiy to meet and exceed standards that are clear and are straightforward.”

Murphy said that the news of the delayed math WASL requirement would not affect how math is taught in Federal Way.

“We’re not planning on backing off on anything we’re imple-menting to improve our students’ math ability,” he said. “Whether the WASL test is there or not, in the 21st century students are going to have to perform mathmatics in order to be successful.”

Staff writer Margo Horner: 925-5565, mhorner@fedwaymirror.com

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