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WASL starts Monday for high schoolers –– for real this time

The Mirror

Stop! It’s WASL time!

On Monday high school students will start to take the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). This is the first year freshmen are allowed to take the test. And for sophomores, it’s the first time they have to pass the reading, writing and math portions to eventually graduate.

All high school students can take all or portions of the test five times to pass.

Typically, the reading, writing and math portions of the exam are given to fourth, seventh and 10th-graders.

Testing for the reading and writing portions will continue until March 16.

The math and science portions of the test will be taken in April.

Elementary and middle school students will take their tests in late April and early May.

The WASL has been used in Washington for more than a decade as part of the state’s education reform effort. The test became a graduation requirement for this year’s sophomores –– the class of 2008 –– and has prompted legislation to study alternatives and legislation to create programs to certify students in trades who aren’t interested in going to college and show they have met the state’s education requirements.

Federal Way Public Schools superintendent Tom Murphy, in his annual State of the Schools speech in January, predicted 700 of the district’s sophomores won’t pass all three sections of the upcoming WASL.

From a statewide perspective, confidence is counseled by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson.

Students, she said, should remember this: “Do your best. We believe in you. We support you, and we’ll continue to support you after the test.”

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