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WASL: Majority of 12th-graders pass the test

The vast majority of 12th-graders in Washington state passed the reading and writing state exams — and Federal Way students were right along with the average.

Statewide, 93 percent passed the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), which is required for graduation. This was up 1 percent from last year. Federal Way is somewhere between a 90-95 percent passage rate, said Dave Davis, director of assessment and accountability. The final numbers are not yet known.

However, despite most students passing, State Superintendent Randy Dorn said he remains concerned about those students who didn't pass and those who dropped out before graduating.

According to Dorn's report, between 2004-2008 Washington's on-time graduation rate averages about 72 percent.

Each year, about 6 percent of students drop out — or statewide, one in every 20 students, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Dorn has also moved forward on his plan to rid the schools of the WASL. The WASL will be replaced next school year with the grades 3-8 Measurements of Student Progress and the High School Proficiency Exam. By next spring, the new state tests will be shorter and take less time to administer.

Also next spring, online testing will begin in grades six through eight for reading and math. In spring 2011, fifth-graders will take online testing in reading, math and science. Eighth-graders will also begin to test in science that year. In spring 2012, fourth-graders will move to online testing in reading and math.

Writing will debut online in spring 2011 in grades seven and 10, with an online practice test beginning in fall 2010.

In late August, the OSPI report card will be released; it will include finding out if school districts and schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Schools that do not make AYP must create plans for making AYP the next year and may be subject to consequences, including loss of some federal funding.

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