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The plans announced this morning by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn were pretty much as expected. New tests replacing the WASL, beginning next

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WASL Plans Announced

dorn2.jpg

The plans announced this morning by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn were pretty much as expected. New tests replacing the WASL, beginning next school year, will be much shorter--a huge change in the culture of schools that currently stop everything for two weeks or longer while testing occurs. Because the new tests will rely much more on multiple choice than open-ended questions, they will also change what is being taught. Teachers now insist that students write explanations of their answers, even on math questions, because that is what the WASL demands.

Dorn gave the new tests a name, actually two names. Elementary and middle schoolers will take the Measurements of Student Progress. And they will do so twice a year, not once, as with the WASL. The superintendent says he is doing this in order to give more information to teachers about how students are doing, and he maintains this will amount to less overall testing time. Older students will take the High School Proficiency Exams, and would still need to pass them in order to graduate - unless, that is, a bill that would remove the graduation requirement, introduced this session, passes in the Legislature.

 
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