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Washington State Class of ’08: All but a few pass WASL requirement

More than 90 percent of high school seniors in Washington state met the WASL requirement for high school graduation this spring.

Of this year’s high school seniors, 91.4 percent have met a new, more rigorous state graduation requirement by demonstrating that they have solid reading and writing skills.

Washington State Superintendent Terry Bergeson announced this good news about the Class of 2008 this week in a press conference highlighting a major milestone in the state’s efforts to make a high school diploma more meaningful.

“This is a moment we’ve been waiting to celebrate for more than a decade,” she said. “Washington’s educators have spent so much time making sure every student is well prepared for college, careers and citizenship, and these results show that hard work has paid off.”

Most seniors met the requirement — which consists of passing the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) or completing one of several alternatives — in the 10th or 11th grade. Today’s announcement folds in results from 12th-graders who took the WASL this spring to provide cumulative results for all students enrolled in 12th grade. Districts were given scores on May 27 so that affected students would know their status before their graduation ceremonies.

Results for ninth, 10th and 11th-graders who took the WASL this spring were released on June 16. Results for students in grades three through eight will be available later this summer.

Of the 2,992 12th-graders who took the reading WASL this spring, 1,723 met standard (57.6 percent). For writing, 1,849 met standard out of 2,779 taking the test (66.5 percent).

Including those students who previously met standard in reading and writing, a total of 91.4 percent of seniors in the Class of 2008 (61,327 out of 67,099 students) have met the assessment requirement. The 91.4 percent breaks down as follows:

· More than 85 percent passed the WASL.

· Less than four percent passed an alternate assessment designed for some students enrolled in special education programs.

· Less than one percent completed an alternative assessment option or earned a special waiver of the requirements.

On the WASL math test, 48,543 of this year’s 12th-graders (72.4 percent) met state standards in 10th, 11th or 12th grade. Passing the math test is not required for graduation, though students must take math courses and annually attempt the WASL or another state-approved alternative.

For more information, go to www.k12.wa.us.

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