WASL out, state student tests to go online in 2012

State Superintendent of Washington Schools Randy Dorn started off his term by chucking the WASL and is now moving schools toward online test-taking. He said he is confident that schools around the state will be able to make the transition from taking state tests on paper to computerized versions by 2012.

In a letter to educators, Dorn said that despite concerns from schools about whether or not they would have enough computers for such tests and where funding will come from, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction believes that the timeline created will help with success. There is currently no OSPI policy as to what computers would be used for testing. The new system will be voluntary in 2010 and 2011, with a goal of standardization by 2012.

“We will do everything we can to meet that goal, but are mindful that financial and technological issues could arise,” said Dorn.

Special needs students will continue to be able to take the test in the paper format.

The Mercer Island School District has not said yet whether or not online testing will be an option for students during next spring’s testing period.

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