Optional WASL testing for ninth graders cancelledJOURNAL STAFF Over 35,000 ninth graders statewide, including 600 ninth grade students currently attending Cavelero Mid-High School have signed up to take the WASL test this year, however, because of the high cost of testing, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has cancelled optional Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) testing for ninth graders effective immediately.
“In the past, OSPI has been able to financially support optional testing for ninth graders because the number was fairly small,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Now, the costs have grown significantly at the same time that an economic crisis is forcing our agency to cut optional programs and activities. This also supports moving forward with online testing because we would no longer have to print more than a million test booklets each year.”
After pre-registration was concluded on Jan. 13, OSPI determined that it would cost $477,000 in additional testing costs not provided for in the current state budget. OSPI estimates that 2009 testing in grades 3-8 and 10 will account for approximately 1.7 million WASL test booklets to be printed, not counting 100,000 booklets for ninth graders.
Ninth graders who have already registered to take the math, reading and/or writing WASL tests this spring will now take the new High School Proficiency Exam next school year.