State cancels 9th grade WASL

Ninth-graders will not have the option this year to take the Washington Assessment of Student Learning test. Pulling the option will save nearly $500,000, according to the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Since 2006, ninth-graders had been allowed to take the test, which is required in the tenth-grade, a year early. More than 35,000 students had registered to take the test early this spring.

The affect on students is likely to be minimal, because the WASL might be scrapped altogether. In January, the state’s top school official, Randy Dorn, announced plans to replace the WASL with two shorter, cheaper tests. Beginning in 2010, Dorn wants grades three through eight to take the Measurements of Student Progress and high-school students to take the High School Proficiency Exams.

Dorn was elected last November after campaigning on reforming the WASL.

He will be submitting legislation during this session, according to his office.

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