The WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) scores and trend analysis are now available on the web site of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. While a complete analysis of the scores is beyond the scope of this article, when compared to last years’ showing, Griffin showed significant – in some cases very significant – improvement in most grade levels and subjects tested. And, the performance of Griffin students generally place them in scores higher than other districts in the State. The story at Capital High, on the other hand, is of performance which has taken a downward trend, this last year, and continues to place Capital’s overall scores below the numbers for all high schools in the Olympia School District.
At Griffin, students in grades 3 through 8 sit for the WASL in two or three subject areas. Students in Grades 3 and 6 are tested in reading and match. Students in grades 4 and 7 are tested in reading, writing and math. Grades 5 and 8 are tested in reading, math and science. This last year, scores in most grades and subjects reversed the dip they had taken in the 2007-2008 school year.
Fairly consistently, students at Griffin are achieving scores above the average throughout the State.
The Griffin School District is justified in being proud of its performance in this last years WASL testing. After a dip in the prior year’s test scores, the 2008-2009 scores generally bounced back, some by quite a bit.
At Capital, 10th Grade students sit for the WASL in four subject areas: reading, writing, math and science. After showing improvement in writing, science and math over the last few years, performance in last year’s WASL was off slightly. After reaching its peak, in 2005-06, Capital’s score in the reading WASL continued to decline in 2008-09. In all four subject areas, Capital lags the average for Olympia School District 10th graders.
Randy Dorn, the new Superintendent of Public Instruction, was voted into office largely on his campaign promises to reform WASL. WASL has since been replaced by the grades 3-8 Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE).