ISLAND UNSEEN: Just say no to OSPI’s superfluous science assessment for class of 2019 students

This spring, about 83,000 11th-grade students in Washington will become the first to sit for the new high school science assessment for federal accountability: the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The exam includes material that most of them will not have been taught. Data obtained from this year’s test will help set threshold scores for students in the Class of 2021, who will be required to show proficiency on the exam two years from now in order to graduate. Last spring, most of these same students took the then-required for federal accountability high school science assessment: the Biology End of Course (EOC) exam. At the time they sat for it, they felt the pressure of their performance: passing it was a graduation requirement. Last July, with the passage of HB 2224, Class of 2019 students learned while awaiting their Biology EOC scores that the graduation requirement for science had been lifted, but because the “one” high school science assessment for federal accountability was to be taken in the 11th grade, they’d be asked to sit for a second science test the following spring that they would not be required to pass to graduate.

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