Oak Harbor sophomores test better

Preliminary results indicate sophomores at Oak Harbor High School improved in the reading, writing and math portions of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning.

School districts received WASL results for sophomores and juniors last week, and officials are busy contacting families to tell them how students performed on the assessment.

“Our first priority right now is getting scores out to families,” said Bill Weinsheimer, associate principal at Oak Harbor High School.

Students, starting with the class of 2008, have to pass the reading and writing portions of the WASL in order to graduate. They need to know their scores in order to decide whether to enroll in summer school and take the next test in August. Students have five attempts to pass the WASL and earn their certificate of academic achievement.

Preliminary results show that 86 percent of the sophomores who took the test this spring passed reading and 81 percent passed writing.

Those numbers will change as officials finalize the results. It doesn’t take into account the 50 students who passed those assessments as freshmen and students who were absent during testing dates.

Last year, 78.8 percent of the sophomores passed reading and 78 percent passed writing portions of the WASL.

As of last fall, there were 205 juniors who hadn’t passed every portion of the WASL. Of those students, 113 had passed two of the three assessments.

Early results show that 26 more juniors passed the reading test and 30 more juniors passed the writing test.

The school district is offering summer school to students needing help to pass the WASL. Students had to register by June 15 and summer school goes June 19 through July 18. The next testing period is Aug. 6 through 8.

Students were required to pass the math assessment in order to graduate. However, the state Legislature recently changed the math requirement and added options for students.

Students can still pass the WASL to meet the requirement. If that doesn’t happen, then they try to pass an achievement option. Weinsheimer said students would have to compile math work that proves they meet grade level expectations.

They could also meet the graduation requirement by continuing to take, and pass, additional math classes.

“The theory is students will continue to take math until they pass the WASL or graduate,” Weinsheimer said.

The Legislature delayed the math and science WASL requirement until 2013.

Students have struggled to pass the math and science requirements. Last year, 43.9 percent of the sophomores passed the math assessment. Preliminary results from March’s assessment show 52 percent of the sophomores passed math.

Statewide results, which were released Friday, show nearly 87 percent of next year’s seniors have passed the reading and writing portion of the WASL. Nearly 5,200 of those students passed reading and 6,146 passed writing.

In addition to passing portions of the WASL, upcoming seniors have to meet other graduation requirements, such as the culminating projects and developing a high school and beyond plan.

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