Dorn proposes changes in State assessment system for high schools

Friday, December 14, 2012

From the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education (OSPI)

Washington state needs “exit” exams to ensure that every student who receives a diploma — no matter where he or she went to school — has the knowledge and skills expected of high school graduates. 

Students in the Class of 2012 were required to pass two exit exams. By the time this year’s 10th graders graduate, it will be five. State Superintendent Randy Dorn supports testing, but feels that five is too many and too expensive. He will propose that the Legislature reduce that number.

The cost of the state assessment system is high, both in terms of time and money. Exit exams are estimated to be $30 each. If students don’t pass one or more of these exams, the state provides other ways for students to demonstrate their abilities, such as the Collection of Evidence (COE). The COE is a portfolio of classroom work prepared by the student with instructional support from a teacher. The COE is currently $400 per student in each content area.

Testing is important, but over-testing creates a system in which too much classroom time is devoted to preparing for tests, taking tests and preparing to re-take tests or moving to alternatives when students fail to pass.

Washington is in the midst of changing its standards in math and English language arts with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. This provides an opportunity to take a look at our assessment system and make some commonsense changes without reducing accountability or lowering standards.

Students in the class of 2015 are required to pass five exit exams to graduate from high school:
  1. Reading High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE)
  2. Writing HSPE
  3. Biology End-of-Course (EOC) exam
  4. Algebra I EOC
  5. Geometry EOC
In January, Dorn will propose to the Legislature that we reduce the five required tests to three:
  1. Reading/writing HSPE
  2. Biology EOC
  3. Algebra I EOC
For more information


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.
Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP