Thursday, May 10, 2007

Veto Update

On Tuesday, Gov. Gregoire wielded her veto pen over what became known as "the WASL bill" this past legislative session. ESSB 6023 delays until 2013 a requirement that high school students pass the math and science WASL exams in order to graduate. The four sections she eliminated would have established end-of-course exams (section 9), regional appeals at the ESD level (section 10), a special exemption for ELL students (section 11) and an emergency clause (section 13) requiring an immediate effect. In her weekly newsletter to state employees this week, she noted:

“We must improve math and science teaching and learning, but we cannot penalize students when the system has failed them,” said Gov. Gregoire. “This bill extends to 2013 the deadline for students to meet the state math and science standards through the WASL or an approved alternative for high school graduation.”

You may recall reading here last week that AWSP sent a letter to Gov. Gregoire urging her veto of sections 2, 6 and 10. While the Association agreed with the vetoes that were enacted, we believe several of the the issues in section 2 (including the ability for students to access alternative assessments like the SAT, ACT and AP tests after just one attempt at the WASL) run counter to the state's education reform efforts. We also anticipate these issues will resurface in the 2008 legislative session. In the meantime...

High school administrators: How are you explaining the impact of this legislation to your students and their parents? How about staff?

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