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A Matter Of Opinion

Monday’s loose thread: Testing 1, 2, 3…

This is really Monday’s loose thread, so post away with whatever is on your mind. Here’s what’s on mine:

Washington’s high school students face a new proficiency test this week, one that replaces the controversial WASL.  It’s interesting to hear Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn boast that he has delivered on his promise to change the state test. 

But can the state have it both ways?

The new test will place more emphasis on objective methods — multiple-choice questions, for example — instead of subjective  methods such as essay exams.

The WASL was designed in the first place to rely more on subjective tests, which give a clearer picture of what a student knows, but those cost a lot more to grade.  The new test will cost less, but will give a clearer picture of what a student can guess.

So the state will save money, but will sacrifice precision.

The WASL had other problems besides its cost, of course, but is this a step forward?

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