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Lynch likes proposed WASL changes

Count Central Kitsap School District Superintendent Greg Lynch among the supporters of the changes to the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) proposed by new state Superintendent Randy Dorn.

“I’m pleased that Superintendent Dorn understands the need to continue assessing student learning and at the same time recognizes the opportunity to increase instructional time while conserving scarce resources,” Lynch said.

Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) said overall she is pleased with the changes Dorn is implementing.

“His recommendations echo those of the WASL work group,” Rolfes said, referring to the group of state legislators, which released its final report on Dec. 30, 2008.

The changes proposed by Dorn have already been funded by the Legislature, so there won’t be any need for additional funding as legislators tackle the state’s current budget crisis, she said, adding that as state superintendent, Dorn doesn’t need legislative approval to implement the changes.

From her own personal perspective, Rolfes said she appreciates the diagnostic and technology aspects of the changes, not only because of the potential cost-savings associated with the use of technology, but more importantly their impact on students.

“I think these changes should improve student performance and make things better for students,” Rolfes said.

Another element of the changes proposed by Dorn is a fall/spring testing format instead of the test’s current spring-only format, which gives students only one opportunity per school year to pass the test.

“Central Kitsap School District is committed to operating within the guidelines established by OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), under the direction of Superintendent Dorn, and we look forward to working together to ensure that all students are learning well,” Lynch said.

The focus on student learning outcomes while at the same time providing timely, accurate assessment data will enable teachers and staff to better advance student achievement, he said.

“Providing more instructional time for students is imperative,” Lynch said. “If the length of our state’s assessment is reduced it will increase learning opportunities for all students and give our staff more time to continue providing quality teaching and learning.”

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