[EDEQUITY] Seattle Times WASL Article

From: Stephanie Barlow (Sabwestvir@aol.com)
Date: Wed Oct 02 2002 - 16:06:06 EDT

An article from the Monday (9/30/02) edition of the Seattle Times on the
gender gaps. There are several interesting points that I took from this

1) "And as Washington state gets closer to 2008, when passing the WASL will

become a graduation requirement, boys clearly are at more risk of failure.

Thirty-four percent of 10th-grade girls passed all four parts of the WASL
last spring, but only 27 percent of boys."

2) "But OSPI staff say they're confident there's no gender bias in the

3) "The new federal education law — the No Child Left Behind Act
requires states for the first time to track test scores by race and gender.

They must report test scores of boys, girls and many ethnic groups to
no one group falls behind. So if a state's boys don't make adequate
for example, it could lose federal money."

4) If mastery of reading and writing are not related to student goals -
not keeping them from the things that they're after, so there's not as much

of an urgency to it," - then is it time to consider significantly reducing
the language arts from the secondary curriculum and replacing them with
something more relevant such as computers and technology? Should the
and writing sections on the WASL be replaced by sections on computers and
technology? This would be one method to eliminate the gender gap, similar
the PSAT adding a writing section.

The issue of standardized tests and high-stakes testing in general is an
issue that I don't want to get into right now. However, if OSPI (i.e.
Washington State Dept of Education), believes that there is no gender bias
the test, then it stands to reason there must be a gender gap in actual
achievement. Today, this is only a matter of academic interest. However,
2008 this will become an actual equity issue with respect to large gender
differences in high school graduation rates.

I also do not recall the issue of a gender gap such as this and its effect
federal funding being discussed on this board. This may be a new dimension

in future years.

Stephanie Barlow

Schools' gender-gap concern now is boys
Full story:
By Linda Shaw
Seattle Times staff reporter

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