The WASL and the achievement gap | ColorsNW
Jenise Hill and Ashley Preston are about to embark on their sophomore year at Seattle’s Franklin High. Like many young people, they are already worried about their adult futures. But they aren’t sweating about good grades or college admissions. For these African-American girls, getting a high school diploma hinges on a single test they’ll take this year.
As part of the graduating class of 2008, Hill and Preston are the first group of teenagers affected by the new state requirement that sophomore high-school students pass the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) in order to graduate.
Aside from teachers, parents are an equally important part of the equation for students of color. Dr. William Demmert, associate professor of education at Western Washington University, attributes about 80 percent of the achievement gap to poverty.