12-04-2016  4:23 am      •     

State School Superintendent Terry Bergeson announcing Washington Assessment of Student Learning examination success rates for ethnic groups exceeded 80 percent. 
"I am thrilled at the results," Bergeson said.
The announcement marks the first year that seniors successfully met the states new graduation requirements inherent in the WASL.
Bergeson reported 91.4 percent of this year's high school seniors have successfully passed both the reading and writing segments of WASL.  The number of African American students passing the controversial test was 90 percent.
The test was designed by the Washington Legislature in 1993 as a gauge to track student learning, but its role expanded after passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002.
Students are tested on basic academic skills. The objective of the test is to ensure a high quality of education for students and implement criteria for graduation.
James Kelly, CEO and president of the Seattle Urban League, said, "These results substantiate that when you have high expectations of African American students they will step up to the plate and meet that challenge."
This year's WASL results marks the first year that almost the entire population of African American students and other students of color passed the exam. Kelly called the results, "the fruit of our community's labor."
Before Tuesday, African-American students in many school districts were scoring well below White and Asian students and were disproportionately failing.

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