Seeley wouldn't share many specifics about the new learning requirements before the draft is released on Tuesday, but she did offer some examples about the way the teaching of math is evolving in Washington and around the nation.For the anti-WASL hopeful, dash yours: the WASL's still part of the program. It'll be "revised" by 2013, when it again comes perilously close to a bona fide graduation requirement before inevitable and inexorable delays. Whoops, cynicism creeping through.
The current math learning standards offer a spiral of learning - a number of concepts are taught over a number of years with more depth added over time. The new standards will shorten the length of time students are given to master a concept like fractions, but during the years in which fractions are a major emphasis, teachers will spend more time and make more of an effort to ensure that every child understands the concept thoroughly, Seeley said.
"We're really trying to get past the spiral, so students don't get stuck spinning around," she said.
Meanwhile, on the high school front:
Tuesday, State Board of Education members will be in Seattle to discuss raising the minimum number and types of classes students need to graduate from high school, and perhaps changing other state graduation requirements, such as the in-depth "culminating" project.They forgot to name test-taking, but it's in there, promise.
The board members aren't looking at removing the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) as one of the graduation requirements — that's something they support, said Edie Harding, the board's executive director.
They are considering adding to the list of courses students must take — perhaps matching what most four-year public colleges and universities expect of their applicants. And they're discussing whether to add a number of "lifelong learning skills" that students would have to demonstrate, such as leadership, civic responsibility and teamwork.