Expect another battle over the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). Beginning in 2008, students must pass the reading, writing and math...

Math programs could get a major overhaul

Expect another battle over the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). Beginning in 2008, students must pass the reading, writing and math portions of the exam in order to graduate.

But last year, nearly half of the state’s sophomores — the Class of 2008 — failed the math test. Gov. Christine Gregoire and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson propose delaying the graduation requirement for math to give the state time to strengthen math programs.

Gregoire wants to standardize the math curriculum and hire an additional 750 math and science teachers statewide. She also wants to add 8,300 enrollment slots at the state’s colleges and universities and freeze tuition at two-year colleges at current levels.

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Lawmakers also are expected to consider expanding preschool education programs, adding all-day kindergarten and opening another four-year university.

Key legislators on education

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell: Chairwoman, Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. 360-786-7600 or mcauliffe.rosemary@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Dave Quall, D-Mount Vernon: Chairman, House Education Committee. 360-786-7800 or quall.dave@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest Park: Chairwoman, House Early Learning and Children’s Services Committee. 360-786-7910 or kagi.ruth@leg.wa.gov