Longitudinal Effect of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) on Student Achievement


  • Donald C. Orlich Washington State University




No Child Left Behind Act, 2001, Washington State Educational Assessment Program


Linn, Baker and Betebenner (2002) suggested using the effect size statistic as a measure of adequate yearly progress target (AYPT) as is required by PL 107-110. This paper analyzes a four-year data set from the required high-stakes test--Washington Assessment of Student Learning—using effect size as the AYPT metric. Mean scale scores for 4th, 7th and 10th grade reading and mathematics were examined. Nominal descriptors suggested by Cohen (1988) were applied and showed no yearly effect in student achievement as a function of the WASL. Comparing the 1998 scale scores to those of 2001 showed a small effect. However, manipulating the effect size criterion from 0.20 to 0.05 did show small yearly effects in student achievement. Meeting AYPT objectives will be a problem of defining the standard as yearly score fluctuations occur. The educational research community should challenge the statistical logic associated with setting AYPT’s.


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Author Biography

Donald C. Orlich, Washington State University

Donald C. Orlich is Professor Emeritus, Science Mathematics Engineering Education Center at Washington State University, Pullman. His academic focus is science education and instruction. He is senior co-author with R. Harder, R. Callahan, M, Trevisan and A. Brown of the forthcoming 7th edition of Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Effective Instruction, Houghton Mifflin, 2004. He authored Designing Successful Grant Proposals, ASCD 1996/2002. On March 2001, the 160,000 member ASCD honored him with the “The Affiliate Publications Award for Outstanding Affiliate Article” for “A Critical Analysis of the Grade Four Washington Assessment of Student Learning.”




How to Cite

Orlich, D. C. (2003). Longitudinal Effect of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) on Student Achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11, 18. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v11n18.2003