GPA Comparison
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Certificate of Academic Achievement Options

GPA Comparison

Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, the high school Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) was replaced by the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE). The former name of this CAA Option was the WASL/Grades Comparison. It was changed to GPA Comparison in the 2009-10 school year.

What is GPA Comparison?
A student's grades in either math or English courses are compared to the grades of other students who took the same courses AND passed the state exam. This option may be used to meet the math, reading or writing standard.

Who is eligible to use this option?
This option is available to students in their 12th grade year who have a 3.2 cumulative grade point average (GPA) or higher across all courses.

How does it work?
The school district identifies a group of students who took, for example, the same math courses as the applicant student and also passed the math state exam. The group’s GPA earned in these courses is calculated and compared to the applicant student’s GPA in the same courses.

To complete the GPA Comparison option for eligible students, a school district staff member completes the following steps:

  1. The school district staff member identifies the students in the same school as the applicant who took the same English/Language Arts or math high school courses in the same school years as the applicant. This group includes all of the students in the school who took courses with the same course title and course number (e.g., Algebra 1) as the applicant, in the same school year, regardless of the grade level of the student. When selecting courses to be used, the following guidelines are to be followed:
    • The credits generated by the courses must equal two annual high school credits and must include the most recent courses taken.
    • In order for applicants using the cohort comparison to meet the reading and writing standard, the courses must be eligible for an English/Language Arts graduation credit.
    • In order for applicants using the cohort comparison to meet the math standard, the courses must be eligible for a math graduation credit.

  2. From the group of students identified, the "comparison cohort" is identified. The comparison cohort includes all students who scored in Level 3 on the state exam.

  3. If there are fewer than six students in the comparison cohort, the cohort may be expanded to include students who scored in Level 4. If there are still fewer than six students in the comparison cohort, the applicant is not eligible to use the GPA Comparison option.

  4. If there are six or more students in the comparison cohort, the school district representative calculates the mean grade point average for the two courses including all students in the comparison cohort.

  5. The school district representative calculates the applicant’s grade point average for the two courses.

  6. If the applicant's reading or math grade point average is below the mean reading or mathematics grade point average for the comparison cohort, the student is not eligible to file the application.

  7. If the applicant's reading or math grade point average is equal to or higher than the reading or math grade point average for the comparison cohort, an application is submitted to OSPI for approval.

Resources:

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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