The Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn, released statewide school test results on Wednesday, August 29th. Statewide and Everett School District test results highlight student progress in math and science.
“Students are continuing to make progress,” Dorn said. “Science and math scores are up in almost every grade. Those trends are due to the great work that our science and math teachers do every day, and the fact that we have new standards that are clear and address what students need now and in the future.”
The Washington State Office of Public Instruction administers a number of tests to measure public school performance. The Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) exam and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) replaced the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) in the spring of 2010. The End-of-Course (EOC) exams began with math tests for all grades in the spring of 2011. End-of-Course biology exams for students began in the spring of 2012.
According to an Office of Public Instruction press release, "Students in the Class of 2013 represent the first in Washington state who are required to pass a math exam to graduate. Of that group, 78.3 percent have passed a math exam, and a total of 74.0 percent — about three in four — have met all testing requirements for graduation."
Private schools are not required to administer any of the state exams because they don’t receive public funds.
The Office for Public Instruction has recommended additional science End-of-Course (EOC) exams, but has not received funding from the legislature. They don’t anticipate any new science EOC exams before 2017.
The WASL was in place from 1997 until the summer of 2009 as part of the No Child Left Behind requirement for states to be eligible for federal educational funding. The new Washington State tests also meet the federal requirement.
The Everett School District saw a 12.8 percent jump in fifth-grade science passing rates, from 69.7% of students passing in 2011 to 74.6% in 2012; as well as a 9.5 percent jump in eighth grade scores from 71.8% in 2011 to 78.6% in 2012.
Statewide there was a 10.4 percent jump in fifth-grade science passing rates, from 55.7 percent of students passing in 2011 to 66.1 percent in 2012; as well as a 4.7 percent jump in eighth-grade scores, from 61.6 percent in 2011 to 66.3 percent in 2012.
“This is the second year students have been tested on the new science standards,” Dorn said, “and what we’re seeing is that students are learning the new standards. I also think schools are placing an increased emphasis on science at the earlier grades, and it’s paying off in test scores.”
Everett School district students show progress in End-of-Course (EOC) math exams. 69.4% of students in all grades passed the year-one math EOC in 2012 compared to 65.9% in 2011; and 74.8% passed the year-two math EOC in 2012 compared to 72.2% in 2011.
The Office of Public Instruction has all testing results online for analysis and review. The Washington State Report card shows testing statewide, by district, and by school for all grades.