Tests show mixed results for Washington students

Tests show mixed results for Washington students

Credit: AP

Tests show mixed results for Washington students


by Associated Press and DREW MIKKELSEN / KING5 News


Posted on August 31, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 31 at 2:27 PM

SEATTLE -  Fewer Washington schools are failing to help students make adequate yearly progress, but statewide test results show many students continue to struggle to meet state learning goals in reading, writing, math and science.

Results released Tuesday showed fewer fifth graders passed the tests last year, and 10th graders showed a drop in passage rates in every subject except science. Both seventh and eighth graders, however, posted improved pass rates in all subjects.

Editor's note: Parents can see how their kids' schools did by clicking on this link: http://k12.wa.us.

State schools Superintendent Randy Dorn notes that some of the results are mixed because Washington recently introduced new math standards. He also says state budget cuts eliminated some after school and summer programs so some kids are not getting the help they need to meet state learning requirements.

"We are facing a serious budget crisis in this state, but if we continue to cut education, the progress we've previously made will disappear," Dorn said. "The state's paramount constitutional duty is to fund education, and as long as I'm in this job, I'll remind the governor and the Legislature of that every day."

"The cuts will affect test scores," said Dorn, "And I think it will in the future."

Preliminary results show 968 schools did not make adequate yearly progress in 2010 -- 332 fewer schools than were on the list in 2009.

The federal standard is measured by state tests and graduation rates. Schools that do not meet improvement goals by subject, grade level and ethnic group are placed on this list, even if they miss only one out of 37 possible goals.

Every state that receives federal education money is required to release this list each August, because of requirements in the federal No Child Left Behind law. Schools and districts on the list are required to notify parents of their status at the start of the school year, which is this week or next in most Washington districts.

Schools and districts that fail to make adequate yearly progress two years in a row are put on the state's "needs improvement" list. The longer a school or district is on this list, the more stringent the requirements become.


Some highlights:

Percentage of students who met standards:

--Third grade: reading, 72 percent; mathematics, 61.7 percent.

--Fourth grade: reading, 67.1 percent; mathematics, 53.6 percent; writing, 61 percent.

--Fifth grade: reading, 69.5 percent; mathematics: 53.6 percent; science: 34 percent.

--Sixth grade: reading, 64.5 percent; mathematics, 51.8 percent.

--Seventh grade: reading, 63.3 percent; mathematics, 55.2 percent; writing, 70.2 percent.

--Eighth grade: reading, 69.2 percent; mathematics, 51.5 percent; science, 54.4 percent.

--10th grade: reading, 78.8 percent; mathematics, 41.6 percent; writing, 85.9 percent; science, 44.7 percent.

Incoming 10th graders in the class of 2013 will be required to pass all state exams -- reading, writing, math and science -- to be eligible for a diploma.