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Federal Way schools gain ground on state tests

The Washington state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released its annual report cards last week, with Federal Way Public Schools showing “meaningful gains well worth celebrating,” according to the district.

One of the biggest gains made by FWPS students was in the area of 10th-grade math, with scores jumping 18.5 percent between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. In 2009-2010, 45 percent of FWPS 10th-graders met the standard for math, while in 2010-2011, that number increased to over 63 precent, according to the district.

FWPS credited this gain to a new policy instituted at the state level, in which students are tested at the end of the instruction period. Called an end-of-course (EOC) assessment, this method “ensures that students have actually received instruction in the skills on the test, and tests them on those skills while the instruction is still fresh in their memories.”

At the high school level, more students hit the desired metric for reading in 2010-2011, with 82 percent achieving the standard, compared to 78 percent in 2009-2010. In the other two measured areas, writing and science, FWPS indicated that students scores “were comparable or slightly lower than the state’s averages in most categories.”

For the district’s elementary third- through fifth-grade students, some “minor losses” occurred, but stayed above the state averages in reading for third and fifth grade, along with third-, fourth- and fifth-grade math.

Grades six through eight were the district’s rough patch. The district conceded that seventh- and eighth-grade students “saw overall stagnant or slightly lower scores.” One group that took a step backward was seventh-graders in the areas of reading and math. In 2009-2010, this group scored 62.5 percent on reading and 55.1 percent on math. For 2010-2011, those scores dropped to 56.5 percent and 49.2 percent, respectively.

Seventh-graders did score higher than the state average in reading, while eighth-graders were above the state average in both reading and math.

All school districts must meet Adequate Yearly Progress, in which schools are judged on their successful instruction overall by standardized state testing. Since its enactment, the required standard has been incrementally increased over the years, with 2010-2011 being an especially difficult year for schools, as many of the required marks for AYP increased 10-20 percent.

A number of Federal Way schools made significant gains in areas, but were unable to meet the standard for AYP because of the “sharp step up in the bar.” However, 13 schools in Federal Way were able to meet AYP in all categories, according to the district.

Those schools are Adelaide Elementary, Brigadoon Elementary, Enterprise Elementary, Federal Way Public Academy, Green Gables  Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, Meredith Hill Elementary, Merit School, Sherwood Forest  Elementary, Support School, Technology Access Foundation Academy, Twin Lakes Elementary and Woodmont  Elementary.

BY THE NUMBERS

2009/10

Grade Reading Math Writing Science

3: 71.8% 65.1% N/A N/A

4: 65.6% 62.6% 54.1% N/A

5: 71.7% 66.8% N/A 25.8%

6: 63.9% 54.4% N/A N/A

7: 62.5% 55.1% 71.4% N/A

8: 71.5% 55.1% N/A 45.3%

10: 77.6% 43.0% 84.6% 39.9%

2010/11

Grade Reading Math Writing Science

3: 72.4% 63.1% N/A N/A

4: 64.4% 58.7% 53.6% N/A

5: 68.9% 67.3% N/A 42.6%

6: 66.8% 55.1% N/A N/A

7: 56.5% 49.2% 71.7% N/A

8: 69.9% 48.4% N/A 55.2%

10: 80.8% 63% 83.1% 41.1%

State: Reading Math Writing Science

3: 73.1% 61.5% N/A N/A

4: 67.3% 59.3% 61.4% N/A

5: 67.6% 61.2% N/A N/A

6: 70.6% 58.8% N/A N/A

7: 56.4% 56.9% 71.0% N/A

8: 68.6% 50.3% N/A 61.5%

10: 82.3% N/A 86.0% 49.7%

 

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