Reading and writing scores strong across the state

The Class of 2012 passed the reading and writing portions their High School Proficiency Exams (HSPEs) with averages of higher than 90 percent for both categories across the state.

93.9 percent passed the reading, 93.6 percent passed writing, and 92 percent passed both. The scores are a reflection of the emphasis put on both subjects in recent years, according to the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

"Students across the state continue to perform well on reading and writing exams," said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. "Our teachers, students, and families should be proud of their accomplishments. But I don't want the students who dropped out of school to be forgotten. We need to do all we can to focus getting them to come back to school and earn their diplomas."

For 10th-graders who took HSPEs this year, 78.8 percent passed reading, 82.2 percent passed writing, and 73.3 percent passed both. This year's eleventh-graders had 88.4 percent pass reading, 89.4 percent pass writing, and 85.1 percent pass both. OSPI notes that this was the second year students were required to take End of Course (EOC) exams, in either algebra or geometry. Graduates for 2012 were required to pass the reading and writing HSPEs, as well as one of the two EOC exams, or have earned two math credits after 10th grade.

For graduates of Washington high schools beyond 2012, the only option available to them as a graduation requirement in math will be to pass one of the two EOCs offered to them.

OSPI notes that the requirements are only going to continue to increase, with the Class of 2015 set to be the first to have to pass five state exams: reading and writing HSPEs, two math EOC's, and one biology EOCs.

Because of the increased rigor of graduation requirements on the horizon, Dorn urged students of the Class of 2012 who may not have graduated on time, to make sure they take the extra steps toward earning a diploma.

"Twelfth graders who didn't graduate in June should be encouraged to stay in high school and finish their education. Earning a high school diploma is a significant achievement," he said.

To learn more about HSPEs and other forms of state testing, visit


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