State testing results released; schools hold steady

State testing results were released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction this week and state Superintendent Randy Dorn said Washington is “holding steady from last year.”

State testing results were released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction this week and state Superintendent Randy Dorn said Washington is “holding steady from last year.”

The state testing results have an additional significance this year, as Washington state’s waiver from the onerous rules of No Child Left Behind was removed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan last year. That waiver means schools and districts have to meet the No Child Left Behind requirement known as adequate yearly progress. According to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 88.1 percent of state schools, or 1,916, did not meet adequate yearly progress this year, while 92.5 percent of districts failed to meet the requirement.

“Students and teachers have worked hard to get here. At this point, there aren’t any significant changes,” Dorn said in a press release.

Federal Way Public Schools interim Superintendent Sally McLean addressed the requirements and what it means for Federal Way at the Aug. 26 school board meeting.

“In case you’ve forgotten, the original law requires that 100 percent of our students, in 43 subcategories, across nine grade levels, pass state assessments by 2014,” she said. “For districts that fail this threshold, [which is] most likely all 295 districts in the state of Washington, the sanctions are applied.”

The sanctions vary, although McLean noted that Federal Way had already prepared for some by diverting approximately $1 million of their Title 1 funding towards improving adequate yearly progress results. All that being said, McLean did note that there were some positives regarding the requirements at a number of schools in the district.

“I’d like to celebrate the achievements at some of our elementary schools,” she said.

Among those schools are Brigadoon, Green Gables, Lake Doloff, Meredith Hill, Mirror Lake, Panther Lake, Rainier View and Illahee. At Brigadoon, 97.4 percent of third grade students met the yearly requirement for reading, while 96.1 percent met the requirement for math. 90.8 percent of fifth graders at Brigadoon also met the requirement for math.

Green Gables saw 91.9 percent of fifth graders meet the annual reading standard, while 94.8 percent of Lake Doloff fifth graders meet the reading standard. Meredith Hill had 93.4 percent of fifth graders meet the requirement for reading, while 91.6 percent of Mirror Lake third graders did the same. Approximately 90.1 percent of Mirror Lake fourth graders made the reading requirement, while 92.8 percent and 95.3 percent of third and fifth graders at Rainier View meet the requirements for reading. Rainier View also had an impressive 98.9 percent of fifth graders hit the needed adequate yearly progress metric in math.

Finally, Illahee fifth graders had 94.8 percent reach the needed mark in reading.

McLean also shared some early numbers on middle schools, noting that as the schools get larger it was “important to remember that the number of students were pushing towards that 100 percent are significantly larger than elementary [schools].”

Woodmont and Nautilus, two K-8 schools, had strong showings, McLean noted. Nautilus sixth-graders hit the reading metric at 98.1 percent, while Woodmont third graders had 91.7 percent pass reading. 96.4 percent of Woodmont sixth graders made the mark, while 100 percent of seventh graders did so. Seventh grade math for Woodmont saw 92.6 percent passing, while 100 percent of Woodmont eighth graders hit the mark for math.

The Federal Way Public Academy also had a strong showing, with 98.1 percent of sixth graders meeting the reading metric and 94.8 percent of sixth graders hitting the mark for math. Seventh grade reading and math scores for the academy saw a mark of 94.8 percent in both reading and math, while 10th graders at the school hit 100 percent across all relevant metrics.

“I’m looking forward to our final data and looking at cohort data as we move forward,” McLean said. “We’re celebrating growth here.”

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