Lake Washington Students Continue To Outperform State on Standardized Tests

Test data is mostly higher for State, Lake Washington School District

 

Last year, the watchword for state testing results was “new,” with brand new tests at all grade levels. This year, the End of Course (EOC) exams in math for secondary students were new but other tests were comparable to the year before. The results, for Lake Washington, at least, reflected increases in most grades and most subjects. District averages continue to score significantly higher than state averages, from 15 to 20 percent higher in most grades and subjects.

Science scores showed significant increases for both state and district scores. Changes in the science standards tested in grades five and eight led to those differences. District science scores continue to show the greatest difference compared to the state average of any subject:

  • 80.4 percent at standard in fifth grade as compared to 55.6 percent statewide;
  • 85.2 percent at standard in eighth grade  as compared to 61.5 percent statewide;
  • 74.1 percent at standard in tenth grade as compared to 49.7 percent statewide.

“We are very proud of our science program in Lake Washington,” noted Dr. Chip Kimball, superintendent. “Our elementary teachers have worked deliberately to teach science process skills and writing about science in physical, life and earth/space sciences. By looking carefully at the data to determine where their students are weak and where they are strong with regard to the state science standards, they have made science a strength in our district.”

Changes in Lake Washington’s scores tended to parallel changes in the state scores, rising when the state scores rose and falling when they fell. For example, sixth grade reading scores rose 6 percent on average statewide, from 64.6 percent at standard to 70.6 percent while the district’s sixth grade reading scores rose 6.9 percent, from 79.8 percent at standard to 86.7 percent. That pattern is expected with standardized tests from year to year.

In elementary math scores, state Measurements of Student Progress scores increased in grades 4 through 6. Lake Washington average scores rose in every grade from 3 to 6.

“We introduced a new math curriculum this year in elementary schools,” noted Dr. Kimball. “Our teachers worked incredibly hard to master the new curriculum and in fact, we saw scores rise by at least three percent in every elementary grade.”

Seventh grade math scores decreased in the district by 3.7 percent while they increased 1.6 percent in statewide averages. In contrast, district math scores rose by 7.4 percent in 8th grade as compared to a 1.3 percent decrease statewide.

State reading scores fell or were flat in 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th grade. In Lake Washington, reading scores were flat in 3rd grade, fell less than the state averages in 5th and 7th, and actually rose in 4th and 8th grades. The only significant drop in reading was at 7th grade. State scores dropped by 7 percent and district scores by 6.6 percent, which is an indication that there may be a difference in the test from year to year.

Writing scores changed little at the state level but increased a small amount in all three grades tested in Lake Washington.

End of course math tests in algebra and geometry were new this year. Students could take the test at the end of the year they took that course. Statewide averages show 66.2 percent of students at standard on year 1, Algebra, compared to 79.6 percent in Lake Washington School District. For the year 2 test, Geometry/Integrated Math, 73.8 percent of students statewide were at standard, compared to 82.4 percent in Lake Washington School District.

“Our students did well on this first year of testing using end of course assessments,” noted Dr. Kimball.

2011 MSP/HSPE/EOC Test Scores Lake Washington School District and the state of Washington

Grade

District

State

Reading

Writing

Math

Science

Reading

Writing

Math

Science

3

87.9

76.8

73.1

61.5

4

84.9

81.9

77.1

67.3

61.4

59.3

5

84.7

75.3

80.4

67.6

61.2

55.6

6

86.7

79.0

70.6

58.8

7

74.5

86.9

74.0

56.4

71.0

56.9

8

86.9

69.7

85.2

68.6

50.3

61.5

10*

91.8

93.5

Yr. 1: 79.6

Yr. 2: 82.4

74.1

82.3

86.0

Yr. 1: 66.2 Yr. 2: 73.8

49.7

*EOC scores listed in 10th grade are the total of students taking the test at the end of course, no matter what grade, six through 12, they took the course.

Note: specific subject tests are not administered in the grades where the boxes are shaded