Northwest NEWS

September 13, 1999

Front Page

Northshore schools above state average

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   NORTHSHORE--Northshore District schools scored well above state averages on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning tests taken last spring by students in fourth, seventh, and tenth grades. Other Eastside public schools registered the highest scores from schools in King and Snohomish counties.

   The scores measured three categories--math, reading and listening-and "are based on a clear and challenging set of academic standards or essential academic learning requirements that describe what students should know and be able to do in core subjects by each of the three grades in which they are tested," according to a press release by Northshore Superintendent Dr. Karen Forys' office.

   The state's new tests differ from past tests in that they require students to write narrative, persuasive, and expository essays, compare information from different texts, and solve complex math problems while explaining steps they took to arrive at their answers.

   Numbers used to measure the scores, by school district and individual schools, represent the percentage of students in each school or district who met or exceeded the state standard in each category.

   Of Northshore fourth-grade students, 76.3 percent met or exceeded the standard for reading, 82.5 percent for listening, and 57.6 percent for math. By comparison, state averages were 59.1, 71.1, and 37.3 percent, respectively. Northshore seventh-graders scored 59 percent for reading, 93.6 percent for listening, and 40.6 percent for math, compared to state averages of 40.8, 87.2, and 24.2 percent, respectively. Northshore tenth-graders scored 70 percent for reading, 85.8 percent for listening, and 54.9 percent for math, compared to state averages of 51.4, 72.6, and 33 percent, respectively.

   "This is the third year our fourth graders have taken this test and the second year the seventh graders have taken the test," said Forys. "All scores improved over those of last year. We can't ask for a better trend. Our teachers have worked very hard on implementing the new math and language arts curricula and on aligning their instructional strategies with the new standards. I'm thrilled with their progress.

   "This is the first year our tenth graders have taken this test. We're quite pleased with how well they performed. Now we have baseline data that tells us where we need to focus. Working with these new standards and determining accurate ways to assess students' knowledge of these complex tasks is a challenge. Students need time to understand what's truly expected of them.

   "As author David P. Campbell says, 'If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably wind up somewhere else.' We now know where we are, and we're clear about where we're going. Each year our students take these new assessments, we get helpful feedback about where we are on the road to meeting standards."

   Among district fourth graders, East Ridge scored 90 percent in reading, followed by Hollywood Hill at 88.2 percent. Shelton View scored 98.3 percent in listening, followed by East Ridge at 92.2 percent. Hollywood Hill scored 78.9 percent in math, followed by 76.7 percent for East Ridge.

   Among seventh graders, Timbercrest scored 73 percent for reading, followed by Leota's 65.5 percent. Timbercrest scored 98.5 percent for listening, with Northshore at 96.5 percent. Leota led the math scores at 48.2 percent, with Timbercrest, Northshore, and Kenmore junior highs all scoring over 43 percent.

   Inglemoor tenth graders scored 74 percent for reading, followed by 70.3 percent for Woodinville and 69.3 for Bothell. Woodinville scored 87.7 percent for listening, followed by 87.4 for Inglemoor and 86.8 for Bothell. Woodinville scored 60.9 percent for math, with Inglemoor at 57.2 and Bothell at 50.4 percent.

   Among Eastside high schools, International School of Bellevue scored 91.1 percent for reading, ahead of Eastlake's 86.8 percent. For listening, Best High School edged fellow Lake Washington School District member Eastlake by 93.9 to 93.7 percent. In math, International of Bellevue scored 82.2 percent, followed by Mercer Island at 75.7 percent.

   Of all Eastside seventh graders, International School of Lake Washington scored 89.1 percent for reading, followed by International School of Bellevue at 85.5 and Mercer Island at 73.5 percent. International of Lake Washington and Olympus of Bellevue scored 100 percent for listening, with International of Bellevue at 98.7 percent. In math, International of Lake Washington scored 84.4 percent, followed by International of Bellevue at 72.4 and Mercer Island at 63.1 percent.