Northwest NEWS

September 18, 2000


Northshore again surpasses state average on Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL)

Northshore School District students in grades four, seven and ten have again surpassed the state averages in all four categories in WASL test results recently released.
   Percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards
   4th Grade Test
   Northshore 81.7 76.5 62.1 58.0
   WA State 65.8 65.3 41.8 39.4
   Difference 15.9 11.2 20.3 18.6
   7th Grade Test
   Northshore 57.7 89.4 51.1 60.6
   WA State 41.5 79.6 28.2 42.6
   Difference 16.2 9.8 22.9 18.
   10th Grade Test
   Northshore 79.2 89.4 58.9 48.1
   WA State 59.8 77.8 35.0 31.7
   Difference 19.4 11.6 23.9 16.4
   "Our elementary teachers have worked very hard at implementing the new math and language arts curricula and on aligning their instructional strategies with the new district standards. I'm thrilled with their progress," says Northshore Superintendent Karen Forys. "Students need time to understand what's truly expected of them and we couldn't ask for better results."
   Historical look at Northshore's WASL test results:
   Percentage of Northshore students meeting or exceeding standards
   4th Grade
   2000 81.7 76.5 62.1 58.0
   1999 76.3 82.5 57.6 47.7
   1998 75.6 82.6 49.8 49.3
   1997 67.1 73.9 34.6 59.3
   7th Grade
   2000 57.7 89.4 51.1 60.6
   1999 59.0 93.6 40.6 51.3
   1998 57.0 91.2 33.5 45.3
   10th Grade
   2000 79.2 89.4 58.9 48.1
   1999 70.0 85.8 54.9 63.6
   WASL scores were up in eight of the 12 categories for Northshore students compared to 1999 results, with the fourth and tenth graders showing improvement in three of four.
   "Although we are pleased that we increased in two-thirds of the categories from a year ago, we know we have a lot more work to do to determine how to better help our students reach each standard," states Forys. "This information will help our teachers target specific learning needs and our students and parents to better understand the students' academic strengths and weaknesses."
   "We have now established our baselines for all three grade levels," states Forys, "and we will continue to define how the individual responsibilities of learning, teaching and parenting can be brought together to help students reach these new standards. We are proud of how much our students have improved each year the tests have been administered.
   WASL scores are utilized to determine and/or modify curricula to better prepare students to meet the ever-changing challenges of the 21st century.
   The tests are designed to force the studens to apply their knowledge in writing essays, compare information from various texts, not only to solve complex math problems, but explain the steps they took to reach their conclusion.
   Scores 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 the fourth, seventh and tenth grades. The information gleaned from the results guide teachers in improving their teaching methods and help students and parents better understand the student's academic strengths and weaknesses.