Northwest NEWS

Semptember 24, 2001

Front Page

WASL test scores: Northshore District schools have little to crow about

by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores, set to be published on Sept. 11 but postponed due to the terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, were released last Thursday.
   The test is designed to measure critical thinking and how well students apply accumulated knowledge in four subject areas math, reading, writing and listening. It is given to fourth-, seventh- and 10th-graders statewide.
   The scores for Northshore School District indicate more students are meeting state academic requirements. But not all are.
   For instance, if 26.7 percent of fourth-graders statewide met standards in all four subjects tested (see column labeled "All four subjects" in chart on page 11) math, reading, writing and listening 45.8 percent of Northshore fourth-graders did. On the one hand, Northshore fourth-graders are doing 19.1 percent better than the average fourth-grader in the state in these four subjects. On the other hand, 54.2 percent of Northshore fourth-graders are not meeting the state standard in all four subjects.
   While 29.5 percent of 10th-graders statewide met the state standard in all four subjects, 35.1 percent of Northshore 10th-graders did. Again, on the one hand, Northshore 10th-graders are doing 5.6 percent better than the average tenth-grader in the state in all four subjects. On the other hand, 64.9 percent of Northshore 10th-graders are not meeting the state standard in all four subjects.
   No statewide standard for seventh-graders in all four subjects was provided, but a quick tally of Northshore seventh-grade scores shows 36 percent met the state average exhibited competency in all four subject areas; 64 percent didn't.
   According to the Northshore School District, all three grade levels showed improvement in three of four content areas.
   Says Northshore Superinentent Karen Forys, "Although we are pleased that we increased in three-fourths 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. This information will help our schools and teachers indentify learning needs."
   Granted, the WASL is not like standardized tests of old. Though there are some multiple choice questions, there are also short answer and essay questions. One has to wonder if students need more practice in taking such a test, or if test-graders need practice in scoring the subjective portions of the test; or if, in fact, the tests are too difficult. Perhaps fourth- and seventh-graders are developmentally incapable of demonstrating their accumulated knowlege on such a test. Or the tests are not written in such a way as to facilitate such display of knowledge. Surely one might suspect that a student who does not excel in writing may not "shine" in any written portion of the test.
   That so many students are falling short of state standards is reason for concern for educators, students and parents alike. In 2008, students will be required to pass the 10th-grade WASL to graduate.
   Percentage of Students Meeting the Standard
   Northshore Grade 4
   Met standard in all four subjects Math Reading Writing Listening
   State Avg. 26.7 43.4 66.1 43.3 72.4
   Arrowhead 45 70 80 56.7 83.3
   Bear Creek 40.3 62.9 83.9 58.1 82.3
   Canyon Creek 33.8 53.1 76.6 54.7 82.8
   Cottage Lake 37.5 54.2 81.3 54.2 93.8
   Crystal Springs 50.6 66.7 78.6 71.4 79.8
   East Ridge 52.6 68.4 90.8 71.1 89.5
   Fernwood 45.3 56 77.3 68 78.7
   Frank Love 42.2 68.3 82.5 66.7 82.5
   Hollywood Hill 62 81.2 94.2 79.7 89.9
   Kenmore 32.3 52.3 72.3 55.4 78.5
   Kokanee 40 59.5 78.4 62.2 81.1
   Lockwood 45.5 59.8 72.4 65.5 83.9
   Maywood Hills 51.3 69.7 85.5 72.4 84.2
   Moorlands 62.5 71.2 88.5 81.7 86.5
   Shelton View 52.7 75.9 79.6 64.8 76.4
   Sunrise 62.5 77.8 87.3 79.4 84.1
   Wellington 53.2 70.1 92.2 66.2 93.5
   Westhill 27.6 53.4 67.2 41.4 69
   Woodin 34.2 56.6 69.7 53.9 64.5
   Woodmoor 45.8 60.2 78.9 72.9 80.5
   Northshore Grade 7
   Met standard in all four subjects Math Reading Writing Listening
   State Avg. 27.4 39.8 48.5 82.5
   Canyon Park 29.2 43.2 50.7 62.1 90.7
   Kenmore 38.6 47.9 60.9 69.4 92.2
   Leota 35.5 45.8 59.9 65.6 88.5
   Northshore 42.2 51.1 63.1 68 94.5
   Skyview 35.6 46.5 50.7 66.7 92.2
   Timbercrest 35.3 46.1 63 71.3 94.9
   Northshore Grade 10
   Met standard in all four subjects Math Reading Writing Listening
   State Avg. 29.5 27.4 39.8 48.5 82.5
   Bothell 44 56.2 74.6 64.3 94.6
   Inglemoor 50.3 65.8 84.6 67.1 94.8
   Secondary Alternative 0 8.7 34.8 4.3 73.9
   Woodinville 46.1 59.2 76.2 69.6 95.2
   Riverview Grade 4
   Met standard in all four subjects Math Reading Writing Listening
   State Avg. 26.7 43.4 66.1 43.3 72.4
   Carnation 38.7 82.7 90.7 42.7 90.7
   Cherry Valley 27.5 50 70 45 72.5
   Eagle Rock 30 60 80 40 90
   Stillwater 23.7 53.3 70.7 34.7 77.3
   Riverview Grade 7
   Met standard in all four subjects Math Reading Writing Listening
   State Avg. 27.4 39.8 48.5 82.5
   Tolt 23.7 31.2 44.7 54 83.3
   Riverview Grade 10
   Met standard in all four subjects Math Reading Writing Listening
   State Avg. 29.5 38.9 62.4 46.9 84.0
   Cedarcrest 31.9 46.4 58.1 47 85