Northwest NEWS

October 8, 2001


School district working to meet needs of their students

I read with interest the Sept. 24 article in the Woodinville Weekly about Northshore's WASL scores. Some interesting points about the challenges districts face both with their students and the test itself were raised. Clearly, every school district in the state has a tremendous amount of work to do to get all students to standard.
   Two things concern me about the article. 1) Some of the reported numbers are incorrect. The one of greatest concern is the percentage of 10th graders who met standard in all four subjects. The article cited 35.1 percent; the correct number is 45.7. This obviously means that 54.3 percent (not 64.9%) are not meeting standard. 2) Many people have commented about the mismatch between the headline and the content. The content was intelligent and thoughtful. The headline seemed negative and sarcastic. It implied that we were crowing about something we didn't. Rather, we were very matter of fact about how much work there is to be done.
   Northshore is in the process of looking at all of our historical data. We have completed a trend analysis, cohort analysis and panel analysis. We are working hard to see what we can learn by examining the data, how we can better align our curriculum to match the standards, and what kinds of support systems we can put in place to help meet the specific needs of our students.
   I hope the Woodinville Weekly will continue to help readers understand not only the challenges that Northshore faces in getting all students to standard but also our progress.
   Dr. Pamela Steele, Director of Communications, Northshore School District
   Ed. Note: The 35.1 percent figure used in the Woodinville Weekly article included the performance statistics of students at the district's SAS (Secondary Academy for Success).