Northwest NEWS

September 16, 2002

School

Northshore WASL scores announced

from Northshore School District
   WASL test results Northshore School District students in grades four, seven and ten were released recently.
   WASL scores for 2002 increased in eight of the 12 categories for Northshore students, compared to 2001 results. Seventh grade students improved in three of four content areas; tenth graders improved across the board.
   "While we're very pleased with our steady progress on the WASL," commented Superintendent Karen Forys, "there's always more work to be done. In some cases, like 4th grade reading, it's clear that we need to do a better job isolating the needs of individual students scoring below standard. Approaches like Northshore's I-728 funded Literacy Link summer program, which targets special learning needs of individual students, are helping students build necessary skill sets," she continued.
   "The information we receive from these test results will help us better define how the individual responsibilities of learning, teaching and parenting can be brought together to help students achieve grade level standards. As students, teachers and parents learn more about these assessments, there will be greater understanding of the relationship between meeting standards and the likelihood of student success in both higher education and the work world," states Forys.
   The WASL is a performance-based test which needs to be looked at in conjunction with both the ITBS which is a nationwide comparison and individual classroom assessments," said Gail Robbins, executive director of Teaching and Learning. "This combination of data gives us a more accurate picture of a student's performance."
   WASL scores are utilized to determine and/or modify curricula to better prepare students to meet the state learning requirements. The tests require students to apply their knowledge in writing essays, compare information from various texts, solve complex math problems, and explain the steps they took to reach their conclusions. 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 WASL results guide teachers in improving their teaching methods and help students and parents better understand the student's academic strengths and weaknesses.