Snoqualmie Valley School District above average on state tests
September 8, 2010
By Sebastian Moraga
NEW — 6:28 p.m. Sept. 8, 2010
The new standardized test scores released Aug. 31 brought mixed results to the Snoqualmie Valley School District.
Some schools saw big jumps, some saw continued success, but some slipped when compared to last year’s tests.
This year, the Measurement of Student Progress — for elementary and middle schools — and the High School Proficiency Exam tests replaced the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, in place since the late 1990s.
Mount Si High Principal Randy Taylor, whose 10th-graders’ scores came in Aug. 31, criticized the new high school test.
“The reading portion took longer than anticipated and we had kids needing more time to finish the test,” he said.
Mount Si High scored 87.1 percent in reading, down 2 percent from last year, but better than the state average of 78.8 percent and the district average of 85.8 percent.
Randy Dorn, state superintendent of public instruction, said in an Aug. 31 press release that the state will shrink the reading test in 2011.
Taylor said the tests are not the only way to measure student success.
“ìThere’s other indicators that say kids are being successful, despite the WASL and HSPE scores,”î he said, referring to the old and new standardized tests. “ìOur ACT scores are out in a few weeks and they are phenomenal, just blew our socks off.”î
The ACT is a college-admission test.
Mount Si scored 57.7 percent in math on the High School Proficiency Exam, down from 60.1 percent last year, but 16 percent higher than the state average.
Taylor said the math standards changed since last year and it’s not fair to compare two tests with different standards.
Chris Barron, from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, said the comparison is valid this year but not the next. The state will replace the test with two exams on algebra and geometry in 2011.
The exams will be the third different high school math tests in three years.
Taylor criticized the move.
“The kids and teachers will have to adapt to a different test again,”î he said.
Slipping in reading scores from 89.1 percent last year to 87.1 percent this year is a concern, Taylor said. He praised the school’s science score of 58 percent, almost 10 percent higher than last year.
Other scores include:
- Cascade View Elementary School scored on average 19.6 percent above state averages in all its grades’ reading tests.
- Opstad Elementary School’s third- and fifth-grade reading scores of 76.7 percent and 78.9 percent, respectively, each dropped almost 10 percentage points from last year. Both scores stand above state average. Fourth-grade reading improved 7.2 percent from 2008-09, with 81.9 percent. The school had math scores below district and state averages in fourth and fifth grades.
- Chief Kanim Middle School’s scored 88.1 percent in sixth-grade reading, 86.7 percent in seventh and 86.2 percent in eighth. On average, those scores stand 21 percentage points above the state average. The school’s math scores, 79.7 percent, 84.8 percent and 78.9 percent, respectively, stand on average 26 percentage points higher.
“We attribute our success to the district as a whole,”Principal Kirk Dunckel said. “It’s kind of a trickle-up effect. Kids are benefiting from good teachers all along the way, from elementary.”
- Snoqualmie Elementary School third-graders scored 74.6 percent in reading, a drop from last year’s 81.7 percent. Fourth-graders dropped from 75.3 percent to 69.2 percent. Fifth-graders jumped from last year’s 77.4 percent to 78.8 percent. The school scored better than the state average in math in fourth and fifth grades. Fifth-graders scored 50 percent in science, 16 percentage points better than the state’s average, but down 9.1 percent from last year.
- Snoqualmie Middle School scored 73.3 percent in sixth-grade reading, a drop from the 2008-09 score of 82 percent. The school improved on last year’s scores in seventh-grade reading, with 77.2 percent and eighth grade, with 82.8 percent. The school scored 75.5 percent, 74 percent and 68.8 percent in sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math, respectively. Math scores were on average almost 20 percent higher than the state averages.
- Twin Falls Middle School scored 80.3 in seventh-grade reading, a 7.3 percent jump from last year. Eighth-graders scored 86.5 percent, a 1.7 percent jump. Sixth-graders scored 79.2 percent, a 5.4 percent drop. Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders scored 70.3 percent, 69.7 percent and 67.6 percent in math, respectively, on average 16 points above the state marks.
- Two Rivers School eighth-graders scored a 38.5 percent on their reading test. Tenth-graders scored a 66.7 percent in reading, down from 69.2 percent in 2008-09. They also scored 15.8 percent in math, 71.4 percent in writing and 36.8 percent in science.
Carolyn Malcolm, public information coordinator for the school district, said that since the release of results coincided with the district’s first day of school, district officials have not had the chance to analyze scores yet.
The district will analyze the results in depth during a Sept. 23 presentation, she said.
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.