Superintendent of Public Instruction releases 2018-2019 assessments. Scores “remain stable,” a “double-edged sword.”

The state’s school year begins with last year’s report card. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has released the 2018-2019 assessment results

The statewide assessment results are one view into how our K–12 system is serving Washington’s students. This year’s results show scores are remaining stable.

“Stability can be a double-edged sword,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “On one hand, it means our educational system is maintaining the gains we have made. On the other, it means achievement gaps between student groups are continuing to persist.”

OSPI says,

The assessments used in Washington are among the most rigorous in the nation. This is evident when comparing results of the statewide assessments to those on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a representative survey of student achievement nationwide. NAEP results from 2017 show Washington’s students continually perform near the top in national comparisons.

Last month we wrote about a new study from the National Center of Education Statistics that attempted to control for NAEP results. In reporting on that NCES study, the Seattle Times wrote,

A report released late Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) compared the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress exam against state standardized tests nationwide.

In all categories, Washington’s benchmarks fell into the government’s “basic” range, similar to many other states. Some states such as Massachusetts, New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma defined proficiency at higher levels.

OSPI takes a very transparent approach to releasing the scores. 

Assessment results for math, English language arts, and science are available for the state as well as by school and school district on the state Report Card. Users can also download data files from the Report Card if they are interested in more detail.

Reporting for the Seattle Times, Neil Morton writes,

Last year, Washington state proposed an ambitious planto satisfy a federal education law: 90% of all students from every group would reach proficiency in English language arts, math and science within the next decade.

But new standardized tests results released Tuesday show how far students are from those goals.

A Seattle Times analysis of results from the Smarter Balanced tests taken this spring shows that nearly every group of students — sorted by race, income, disability and language skill — is not making enough progress in any of the three subjects to eventually reach the statewide targets in 2027. Beyond that overall performance, there were profound gaps between how closely schools could bring different groups to the 90% target.

Morton points out,

Changes in test scores from one year to the next aren’t all that significant — they’re measuring different groups of students, and in the short run, increases or dips can reflect population change.

Still, the value of the assessments is enabling us to track progress toward goal attainment. And this year’s results show we have a ways to go.