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4th grade WASL scores closer to standard than previously thought

"Two weeks after results of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning writing test were released, Central Kitsap School District officials are continuing to analyzing data in an attempt to determine where students need help.School officials said last week they were disappointed in the drastic drop of fourth grade scores. But after breaking down the results, officials said fourth graders here are close to the state standard. Among fourth graders in Central Kitsap, 27.4 percent met state standards – down from 44.2 percent in 1998. Seventh graders improved – 40.9 percent of students met the standard this year, versus 27.5 percent in 1998. Linda Elman, the school district’s director of research and evaluation, said she is trying to fully understand how the WASL’s graders determine what is a good paper and what is a bad paper. She has asked the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to send her example papers for all three grades that took the test so teachers can understand the differences.At the Nov. 23 school board meeting, Ellman displayed graphs signifying student performance on the test, which is graded on a 12-point scale. Students who received nine of the 12 points achieved the state standard. Of the 995 fourth grade students that took the test, 195 students scored an eight, failing to achieve the standard by just one point. Ellman said 156 students missed standard by two points and 169 students by three. Statistics have proven similar in seventh and 10th grades – a high number of students close to the standard, scoring one or two points shy."

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