CKSD in the middle of the state WASL pack

"Statewide Washington Assessment of Student Learning test scores, which were released Sept. 12, showed Central Kitsap in the middle of the state pack in most categories.It's great to see the state averages go up, said Central Kitsap School District Assistant Superintendent Steve Chappuis. It's proof that, for the most part, things are on the right track. Central Kitsap fell within five percentage points of the state average in all categories. CK scored higher than the state average in only four of 12 categories. The results got a mixed reaction from local and state education administrators, who were pleased to see state scores rise compared to last year, but dismayed with declines at some local schools.I can't characterize one response, Chappuis said. We have so many buildings and the buildings got different scores. Some were elated, some were disappointed.The most alarming results came from district 10th graders, whose scores were even with or below the state average.You never expect a drop, Chappuis said. It's something we are going to work on. Not just for the sake of higher WASL scores, but for all of education. After steady gains in the last couple years, Central Kitsap scores leveled off this year. Only fourth grade reading and writing rose by more than five points.The state-mandated WASL is given to fourth, seventh and 10th graders each spring and has been controversial ever since it was first introduced in 1996. The state has plans to use WASL scores to determine everything from student graduation to district funding by 2008. In a Tuesday video teleconference, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson said the scores show a positive trend. Although most schools still are not meeting the standards set by the state, Bergeson said she is certain they will make it eventually. Bergeson said a majority of Washington's districts have met, surpassed or are on their way to meeting the educational goals they set before the WASL started being given. Although she almost had a heart attack when she saw 10th grade writing scores (which fell almost 10 points from last year), Bergeson remains optimistic that scores will go back up.It's a challenge, but a challenge we are meeting, Bergeson said.Bergeson noted that districts with high poverty and student mobility would have a harder time reaching the standards.There is obviously still a gap and we have to end that gap, Bergeson said.Bergeson, who is up for reelection this fall, said her K-12 2000 plan will help those falling behind WASL standards catch up. She vowed to present the plan, which would raise the amount of property tax funds spent the state spends on each student from $140 to $450, to the state legislature this fall. The money would go to professional development and curriculum enrichment programs. Bergeson also said she would push to get the school year lengthened by five days.Compared to other Kitsap County districts, Central Kitsap remains right in the middle as well. Scores for the district were generally lower than Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap but higher than South Kitsap and Bremerton. "

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