CK schools post above-average WASL scores

Only fourth grade writing falls below state line.

Preliminary 2007-08 Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) results show Central Kitsap School District (CKSD) is above state average passage rates in every test category at all grade levels, except fourth grade writing.

Released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Aug. 26, WASL scores are widely considered a benchmark of student achievement.

District officials are pleased with the 2007-08 results, but say progress can still be made.

“As we review the preliminary WASL results, our focus continues to be on all students learning well,” Superintendent Greg Lynch said in a written statement.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done to help students acquire the skills they need to be successful in school and beyond, but we know there is much more to do. Our challenge is to provide the best possible instruction within existing resources,” he said.

Those challenges begin with early learning, equipping students with the skills necessary to succeed at higher grade levels, Lynch said.

At the third-grade level — when the WASL is first administered — CKSD students notched 72.1 percent and 68.6 percent passage rates in reading and math, respectively, just above the state averages of 70.4 percent and 68.3 percent.

In fourth grade, when the writing portion is introduced, CKSD students passed at 75.7 percent rate in reading, 57.8 percent in math and 61.4 percent in writing, falling slightly below the state’s 62.1 writing average.

The district’s highest passage rate was 91.1 percent on the 10th grade writing portion. Tenth graders also eclipsed state marks in reading, math and science, posting 88.1 percent, 58.6 percent and 43.9 percent passage rates, respectively. State averages in both math and science were below 50 percent.

“Our ultimate measure of success is to get every child to perform at their fullest potential,” Lynch said, explaining that standardized test scores — while certainly important — aren’t the lone factor in determining a student’s potential. “WASL is only one measure of student achievement.”

Lynch likened student achievement to a four-legged stool, saying students, teachers, schools and the community are equally important in producing a strong education.

Each leg owns a responsibility; students study, teachers teach, schools foster positive learning environments to facilitate students’ success and the community — parents — play a supporting role.

“If any four of those legs aren’t balanced, the stool will fall over,” Lynch said.

Based on 2007-08 WASL results, CKSD’s proverbial stool stands.

“We’ve got an exceptionally qualified staff,” Lynch said. “The public needs to know that.”

Solid summer school programs also matter, Lynch said, because students who fall behind during the regular school year need an opportunity to right the ship.

A complete breakdown of WASL scores can be found on the OSPI Web site at Search for CKSD in the drop down menu.

The CKSD Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the district administration building, 9210 Silverdale Way NW. The public is encouraged to attend.

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