CKSD WASL scores up, AYP down
By STEVEN DEDUAL
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
August 27, 2009 · Updated 3:35 PM
Central Kitsap School District improved its Washington Assessment of Student Learning scores in 17 of 20 categories tested, but results show students in the district and statewide continue to struggle in many other categories.
“(The test) just got too big and too long,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said of the WASL. “We have replaced the WASL to make state testing become more responsive, less time consuming and tied to technology. I’m confident students, teachers and the public will see these changes as a positive.”
The WASL is to be replaced this year with a shorter test that will include more multiple-choice questions. Third- through eighth-graders will take the Measurements of Student Progress and 10th-graders will be assessed using the High School Proficiency Exam, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Results for CKSD show improvements in fifth- and sixth-grade math scores; third-, fourth- and sixth-grade reading scores; and fifth-grade science scores. CKSD scores were above state averages in most categories.
“As a district, our primary goal is to maximize learning for each student,” said Superintendent Greg Lynch. “These preliminary WASL results help us evaluate learning so that we can provide the best possible support for students and staff. Our continuing challenge is to maximize educational opportunities for students within existing resources.”
CKSD, in preparation for testing, extended learning opportunities at the elementary and junior high levels and created the CK Summer Academy program which offered intervention-level programs in reading, writing and mathematics for all 12 grades. Tuition-free classes also were provided for students in grades 10 through 12 who had not met the reading or writing WASL standards, according to CKSD.
Adequate Yearly Progress, a measurement designed to demonstrate how schools and districts are doing with federal No Child Left Behind requirements, requires all schools and districts to have a certain, and growing, percentage of students passing the state’s reading and math tests each year so that 100 percent of students in all schools nationwide will be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014.
This year, 1,073 schools and 103 districts are in improvement status, up from 618 schools and 57 districts last year, according to OSPI.
While CKSD is not on the list of districts in improvement status, some individual schools within the district were included on the preliminary list of schools in improvement status: Cougar Valley Elementary and Central Kitsap Junior High fell short of AYP status in the areas of special education reading and mathematics; Clear Creek Elementary and Woodlands Elementary fell short of AYP status in the areas of special education reading and mathematics and low-income mathematics; Ridgetop Junior High fell short of AYP status in the areas of special education reading and mathematics and low-income reading; Klahowya Secondary School fell short of AYP status in the area of mathematics; Fairview Junior High fell short of AYP status in the areas of reading and special education and low-income mathematics; and the CKSD Off-Campus program did not meet the 95 percent participation standard.
Two CKSD schools included on the list, Esquire Hills Elementary and Westside Alternative School, met AYP status in all areas this year, but must achieve AYP for two consecutive years to be removed, according to CKSD.
“Although the preliminary AYP data is not necessarily indicative of how our schools are performing overall, the results do help us better target resources and assistance to the students and staff at these schools to help them succeed,” Lynch said. “As we prepare to welcome our students back into the classroom, we remain committed to our mission of All Students Learning Well. We are proud of our students’ achievements on the WASL, but it’s important to remember that these scores are just one measure of how well our schools are doing. Ultimately, our success is measured by how well we prepare our students for their post-secondary pursuits.”
To compare results statewide at the OSPI Report Card Web site, visit http://report card.ospi.k12.wa.us.Contact Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer Steven DeDual at email@example.com or (360) 308-9161.