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Lake Washington School District state scores increase and continue to be higher than state averages

Last year's state standardized tests for Lake Washington School District (LWSD) have shown increases in most grades and most subjects.

LWSD averages continue to score significantly higher than state averages — between 15 and 20 percent higher in most grades and subjects.

Science scores showed significant increases for both state and district scores. Changes in the science standards tested in grades five and eight led to those differences.

District science scores continue to show the greatest difference compared to the state average of any subject:

• 80.4 percent at standard in fifth grade as compared to 55.6 percent statewide.
• 85.2 percent at standard in eighth grade as compared to 61.5 percent statewide.
• 74.1 percent at standard in tenth grade as compared to 49.7 percent statewide.

"We are very proud of our science program in Lake Washington," said superintendent Dr. Chip Kimball. "Our elementary teachers have worked deliberately to teach science process skills and writing about science in physical, life and earth/space sciences. By looking carefully at the data to determine where their students are weak and where they are strong with regard to the state science standards, they have made science a strength in our district."

Changes in Lake Washington's scores tend to parallel changes in the state scores, rising when state scores rise and falling when state scores fall. For example, sixth grade reading scores rose six percent on average statewide, from 64.6 percent at standard to 70.6 percent while the district's sixth grade reading scores rose 6.9 percent, from 79.8 percent at standard to 86.7 percent.

That pattern is expected with standardized tests from year to year.

In elementary math scores, state Measurements of Student Progress scores increased in grades four through six. LWSD average scores rose in every grade from three to six.

"We introduced a new math curriculum this year in elementary schools," Kimball said. "Our teachers worked incredibly hard to master the new curriculum and in fact, we saw scores rise by at least three percent in every elementary grade."

Seventh grade math scores decreased in the district by 3.7 percent while they increased 1.6 percent in statewide averages. In contrast, district math scores rose by 7.4 percent in eighth grade as compared to a 1.3 percent decrease statewide.

State reading scores fell or were flat in fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth grade. In LWSD, reading scores were flat in third grade, fell less than the state averages in fifth and seventh and actually rose in fourth and eighth grades. The only significant drop in reading was at seventh grade. State scores dropped by seven percent and district scores by 6.6 percent, which is an indication that there may be a difference in the test from year to year.

Writing scores changed little at the state level but increased a small amount in all three grades tested in Lake Washington.

EOC math tests in algebra and geometry were new this year. Students could take the test at the end of the year they took these courses. Statewide averages show 66.2 percent of students at standard on year one algebra, compared to 79.6 percent in LWSD. For the year two geometry/integrated math test, 73.8 percent of students statewide were at standard, compared to 82.4 percent in LWSD.

"Our students did well on this first year of testing using end of course assessments," said Kimball.

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