Edmonds School District juniors opt out of Smarter Balanced testing at a higher rate than state averages

Edmonds_School_DistrictThe Edmonds School District had lower participation in this spring’s new Smarter Balanced tests compared to the overall state numbers, according to preliminary results released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

About 69 percent of Edmonds School District juniors opted out of the Smarter Balanced Testing for both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Across the state 53 percent of juniors did not participate in these two tests. Juniors did not need to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in order to graduate high school.

In grades 3-8, the Edmonds School District participation rate ranged from 98 to 96 percent, which were close to the statewide numbers of 99 to 95 percent.

Sophomores took the SBA English Language Arts test because it is required for high school graduation. The Edmonds School District had more than 99 percent participation, above the state average of 94 percent.

OSPI indicated that overall Washington schools met the required 95 percent participation rate for grades 3-8. States and individual school districts are required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to reach 95 percent participation on state tests.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn said he hoped that more students, especially next year’s juniors, will participate in the tests.

Those students who score a 3 or 4 on the tests are considered ready for credit-bearing coursework and may avoid placement tests once they get into college, Dorn said. Most of Washington’s universities, colleges and community colleges will use high school students’ Smarter Balanced scores for course-level placement, according to OSPI.

The preliminary numbers were based on data reported to OSPI by the school districts and their data collection methods may vary. The final numbers are scheduled to be released with the final score results by OSPI on Aug. 17.

This was the first year students took the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Last year students had the opportunity to take field tests. Based on the results so far, students generally are scoring higher than last year’s field tests indicated they would, according to OSPI.

For more information on the Smarter Balanced Assessment preliminary results see: https://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2015/StateTestParticipationRate.aspx

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