State test scores show improvement across levels at most Blaine schools

Published on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Recently released state test scores paint a generally positive picture of Blaine’s schools, though the Blaine school district as a whole failed to meet federal standards in reading established by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Test scores in reading, math and science improved nearly across the board compared to last year in all grades at which the tests are administered, while writing scores stayed relatively constant. The majority of Blaine’s tests scores also topped Washington state averages, some by as much as 12 percent.

While Blaine’s elementary and middle school reading test scores were higher than the state averages, they were not high enough to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the year. These scores were the main reason the Blaine school district as a whole did not meet AYP, superintendent Ron Spanjer said.

AYP is the primary federal measure of year-to-year student achievement. Each year, school districts must meet the AYP student proficiency goals in reading and math. Under the AYP rules, each state must raise the requirements in gradual steps every year so all students in a given district will achieve proficiency in each subject area by the 2013-2014 school year.

Within the last year, state AYP requirements jumped 12 percent, meaning 88.1 percent of a given school’s reading scores had to meet or exceed state standards for the 2010/2011 school year compared to 76.1 percent for the 2009/2010 school year.

Though Blaine’s elementary and middle schools failed to meet AYP for 2010/2011, neither school is required to move to the first step of the AYP improvement scale.

The scale has five steps, with step five signifying the most improvement needed, and determines what consequences a school must face if AYP goals are not met. A school must fail to meet AYP in a given area for two consecutive years to move on to the next improvement level.

Last year, Blaine High School failed to meet AYP in math for three years in a row and entered into step two of the improvement scale. This year, it met AYP mandates in all categories but must continue to meet requirements for another year in order to move out of step two. The consequences for reaching step two include notifying parents the school has been identified for improvement and offering tutoring services for low-achieving students.

For more information on Blaine school district’s test scores, visit the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website.