Blaine schools post uneven state test scores in 2012

Published on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 by Kara Furr

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Blaine school board directors got a little bit of not-so-good news leavened with a bit of good news when presented with student results on state-mandated testing at their regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Kathy Newport, the district’s curriculum director, outlined the results of the 2011-2012 school year’s student tests to the board.

The Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and End of Course exams are designed to measure students’ progress in meeting state learning targets. The MSP measures the progress of grades three to eight in reading, writing, math and science. The HSPE tests grade 10 in reading and writing, while the End of Course exams target algebra, geometry and biology for high school students.

Blaine test scores in reading, math and writing are down nearly across the board, though science scores remain fairly consistent with last year’s. Blaine students’ reading and writing scores are generally comparable with state averages, but their math and science scores were mostly below the state average. Superintendent Ron Spanjer said that the test results are not being ignored.

“We’ve seen a lot of inconsistency with math performance at the elementary level over the past few years,” he said. “We need to start looking more intently at the curriculum.” Even so, Spanjer says teachers have been working hard to remediate and improve.

Some results were encouraging, such as the high school students’ end of course exams in algebra, geometry and biology, with Blaine’s biology scores 16 points higher than the state average.

“We are feeling good about where our students are at the end of course exams. Our students are performing very competitively,” Spanjer said.

For information on the district’s test scores, visit the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website at k12.wa.us.