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LWSD students continue to score above state on standardized tests
Lake Washington School District (LWSD) students scored above state averages on state standardized tests, performing particularly well in mathematics.
Math scores improved in five grades and the two high school end-of-course (EOC) exams and fell in parallel with state scores in grade six.
"Our staff and students have worked hard in mathematics to improve scores," said Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce. "In most grades, we are seeing a clear upward trend over the last five years."
District math scores improved in all three elementary grades tested. Third grade math showed the most improvement, rising from 81.6 to 83.4 percent at standard. State scores remained about the same in that grade. Fourth grade gained more than 1 percent and the increase from 80.2 to 81.5 percent represented the third straight year of increases. State scores rose even more, from 59.3 percent to 62.5 percent. District fifth grade scores improved slightly, rising from 81.5 percent to 81.9 percent while state scores fell 1.2 percent to 62.6.
At the middle school level, sixth grade math scores fell at both the state and district levels. District scores fell 2 percent from 81.7 to 79.7 percent, erasing most of last year's gains but remaining well above the scores from 2009 to 2011. State scores fell about the same amount, by 2.1 percent. District seventh grade scores followed last year's 6.6 percent increase with another increase of 3.6 percent, rising from 80.7 percent to 84.3 percent. That is more than 10 percent higher than the 2009 score of 73.5 percent. State scores for seventh grade rose from 59.2 percent to 63.7 percent. Eighth grade math scores increased from 73.1 percent at standard to 74.9 percent. State eighth grade math scores, on the other hand, fell from 55.4 percent to 53.2 percent.
On the EOC exams in math, 88.7 percent of district students were at standard on the Math Year 1 exam compared to 80.7 percent at the state level. For EOC Year 2, 95 percent of district students were at standard compared to 89.4 percent statewide.
Science scores in fifth grade in LWSD rose from 87 percent to 87.9 percent, building on last year's 6.5 percent gain. State scores rose 0.2 percent in fifth grade science, from 66.3 percent to 66.5 percent. Eighth grade scores slipped statewide and in Lake Washington. District scores fell from 84.9 percent to 82.9 percent while state scores fell from 66.4 percent to 64.9 percent. On the new EOC biology exam, 92.5 percent of LWSD students were at standard, compared to 81.7 percent at the state level.
"Science continues to be a strength in Lake Washington, although we will review our eighth grade scores," said Pierce.
District reading scores tended to rise at the elementary level. Elementary grades three through five all rose in reading, with increases of 2.8 percent, 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent of students meeting the standard respectively in grades three, four and five. State scores also rose in all elementary grades.
District scores and state scores were mixed in the middle grades. Sixth grade scores remained about the same, falling by 0.2 percent to 85.1 percent for district students and rose by 0.8 percent at the state level to 71.4 percent. District seventh grade student reading scores fell by 3.2 percent, a year after they rose by 12.7 percent, with 84.1 percent of students at standard. Scores also fell, by 2.5 percent, at the state level, to 68.7 percent. District eighth grade scores remained about the same, falling by 0.2 percent to 83.3 percent. State scores at that grade fell 1 percent to 66.2 percent at standard. In high school, district reading scores fell 0.5 percent but remained within the range of recent years at 92.7 percent. State scores rose from 81.1 percent to 83.5 percent.
District writing scores fell in two of three grades tested, contrasting with last year's gains. Fourth grade writing scores for the district remained relatively flat, gaining just 0.3 percent at 80.4 percent of students at standard. State scores in fourth grade writing gained a little more, rising from 61.4 to 62.1 percent. Writing scores for the district's seventh graders fell from 88.8 percent to 87.4 percent while state scores stayed exactly the same, with 71 percent at standard. District tenth grade writing scores fell to 93.7 percent, down from 95.2 percent, while state scores fell slightly, from 85.2 to 84.9 percent.