The scores represent a new baseline that provides a more accurate indicator for educators, students, and parents. The scores should not be used as an apples-to-apples comparison to former state tests (e.g., MSP and HSPE). The results will improve as students have additional years of instruction aligned to the new Washington State Standards.
It is vital to our state's economy that we have more students better prepared for college, work, and life. We have an increasing job skills gap in Washington that needs to be addressed, and these scores are a key indicator that we are moving toward the goal.
We applaud Washington's K-12 teachers, who have worked hard to implement the state’s new learning standards. Without a quality measurement tool, like Smarter Balanced, we would not know how well our students are learning the standards. This is a big change for teachers and students.
While we are pleased with these test participation rates in grades 3-8, we are disappointed in the high test-refusal rate in the 11th grade. High test refusal primarily penalizes the students who need the most supports to increase their achievement.
Overall, we are pleased with this baseline year of results from the Smarter Balanced Math and English Language Arts assessments. We know our state's teachers will continue the hard work necessary to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for college and career.