Class of 2014 passes grad assessments at 90 percent clip

September 23, 2014

More than 90 percent of the class of 2014, last year’s high-school seniors, passed all of their assessment graduation requirements, the state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced Aug. 27.

Tests included in the assessment results were the High School Proficiency Exams and End of Course exams for grades nine through 12, and the Measurements of Student Progress for grades three through eight.

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Class of 2015 needs to pass science exam to graduate

July 12, 2011

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill into law June 7 that changes science graduation requirements for high school students.

All incoming freshmen — the class of 2015 — have to pass a biology end-of-course science exam before they graduate. The first test will be offered May 2012.

Originally, the classes of 2013 and 2014 were scheduled to take the exam, but State Superintendent Randy Dorn lobbied to delay the graduation requirement until 2017. The state Legislature rescheduled the requirement for the class of 2015.

The two-year delay will save the state $20 million, according to a news release from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

With the new end-of-course biology exam, sophomores will no longer have to take the science portion of the High School Proficiency Exam. The new end-of-course exam will count toward the No Child Left Behind testing requirements.

The OSPI has recommended that the state Legislature fund physical and integrated science on the science end-of-course exam, too, but that decision is likely two years away when funding could become available, OSPI spokesman Chris Barron said.

Governor approves math bill to streamline testing

April 19, 2011

Graduating from high school with sufficient math credits just got easier. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill to allow students in the 2013 and 2014 graduating classes to pass only one mathematics end-of-course exam, instead of two.

The state House of Representatives passed the legislation in a 96-1 vote on March 4. State senators passed a companion bill in a 47-0 vote on March 29. Gregoire signed it into law April 11.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn had championed the legislation.

“Plain and simple, this is a win for fairness,” Dorn said. “In a tough legislative year, this is one law that directly impacts the lives of students in a positive manner. I’m pleased that state legislators and the governor did the right thing for students.”

Eventually, the math section of the High School Proficiency Exam — which is administered to sophomores — will be phased out, and two end-of-course exams, in algebra and geometry, will take its place.

Most Washington sophomores take geometry, and will take the geometry end-of-course exam this spring. Under current law, they would also be required to take the algebra I exam — a course most students take during their freshman year.

The second end-of-course exam will no longer be needed for students in the classes of 2013 and 2014.

Current eighth-graders — the class of 2015 — will be the first students required to pass two end-of-state exams. Most of those students will take algebra I in ninth grade, meaning they take the end-of-course exam in the same year they took the course.

“This whole issue for me has been about fairness,” Dorn said in a statement. “End of course should mean end of course. This is a big win for students that we all worked together and found the right solution.”

Students in the classes of 2011 and 2012 are not affected by this bill. Those students can still pass one state math exam or earn two credits of math after their sophomore year to meet the math graduation requirement.

Governor approves math bill to streamline testing

April 11, 2011

NEW — 3:25 p.m. April 11, 2011

Graduating from high school with sufficient math credits just got easier. Gov. Chris Gregoire approved a bill on Monday that would allow students in the 2013 and 2014 graduating classes to pass only one mathematics end-of-course exam, instead of two.

The state House of Representatives passed the legislation in a 96-1 vote on March 4. State Senators passed a companion bill in a 47-0 vote on March 29.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn had championed the legislation.

“Plain and simple, this is a win for fairness,” Dorn said. “In a tough legislative year, this is one law that directly impacts the lives of students in a positive manner. I’m pleased that state legislators and the governor did the right thing for students.”

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Congressman, school board discuss education law

March 29, 2011

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert listens to school board members discuss the No Child Left Behind law March 25. By Laura Geggel

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and school board members from six different districts, including the Issaquah School District, met March 25 to discuss the problems swirling around the No Child Left Behind federal law.

In Washington, no school district larger than 6,100 students is meeting standards required by No Child Left Behind, Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz said.

“This is an issue that I’ve heard over and over and we just can’t seem to make any progress on it,” said Reichert, a federal representative for the 8th Congressional District, an area including Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside and South King County cities through rural Pierce County.

During the meeting, Reichert, R-Auburn, and the school board members agreed that No Child Left Behind needs reform.

No Child Left Behind uses data from standardized test scores in reading and math. In Washington, the tests are called the Measurement of Student Progress, for grades three through eight, and the High School Proficiency Exam, for sophomores.

If a school fails to meet standard in one of the 37 subgroups, it is listed as failing. Schools receiving federal Title I funds for low-income students that do not meet AYP must notify their parents and could face sanctions. For instance, depending on how many years a school has missed AYP, it must give students the option of moving to another school within the district and paying for their transportation.

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Issaquah schools showed mixed testing results

October 5, 2010

Last spring, thousands of Issaquah students took either the Measurement of Student Progress or the High School Proficiency Exam. Their results were as mixed as their peers from across the state.

“There’s no real perfect pattern,” Issaquah School District Assessment Director Sharon Manion said. “We have some schools up and some schools down in almost every category.”

Both the HSPE and the MSP had fewer questions than their predecessor, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exam, known as the WASL. But fewer questions on the new tests caused each one to count more.

“It’s just like any other test the kids might take in the classroom,” Manion said. “When there’s 100 points on a test, the kids might miss some and still do well. When there is 20 points on the test, the kids can’t miss as many.”

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Registration deadline for exam retakes has been extended

June 23, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 23, 2010

Registration has been extended for students who missed or would like to retake their High School Proficiency Exams.

Tenth-, 11th- and 12th-graders can register online here through midnight Sunday for the summer reading, writing and mathematics exams. Students can opt to take all of the exams or just the ones they need to fill remaining state requirements.

Testing in Issaquah will take place from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Aug. 9-12 at Pacific Cascade Middle School, 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

Issaquah students lead charge; pass state requirements to graduate

June 22, 2010

Issaquah School District’s graduating senior class members are ahead of their peers statewide.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced preliminary graduation rates and High School Proficiency Exam scores at a June 16 press conference in Olympia.

It is the third year students have been required to pass state exams and requirements for graduation.

To graduate, students must pass the state’s exams in reading and writing, which replaced the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exams. Students are also required to pass the HSPE mathematics test or take the exam and additional math courses or another exam to fulfill the requirement. Students must also complete a high school and beyond plan, a culminating high school project and meet their district’s credit requirements.

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Issaquah students lead charge, pass state requirements to graduate

June 16, 2010

NEW — 5:35 p.m. June 16, 2010

The Issaquah School District’s most recent graduates are ahead of their peers statewide.

District officials handed 1,240 seniors their diplomas June 11. Districtwide, only three students didn’t receive their diplomas because of High School Proficiency Exam requirements, district spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said. Those three students — one each from Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline high schools — didn’t pass some combination of the three exams, or a math requirement.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced preliminary graduation rates and state High School Proficiency Exam scores at a press conference Wednesday in Olympia.

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Sign up online by Friday to retake High School Proficiency Exams

June 15, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 13, 2010

Missed the state tests?

Registration is open for students who missed or would like to retake their High School Proficiency Exams.

Tenth-, 11th- and 12th-graders can register online here through June 18 for the summer reading, writing and mathematics exams. Students can opt to take all of the exams or just the ones they need to fill remaining state requirements.

Testing in Issaquah will take place from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Aug. 9-12 at Pacific Cascade Middle School, 24635 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

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