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Test scores are stableBainbridge students held their own on the national 'Iowa' test.

"Bainbridge Island's students have maintained their relatively high Iowa Tests of Basic Skills scores for a third year. The ITBS, a test of ability in math, reading and language skills, has been administered nationwide for the past three years. This is a stable school district, Ordway Principal Bruce Colley said. Staff don't change wildly. That usually results in stable scores. Scores are good. We're happy with them.The ITBS is a nationally administered test of skills, unlike the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, which tests students statewide to see if they meet specific criteria that educators believe Washington students must know. ITBS scores are percentiles of the national scores - a district score of 77 in reading means that Bainbridge students did better than 77 percent of students nationwide in the reading portion of the test. Bainbridge scores are comparable to demographically similar districts, such as Mercer Island, Bellevue and Issaquah (see box).Overall Bainbridge scores for both third and sixth grades dipped a few points between 1999 and 2001.Still, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Brent Peterson said, It's important to keep in mind that a variation of 2-5 percent is relatively minor. When you are dealing with a district as small as ours, that minor variation can reflect the difference of one or two wrong answers, he said. So we are careful not to overreact to shifts. A spokesperson for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jocelyn McCabe, said, the test scores are just one of many factors to be utilized in evaluating student learning. Other crucial components include individual teacher-written tests, quizzes and homework.Bainbridge Superintendent of Schools Stephen Rowley said, Every school improvement plan has a component that addresses improving skills and scores. Ordway's numbers shot up. Ordway's obviously been working hard at improvement, he said. Odyssey has also done well. We'll be looking at each school, at the differences between years.Looking at the overall picture, our test results continue to look strong, particularly when you compare them nationwide, Rowley said. Our students scoring in the bottom quartile of students in the country is only around 4 to 5 percent. That's very low. "

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