WASL scores solid (as usual) for Bainbridge

Students fared well above the state average in standardized testing.

The glory days of besting Mercer Island students proved short lived.

But Bainbridge public schools still enjoyed their usual solid showing on the most recent Washington Assessment of Student Learning test, results of which were released by the state this week.

“Our students continue to perform well,” said Faith Chapel, assistant superintendent for instruction for the Bainbridge Island School District. “On the other hand, we are always looking for the areas where we can continue to improve. That’s always the challenge every year.”

Top honors went to last year’s Blakely Elementary School fourth-graders, who outpaced their peers around the district and left state averages well behind.

An eye-opening 99 percent of Blakely students mastered the reading portion of the test, administered last spring, while 97 percent bested the writing battery and 90 percent passed the mathematics portion of the test. Eighty-eight percent of Blakely students passed all three portions of the exam.

Eighty-five percent of Wilkes Elementary School students passed all three portions of the test, with mastery in individual subjects ranging from 87-96 percent.

Ordway scores lagged somewhat in math and writing, with just 76 and 69 percent of students showing proficiency in those areas, respectively, and just 59 percent passing all subjects.

Chapel attributed the results to a higher percentage of special needs students at that school, for whom developmentally appropriate standardized tests have yet to be introduced.

The WASL is administered statewide to grade levels four, seven and 10 each spring, with the most recent tests the last round of “warmups.”

For this year’s sophomores – class of 2008 – mastery of the test will be required for graduation, although the state will allow students several opportunities to retake portions of the test they don’t pass the first time.

“It’s not fair to have students simply have one pass/fail opportunity in their sophomore year,” Chapel said. “It wouldn’t be fair, and it wouldn’t make sense either.

Last spring’s BHS sophomores topped state averages by 20-30 points in each area, with 77 percent acing all three areas of the exams. Ninety-two percent of Bainbridge sophomores met the standard in reading, 87 percent in writing, 80 percent in math and 71 percent in science.

But they were bested by their rivals at Mercer Island High School, after surpassing that school on the 2003 exams.

Eighty-one percent of Mercer Island sophomores passed all three parts of the most recent test, compared to 77 percent at BHS.

At Woodward Middle School, 93 percent of seventh-graders showed proficiency in reading, 89 percent in writing, 86 percent in math and 66 percent in science. Seventy-nine percent passed across the board.

Statewide, WASL results showed students making solid gains in reading skills, but they foundered in math, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction reported. Statewide scores held steady or improved generally, but only 47 percent of Washington sophomores passed the math portion of the test.

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Report card

Results of the most recent round of Washington Assessment of Student Learning testing are available online at

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