LWSD student math scores soar
August 31, 2012 · Updated 4:05 PM
While state test scores showed improvement in math and science, Lake Washington School District (LWSD) students showed even greater increases in math while science scores exceeded reading and math scores in fifth grade for the first time.
Reading scores showed mostly modest gains with a few losses that paralleled state scores. Writing scores showed greater gains than state results for two of three grades tested.
The district serves students in the Sammamish area.
"Our staff and students worked hard to improve in math while maintaining or even improving on high standards in other subjects," said LWSD Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce. "Our elementary teachers in particular have spent the last two years implementing a new math curriculum and we are now seeing gains in math performance."
Math scores showed increases of between 3.1 percent and 6.6 percent more students at standard in grades three through eight on the Measurements of Student Progress. Those gains exceeded any gains in state test scores in grades three through seven. The greatest difference was in grade five, where district scores increased from 75.4 percent at standard last year to 81.5 percent this year, a 6.1 percent increase. State scores increased from 61.3 percent at standard to 63.7 percent at standard, a 2.4 percent increase. In eighth grade, district scores increased from 69.7 percent at standard to 73.1 percent, while state scores increased from 50.4 percent to 55.4 percent at standard, a slightly greater increase.
On the End of Course exams in math, 81.4 percent of district students were at standard on the Math Year 1 exam compared to 71 percent at the state level. For EOC Year 2, 88.5 percent of district students were at standard compared to 79.1 percent statewide.
Science scores gained at the state level in both grades where it is tested in the Measurements of Student Progress, grades five and eight. Scores in fifth grade in LWSD rose from 80.5 percent to 87 percent, outstripping both the reading and math results in that grade for the first time. State scores rose significantly in fifth grade, from 55.7 percent to 66.1 percent. Eighth grade scores slipped slightly in Lake Washington, from 85.2 percent to 84.9 percent while state scores rose from 61.6 percent to 66.3 percent. On the new EOC biology exam, 81.3 percent of LWSD students were at standard, compared to 64.1 percent at the state level.
"Science continues to be a growing strength in our district," said Pierce. "We are seeing the greatest gains in the systems area, which has to do with systems thinking. However, the greatest difference from state scores comes in the area of inquiry, which focuses on the experimental process. Our teachers intentionally teach the experimental process beginning with the early grades and it is reflected in our scores."
District reading scores tended to mirror gains or losses with state scores, with most grades scoring similarly to last year. One exception is 10th grade reading, where district scores improved slightly from 91.9 percent at standard to 92.2 percent at standard while the state numbers fell from 82.6 percent to 81.1 percent. Both the district and state scores gained significantly on the seventh grade test.
District writing scores improved in two of the three grades tested. Writing scores for the district's seventh graders rose from 87.0 percent to 88.8 percent while state scores remained flat at 71.0 percent. Scores for both the district and state dropped slightly at grade four. District 10th grade writing scores reached 95.2 percent, up from 93.6 percent, while state scores fell from 86.3 to 85.2 percent.