The results in some other grades improved, especially in grade 5, where the passage rate in reading rose to 75.3 percent, up 3.4 percentage points from last year. And more of this fall's incoming seniors have already passed both reading and writing on the WASL than their counterparts had a year ago.How many more? About 0.5 percent in 10th reading, and 2.3% in writing. Math declined roughly a percentage point. Science, which yet counts for naught, saw slightly higher scores--39.7% passing versus 36.4% in 2007. And in the lower grades:
But the results in grades 4 and 7, which declined more than the other scores went up, are causing consternation for Bergeson and others. About 72 percent of fourth-graders passed the reading section of the WASL, down 4.3 percentage points from the previous year. In math, 53.4 percent of students passed, down 4.7 percentage points. In seventh grade, reading scores declined nearly 6 percentage points, to 62.8 percent passing, and about half of the students passed math, down 4.3 percentage points from last year.Bergeson has already exculpated the test, saying that "Something is happening with the kids."
WASL fatigue? Mad Cow disease? iPoditis?
At any rate, look for Randy Dorn to harp on the essentially flat test scores over the past few goes-round as evidence of stagnation, and look for Bergeson to fire back that OSPI is already working on fixes, including truncated tests for tykes.