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381 Schools Win State’s Highest Honor
Washington Achievement Award is based on test scores of many student groups, graduation rates and closing gaps

OLYMPIA — April 2, 2013 — A total of 381 schools are receiving Washington Achievement Awards for 2012. Award-winning schools were notified today via email by State Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Jeff Vincent.

The Washington Achievement Awards, now in their fourth year, are sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. Award winners are selected using the state’s Achievement Index and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.

“We’re thrilled that the Achievement Awards have come to mean so much to schools and districts across the state,” Vincent said. “It’s important to us at the state level to ensure that our work benefits everyone, and the award and index do exactly that.”

Schools are being recognized for being top performers in seven categories:

  • Overall Excellence
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Extended Graduation Rate (only awarded to high and comprehensive schools)
  • Closing Achievement Gaps
  • High Progress (Title I eligible or participating schools only)

This year the Washington Achievement Awards have been combined with the awards and accountability criteria in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver. The “High Progress” category replaces the “Improvement” category from previous years.

State Superintendent Dorn praised this new collaboration. “Schools and communities expect state and federal governments to work together on accountability,” he said. “We’re grateful that the Flexibility Waiver has given us a chance to align our accountability efforts with the federal government’s expectations. This will streamline both systems over time and provide a better picture of how our schools are doing.”

The award-winning schools will be honored during an award ceremony on April 30 at Kentwood High School in Covington, itself an award winner for “Math” and “Closing Achievement Gaps.”

About the awards
Washington’s School Achievement Index rates all schools according to specific outcomes and indicators from 2010 to 2012. The five outcomes are student performance in statewide assessments in reading, writing, math and science tests, as well as the school’s extended graduation rate, which includes those students who took longer than four years to graduate.

Those outcomes are each measured using four indicators:

  1. achievement of students who are not from low-income families;
  2. achievement of students who are from low-income families;
  3. achievement of a school when compared to “peers” (schools with similar student characteristics, such as the percentage of students who have a disability, are learning English, are designated as gifted, come from low-income families, and are mobile); and
  4. improvement in the achievement of all students combined from the previous year.

The average of the resulting 20 measures comprises the overall index.

For more information


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 4/23/2013

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