Press Releases - OSPI
LanguagesA-Z IndexPrinter Friendly Image

For media inquiries, please contact: 



State Test Scores in a Waiverless World
The Class of 2014 passed their assessment graduation requirements by an overwhelming majority.

OLYMPIA - August 27, 2014 - More than 90 percent of 12th graders in the Class of 2014 passed all of their assessment graduation requirements and younger grades had ups and downs, according to the official score release for the 2014 administration of Washington’s state tests. Tests include the High School Proficiency Exams (HSPEs) and End-of-Course (EOC) exams for students in high school–level courses, and Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) for grades 3 through 8.

“We’re holding steady from last year,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said during a press conference this morning. “Students and teachers have worked hard to get here. At this point, there aren’t any significant changes.”

Results must be seen through a different lens this year. Last spring, the U.S. Department of Education refused to renew Washington’s waiver from some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), including the reporting of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), for the 2014-15 school year. After a long summer of waiting and wondering, state test results finally reveal which schools met – and did not meet – AYP.

Exit exams
Students in the Class of 2014 are required to pass a reading HSPE; a writing HSPE; and one math EOC, either in algebra I/integrated math I or geometry/integrated math II, (or state-approved alternatives). The Class of 2015 and beyond must also pass a science EOC in biology.

The following table shows current pass rates by class. Pass rates rise as students get closer to graduation because they re-take exit exams or choose state-approved alternatives.

Exit exam pass rates by class (as of August 27, 2014)
Reading 94.5% 89.1% 81.1%
Writing 94.5% 89.5% 83.4%
Math 92.1% 83.8% 75.8%
Science (not required) 82.2% 76.3%

To be eligible for graduation, students in the Class of 2014 must also earn adequate credits, and complete a high school and beyond plan and culminating project. During the 2014 session, the state Legislature discontinued the culminating project requirement for the Class of 2015 and beyond.

The final on-time graduation rate for the Class of 2014 will be available in February 2015.

Measurements of Student Progress
Reading and math are tested every year in grades 3 through 8. Writing is tested in grades 4 and 7 and science is tested in grades 5 and 8. This year, about one-third of students in the state participated in the field test for Smarter Balanced instead of the MSP. Those students will not receive scores and their absence from the data must be considered when looking at year-to-year trends.

With that in mind, the table below shows 2014 proficiency rates, and whether those rates are higher or lower than last year. Green cells indicate a rise, red cells indicate a drop, and non-colored cells indicate no statistical change.

MSP proficiency rates by grade (as of August 27, 2014)
3 72.2 63.2 -- --
4 70.1 60.9 62.1 --
5 72.6 63.7 -- 66.4
6 72.7 63.6 -- --
7 67.7 57.8 71.1 --
8 71.6 55.9 -- 67.2

Adequate Yearly Progress
With this year’s loss of the NCLB waiver, we are again required to report AYP. A school’s AYP status is based on state test scores in reading and math from 2014 and 2011. Schools that participated in the Smarter Balanced assessments instead of the MSP agreed to use their scores from 2013 and 2011. (School years 2011-12 and 2012-13 are excluded because Washington operated under a waiver from reporting AYP.)

2014 AYP determinations for a total of 2,176 schools
260 schools (11.9%)

1,916 schools (88.1%):
1,401 schools are in a step of improvement

  • 273 are in Step 1
  • 242 are in Step 2
  • 219 are in Step 3
  • 248 are in Step 4
  • 419 are in Step 5

Schools can meet AYP in three ways:

  1. 100% proficiency: All students in all subgroups perform at grade level on all state tests.
  2. Margin of error: Schools are close to 100% proficiency. “Standard error” is added to the actual percent meeting standard. The size of the margin of error varies by the size of the school: Smaller schools have larger margins of error.
  3. Safe harbor: Schools reduce the percent of students not meeting standard by 27% (for schools that administered MSP this year) or 19% (for schools that administered the Smarter Balanced field test this year) from the percent that didn’t meet standard in 2011. The threshold for Smarter Balanced schools is lower because those schools are using their 2013 MSP results.

2014 AYP determinations for a total of 295 school districts
22 districts (7.5%)

273 districts (92.5%):
127 districts are in a step of improvement

  • 15 are in Step 1
  • 112 are in Step 2


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.

Twitter | Facebook | Flickr

Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
360.725.6032 (o) | 360.481.9099 (c)

Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

More information

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 8/27/2014

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
Contact Us    |    A-Z Index    |    Site Info    |    Staff Only    |    Education Data System (EDS)