The following is a statement from State Superintendent Randy Dorn on using state testing to help determine if students are on a path to success after high school:
OLYMPIA — April 7, 2015 — Statewide testing is important because it helps ensure all public school students, no matter where they go to school, receive a quality education. In 2011, I approved new college- and career-ready standards for our state in English language arts and math. This spring, students will be assessed on those higher standards using Smarter Balanced tests. Results from these new tests will tell us if students are on track to be college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school.
Some students are on track. Many are not.
Families and schools deserve to know if students are on a path to success after high school. And students need extra support when they aren’t. If they don’t test, it’s more difficult to identify what skills they lack and how best to help them. Students who don't test will miss out on opportunities, especially if they are juniors in high school.
These tests are designed to assess what skills students have and what they need to work on. Students who do not achieve a college- and career-ready score are not “failures.” But they do need additional help to reach proficiency.
No test is perfect. That’s why I’ve always said we need to rely on “multiple measures” when we talk about student success. But the Smarter Balanced tests, with their emphasis on real-world skills, are better than any standardized test our state has administered before.
Unfortunately, testing opponents are spreading misinformation. It’s important to focus on facts.
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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