Statewide testing is important because it helps ensure all public school students, no matter where they go to school, receive a quality education. Washington students are regularly tested by the state to assess their progress as they move through elementary and middle school.
In high school, students are tested on their proficiency of basic skills and content knowledge and must pass specific assessments to be eligible to graduate.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) develops or selects and administers all state assessments. We also report achievement data for students, schools, districts and the state. This information assists districts and schools in refining instructional practices and curriculum. And it gives families valuable information about how well their child is doing and where additional help might be needed.
One requirement of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is that states have their assessment programs approved for technical quality by the U.S. Department of Education. Washington's assessment program has received a "Fully Approved" rating through this process.
To learn more about state testing, visit www.WAtesting.com or click on the names of each test below. For questions, write to StateTesting@k12.wa.us.
- High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE)
This test measures the proficiency of students in high school and serves as the state’s exit exam. Students must pass this assessment or a state-approved alternative in reading and writing in order to be eligible to graduate.
- End-of-Course Assessments (EOC)
End-of-course assessments for high school Mathematics are to be implemented statewide by the 2010-11 school year and replacing the Mathematics portion of the HSPE. End-of-course assessments for high school Science are to be implemented statewide by spring 2012 and replacing the Science portion of the HSPE.
- Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA)
The WELPA annually assesses growth in English language development by the state’s English language learners. This assessment tests reading, writing, listening and speaking knowledge and skills.
- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NAEP is a national assessment that allows educational achievement to be compared across states. Federal law requires every state to give the NAEP in reading and math at grades 4 and 8 every two years. States and school districts that receive Title I federal funding to aid educationally disadvantaged students in high poverty areas must participate in these assessments. Other subjects also are tested.
- Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) and Classroom-Based Performance Assessments (CBPAs)
The state supports the development of classroom-based assessments that are based on the state’s learning standards and help guide day-to-day instruction. State curriculum specialists create tasks and questions that model good assessments and provide them to local school districts.
The move to online testing
Testing Students in Washington state