Testing Students in Washington State
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State Testing

Testing Students in Washington State
Updated May 15, 2014

The state translates the math and science exams into six languages (Spanish, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Somali) for English language learners (ELL). This covers about 80 percent of the ELL population in our state. Students can listen to the test questions on a CD, but must answer in English.

Access Supports and Accommodations Guidelines for State Assessments


Grades 3-8


Subject

Grades Tested

2013-14

2014-15 and beyond

Reading 3-8 MSP Smarter Balanced English Language Arts (ELA) Test
Writing 4 & 7 MSP
Math 3-8 MSP Smarter Balanced Math Test
Science 5 & 8 MSP MSP*

Measurements of Student Progress: Through the 2013-14 school year, the MSP is the state’s exam for students in grades 3-8. Testing is one subject per day, with the writing test occurring on two days. Students are tested in reading (grades 3-8), math (grades 3-8), writing (grades 4 & 7) and science (grades 5 & 8).

Smarter Balanced Tests: Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, subjects included in the Common Core State Standards (English language arts and math) will be assessed using the Smarter Balanced system.

* Science is not included in the Common Core. Until Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are adopted, implemented and assessed, students will continue to be assessed using the MSP for grades 5 and 8 after the 2013-14 school year. The timeline of adoption/implementation/assessment of NGSS is undetermined.

NOTE: If students take algebra I or geometry before high school, they will also take the End-of-Course (EOC) exam that goes with that course at that time. If they pass the EOC, they will “bank” their score to meet high school graduation requirements and will not be required to take a math EOC in high school.

High School


Public school students in Washington state must fulfill all graduation requirements to earn a certificate of academic achievement (CAA)/high school diploma. One of those requirements is to pass exit exams, or state-approved alternatives, in English language arts (ELA) and math.

High school students are also required to take a biology EOC. Beginning with the Class of 2015, passing the biology EOC, or a state-approved alternative, is required to be eligible for graduation.

Some students may have taken a math or biology EOC before 10th grade if they were enrolled in one of those classes. If they passed an EOC before 10th grade, their scores are “banked” to meet state and federal requirements. They will not be required to take a math or biology EOC in high school.

A small number of students receiving special education services are eligible to earn a certificate of individual achievement (CIA)/high school diploma by meeting standard in the Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS). Eligibility is determined by a student’s IEP team.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, 11th graders will be tested in subjects included in the Common Core (ELA and math) using the Smarter Balanced system. Meeting standard on the Smarter Balanced tests is not required for graduation until the Class of 2019.

Assessment Requirements for Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) / High School Diploma

Subject Classes of 2013 & 2014 Classes of 2015 & 2016 Classes of 2017 & 2018 Class of 2019

English Language Arts

Reading and
Writing HSPEs*

Reading and Writing HSPEs*
- OR-
10th-grade ELA Exit Exam based on the Common Core**
- OR-
11th-grade Smarter Balanced ELA Test**

10th-grade ELA Exit Exam based on the Common Core
- OR-
11th-grade Smarter Balanced ELA Test

11th-grade Smarter Balanced ELA Test

Math

Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC
- OR-
Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC

Algebra I/Integrated Math 1 EOC
- OR-
Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC
- OR-
Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC Exit Exam based on the Common Core**
- OR-
Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC Exit Exam based on the Common Core**
- OR-
11th-grade Smarter Balanced Math Test**

11th-grade Smarter Balanced Math Test

Science  

Biology EOC
- OR-
Comprehensive NGSS Test***

* Reading and Writing HSPEs will be available to 11th and 12th graders in spring and summer 2015 and to 12th graders in spring and summer 2016.

** This test is not available until spring 2015.

*** Until Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are implemented and assessed, students will be required to pass the Biology EOC. After NGSS are implemented and assessed, they will be required to pass a Comprehensive NGSS Test. The timeline of implementation/assessment of NGSS is undetermined.

High School Proficiency Exams: HSPEs are comprehensive exams that measure the basic proficiency of high school students in reading and writing, and serve as the state’s exit exams in those subjects.

End-of-Course Exams: EOCs measure the knowledge of students in algebra 1/integrated math 1, geometry/integrated math 2 and biology when they complete each course. They serve as the state’s exit exams for math and science.

ELA Exit Exams and Math EOC Exit Exams: Based on the Common Core State Standards, the state will administer new English language arts (ELA) exit exams and math EOC exit exams to align with the new standards beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

Smarter Balanced Tests: Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, subjects included in the Common Core will be assessed using the Smarter Balanced system. Meeting standard on an 11th-grade Smarter Balanced test is a state-approved assessment alternative for ELA and math for the classes of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Starting with the Class of 2019, meeting standard on the Smarter Balanced tests will be required for high school graduation.

Other Assessments


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Second-Grade Fluency and Accuracy Assessment
    Every student is assessed at the beginning of second grade using a grade-level equivalent oral reading passage.
  • Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS)
    The WAAS provides multiple ways for students with an Individual Education Program (IEP) to participate in the state testing system.
  • Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL)
    This test was replaced in 2009-10 by the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE).
  • Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA)
    The WELPA annually assesses growth in English language development by the state’s English language learners (ELL). This assessment tests reading, writing, listening and speaking knowledge and skills.
  • Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Skills (WaKIDS)
    This program helps bring families, teachers and early learning providers together to support each child’s learning and transition into public schools.

View a state testing history timeline to see the years each subject was phased in at each grade level.

 

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Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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