State Testing

Overview

Updated September 27, 2017
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Washington students are tested regularly by the state to assess their progress as they move through school. State tests include the following, and may be taken with or without tools, supports, or accommodations*:

* Tools are available to all students and can be used at the student's discretion. Supports are available to English language learners and any student with a need identified by an educator. Accommodations are for students who receive special education services with a documented need noted in an IEP or 504 plan.

Learn more by reading Guidelines on Tools, Supports, & Accommodations.

If a student's IEP documents the need for an accommodation that is not addressed within the guidelines, the student's IEP team may have their school district personnel submit a Non-Standard Accommodation Request form.

Grades 3-8

In grades 3-8, students take tests in ELA, math, and science for federal accountability.

Tests Required for Federal Accountability
Grades Subject Test
3-8 ELA Smarter Balanced or WA-AIM
Math
5 & 8 Science WCAS or WA-AIM

High School

In high school, students take tests in ELA, math, and science for federal accountability. State tests may be taken with or without tools, supports, or accommodations. Students take the WA-AIM only if it's documented in their IEP.

Tests Required for Federal Accountability
Grades Subject Test
10 ELA Smarter Balanced or WA-AIM
Math
11 Science WCAS or WA-AIM

The state legislature passes laws that determine graduation requirements. One of the requirements is that students pass tests, or state-approved alternatives. Required tests vary by expected year of graduation. A student's expected year of graduation is four years after he or she enters the 9th grade. (For example, if a student enters 9th grade in the 2017-18 school year, he or she is in the Class of 2021.)

State tests may be taken with or without tools, supports, or accommodations. Students take the WA-AIM only if it's documented in their IEP.

Tests Required for Graduation
Class of Subject Test
2018 ELA Choose 1:
Math Choose 1:
2019 & 2020 ELA Choose 1:
Math Choose 1:
2021 ELA Choose 1:
Math Choose 1:
Science Choose 1:

** "Exit exam" scores (for graduation requirements) are separate from what are known as the "college- and career-ready" scores.

Other Assessments

  • OSPI-Developed Assessments (formerly CBAs) and OSPI-Developed Performance Assessments (formerly CBPAs): The state develops classroom-based assessments based on the state's learning standards to 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.
  • English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) Screener: The ELPA21 screener assesses the reading, writing, listening, and speaking knowledge and skills of students whose families answer "yes" to questions #2 or #3 on the Home Language Survey. The ELPA21 screener is used to determine student eligibility for English language development (ELD) services.
  • English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21): The ELPA21 is an online annual summative assessment of English language proficiency. Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening skills are assessed and scores are used to determine continued eligibility for English language development (ELD) services in school. Only students whose families answered “yes” to questions #2 or #3 on the Home Language Survey and placed into ELD services through a placement exam take this assessment.
  • 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. 

The state testing timeline shows the history of how Washington phased in state testing.

 

 

   Updated 10/13/2017

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