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North King and south Snohomish schools show mixed results on state Achievement Index

The following is a release from the Washington Policy Center.

Using an idea endorsed by leaders of both political parties, Washington Policy Center has published letter grades for Washington state public schools. The grades, based on the State Board of Education’s annual “Achievement Index,” reveal mixed results for schools in the Shoreline, Northshore, Edmonds and Mukilteo public school systems.

Last year Jay Inslee said, “I’m proposing [that] every school will have a letter grade that will be given and disseminated then to the parents in the district so that we hold ourselves accountable.” Today Gov. Inslee continues to call for giving letter grades to schools.

“Parents of children in these public school systems want to know and have a right to know how their child’s school is performing, and this resource gives them easy way to do that,” explained WPC Education Director Liv Finne.

According to the annual index, 18 of the 107 schools in the four public school districts just north of Seattle rank “exemplary” — the top ranking given by State Board of Education officials. The index rates schools as exemplary, very good, good, fair or struggling.

If the Achievement Index used such a scale, “exemplary” would be the equivalent of an “A” grade while “struggling” would be considered an “F.” Even though the idea of assigning letter grades has wide appeal, state government has yet to adopt the change.

Overall, 14 percent of Shoreline, Northshore, Edmonds and Mukilteo public schools are in the bottom two categories of the index — “fair” or “struggling” — and 42 percent of schools finished in the middle, a rating of “good.” If the Index used a grading scale of A–F, 56 percent of these public schools would receive a “C” grade or lower.

The best- and worst-scoring schools from the Northshore School District are listed below.

Best: Woodmore Elementary School – Exemplary (A)

Worst: North Shore Special School – Struggling (F)

The annual Achievement Index is a ranking of 2,189 public schools in Washington state based on data compiled by the State Board of Education for the 2011–12 school year. It is conducted to determine whether school officials are fulfilling their paramount duty under the state constitution to provide a quality education for every child.

The full Achievement Index covers the 2011–12 school year and is available online. Local schools are listed alphabetically, by district, and by ranking. WPC’s two-page Policy Note explaining the Achievement Index is available here.

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