Coupeville test scores looking up

Coupeville School District’s October meetings brought encouraging academic news to its board members.

A review of last year’s test scores at an Oct. 11 meeting brought a great sense of accomplishment to administrators, teachers and students. This year, each of the Coupeville schools made “Adequately Yearly Progress” (AYP), the bar set by the federal government for standardized tests. To pass, each school must reach or surpass the bar in a variety of subgroups categorized by income and ethnicity.

“We are extremely pleased,” Superintendent Patty Page said. “We had some extremely strong areas of growth where we outperformed the state.”

As a district, Coupeville was responsible for 87 subgroups. Compared to larger districts like Oak Harbor’s, where only four out of eight schools made AYP this year, Coupeville’s number of subgroups is relatively small. Oak Harbor was responsible for 262.

Previously Coupeville students were given the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) each year, but for the first time this spring, the high school students took the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and the younger students the Measurements of Student Progress exam (MSP).

In every category but two (third and fifth grade math), the district surpassed the state average. Especially noteworthy was the performance by Coupeville’s sophomores who beat state averages in reading, math, writing and science with scores jumping above state numbers by up to 24.6 percent.

Originally, school board members set an improvement goal that each of the passing scores would increase by at least 5 percent next year, but decided to have their goal be that every subgroup simply make AYP instead. Because class sizes vary from year to year and the format of the test is changing, percentages may not reflect improvements accurately.

This year, 58 percent of kids in each subgroup needed to pass the math test and 74.3 percent needed to pass the reading test in order to meet AYP standards. In 2014, 100 percent of students will have to pass both tests in order for a school to meet the bar.

“It is a lofty goal,” Page said, “and we truly do want 100 percent of our students to meet those standards.”

Full test results can be viewed on the district’s website.

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