Coupeville math scores dive

Coupeville school officials are busy poring over the latest WASL results, contacting students about summer school, and wondering why math scores plummeted.

Preliminary results for sophomores, which were recently released, indicate that 88.5 percent passed reading, 95.8 percent passed writing and only 47.4 percent passed math.

“We did very well in reading and writing and we did very poorly in math,” Superintendent Bill Myhr said.

Last year 62.2 percent of the sophomores passed the math portion of the WASL.

School officials are spending this week informing families about student scores and about summer school, which will prepare students for the next testing period scheduled in August.

The school district is offering a math class this summer to help students.

Myhr said there were a number of students who hadn’t progressed far enough in their math courses to successfully pass the math assessment.

“We knew going in that it would be difficult to pass the math WASL,” Myhr said.

He said students need to be taking geometry to have the best chance to successfully complete the math test. Changes were recently made to make sure high school students are taking geometry by the time they take the WASL.

Myhr, who is leaving soon for a new job in Arizona, said the math results should dramatically improve next year because more students are taking geometry. The school district has five geometry classes next year compared to four geometry classes this year.

Students have options if they don’t pass the math WASL. They have five attempts to pass the test. In addition they can continue taking math courses until they pass the WASL or graduate, or they can choose an alternative option where they prove they’ve met grade level math requirements.

The school district is also changing the way it teaches math at the middle school and high school. The district is spending $52,000 to implement a new math curriculum in grades six through 12.

Myhr said he is pleased with how the reading and writing systems are working and that recent changes made in the math and science curriculum should improve performance.

And having students take extra math courses will only be a benefit especially when they discover how important it is in the modern workplace.

“They’re gonna find they’re going to need math in the 21st century world,” Myhr said.

Due to action this spring by the Legislature, students won’t be required to pass the math WASL to graduate until 2013.

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