On Saturday, we will run a story about struggling schools in
Kitsap and North Mason counties, as identified by the State Board
The schools, identified in the Washington State Board of
Education’s achievement index among the state’s lowest performing
schools, are Cedar Heights Junior High School in South Kitsap
School District, Hawkins Middle School in North Mason School
District, Fairview Junior High School in Central Kitsap School
District and Central Kitsap’s Off Campus Program.
The good news is that these schools have made some progress over
the past three years with financial help and professional guidance
from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
And they’ll continue to get that help, despite Washington State’s
loss of a waiver under No Child Left Behind.
In the course of researching this story, I found a handy, dandy
tool that every parent of a school-age child can find useful.
Low (and high) performing schools in Washington State are
identified through data evaluated in the achievement index. About a
year ago, the SBE complied the data (available in a jahonking Exel
file if that’s your preference) into a user-friendly dashboard data
tool that gives a visual snapshot of each school in the state.
I don’t think this data tool was widely publicized. At least I
never saw a press release about it. So they may have given it a
“soft rollout” as the saying goes. But maybe I’ve just been behind
the curve. I do know that the state is moving toward better public
access and transparency of data.
and district report card, which offers a wealth of information,
has been available for a long time. I use it regularly.
Find the achievement index
here. From the main drop down window, select your district of
choice, then your child’s school to view data on academic
proficiency and growth among all students and subgroups of students
who have historically lagged behind their grade level peers.
Notice that dark blue represents the highest tier, with dark
green at the next level and light green in the middle. Orange and
red signify the lowest tiers. Having orange or even red boxes
doesn’t automatically raise a red flag, under the SBE’s high-low ID
system, which takes into account data over past three years. The
system also measures students’ relative academic growth rather than
growth against a fixed standard, as under the federal No Child Left
In addition to struggling schools, the Board of Education also
identified high performing schools, including 17 in Kitsap and
North Mason, which were
recognized by OSPI in April.
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