Local schools said they improved on the 2013 ISTEP test as results were released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.
Overall, corporation passing rates were above or close to state averages for every local public and private school that took the important state exam for grades three to eight. Across the state, 79.5 percent of students passed the language arts portion and 82.7 percent of students passed the math part of the ISTEP. For both tests, 73.5 percent of students statewide passed both tests.
Washington schools reported improvement in ISTEP scores from the previous year, especially in language arts. Washington Assistant Superintendent Paul White said language arts scores went up by 5 percent corporation-wide from previous years.
“After our initial review of the scores, we are pretty pleased,” White said.
Some of the standout results from the spring test include then-fourth, now-fifth grade at Veale Elementary. The class had 94 percent pass both portions of the test. North Elementary had three testing groups with over 90 percent passing rates, but one of the brightest spots was at Lena Dunn Elementary.
The school, although below state averages, saw significant improvements in testing scores from a year before. In 2012, 63 percent of Lena Dunn’s fourth-grade class passed the language arts test. in 2013, the fourth grade saw 78 percent of the students pass, a 15-percent jump.
“Lena Dunn really worked hard last year and it appears it has begun to help,” White said.
Washington Junior High School had math passing percentages above state averages but language arts were slightly below. White hopes for more improvement at Lena Dunn and other schools with the implementation of a major writing initiative this year.
“We’re pleased. It’s definitely one of those things where we don’t want to be satisfied,” White said. “We are very proud of our staff.”