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State Releases Assessment Results

Summary: OSPI released assessment data from the Fall 2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment and Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science.

Washington State Releases Fall Assessment Results 

After nearly two years of offering instruction in a pandemic environment, Seattle Public Schools has new, if limited, data to inform its understanding of student needs.  

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released assessment data from the Fall 2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) taken by students in grades 4-9, 11 and 12 in October and November. The SBA has been used for the past several years to provide one measure of how well students are meeting state-level standards in English, reading and math. 

“We acknowledge there is diverse thought on the purpose of assessments and how we use them,” said Associate Superintendent Concie Pedroza. “The SBA is one part of a larger profile of student learning, and SBA data alone cannot be solely used in determining success or growth.”  

(video: SPS Assessment and Instructional Update for Fall 2021 Assessment Outcomes)

The SBA data shows that 54% of current SPS 4th graders and 51% of current 8th graders met or exceeded standards for math outcomes. Fewer than 50% of students in 11th grade met or exceeded standards. In English language arts/reading results, more than 50% of students in grades 4, 8, and 11 met or exceeded standards.  

“The Fall SBA is just one way of looking at student learning outcomes, and it is the first summative assessment administered since the spring of 2019,” said Aira Jackson, director of assessment and instructional improvement. “District and school leaders, along with classroom educators, are using the Fall SBA outcomes along with educator observations, student work, and classroom assessments to better understand student academic growth and when to accelerate learning and/or implement interventions to improve student success.”   

Due to the pandemic, the SBA was administered in Fall 2021 instead of spring as is usual. Students were assessed on the grade level standards from their previous school year. For example, a student who is currently in 4th grade took an assessment based on 3rd grade standards.

Other changes included: 

  • computer adaptive questions (became more or less challenging based on how a student answered their previous questions), 
  • no inclusion of writing or explanations of answers, and  
  • the assessment was optional for students in grade 12. 

Because students did not take the SBA in Spring 2021, it is difficult to compare these scores to those prior. One thing that SPS can do with the data this year is look at achievement and growth for individual students and then plan instruction accordingly. 

Pedroza said schools and educators use a variety of data, and this data provides starting points for the district to go deeper into centering student and family voices in supporting academic excellence for SPS students. 

Visit the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website to read the district OSPI report card.

Please visit our webpage for more information about SBA.

How Families Access their Student’s Results

Parents and guardians can access their student’s results on The Source. Select “Assessments” from the navigation and then “View State Assessment Scores.” Learn more about the Source and take a parent tour.

Full score reports will be available from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium from your student’s school in March 2022.

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