School District below state average in English and math assessments


Last updated 9/25/2019 at 12:15pm

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recently released results for the statewide Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) taken in the 2018-19 school year. The statewide assessment results are just one look into how the K-12 system is serving Washington’s students.

This year’s results show scores are remaining stable, but far from optimal.

In the Mukilteo School District, students tested below the state average in English language arts (ELA) and math, while grading above average in science.

“Stability can be a double-edged sword,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “On one hand, it means our educational system is maintaining the gains we have made. On the other, it means achievement gaps between student groups are continuing to persist.”

For students, the results are used by teachers, counselors, parents, and families as one of multiple measures of their academic progress.

Beginning this year’s graduating class, the statewide assessments in English language arts and math taken in the 10th grade can also be used as one of eight pathways to graduation.

Students in grades 3-8 and in grade 10 took the SBA in (ELA) and math. Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 also took the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS).

State numbers: 48.9% met the state standard in math, 59.6% in ELA, and 46.7% in science. For the Mukilteo School District: 46% in math, 57.8% in ELA, and 50.1% in science.

When looking at the data for Mukilteo schools, a large gap was seen between results for Kamiak students and Mariner students.

Kamiak performed well in the tests, with 71.7% in math, 88.2% in ELA, and 70.6% in science. The percentage of Kamiak students meeting the state standard in ELA and math increased from the 2017-2018 school year to 2018-2019.

Mariner graded below average in two of the three categories, with 33.3% in math and 41.4% in science falling below the state average, while the 62.6% in ELA exceeded the state average for last school year. Mariner students’ scores decreased in ELA and math decreased slightly from 2017-2018 to 2018-2019.

Younger students graded pretty close to state average in ELA, math, and science.

For example, 48.7% of Mukilteo third-grade students met the state standard in ELA, compared to 55.4% statewide. Moving up in age, the percentage increased to 52.9 in Mukilteo fourth graders, but that was still below the 56.9% statewide. Fifth- and sixth-graders were slightly below state average in ELA, while seventh graders were 0.3% better than average. Eighth graders were 1% below average.

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Math results were pretty similar, with 48.6% of third graders meeting state standard compared to 58% statewide. In fourth grade, it was 49.4% in Mukilteo and 54% statewide; 41.3% to 48.3% for fifth graders; 41.6% to 46.8% in sixth grade; and 43.7% to 48.7% in seventh grade. Aside from 10thgrade scores, only Mukilteo eighth graders exceeded the state average, with 47.7% meeting state standards in math, compared to 45.8 statewide.

In science, Mukilteo fifth graders were roughly 7% below state average, with 46.5% compared to 53.2%. Eighth grade was closer, but still below average, with 51.1% to 51.6%.

To see the full list of schools, go to

Mukilteo School District Communications and PR Manager Diane Bradford gave the following statement on the recently published scores:

“While state assessment scores are just one measure of our students’ progress, our staff takes the results seriously. When we see ebbs and flows over time, we look deeper into the ‘why.’ School improvement plans are then developed on a three-year cycle and regularly reviewed by staff to identify strategies to improve learning within each unique school community. We are in the process of developing plans for the 2019-2022 school years and the current state assessment results will be used as part of that strategic planning.”

According to Reykdal, the statewide assessments are an important way of measuring system progress, and they are also a significant component of the Washington School Improvement Framework, the tool the state uses to see which schools need the most support.

The assessments used in Washington are among the most rigorous in the nation, Reykdal said.

“This is evident when comparing results of the statewide assessments to those on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a representative survey of student achievement nationwide,” he said.

“NAEP results from 2017 show Washington’s students continually perform near the top in national comparisons.”

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG


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