Mercer Island students excel in WASL

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released the 2008 state WASL results last week, with Mercer Island scores, as usual, topping the list. The percentage of Island students meeting all three standards — reading, writing and math — averaged 86 percent, far above the Washington state average of 45 percent.

By grade level, 86.8 percent of fourth-graders met all three standards, as did 81.4 percent of seventh-graders and 89.2 percent of 10th-graders. These averages were on par with last year's scores. In the science category, 75 percent of fifth-graders, 83 percent of eighth-graders and 82 percent of 10th-graders met the standard.

Looking at MI scores through time, students' scores have been relatively consistent since 2006. When comparing 2008 scores with 1999 scores, a vast improvement can be seen from about 55 percent meeting standard in 1999 to 86 percent this year. According to Michael Schiehser, interim director of instruction and assessment, this trend shows that "students are taking the WASL more seriously."

When comparing benchmark high schools — Bellevue, Newport, Interlake, Bainbridge and Issaquah — Mercer Island 10th-graders earned comparable scores in reading (with Bainbridge slightly higher), fell a few percentage points below the competition in writing, and surpassed every school in science and almost every school in math with the exception of Bainbridge, which tied with Mercer Island. Complete details into Mercer Island WASL scores will be published later this month on the district's Web site.

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