Lakeridge readers are perfect - School"s 4th-graders score 100% for reading on WASL; scores remain high district-wide

By Mary L. Grady

All 114 fourth-graders at Lakeridge Elementary School tested last spring met or exceeded state reading standards -- a score of 100 percent.

The percentage of Mercer Island School District students who met or exceeded state reading, mathematics and writing standards continues to improve, despite already ranking among the highest achieving schools statewide. However, the number of students meeting science standards was not as high as district administrators would have liked.

``The Lakeridge (reading) score was a delightful surprise,'' said Michael Power, director of assessment for the district.

Seventy-nine percent of fourth-graders statewide met those same standards.

The Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test is given to students in the fourth-, seventh- and tenth-grades for reading, writing and math each spring. The science WASL is given to fifth-, eighth- and tenth-graders.

The tests measure whether students at each level have mastered a set of concepts and skills. Students in the class of 2008, this year's 10th-graders, must pass the WASL in order to graduate from high school. The WASL is also the state's measure of ``adequate yearly progress'', as defined in the federal ``No Child Left Behind'' laws.

The percentage of students meeting reading standards in the fourth-, seventh- and 10th-grades in the Mercer Island School District, were 97 percent, 93 percent and 93 percent, respectively.

In mathematics, the percentages were 92 percent, 88 percent and 85 percent.

In writing, the percentages were 91 percent, 94 percent and 89 percent, respectively.

The percentage of students reaching or exceeding science standards was 79 percent and 82 percent, respectively, for eighth- and 10th-graders, but just 63 percent for fifth graders. This past spring was the second year of science testing.

``We will be looking at our elementary science curriculum to insure that it is aligned to state standards that have changed recently,'' Power said, adding that the middle school science curriculum was recently redone.

Testing for student progress is expanding across grade levels, and will give educators a way to track students at each level, he said.

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