MISD elementary schools earn top scores

A new survey of all 1,127 of the state’s public elementary schools awarded Mercer Island a perfect score, with all three schools receiving top billing.

In a study published by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF), schools were rated from zero to 10 based on five years of Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores. Island Park, Lakeridge and West Mercer all achieved a perfect “10” along with 12 other schools.

The Olympia think-tank partnered with the Fraser Institute, a Canadian opinion research organization, to produce the report.

Speaking on behalf of her school, Island Park Principal Nancy Loorem said she was excited to see news of the report and credited the school’s children, teachers and parents for the high ranking.

“Our students are the kind eager to learn, and our teachers are eager to teach,” she said.

Loorem also credited the school’s new social studies curriculum, learning garden and outdoor education classroom, which made the school setting a fun and positive place to learn.

Report card study co-author Diana Cieslak said EFF decided to produce the report after reviewing similar publications created by the Fraser Institute in Canada. She said the annual report, conducted in Canadian provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, is hugely popular and hopes are that Cieslak can reproduce the excitement in Washington state.

“The reason we chose to do this is to equip parents with the very best info available,” she said.

“We feel that the ranking system gives them a useful conclusion that allows them to see how their schools are doing compared to others in the state.”

When asked why Mercer Island performed so well in the study, Cieslak suggested that parents should go and find out the answer themselves.

“That is our goal,” she said. “The school will have the answers.”

The EFF and Fraser Institute plan on releasing the results of a similar “Report Card” study on the state’s middle and high schools in September.

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