Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Most Snohomish Districts Lag On State Reading Tests In 8th

by March 7th, 2013

Of 13 Snohomish County school districts reporting results, eighth-graders in eight of them in 2012 lagged the state average in percent who could pass the state achievement test in reading. In math, seven of the 13 districts fell below the state average in percent of eighth-graders who could pass the state achievement test. Snohomish districts outperforming the state average in eighth-grade pass rates for both math and reading in 2012 were Northshore, Everett, Arlington and Mukilteo. Districts underperforming the state on both eighth-grade measures last year were Monroe, Marysville, Edmonds, Stanwood, Darrington and Lakewood. Three other districts exceed the state average in eighth-grade acievement test pass rates for one subject but not both: Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Snohomish. Two related data visualizations follow, below.

State academic achievement test data for 2012 have recently been added to the user-friendly, interactive Washington Achievement Data Explorer (WADE) database operated by the Center for Education Data and Research (CEDR) at the University of Washington in Bothell. WADE is integrated with and can be explored using tools from Google Public Data Explorer. It is a community-focused, consumer-oriented tool – not requiring media gatekeepers to bless the data, which is easily customizable, comparable, and comes directly from the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

First, outcomes from 2006 through 2012 for Snohomish County school districts, for percent of eighth-graders passing the state achievement test in reading, versus the state average. They are ranked on the right by 2012 outcomes, but by hovering over any district’s name, its seven-year history for the metric chosen can be tracked.

Now, math.

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By clicking on “Explore The Data” in the lower right-hand corner of either of the above charts, you can enter the WADE interface at Google Public Data Explorer and devise a customized report from the state data, choosing different measures and districts. Demographic data for each district, which is often correlated with outcomes, is also available. Among other features, Google Public Data Explorer provides customized HTML embed code for each data set that is constructed by users. This can be used to easily create charts like those displayed here, for Web sites or blogs. You can also enter the WADE interface, with a tutorial, through the the UW-Bothell/CEDR gateway.

Editor’s Note: some of the general explanatory verbiage in this post was borrowed from a recent post we did introducing the 2012 WADE data, looking at outcomes for eighth-graders in selected urban region districts around the state. In coming weeks and months we intend to publish here a series of related posts using the WADE tool to generate reports for various grade levels and districts in selected Washington counties. We also expect to use the WADE tool’s capabilities to probe rankings of schools within given districts.

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