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Smarter Balanced Assessments Provide New Benchmarks

Last spring, a new assessment was administered to students throughout the state in grades 3-11, for English language arts and math. The new assessment, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), is a more rigorous exam that aligns with the new higher learning standards. Because this is the first year that the SBA has been scored, the 2014-15 exam results will serve as a new baseline from which to measure progress in subsequent years.
Because the SBA is a completely new exam, these results cannot be compared with previous year’s results. However, it does make sense to look at how the Snoqualmie Valley results compare with Washington State average student scores:  In all subjects, at all grade levels tested, Snoqualmie Valley students outperformed state averages on the 2015 standardized state assessments.
Individual student scores were mailed to homes on Friday, September 25. Families are reminded to watch for them to arrive this week.
In a few instances, the District noticed that some results were missing. These have been reported to the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and their vendor is investigating. If you know your student took an exam and data is missing from his/her report, please notify your school.
Preliminary results from the assessments administered last spring were released by OSPI at the end of August, and an overview of the District’s results was presented at the September 24 School Board meeting. According to OSPI, the current scores represent about 98% of the results, so the scores may change a little in the coming weeks, as additional results are factored in.
2015 Assessment Results: Snoqualmie Valley School District (SVSD) and State Comparison
The following table summarizes the 2015 Snoqualmie Valley scores for the new state assessments with 2015 Washington State averages, for the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standard. OSPI data shared in September is preliminary and may be subject to changes later.
SBA Results 2015
(Note: The 11th Grade data is not valid due to over 70% refusals. Many students did not participate last year since it was not a graduation requirement for that class. Those who did not participate received a score of zero.)
“This was a transitional year for schools in the State of Washington as students were assessed on the new common core standards. These standards are much more demanding. And as expected, fewer students across the state met those standards in this first year of testing. While there is room for improvement, we are pleased to see our results landing well above the state averages in all of the areas assessed. These results will establish a baseline from which we can look to further improve in the next few years,” said Superintendent of Snoqualmie Valley School District Joel Aune.
Aune added, “Our teachers and principals are to be commended for their efforts to embrace these new standards for student learning that have been established by the state. Our teachers have been working hard to align their curriculum and teaching with these new targets for students. This is a very good start for us as we look to support our students in meeting these new and more challenging standards for learning. I anticipate the results will trend upward in the coming years as our system continues to align with these new standards.”
In the coming weeks, this data will be analyzed and used by each school’s Learning Improvement Team, along with other data, to develop their School Improvement Plan and establish annual goals. At the same time, teachers will use the data to identify students who may be struggling to identify where additional support is needed.
For more information, visit the Washington State Report Card on the OSPI website.