Students Struggle On Washington State's New Tests | KUOW News and Information

Students Struggle On Washington State's New Tests

Aug 17, 2015

Only around half of Washington students passed the new state tests in math and English.

That’s a big drop in scores from the old tests. But it’s what schools officials had predicted for the new Common Core assessments.

State schools chief Randy Dorn says the scores far exceeded his expectations.

“Definitely far exceeded it. And that was just because of raw, hard work,” Dorn said.

Dorn said the new, so-called Smarter Balanced tests are more challenging.

“This is a much higher expectation," he said. "It’s much more rigorous standards. So the learning actually went up.”

The Smarter Balanced tests are computerized, compared to the old paper tests. That created technology problems for some districts.

And, Dorn said, all new tests take some time for students, teachers and school systems to get used to.

Seattle students did considerably better than the statewide average.

Their scores averaged nine percentage points higher in elementary and middle school math and English.