Spokane high school juniors scored higher than usual on annual state tests last fall.
They bumped up their overall math score by six points from a year earlier, making it District 81’s top score in the test’s seven-year history.
“It’s moving up, that’s the encouraging factor,” Associate Superintendent Cynthia Lambarth said.
Statewide averages aren’t yet available for the test, called the Curriculum Frameworks Assessment System.
Spokane’s average percentile scores are:
English/Language Arts: 52. Up 3 points.
History/Social Science: 50. Up 1 point.
Science: 57. Up 3 points.
Math: 62. Up 6 points.
A 50 percentile score means students scored, on average, better than half the students tested across the state, and worse than the other half. The scores top last year’s results and are about the same as those from the 1994-95 school year.
This time, both Ferris High School and Lewis and Clark High School scored higher than the district average in every category. Lewis and Clark scored highest overall and Rogers High School scored lowest.
North Central students landed somewhere in the middle, but they made the most dramatic improvements. Last year, their scores fell several points in every subject. They dropped 25 points in math alone. This year, math was their top subject, with a score of 55.
Pep talks, snacks and better testing facilities helped North Central kids bump up their scores, Principal Mike McGuire said.
The students tested in classrooms instead of the large auditorium, McGuire said. Parents also volunteered to hand out healthy snacks at breaks.
“This year’s junior class gave it their best shot,” he said. “They really put their heart into it.”
The most noticeable improvement districtwide was math scores. Ferris students scored highest, at 72. Lewis and Clark students brought their math average up from 58 to 70.
Lambarth said she believes students are taking the tests more seriously.
“We’re working hard to align what we do in classrooms with what’s being assessed,” she said. “We’re also working hard to stress the importance of assessments for students.”
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