Spring 2015 State Testing Info From OSPI

Statement from State Superintendent Dorn on using state testing to help determine if students are on a path to success after high school

Statement on Statewide Testing from State Superintendent Dorn

OLYMPIA &- April 7, 2015 &- Statewide testing is important because it helps ensure all public school students, no matter where they go to school, receive a quality education. In 2011, I approved new college- and career-ready standards for our state in English language arts and math. This spring, students will be assessed on those higher standards using Smarter Balanced tests. Results from these new tests will tell us if students are on track to be college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school.

Some students are on track. Many are not.

Families and schools deserve to know if students are on a path to success after high school. And students need extra support when they aren't. If they don't test, it's more difficult to identify what skills they lack and how best to help them. Students who don't test will miss out on opportunities, especially if they are juniors in high school.

These tests are designed to assess what skills students have and what they need to work on. Students who do not achieve a college- and career-ready score are not "failures.' But they do need additional help to reach proficiency.

No test is perfect. That's why I've always said we need to rely on "multiple measures' when we talk about student success. But the Smarter Balanced tests, with their emphasis on real-world skills, are better than any standardized test our state has administered before.

Unfortunately, testing opponents are spreading misinformation. It's important to focus on facts.

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