Frequently Asked Questions

What does my child need to know?
Your child's progress is important to you, but we know that keeping tabs on the state learning goals and assessments can be challenging for a parent. That's why we publish a one-page handout called Your Child's Progress. Choose your child's grade, from Kindergarten to Grade 10, to see the learning goals and state testing requirements for that grade level.

How does Washington assess its students?
Our state assessment system fulfills the state’s Education Reform Law of 1993 and the requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We have three tests: the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) for grades 3-8, the High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE) and End-of-Course (EOC) exams. More information about state testing is available on our State Testing FAQs page.

How do I renew my teacher certificate?
If you hold or have held an initial certificate, please visit the Renewal page for directions. You can also use Electronic Certification to submit and track an application for renewal.

How is my local school doing?
The Washington State School Report Card provides parents and others in our state with information about K-12 public schools. It includes information about school demographics, student performance and school staff. It also gives the option to compare up to three schools in one view (in the upper right corner, click on the "Tools" dropdown and select "Compare my school").

How do I contact my local school district?
For the most accurate contact information, we recommend that you visit the school district Web site. We've provided links to all district Web sites in our Maps tool.

What are the graduation requirements?
All public high school students are required to meet statewide graduation requirements in order to earn a diploma. The Washington State Legislature requires state testing and the Washington State Board of Education establishes minimum credit requirements, the Culminating Project and the High School and Beyond Plan. OSPI explains the graduation requirements in The Graduation Toolkit. The toolkit is an online resource to help educators and families understand state graduation requirements.

How do I see my child’s test booklet?
The option to review a student's state test booklet is available to parents and guardians of students who were enrolled full time or part time in Washington public schools during state testing.

What is the Every Student Succeeds Act?
The The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on December 10, 2015, as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA will be fully operational in school year 2017-18.

How are Washington schools funded?
OSPI attempts to make the complex subject of school finance understandable to the general public in the manual Organization and Financing of Washington Public Schools. The manual is written for school board members, legislators, educators, and interested citizens. It is a free download.

You may also be interested in School District Revenues and Expenditures (Washington State), a data spreadsheet maintained by OSPI School Apportionment and Financial Services.

How do I make a public records request?
OSPI's Public Records office outlines how to submit a formal records request.


   Updated 10/17/2016

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