Testing Students in Washington State
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State Testing

Overview
Updated November 7, 2014
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Washington students are tested regularly by the state to assess their progress as they move through school. Starting in the 2014-15 school year, state tests include:

Guidelines on Tools, Supports, & Accommodations: The intent of the new document is to transition the state as a whole to the new policies, protocols, and processes that are the underpinning of the improved accessibility approach to supporting student testing. This document guides decisions associated with student access to state assessments. The basis of the guidelines is built upon collaboration amongst multiple states and input from nationally recognized experts on English language learners and students with disabilities. The guidelines are research-based and outline three categories of resources—tools, supports, and accommodations. Based on the format of the state test (online or paper/pencil) an access feature will either be embedded as part of the test delivery system or non-embedded (accompanies the test).

    Tools are available to all students and can be used at the student’s discretion.

    Supports are also available to all students, but an educator knowledgeable of the student’s needs has to activate the feature for use.

    Accommodations are designated for students who receive special education services and English language learners (ELL) with a documented need noted in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan.

The state translates the math EOC and science exams into six languages (Spanish, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Somali) for ELL. This covers about 80 percent of the ELL population in Washington. Students can listen to translated test questions on a CD, but must answer in English.

Grades 3-8

In grades 3-8, students take Smarter Balanced tests and MSP for federal accountability. Student scores on these tests determine a school’s adequate yearly progress (AYP) status.

Tests Required for Federal Accountability
Grades Subject Test
3-8 ELA Smarter Balanced
Math
5 & 8 Science MSP

High School

In high school, students take Smarter Balanced tests and the biology EOC for federal accountability. Student scores on these tests determine a school’s AYP status. All 11th graders will take the Smarter Balanced tests in ELA and math. Students take the biology EOC as they complete that course, typically by the end of 10th grade.

Tests Required for Federal Accountability
Grades Subject Test
11 ELA Smarter Balanced
Math
10 Biology EOC

High school students must also pass tests, or state-approved alternatives, to be eligible to graduate. Required tests vary by expected year of graduation. A student’s expected year of graduation is set when he/she enters the 9th grade.

A small number of students receiving special education services are eligible to earn a certificate of individual achievement (CIA)/high school diploma by meeting standard in the Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS). Eligibility is determined by a student’s IEP team.

The state legislature determines graduation requirements. The following table shows tests required for graduation as of the 2014 state legislative session. Requirements may change during the next legislative session.

For more information about graduation requirements, please email gradreq@k12.wa.us.

Tests Required for Graduation
Class of Subject Test
2014 ELA Reading AND Writing HSPE*
Math Choose 1:
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC
2015 ELA Reading AND Writing HSPE*
Math Choose 1:
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC exit exam**
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC exit exam**
Science Biology EOC++
2016 ELA Choose 1:
  • Reading AND Writing HSPE
  • Smarter Balanced ELA test (exit exam cut score)+
Math Choose 1:
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC exit exam**
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC exit exam**
  • Smarter Balanced math test (exit exam cut score)+
Science Biology EOC++
2017 & 2018 ELA Smarter Balanced ELA test (exit exam cut score)+
Math Choose 1:
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC
  • Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 EOC exit exam**
  • Geometry/Integrated Math 2 EOC exit exam**
  • Smarter Balanced math test (exit exam cut score)+
Science Biology EOC++
2019 ELA Smarter Balanced ELA test (cut score to be determined by State Board of Education)+
Math Smarter Balanced math test (cut score to be determined by State Board of Education)+
Science Biology EOC++

* Reading and Writing HSPEs will be available to 11th and 12th graders who have not met their graduation requirements in spring and summer 2015, and to 12th graders in spring and summer 2016.

** EOC exams are based on previous Washington State Learning Standards in math. EOC exit exams are based on updated Washington State Learning Standards (Common Core), beginning in school year 2014-15.

+ The Washington State Board of Education will set the exit exam cut score. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will recommend to the Washington State Board a college- & career-ready cut score that, once approved, will be used for accountability in 11th grade. If a 10th grader meets the college- & career-ready cut score, he or she will not have to take the Smarter Balanced ELA test in 11th grade. 

++ Until Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are implemented and assessed, students will be required to pass the biology EOC. After NGSS are implemented and assessed, students will be required to pass a comprehensive NGSS Test. The timeline for NGSS is being developed.

Other Assessments

  • OSPI-Developed Assessments (formerly CBAs) and OSPI-Developed Performance Assessments (formerly CBPAs): The state supports the development of classroom-based assessments that are based on the state’s learning standards and help guide day-to-day instruction. State curriculum specialists create tasks and questions that model good assessments and provide them to local school districts.
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): NAEP is a national assessment that allows educational achievement to be compared across states. Federal law requires every state to give the NAEP in reading and math at grades 4 and 8 every two years. States and school districts that receive Title I federal funding to aid educationally disadvantaged students in high poverty areas must participate in these assessments. Other subjects also are tested.
  • Second-Grade Fluency and Accuracy Assessment: Every student is assessed at the beginning of second grade using a grade-level equivalent oral reading passage.
  • Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS): The WAAS provides multiple ways for students with an Individual Education Program (IEP) to participate in the state testing system and includes the WA-AIM, DAPE, and Off-Grade assessments.
  • Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL): This test was replaced in 2009-10 by the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE).
  • Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA): The WELPA annually assesses growth in English language development by the state’s English language learners (ELL). This assessment tests reading, writing, listening and speaking knowledge and skills.
  • Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Skills (WaKIDS): This program helps bring families, teachers and early learning providers together to support each child’s learning and transition into public schools.
View a state testing history timeline to see the years each subject was phased in at each grade level.

 

 

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