Sep 11, 2023 - News

Washington state's math test scores rebound — slightly

Illustration of children's hands raised against a background of colorful shapes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Math scores for Washington students rebounded slightly from last year's lows, according to data released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Driving the news: A statewide assessment, taken each spring by students in grades third through eighth and 10th, is one way of assessing the depth of each student's knowledge and abilities in math and English language arts.

Why it matters: While test scores are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, this year's results show improvement over last year, according to OSPI.

  • At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in fall 2021, assessment scores in Washington dropped by several percentage points, mirroring national declines.

By the numbers: Among the more than 1 million Washington students enrolled for the 2022 to 2023 school year, almost 51% met or exceeded grade-level standards in language arts, 39% percent met or exceeded math benchmarks and almost 43% met the science guidelines, per OSPI's Washington Report Card.

  • Among students who made progress on the state assessments between 2022 and 2023, 23% accelerated to beyond grade level or college level proficiency in the language arts and 25% made similar gains in math, according to the data.

Yes, but: Scores for 10th graders declined in both math and language arts, the report shows.

  • Student participation in that grade also decreased, according to OSPI, potentially due to a growing percentage of students choosing alternative graduation paths like Running Start.

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