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By The Skanner News
Published: 27 August 2008

Rainier Beach High School posted a 19 percent jump in the Washington State Assessment of Learning scores, released this week.
Seattle Public Schools results overall were higher than the state average, which officials said was remarkable because most large urban school districts score below state averages.
The trend in 10th grade achievement remains strong with gains in every area tested.
"Our 10th grade students achieved gains in all areas and most of those who have taken the WASL tests are on track to graduate," said Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson. "This is a strong, positive trend, yet we will not be satisfied until we meet our targets for increases in graduation rate as established in "Excellence for All." We work with each student to plan how each graduation requirement will be met."
Throughout the district, most students did better in reading, writing, math and science.
The exceptions were results for fourth grade – in all subjects — and for seventh grade in reading and math.
The achievement level for fourth grade reading dropped by 5.8 points and in math by 5.3 points, mirroring a drop in state results, which are down by 4.3 points in reading and 4.7 points in math.
Based on preliminary analysis, 87.2  percent (or 2,109 students out of a total of 2,418 in the class of 2009 classified as 12th graders) have passed both the reading and writing WASL tests, a state requirement for graduation. This compares with 86  percent at the state level. 
About 250 students have not yet passed one or both of the two required assessments and there are an additional 59 students in the class of 2009 for whom the district does not have test data. In addition, more than 78  percent of the students in the class of 2010 classified as 11th graders have passed both assessments.
Significant gains have been made over the past several years in narrowing the education gap between White students and students of color in reading and writing, with smaller gains made in math.
"The education gap remains unacceptably large for too many of our students. While some gains have been made, there is much more to be done," Goodloe-Johnson said. "Continuing education gaps present significant challenges for districts across the nation. We are studying student achievement data to help identify specific student needs."
Nevertheless, significant gains were posted at schools where a relatively high  percentage of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch.
At Concord Elementary School, fourth grade student scores showed progress in all three subject areas — a gain of 12 points in math, 8 points in reading and 8 points in writing. For the first time, more than 70 percent met or exceeded reading standards. The free or reduced-price lunch percentage is 87.8.

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