WASL analysis gives schools tool

Snoqualmie Valley School District students not only surpassed the state at all grade levels in all subjects of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), but are also improving more rapidly than their statewide counterparts, according to an analysis presented by Greg Lobdell of the Center for Educational Effectiveness, Inc.

The school district contracts the CEE to analyze WASL data. Lobdell has shared results with the school principals, and presented findings to the school board at a meeting last month.

The WASL data can be used to compare the district to others in the state, measure improvement within the district, and analyze individual student growth.

School Superintendent Joel Aune said such analysis is a powerful tool for teachers as they seek to improve their instruction and programs.

This type of analysis is relatively new, but this year, analysts were able to measure individual student growth over three years.

Lobdell explained that as they moved through the Valley school system, students generally improved their performance on the WASL. In the cases where student performance remained flat or declined, teachers are able to easily identify the students and develop strategies to help them, thanks to the CEE’s breakdown.

“They can take a personal approach, and look at each student,” Lobdell said.

The WASL data has given the district some good information, but it’s “just one piece” of assessing student learning, said Don McConkey, assistant superintendent. He expects the number and quality of student assessments to increase in coming years.

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