State Assessments

  • Statewide assessments are given annually to all public school students from grades 3-8 and high school and ensure that, no matter where they go to school, they receive a quality education.
     
    Assessments serve multiple purposes:
    • They measure how every student has achieved in relation to the state standards that all students are expected to learn at the grade level. In Washington State, certain assessments are required for students to graduate.
    • Schools use test scores to evaluate their own performance over time and to determine which students may need additional support in order to achieve grade level standards.
    • Test scores of students in a school are used to determine the success of the school. Schools are held accountable by the state for the scores of their students. Schools are, in effect, “graded” on how well their students do on the tests.
     
    In other words, everyone has a great deal at stake with the statewide tests – students, schools, and the state. For this reason, the term “high-stakes testing” is often used to describe these tests. Because the testing involves holding both schools and school systems accountable for the number of their students that meet the standards, the term “standards-based accountability” is also often used. Both terms refer to the statewide testing described here.

State Learning Standards & Testing

  • This fact sheet — available in 16 languages — provides key information about Washington K-12 Learning Standards & Assessments, why they’re important, and how parents can support their students of all ages. Click here to view.