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Few Snohomish County-area schools rank high in new report


February 17, 2011

More than half of children in Washington state attend low-performing schools

Seattle – A new report released by Washington Policy Center (WPC) today rates the quality of schools in the Snohomish County-area school districts. WPC’s new Public School Accountability Index is based on data compiled by the State Board of Education’s 2010 Achievement Index. More than half of the area’s schools are listed as Struggling or Fair. Struggling is the lowest ranking, indicating school officials are failing to educate students according to state standards. Only six schools are listed as Exemplary.

The best and worst scores in each district are listed below.

Arlington School District

Best: Post Middle School

Worst: Weston High School

Darrington School District

Best: Darrington Middle

Worst: Darrington Elementary

Edmonds School District

Best: Challenge Elementary

Worst: Maplewood Center

Everett School District

Best: Gateway Middle School

Worst: Whittier Elementary

Granite Falls School District

Best: Mountain View Elementary

Worst: Crossroads Alternative

Lake Stevens School District

Best: Skyline Elementary

Worst: Hillcrest Academy

Marysville School District

Best: Liberty Elementary

Worst: Quil Ceda Elementary

Mukilteo School District

Best: Endeavour Elementary

Worst: Horizon Elementary

Snohomish School District

Best: Totem Falls

Worst: Machias Elementary

Stanwood School District

Best: Cedarhome Elementary, Elger Bay Elementary, Twin City Elementary

Worst: Lincoln Academy

Sultan School District

Best: Sultan Elementary

Worst: Columbia Virtual Academy

WPC’s Public School Accountability Index is based on data compiled by the State Board of Education’s 2010 Achievement Index, conducted to determine whether local school officials are fulfilling their paramount duty under the state constitution to provide a quality education for every child. The Index ranks schools as Exemplary, Very Good, Good, Fair or Struggling. A rating of Struggling is an indication local school officials are failing in their educational mission.

The full WPC School Accountability Index is available online here. WPC’s two-page Policy Note explaining the School Accountability Index is available here. Local schools are listed alphabetically.

Key Findings:

· 597,000, or nearly 60%, of Washington children attend Fair or Struggling public schools.

· Only 93,000, less than 10%, of students attend a Very Good or Exemplary public school.

· The great majority of schools, 1,208, rank as only Fair or Struggling,

· Only 212 schools, barely 10%, rank as either Very Good or Exemplary.

· The poor academic performance is not due to lack of support from taxpayers – funding for Washington public education is at record highs.

· Public schools receive just over $10 billion a year, or $10,200 per student, in operating funds, plus an additional $1.3 billion for school construction.

· Since 1980 education spending, adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled, while the number of students, due to smaller families, has increased by only a third.

· There are fewer students today in relation to the total population than in the past, and spending per student is the highest ever.

Governor Gregoire says she found that more spending does not improve learning for children: “I put a lot more money into K-12. But then you sit there and say, ‘Why have I not been able to get the result I set out to achieve?’” Policy changes that would improve learning for children without increasing spending are described in Washington Policy Center’s education reform plan, Eight Practical Ways to Reverse the Decline in Public Schools.


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