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Seattle Schools' students are 'thriving,' despite evidenceNovember 2, 2012 @ 6:54 am (Updated: 7:30 am - 11/2/12 )
The new Seattle Schools Superintendent, Josť Banda, says the district is "thriving, with enrollment on the rise and test scores increasing."
There are more students and test scores are up in some areas, but the district will not meet any of the performance goals they sent almost five years ago.
In 2008, the district set goals for "academic growth and student outcomes" which is education speak for improving how well students do on standardized tests.
By 2013, the district expects 95 percent of 10th-graders to pass the state's reading exam. With a year to go before the deadline, only about 79 percent passed, according to the latest data.
The goal was to have 80 percent of seventh graders pass the state math test. It's unlikely that'll happen with only 67 percent passing now.
The district hoped 80 percent of high school students would graduate within four years, but right now about 74 percent graduate on time.
Were the district's goals too lofty?
Although SPS won't hit any of them, student performance is improving.
On the state math test, the fourth-grade-passage rate has gone up from 56 percent to 67 percent. About 67 percent of seventh graders are passing, which is a big bump up from 53 percent four years ago.
When it comes to spending money on kids, the district planned to spend about 81 percent of its budget on students by 2013. Currently, 77 percent is spent on instruction. About 7 percent goes to the central administration staff.
Enrollment is up in Seattle Schools. For the 2012-13 school year the district's 95 schools added 1,400 for a total of 49,864. In the next decade, the district expects to add 7,000 students.
By LINDA THOMAS, a mom to two SPS kids
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