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News / Clark County News

Evergreen, Vancouver district eighth-graders lag behind state in math scores

2023 data shows slight improvements from previous years, though still lower than pre-pandemic

By Griffin Reilly, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 11, 2024, 2:53pm

The latest standardized testing data available for Clark County’s students reveals eighth-graders are struggling at similar rates in both English and math.

Students in grades three through eight and 10 take the Smarter Balanced Assessments in English Language Arts and math each year. For tests taken in spring 2023, 78.9 percent of eighth-graders in Evergreen Public Schools did not meet grade-level standards, and 76.8 percent of eighth graders in Vancouver Public Schools did not meet grade-level standards, according to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

While still lagging behind state averages by about 10 percentage points, student math performance in both Vancouver and Evergreen has improved slightly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, data also shows students are still reaching proficiency at rates lower than before the pandemic in 2019.

School leaders in Clark County have cautioned that such standardized test scores are just one snapshot of a point in time and don’t tell the full picture of how students are doing.

“The score is important, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect all the stories within that game,” Vancouver Superintendent Jeff Snell previously told The Columbian.

Both Evergreen and Vancouver, however, have launched districtwide programs to shine a spotlight on math improvement. In October 2022, for example, Evergreen set a goal of improving math scores by 13 percentage points by the 2023 testing cycle. State data shows the effort led to an increase of 1.9 percentage points.

Also, like the state data released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Clark County schools continue to display substantial disparities between white students and students of color. The most recent data from the state superintendent’s office in 2023 shows white students in both Evergreen and Vancouver are meeting proficiency levels at rates of 15 to 20 percentage points higher than their peers of color.

Test scores

Ayub Mohamed, 7, gets help from volunteer tutor Esmeralda Jimenez, 13, while Olivia Elaydo, 7, and Eden Pollard, 6, work on math problems during a summer tutoring program with School Connect WA at Dearborn Park International Elementary School in Seattle on July 28, 2023.72% of Washington eighth-graders not proficient in math, report shows
Most Washington K-12 students failed to meet basic math and reading proficiency standards in recent years, according to a new report.
While still lagging behind state averages by about 10 percentage points, student math performance in both Vancouver and Evergreen has improved slightly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Data also shows that local students are still reaching proficiency at rates lower than before the pandemic in 2019.Evergreen, Vancouver district eighth-graders lag behind state in math scores
The latest standardized testing data available for Clark County’s students reveals eighth graders are struggling at similar rates in both English and math.
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