Applause for excellent student test scores

Statewide test results released last week show 10th grade students in Thurston County’s three largest school districts top the state average for reading, math, writing and biology.

It’s encouraging to see some of the standardized test score progress being made in the Olympia and Tumwater school districts and North Thurston Public Schools.

However, 10th-graders in all three districts scored slightly lower in reading in 2012, compared with 2011. Tumwater and North Thurston also dropped a bit year-over-year in writing.

But Tumwater and North Thurston showed double-digit improvement in 10th grade math scores.

In grades 3 through 8, the three districts’ students also generally fared better than their statewide counterparts. Of special note, 100 percent of the third-graders at Boston Harbor Elementary School passed the reading test. That’s an accomplishment students, teachers, parents and school staff should take pride in.

Statewide, more students are receiving passing scores in science and math, but reading scores show decline in the third, eighth and 10th grade levels.

As the school year begins, many challenges remain in the arena of standardized testing. This year’s seniors are the first who will be required to pass a math exam to graduate. So far more than a quarter of the class of 2013 hasn’t passed all of the required state tests.