The discrepancy in achievement among different groups of students—known as the opportunity gap—is the predominant issue of our time. Most children (nearly 80,000) in the Road Map Project region are Non-White, and most of them are poor. The racial and ethnic disparities in student achievement can be seen in Road Map Project results reports. The gaps our students experience start early. In 3rd grade, the students who are not successfully reading are disproportionally children of color, as illustrated by this graph.
Homelessness among students in the Road Map Project region continues to rise. In the 2012-13 school year, 3,156 students were identified as homeless. Some student subgroups are being hit harder than others by homelessness. Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native students are homeless at a rate six times that of Asian and White students.
Homelessness Among Road Map Region Students
SOURCE: OSPI student-level database
Earlier this summer, the Brookings Institution released a report about the “Hidden STEM Economy” in America. (Click here to see the report’s web page.) The analysis found that 26 million U.S. jobs—20 percent of all jobs—require a high level of knowledge in any one STEM field, as of 2011. STEM jobs have doubled as a share of all jobs since the Industrial Revolution, from less than 10 percent in 1850 to 20 percent in 2010, according to the reserach.
The report also examined the STEM economy in metropolitan areas, including Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue. Here is that profile (click to enlarge):
(of 5,165 eligible students in the Road Map Project region, as of July 8)
This is the current number of eligible students in the Road Map Project region who have signed up for the College Bound Scholarship. The scholarship program promises tuition (at public tuition rates) and a small book allowance for income-eligible students who sign up in the 7th or 8th grade, work hard in school, stay out of legal trouble and successfully enroll in a participating higher-education institution when they graduate. This is an amazing opportunity and a game-changer for the region!
The Road Map Project is tracking the region’s sign-up progress, as well as individual districts’ rates. Please visit our College Bound Scholarship page to see more data.
The Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) is a statewide kindergarten readiness whole-child assessment that aims to help teachers better understand the needs and strengths of incoming kindergarten students, and to make the transition to kindergarten smooth for the students and families.
The graph below shows the percentage of students demonstrating the expected characteristics of entering kindergarteners across six domains: social emotional, physical, literacy, cognitive, language and math. We also looked at the percent of kindergarteners who met all six of these domains. Teachers use Teaching Strategies Gold, an observational assessment tool, to determine whether students are meeting age-level expectations for the domains.
In the 2011-12 school year, 52 elementary schools in the Road Map Project region participated in WaKIDS. All schools with state-funded, full-day kindergarten are participating in the 2012-13 school year. Full participation is expected in the 2014-15 school year. Schools participating in WaKIDS gain access to data and, as training continues, teachers and principals will be able to use data to drive personalized improvement for kids.
The Washington State Board of Education annually rates all schools using the State Achievement Index. The Index uses overall student performance, graduation data, annual growth and performance compared to schools with similar demographics to place schools into four achievement tiers: exemplary, good to very good, fair and struggling. Here’s a look at our region’s 2012 State Achievement Index data for elementary schools.
While the region’s 3rd grade reading scores have gone down since 2009-10, the Road Map Project’s baseline year, 6th grade reading scores continue to show good improvement. Here’s a look at trend data for the percent of students meeting the state standard for 6th grade reading, in addition to a snapshot of district performance. Source: OSPI Report Card
English Language Learning (ELL) students enter school at various ages and grades, but the student distribution is far from even. Most of the region’s ELL students enter the state’s formal Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program as they start kindergarten. They are assessed annually for their English language proficiency and most exit the program in four to five years. Students who enter the school system in the later grades tend to have more challenges. The following graph shows the percent of all students in a particular grade who are ELL students.
Access to adequate financial aid is important for students to attend and be successful in college. Research has found that completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, a necessary step for students to request state and federal money for college, significantly increases students’ likelihood of enrolling in a four-year college. With this in mind, the region ramped up the FAFSA completion campaign in 2012. The result was 28 free College Goal Sunday and FAFSA completion events in the Road Map Project region, compared to only 15 events in 2011. The region’s focus on College Bound Scholarship students is paying off in terms of FAFSA completion, as well. These students filed their FAFSAs at much higher rates than students overall. Efforts are currently under way across the region to make sure the 2013 FAFSA completion campaign is even more successful than last year. Volunteers are needed to help make this happen! Please head to United Way of King County’s website to get involved. SOURCES: OSPI student-level database and U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid Office SOURCES: OSPI student-level database and WSAC NOTE (all data): Data available for on-time high school graduates
In recent years, the region has experienced a rise in poverty and schools are seeing an increase in the number of low-income students. In the 2011-12 school year, 70,000 students in the region were classified as low income by qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. Let’s take a closer look at trend data on low-income students. (SOURCE: OSPI Report Card)
Many students in the Road Map Project region moved here from other countries. Move your mouse around the map to learn more about where our students come from.
A recent study of Road Map region student transcripts found that taking 8th grade algebra can put students on the path to college success. Let’s take a look at the percent of students taking 8th grade algebra or higher: