When Michelle Allen asks her daughter about her school day, she doesn't usually hear about test scores.
She tells KEPR, "Her favorite activity is PE and recess."
But Michelle likes to know her kids are learning in the classroom, too.
She continues, "We're more about seeing her results and what's on paper."
Standardized testing comes around once a year. And teachers know it can make or break a district.
Teacher, Beth Austin says, "We're always excited and anxious to find out the scores."
Beth Austin teaches fourth grade at Livingston in Pasco. Here's the comparisons. I looked at reading and math results for all grades.
In Reading, more than two-thirds of all Kennewick students achieved state standards.In Richland that jumped to more than three-quarters. In Pasco, it was just more than half. Overall in the state, 70% of students made the mark.
For Math, roughly half the kids in Kennewick schools met the standard. Compare that to nearly two-thirds in Richland and less than half in Pasco. Across Washington, 60% of students passed.
While Pasco has the lower scores on both accounts, it's important to note the district's significant progress. In both subjects, Pasco broke the 50 percent margin for the first time in reading.
Ms. Austin says, "Students, parents, administrators, work really hard and it's nice it show that."
And you have to remember, these results reflect what students do in just one week out of the year.
She continues, "Whether the students meet the standard or not, they're all growing."
Michelle chimes in, "That's what makes us, "Good job!" and jump for joy for her, just seeing the improvements."
Despite the good news, our districts are not meeting federal standards. Almost all have received a waiver to get more time to meet the goal. Those federal standards are part of Former President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. The idea is to have every district bring 100% of students in line with the standard by 2014. As most educators will tell you, the act was unfunded and doomed to fail. It's why our districts received those waivers for more time.