Contact: Chris Cargill
ccargill [at] washingtonpolicy [dot] org
Kennewick - The new Washington Policy Center Public School Accountability Index reveals disappointing results for many schools in the Tri-Cities area. According to the index, just five schools rank Exemplary – Lewis & Clark Elementary, Southgate Elementary, Sacajawea Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Washington Elementary. The index ranks schools as Exemplary, Very Good, Good, Fair or Struggling. Overall, 55% of schools in the Tri-Cities area are in the bottom two categories of the index. That’s worse than the statewide results, which show 42% of schools are only Fair or Struggling.
The best and worst scores from each district are listed below.
Kennewick School District
Best: Southgate Elementary
Worst: Vista Elementary
Richland School District
Best: Lewis & Clark Elementary
Worst: Three Rivers Home Link
Pasco School District
Best: Ruth Livingston Elementary
Worst: New Horizons High School
The WPC Public School Accountability Index is a ranking of the 2,075 schools in Washington state. The Policy Center's Index is based on data compiled by the State Board of Education's 2011 Achievement Index, conducted to determine whether school officials are fulfilling their paramount duty under the state constitution to provide a quality education for every child. A close study of the index shows many school rankings are reduced as a result of student performance on math and science tests.
The full WPC School Accountability Index is available online here . Local schools are listed alphabetically, by district, or by score. WPC’s two-page Policy Note explaining the Accountability Index is available here .
- Only 8% of public schools in the Tri-Cities-area are considered Exemplary
- 42% of Washington public schools are considered Fair or Struggling
- 55% of Tri-Cities-area public schools are considered Fair or Struggling
- Public schools in Washington state receive $10,326 per student, per year in operating funds
- Since 1980 education spending, adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled, while the number of students, due to smaller families, has increased by only a third
- There are fewer students today in relation to the total population than in the past, and spending per student is the highest ever
Governor Gregoire says "I put a lot more money into K-12. But then you sit there and say, 'Why have I not been able to get the result I set out to achieve?'" Policy changes that would improve learning for children are described in Washington Policy Center’s education reform plan, Eight Practical Ways to Reverse the Decline in Public Schools .