Published Online: January 3, 2006

Washington's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 2,241
Public school teachers 52,824
Pre-K-12 students 1,021,349
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $7.4 billion
Minority students 28.5%
Children in poverty 17%
Students with disabilities 11%
English-language learners 5.7%

Summary of Grades

Washington scored at or above average in three of the four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state receives its only above-average grade in standards and accountability. It fares well on school accountability and on assessment. It has tests aligned with its standards in three of the four core subject areas. But there is room for improvement on its standards, which have not been rated by the American Federation of Teachers as clear, specific, and grounded in content for English above the elementary level or for social studies at any grade span.

Washington scores just below average in teacher quality, doing poorly on indicators related to teacher education and qualifications. The state does not require prospective teachers to have a major or equivalent coursework in the subjects they will teach, nor does it mandate student teaching or other clinical experiences for future teachers. Washington fares somewhat better in the areas of teacher assessments and accountability for teacher quality.

With an average grade in school climate, Washington receives high marks for school safety. But it loses points on some measures of parent involvement. Washington is also one of only 10 states without a charter school law.

Washington posts an average performance on resource equity. Like most states, its wealth-neutrality score indicates that poorer districts tend to receive less per-pupil funding than wealthier districts.

State Policy Report Card
Washington Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity C C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 29.7 40
Assessment 26.25 30
School accountability 27 30
83 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 22.75 35
Teacher assessment 25.5 30
Professional support and training 14.55 20
Accountability for teacher quality 12.6 15
75 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 12.5 15
School safety 18.33 20
Parent involvement 10.2 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 7.79 10
School size 6.5 10
School facilities 7.5 10
78 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 27.33 33.3
McLoone Index 22.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 24 33.3
74 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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