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SKSD recognized for narrowing achievement gap

Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services recognized the South Kitsap School District (SKSD) last week for significantly narrowing the achievement gap, specifically between the black and white student groups.

SKSD is one of 15 districts in Washington to receive this recognition.

Standard & Poor is an organization comprised of analysts, some of whom are former educators, who study educational research and methodologies.

School Evaluation Services was developed as a framework to synthesize student performance, financial information, and community and school demographics to help explain school and school district performance holistically.

Although there are many ways that achievement gaps between student groups can narrow, SKSD was recognized for both reducing the gap between groups while simultaneously improving each group’s performance.

“We’re very pleased with the improvements our district has made in regard to narrowing the achievement gap — as well as the overall increases in the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores,” said Kurt Wagner, SKSD assistant superintendent of instructional services.

“However, our focus on increasing student achievement needs to be maintained, so that our scores continue to improve across the board.”

To be recognized, school districts must serve all grades, enroll an average of 30 students per subgroup per grade level, reduce the achievement gap in overall reading and math proficiency rates between at least one set of student subgroups by more than five percentage points over the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years and simultaneously raise the rates of both the subgroups being compared.

For more information about Standard & Poor’s findings visit www.SchoolMatters.com.

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