Submitted by John Arbeeny, Lakewood Cares.
Below are SchoolDigger.com academic percentile rankings of Clover Park School District (CPSD) and the District’s schools for 2022 and 2023. These percentile rankings compare the academic performance of all districts and schools in Washington State relative to each other and are based upon Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) data. For instance a district ranked at 90 percentile academically would perform better than 90% of all other districts. Similarly, as in the case of CPSD, a 28.5 percentile ranking would mean it only out performed 28.5% of other districts and conversely was outperformed by 71.5% of other districts.
The figures below provide a trend for academic progress or failure over the last two-year time frame. In contrast, OSPI Report Card as published on their website is only an annual “snapshot” of academic performance for the current year. OSPI does not appear to publish readily available long-term academic performance data which, unfortunately, does not permit an easy, transparent assessment of academic trends over time.
If you were expecting academic progress post-COVID, you’ll be disappointed. The Clover Park School District’s overall ranking saw an insignificant increase of 0.6 percentile (six tenths of one percent) which can be attributed to the above-average double-digit improvement in 6 out of 22 District schools: all elementary schools (Beechwood +14.6%, Lake Louise +7.4%, Rainier 6.8%, Evergreen +24.3%, Four Heros +6.7% and Tillicum +11.6%).
Other than these 6 bright spots the remainder of the 16 District schools showed declines or insignificant percentile gains. Thirteen of 22 schools fell below the 28.5% District average. Ten of 22 schools fell in percentile, 4 of which were double-digit decreases.
At best this represents a slight marginal improvement overall. There are some very worrisome downward trends developing in the District’s high schools and middle schools which declined significantly by double digits (Lakes, Harrison, Thomas) or which remained mired in mediocrity (Clover Park, Lockburn, Hudtloff). Indeed, if one considers only the District’s high school and middle school performance, their percentile would be at 19.17, which means 80%+ of Washington’s high schools and middle schools are outperforming those of Clover Park School District. These are not “success” stories; quite the opposite.
|School Digger rankings (District)||2022||2023||% change|
|Clover Park School District||27.9%||28.5%||+0.6%|
|High Schools||2022||2023||% change|
|Middle Schools||2022||2023||% change|
|Elementary Schools||2022||2023||% change|
It’s time to take off the blinders and admit that the District and many of its schools are academically headed in a downward trajectory while many at the bottom are perhaps beyond hope unless an intense focus is placed on their academic achievement. Enough with the District’s “happy face” public relations on how great things are in the District: they are not! When is this problem going to be addressed publicly as the first step in fixing it?