Snohomish parents keep 550 students from test

SNOHOMISH — More than 550 Snohomish School District students did not take state exams in the past two weeks, a revolt staged by parents who question whether the tests are worth the money. The parents also hoped to get the attention of state lawmakers.

With so many kids bowing out of the tests, the school district could lose some control for another year in how it spends federal funds given to schools with a large percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches.

The district most likely won’t meet the federal requirement that at least 95 percent of students participate in the exams.

So far, the students who didn’t take the Measurement of Student Progress represent about 12 percent of the 4,501 students between third and eighth grade required to take the test in Snohomish.

Last year only 12 students missed the standardized tests.

The final tally could increase because students are scheduled to continue taking the tests until June 1.

On the flip side, the movement has gained attention from state legislators who have met with the group spearheading it, We Support Schools Snohomish.

The group is considering expansion of its boycott to other school districts to raise awareness among legislators that parents are concerned about the exams.

“We are not against testing. We want student assessment, but we want smarter, more effective and more cost-efficient testing,” member Michelle Purcell said. “We feel we have been heard.”

So far, the group has met with state Reps. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish; John McCoy, D-Tulalip; Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens; and Mike Sells, D- Everett.

The group hopes to expand the boycott to other school districts, including Marysville, Everett and even Vancouver and Lake Washington, Purcell said.

All students not taking the exams will earn a zero. Test scores won’t be known until August. Low scores mean schools and districts must be put on a track to improve.

The Snohomish School District is already mandated to improve, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The parent group decided on the boycott because of cuts to state education. The group believes that if cuts need to be made, they should be done in areas that do not affect the classroom.

The group believes the Measure of Student Progress is an example of unnecessary testing, because the results are made available only after the students have moved on to another grade. According to numbers provided by the state’s superintendent of public instruction, the state spends about $38.6 million on the test.

The cost per student starts at $30, but since students might take more than one test, depending on their grade level, the cost can reach up to $90.

Students who did not take the test were assigned separate classrooms during testing, district spokeswoman Kristin Foley said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Everett Herald staff gather and talk in the newsroom after layoff announcements on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘This breaks my heart’: Over half of Everett Herald news staff laid off

A dozen journalists were handed walking papers Wednesday, in a wave of layoffs mandated by new owners, Carpenter Media Group.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.