9th/10th Grade Progress >> Limited English, Low-Income, Special Ed

Only 22% of King County 10th graders with limited English proficiency met state reading standards in 2012.

Education is widely regarded as the great leveler, an “intervention” that pays off in higher wages and better health. But we know now that timing is crucial. Providing quality education before age 5 creates a powerful domino effect, yielding sustained benefits to individuals and society at large. 

Washington State’s High School Proficiency Exams (HSPEs) measure basic reading and writing proficiencies.  To graduate in 2013, students must pass these exams plus end-of-course (EOC) exams in math; starting in 2015, graduates will also have to pass an EOC exam in biology. 

In the 2011-2012 school year, 81.3% of 10th graders met the state reading standard and 85.4% met the writing standard. In King County, the proportion of 10th graders who met standards in reading and writing varied by English language proficiency, special education status, and family income. Disparities were most dramatic for reading scores.  The percentages of students who met state reading standards were …

  • 22% of students with limited English proficiency.
  • 53% of special education students.
  • 72% of students from low-income families.

There were no differences by gender.