The Global Challenge States, generated from Washington Learns, comprise the top eight states on the Progressive Policy Institute’s New Economy Index [NEI, 2002]. They were identified for the purpose of creating a meaningful comparison group that more closely approximates our state’s socio-economic situation.
You’ll notice that in the first graph, our performance on NAEP substantially exceeds the national average except for 4th grade reading, where WA is still on top but the margin is narrow.
This comports somewhat with the results in the 2nd graph, in which our 4th grade reading scores are on an overall downward trend since 2005, even before the transition from WASL to MSP. I continue to argue that 4th grade literacy scores should be a focus going forward.
Re: NAEP, In each case, our performance lags behind the unweighted average of the Global Challenge States. For graduation rates, our performance falls below both unweighted averages (NAEP and national), which is somewhat anomalous; it will be interesting to see if that trend continues beyond the first year of the comparable 4 yr cohort data.