State Assessment: Smarter Balanced English Language Arts

State Assessment: Smarter Balanced English Language Arts
Four students wearing masks at their desks and listening to someone talk

The percentage of students scoring at each level of the state assessments (Smarter Balanced) in English Language Arts (ELA).

Today’s students are preparing to enter a world in which colleges and businesses are demanding more than ever before. To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in English Language Arts from Kindergarten through twelfth-grade.

The standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country and are designed to ensure students are prepared for today’s entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs. The Common Core focuses on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful.

The new standards also provide a way for teachers to measure student progress throughout the school year and ensure that students are on the pathway to success in their academic careers.

For more information about learning standards and state testing visit For more information about learning standards and state testing visit OSPI's online brochure, Your Child's Progress.

What does a State Test Score Mean?

  • Level 4 - Exceeds State Standard
    • Represents advanced mastery of skills and knowledge in a subject
  • Level 3 - Meets State Standard
    • Represents mastery of skills and knowledge in a subject.
  • Level 2 - Below State Standard
    • Represents some mastery of skills and knowledge in a subject
  • Level 1 - Well-Below State Standard
    • Represents little to no mastery of skills and knowledge in a subject

Fifth Grade Report

Eighth Grade Report

10th Grade Report

11th Grade Report (New benchmark; first data report coming summer 2021)

12th Grade Report (New benchmark; data report coming summer 2021)

Understanding the data

State assessments are administered in the spring, and scored by the State. The 2015 school year was the first administration of the Smarter Balanced assessments. The results are typically distributed to school districts in the summer.

The benchmark displays the percentage of students who scored at each level of the assessment and may be viewed by district, region, school, and race. The data can be further filtered by gender, English Language Learner status, free and reduced lunch status, and special education status.

Because a school year includes two calendar years, such as 2014-2015, the school year on the benchmark chart is identified by the second calendar year. For example, the 2014-2015 school year is identified as 2015 on the chart.


Number of students receiving a specific score divided by the total number of students expected to be assessed at the specified grade level.

Data retrieval schedule

State data is loaded to the student information system when made available by the state. This typically ocurs in late August. The data is then load to the data warehouse in early September for display in the benchmark.

Input from

Data warehouse

Legacy reports 

Our current reports show data from the 2018 school year and beyond using improved reporting tools. Legacy reports show older data using older tools.
Open 5th grade legacy report     Open 8th grade legacy report    Open 10th legacy report

Historical assessments

Related benchmark data for previous state assessments.

Open legacy HSPE Standards report
The percentage of students meeting High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) standards in reading and writing.

Open legacy MSP Standards report
The percentage of middle school students meeting Measurement of Student Progress standards.