Lilac City Real Estate

School Rankings

How Good Are the Schools?

Ranking Spokane Area Schools

As a Spokane Realtor I am often asked, "Is the schools for that area good?" It is an even more frequent question for those families with children relocating to Spokane. Every year many active duty Air Force personnel receive PCS orders to Fairchild Air Force Base (FAFB) coming here from all parts of the world. As I write this article I am conversing with a mother serving in the armed forces in Turkey. She is stationed at Incirlik Air Base and has recently learned she has order to Fairchild Air Force Base. She emails me that she has children in 3rd, 5th and 8th grade and when pondering various neighborhoods to purchase a home she is most concerned about the schools. How can anyone find out how a school is performing well or poor? It is a difficult challenge indeed.

The Washington State Legislature and the Washington Policy Center has helped provide a better answer. I have found the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction website to give a very nebulous answer to the question: "How good is this school?" It overwhelms the searcher with meaningless numbers and vague sounding praise with little distinction between the well performing schools and the others not so much. It reminds me ofe early age soccer leagues where keeping score is frowned on lest we damage the young one's self esteem. On the other hand, the Washington Policy Center has created a simple and clear method of ranking and reporting on school performance.

They have created a Public School Accountability Index which rates the quality of public schools on a scale from 1 to 7 based on student achievement in test scores in reading, writing, math and science, plus each school’s graduation rate. Using these measures, schools were placed in one of five categories: Exemplary, Very Good, Good, Fair or Struggling. The table following presents the overall results.

Category Score Range Number of Schools

Percentage of all Schools

Exemplary 5.50 – 7.00 203 9.7%
Very Good 5.00 – 5.49 288 13.8%
Good 4.00 – 4.99 713 34.3%
Fair 2.50 – 3.99 702 33.8%
Struggling 1.00 – 2.49 169 8.1%

 

It is clear to see this method makes real distinctions from the well performing schools and the others that are struggling to effectively teach the next generation, our children. This information is quoted from the Washington Policy Center website and anyhone reading this may go there to obtain the report for schools across the entire Washington State. However, the individuals and families I work with are only concerned with schools in the Spokane County area. So, I am providing my readers with an edited report deleting the schools not in the Spokane area. According to this downsized report, I find 155 schools entirely or partially in Spokane County. You may open the report here. It is in an Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet file. Here is a simple table listing the school districts and the places they cover.

List of Spokane County Schools

School District

Places Covered

Central Valley School District No. 356

Liberty Lake, Spokane Valley

Cheney School District No. 360

Airway Heights, Cheney, Spokane

Deer Park School District No. 414

Deer Park

East Valley School District No. 361

Spokane Valley

Freeman School District No. 358

Rockford

Great Northern School District No. 312

Airway Heights

Liberty School District No. 362

Fairfield, Latah, Spangle, Waverly, Spokane

Mead School District No. 354

Spokane, Mead, Colbert

Medical Lake School District No. 326

Medical Lake

Nine Mile Falls School District No. 325

Nine Mile Falls, Suncrest

Orchard Prairie School District No. 123

Spokane County

Newport School District No. 415

Newport

Reardan School District No. 9

Reardan, West Spokane County

Riverside School District No. 416

Deer Park

Rosalia School District No. 410

Rosalia, South Spokane County

Spokane School District No. 81

Spokane, Spokane Valley

St John School District No. 401

St John

Tekoa School District No. 80

Tekoa

West Valley School District No. 363

Millwood, Spokane, Spokane Valley