To ensure that all Washington public school students receive the academic learning requirements statewide testing is performed by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). OSPI develops or selects and administers all state learning requirements and assessments.

One requirement of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is that states have their assessment programs approved for technical quality by the U.S. Department of Education. Washington’s assessment program has received a “Fully Approved” rating through this process. As required by state law OSPI develops the state’s learning standards and oversees the assessment of the learning standards for state and federal accountability purposes.

Washington’s learning standards are called Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) which define what all students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

Four learning goals provide the foundation for the development of all Academic Learning Requirements in Washington

  • Read with comprehension write effectively and communicate successfully in a variety of ways and settings and with a variety of audiences;
  • Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social physical and life sciences; civics and history including different cultures and participation in representative government; geography; arts; and health and fitness;
  • Think analytically logically and creatively and to integrate technology literacy and fluency as well as different experiences and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems; and
  • Understand the importance of work and finance and how performance effort and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities.

To learn more about state testing visit