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The 8 Worst Schools In Seattle Today

Seattle Downtown Skyline and MT. Rainier Washington

The 8 Worst Schools In Seattle Today

While Seattle is a large city with many highly-rated schools, there are also many public schools in the area with struggling students. Some of the worst schools in Seattle have students who are falling behind academically, especially when it comes to test scores and college readiness.

The worst schools in Seattle that made the list were based on their test scores for core subjects, how students progressed from year to year, and their graduation rates. While the students at these schools are struggling to keep up, there is still an opportunity for them to receive the support and interventions they need to succeed and prepare for college or a future career.

Keep reading to find out how these schools compare to the state average and if students are being prepared for higher education.

Teacher Female Elementary School Pupil With Problem
Even with the support of teachers and staff, many students are still struggling academically at these Seattle schools.


Gatzert Elementary School

1301 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122

Gatzert Elementary School is a public school in Seattle with 306 students in PK-5 grade. At this school, they aim to create a passion for learning and high academic achievement. They also aim to provide students with a comprehensive curriculum and teach them based on their individual gifts and talents. The staff at Gatzert Elementary School has a strong focus on progress and academic excellence. 

When it comes to test scores, academic progress, and equity, Gatzert Elementary scores far below the state average. Many of the students struggle with core subjects like math, English, and science. Only 31% of students are proficient in math, 23% of students are proficient in English, and 20% of students are proficient in science.

Mountview Elementary School

10811 12th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98146

Mountview Elementary School is a public elementary school in Seattle with 640 students. Part of the mission of this elementary school is to create a multicultural and multilingual community and to help students become global citizens who pursue social justice. Mountview Elementary School is part of the Highline Public Schools Dual Language Program which allows students to receive instruction in both English and Spanish. This program has been shown to increase academic achievement and help students thrive academically.

While not all students at Mountview Elementary School participate in this program, many are still struggling academically. Out of the core subjects, English is the strongest, but only 28% of students are proficient. Additionally, 27% of students are proficient in science and 23% are proficient in math.

Thorndyke Elementary School

4415 S 150TH ST, Seattle, WA, 98188

Thorndyke Elementary School is a public school in Seattle with 426 students in grades PK-5. This public school has a diverse community with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Thorndyke Elementary School has 24 full-time teachers and over 88% minority enrollment.

The students at Thorndyke Elementary School are falling behind in their test scores and academic progress. Science is the strongest subject at this school, but the proficiency is still below the state average. Only 32% of students are proficient in science while the state average is 52%. Also, 30% of students are proficient in English and 28% are proficient in math.

Emerson Elementary School

9709 60th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118

Emerson Elementary School is a public school in Seattle with 378 students in grades PK-5. They offer a welcoming community and have high expectations for all enrolled students. They also aim to help students learn in a culturally diverse and relevant way. The staff at Emerson Elementary School helps students develop literacy skills through the CCC Collaborative Literacy Program and through experiences with literature in the classroom.

Despite these dedicated academic programs and instruction, students at Emerson Elementary are still struggling to keep up. Only 28% of students are proficient in English compared to the state average of 61%. Science is the lowest of the core subjects with only 11% of students showing proficiency.

Concord International Elementary School

723 South Concord Street, Seattle, WA, 98108

Concord International Elementary in Seattle is a public school with 374 students. This international school offers both dual-language and traditional classrooms. They provide a rigorous academic program as well as a Spanish Language Immersion Program. Part of their vision is to create a diverse community where students can become lifelong learners.

Students at Concord International Elementary are falling behind when it comes to test scores and academic progress. The students struggle with science more than other subjects with only 11% of students proficient in science. 23% of students are proficient in math and 27% are proficient in English. Students at Concord International Elementary are also making less progress than they were the previous year, leading to students continuously falling behind.

Cascade Middle School

11212 10th Avenue Southwest, Seattle, WA, 98146

Cascade Middle School is a public school in Seattle with 537 students. The vision of this school is to create a community where all students can belong and excel. The staff at Cascade Middle School accomplishes this by building strong relationships with students and engaging them with relevant learning experiences. The core values of Cascade Middle School include excellence, belonging, engagement, challenge, and growth.

While they have a strong set of core values at Cascade Middle School, many students are still falling behind academically and not making as much progress as they should. English is the strongest subject at this school with 43% of students showing proficiency, but it still falls below the state average of 60%. Only 27% of students are proficient in math and 26% are proficient in science. When it comes to advanced course participation, only 11% of students are participating n Algebra 1. However, out of that 11%, 100% of students are passing the course.

Students at schools like Rainier Beach High School may not be fully prepared for higher education considering the lack of participation in AP courses.


Rainier Beach High School

8815 Seward Park Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98118

Rainier Beach High School is a public school in Seattle with 761 students in grades 9-12. Located in the southeastern part of Seattle, this public school provides students with a personalized approach to education and rigorous academic programs. They offer both International Baccalaureate level classes as well as CTE classes to prepare students for the future. Part of their mission is to empower students to become lifelong learners and compassionate leaders.

While Rainier Beach High School has an incredibly high graduation rate of 91%, there are concerns about college readiness and test scores. Less than 1% of students participate in AP testing and the average SAT score is below the state average. With 61% of students at Ranier Beach High School aiming to pursue a college degree or vocational degree, they may need additional preparation for success in college or a career program.

Antioch University Seattle

2400 3rd Ave #200, Seattle, WA 98121

Antioch University Seattle is a private liberal arts university in Seattle with a student population of about 1,000. This university offers numerous academic programs and pathways to prepare students for their future careers. Each program is rooted in social and economic justice and they aim to help students combine their passion with their purpose. The Seattle campus of Antioch University is located in a modern and sustainable building that reflects the values of the school.

While there are many factors that go into the graduation rate of a college, it can also say a lot about how well students are supported and encouraged to continue their education. Antioch University Seattle has the lowest graduation rate out of any college in Washington with only 11.7% of students graduating. 

Comparing the Worst Schools in Seattle

When it comes to the worst schools in Seattle, they have quite a bit in common. These schools were ranked based on test scores, the academic progress of students, and graduation rates. Unfortunately, many of the students at these schools are falling behind and struggling to keep up with their peers.

While choosing the right school is a challenging decision, there are numerous factors to consider. Whether you’re looking for a public school or university for your child, consider factors such as test scores and graduation rates to determine where your child will be best supported.

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