Nearly half of the 1,000 people who took our education news quiz couldn’t identify a photo of our state schools chief.

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For the 1,000 brave souls who took Education Lab’s exceptionally difficult year-end quiz, defining the term “TRI pay,” was easier than identifying Chris Reykdal, our state schools chief.

Grades aren’t everything, especially when it’s a pop quiz taken with unrestricted access to Google, but the scores did give us some interesting insights into how we might cover things better. (Education Lab did not track individual scores for the test, to protect privacy, but it appears that a majority got between five to six questions right out of 11.)

Based on the results, we should probably include more photos of Reykdal in our coverage, and give a refresher on the top languages spoken by English learners in Washington (besides Spanish) — the question missed by the most quiz-takers, about 74 percent.

Here’s a look at the quiz, with the correct answers in bold along with the percentage of correct responses. What did you slip up on? Let us know in the comments.


1. What is the staff-mix ratio?

a. A diversity quota that school districts follow when making hiring decisions.

b. A five-digit numeral that reflects the average experience and education levels of teachers in a given district.(37 percent)

c. A measurement put together by teachers’ unions to compare the number of teachers versus administrators in a given school district.


2. What is “TRI pay”? What does it stand for?

a. TRI pay stands for a “Teacher’s Right to Inquire pay,” a nickname for a state statute that requires districts to show teachers how much they’re paid in comparison with their colleagues.

b. TRI pay stands for “Teaching, Retirement, Investment pay,” which is a loose way to describe teachers’ 401(k) plans.

c. TRI pay stands for “additional Time, Responsible and Incentive pay,” a boost to a teacher’s base salary to compensate for extra work, like tutoring students after school. (76 percent)


3. Under the state’s new education funding model, I should expect my taxes to increase.

a. True.

b. False.

c. It depends. (78 percent)


4. What percentage of Washington’s teacher identify as white? What percentage of students?

a. 89%, 55% (59 percent)

b. 80%, 70%

c. 55%, 33%


5. (TRUE OR FALSE) More than 16 percent of students in Washington’s public schools were chronically absent in the 2015-2016 academic year.

a. True. (94 percent)

b. False. (6 percent)


6. Besides Spanish and English, what was the most popular home language spoken by English learners in Washington? What is the fastest-growing language?

a. Somali; Korean

b. Russian; Mandarin

c. Russian; Arabic (26 percent)


7. Which photo below is of Washington’s state schools chief? (To save space here, we’ve added just the names of the people whose portraits appeared in our original quiz.)

a. Larry Nyland, Seattle Public Schools superintendent

b. Chris Reykdal, state superintendent (56 percent)

c. Randy Dorn, former state superintendent


8. Which issue below was NOT cited by Seattle school bus drivers as a reason for their one-day strike?

a. Unruly children. (79 percent)

b. Healthcare costs.

c. Insufficient number of work hours.


9. According to a recent analysis, how many years would it take a beginning teacher in Seattle to save enough money for a down payment on a home?

a. 19

b. 25 (64 percent)

c. Forever; teacher pay will never keep up with rising home prices


10. How much does University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce make in a year?

a. Over $1 million

b. Between $800,000 and $1,000,000 (36 percent)

c. Between $500,000 and $800,000


11. Bonus question: _______ High School is the only school in the state that runs a fish hatchery.

a. Anacortes(39%)

b. Mercer Island

c. Onalaska