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September 10, 2014

State Test Results Hold Steady During Time of Change

Plan for growth focuses on early literacy, new standards, and closing achievement gaps

(Salem, Ore.)
– Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton announced today the results of the 2013-14 state tests in reading, math, science, and writing. Student performance on state tests in the 2013-14 school year held steady with no large increases or decreases.

“We are in a time of significant and exciting educational change,” Saxton said. “As a state, we are working to transform education from early childhood through career to better prepare our students for their futures. We know that system change takes time and in the years to come our state’s focus on education reform will result in better outcomes for our students and increased prosperity for our state.”

2013-14 Results at a Glance
As a whole, state test results held steady from 2012-13 to 2013-14, but there were small increases and decreases which varied by grade and subject. The more significant changes are listed below:
  • In math, the percent of students meeting standard declined by 1 percent in grade 3 and rose by 1 percent in grade 5, 2 percent in grade 7, and 1 percent in high school.
  • In reading, the percent of students meeting standard declined by 1 percent in grade 4 and rose by 2 percent in grade 6 and 1 percent in grade 7.
  • In science, the percent of students meeting standards rose 2 percent in grade 5.
  • Significant achievement gaps remain for students of color, students in poverty, and students with special needs. Overall, results for most student groups mirrored the state and remained relatively flat, but a few bright spots include: a 3 percent increase in the percent of Hispanic 7th graders meeting the math standard; a 4 percent increase in the percent of Black 6th graders meeting the reading standard; a 5 percent increase in the percent of Native American 7th graders meeting the reading standard; and a 4 percent increase in the percent of Native American 5th graders meeting the science standard.
For state test results by subject, grade, and student sub-group, click here.

Working to Close Achievement and Opportunity Gaps
Communities in Oregon are working to address persistent achievement gaps between historically underserved students and their peers. Through the state’s Strategic Initiatives, roughly $18 million in grants have been awarded in the last year to target investments in key areas designed to increase academic growth for students of color, students with disabilities, English language learners, and those in poverty. These grants include funding to local schools and communities to:
  • Support students in poverty through the state’s Focus and Priority Schools,
  • Expand dual language immersion and bilingual education programs to better serve English learners,
  • Recruit and retain educators of color into our schools,
  • Expand programs to better support struggling learners prior to special education identification,
  • Support culturally responsive teaching practices that better serve students of color,
  • Increase student mentoring opportunities, and
  • Increase opportunities for students of color to earn college credits while still in high school.
“I am excited by the work underway in our state to improve opportunities and outcomes for each and every one of our learners,” said Deputy Superintendent Saxton. “As our schools teach to more rigorous college- and career-ready standards, and as we deepen our focus on key areas such as early literacy and educational equity, I believe we will start to see the increases in student learning our state is striving for.”

A Strategic Focus On Early Literacy
The state’s plan to improve these outcomes includes a system-wide focus on reading from early years to early grades. The state’s proposed targeted investments would ensure that students have a strong start to school through high-quality early childhood programs and full-day kindergarten. These investments would be tied to robust and proven reading instruction as well as effective summer and afterschool learning opportunities to strengthen early reading skills. The investments would also include fostering partnerships between schools and community-based and culturally specific organizations to ensure students have the support they need to be successful.

“We know that from an early age children in poverty and those from communities of color are less likely to have access to affordable and high-quality learning environments,” said Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden. “Reading by third grade is one of the single greatest predictors of life-long success. We are proposing a comprehensive plan centered around literacy to ensure each of our youngest Oregonians has access to foundational learning opportunities from birth. Through this statewide effort, we’ll invest early to stop gaps between students before they start and adopt an all hands on deck approach to catching students up to ensure they are reading on track by third grade.”

In addition to the state’s Strategic Investments, Oregon will continue to implement the more rigorous college- and career-ready standards known as the Common Core which are now being taught in Oregon schools. These standards are designed to ensure all students receive the high-quality instruction needed to graduate ready for success in college or the workplace.

For an FAQ on state testing and test results, click here PDF.
For test results by school and district, click here.


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Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650
http://www.ode.state.or.us


Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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