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3/1/2010 1:07:00 PM
Oregon receives recognition for progress on preparing students for college and careers
SALEM – Today, Achieve released "Closing the Expectations Gap 2010,” its fifth annual report on the progress of the college- and career-ready agenda in all 50 states. Oregon has met the mark for college- and career-ready academic standards and P-20 data systems. It continues to make progress in other areas including increasing high school graduation requirements and developing assessment and accountability systems that support college- and career-ready goals. Click here to access the report.

“I am proud of Oregon’s work to ensure our students graduate from high school ready for their next steps in life,” said State Superintendent Susan Castillo. “Our primary focus at the Oregon Department of Education is on the systems needed to prepare students for success in life after high school. This report is an affirmation of those goals.”

Oregon Department of Education’s main areas of focus:

Oregon Diploma: The State Board of Education voted to adopt new graduation requirements in 2007. The Oregon Diploma stands as the single best means for ensuring that all students, regardless of race or economic status, have the tools they need for success. Students must demonstrate that they are proficient in certain “essential skills” to graduate. Beginning in 2012, students must be proficient in reading, followed by writing in 2013, and math in 2014. Last year, the State Board of Education shifted the proficiency skills timeline for math and writing due to current economic constraints; however, school districts are still required to provide instruction, administer state assessments, and document student performance to prepare students for the proficiency requirements. Oregon has increased credit requirements to four years in English, 3 years in science, and 3 years in mathematics. In 2014, all mathematics content must be at the Algebra I and above level for graduation.

Academic Content Standards: Academic Content Standards identify what Oregon students are expected to know and be able to do in the content areas of English, mathematics, health, physical education, science, second language, social sciences, and the arts. Oregon’s Content Standards are rigorous, focused, and aligned with postsecondary and workplace expectations. Oregon is one of 31 states that have adopted college- and career-ready standards.

The State Board of Education adopted new High School Mathematics Standards PDF in June 2009. In addition, the State Board of Education approved a set of Advanced Knowledge and Skills for High School Mathematics PDF to provide students with more options for advanced course work and to assist teachers in planning differentiated instruction. The 2009 Science Academic Content Standards PDF were revised in February 2009 to more fully prepare students in scientific knowledge and process skills necessary for studies and careers after high school. The State Board of Education adopted new kindergarten through eighth grade (K-8) Standards PDF in December 2007.

Assessment System: Oregon is a national leader for Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS), which is an adaptive on-line statewide assessment system designed to assess students' mastery of Oregon content standards. Oregon’s testing system is unique for several reasons. Students take the test online and each assessment is individually adapted to provide a quicker and more accurate picture of what students have learned. Oregon students have up to three opportunities each year to take each required test in reading/literature, mathematics, and science. Last, students and teachers receive immediate feedback about their achievement when each test is completed.

Data Systems: Oregon is one of 16 states that have developed a longitudinal data system linking student-level data from the K-12 system with the data from postsecondary institutions. The Oregon Department of Education is on track to fully implement a statewide system that integrates different student information systems from across the state into a common data warehouse providing the Oregon Department of Education and school districts with a single, accurate, and authoritative student data system.

Approximately 50% of Oregon districts representing about 75% of Oregon students are integrated. Student data includes demographics, attendance, enrollment, marks, graduation status, and immunization. The Oregon Department of Education developed processes to electronically transfer student records among schools and transcripts from high schools to Oregon colleges and universities and is creating data reporting capabilities to allow users access to their schools’ achievement levels, including trends and comparisons of their data through a user-friendly website.

Accountability Systems: Accountability is one of the core functions of the Oregon Department of Education. The agency produces yearly report cards for schools and districts. These reports provide educators with an opportunity to communicate directly with parents and community members about how local schools are performing.

The Oregon Department of Education, in consultation with key stakeholder groups, has developed a Growth Model PDF that can be applied to school accountability. The purpose of this Growth Model is to reward schools for their students that are below standard but have made significant progress toward meeting standard.

The Oregon Department of Education produces the Oregon Statewide Report Card which reports annually on the state of public schools and their progress towards the goals of the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century.
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