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June 18, 2009
State Moves to Include Student Growth in Report Card
SALEM -- Today the State Board of Education adopted amendments to OAR 581- 022-1060 which relates to school and district performance report criteria. The amended OAR reflects a change in how Oregon will be looking at and assessing student achievement. Oregon school and district report card ratings will now be based, in part, on student improvement.
This year, the Oregon Report Card will not only look at whether students met benchmark or not, but will also use the new Student Centered Growth Model to determine the amount of growth students are making toward benchmark. “Students that have not yet met benchmark will have rigorous growth targets and schools will be rewarded for significant student progress toward meeting these targets,” said State Superintendent Susan Castillo.
Many educators have argued that the Report Card would be fairer if it measured progress toward meeting benchmarks, in addition to measuring the number of students who actually meet benchmarks in a given year. For example, Woodburn Superintendent Walt Blomberg said that “If kids in a school are making a lot of progress, that should be recognized, even if many aren’t yet meeting benchmarks. Otherwise you aren’t really measuring how well the school’s doing; you might just be measuring the socio-economic standing of the parents.” By incorporating the Growth Model into the report card, the Department and the Board are addressing that concern.
“ODE has worked with partners and advisory groups to develop a growth model that is fair, timely, transparent, and clear. Oregon’s growth model sets rigorous expectations for all students that put them on track to receive a high school diploma,” Superintendent Castillo said. “It rewards high achievement, continuous improvement in student learning, and emphasizes the importance of closing of the achievement gap. It will also serve as a research tool to help improve instruction. The Department and the districts will be able to look at what successful schools are doing to see if their methods and success can be reproduced elsewhere.”
After analyzing several models against historical Oregon data, the ODE Growth Model Team, and external advisory committees chose a model that sets rigorous goals for students, but is simple and understandable. This model provides “target” scores for each student that has not met the achievement standard in the prior year. This target score is based on a goal of meeting benchmark in about 3 years. Students and teachers can use this information to know immediately upon receiving current Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) results whether or not the student met his or her individual target. Since the targets are based on the achievement standards that were recommended by Oregonians, this model will provide realistic and attainable achievement goals for all students.
“Oregon’s Student Centered Growth model is an important addition to our accountability system. In contrast to the prior report card formula that provided partial credit to schools for students at the ‘nearly meets’ and ‘low’ performance levels, the new model provides full credit to schools for students that are showing sufficient growth,” Superintendent Castillo said.
The incorporation of the Growth Model into the Report Card is one of several ways in which the Department of Education is working to ensure more effective use of data. The Department’s DATA seminars for educators teach both administrators and classroom teachers how to more effectively analyze data and use this data to improve instruction. The KIDS project is creating a statewide database of student information that (among other things) will cut down on delays in transferring information when students move from district to district.
For more information on the Oregon Student Growth Model go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=2495
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