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8/8/2008 8:08:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #267
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • Oregon Schools Receive 2007-08 Preliminary Ratings Under No Child Left Behind
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Oregon Schools Receive 2007-08 Preliminary Ratings Under No Child Left Behind
SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo today released the 2007-08 preliminary federal ratings under No Child Left Behind for Oregon’s public elementary, middle, and high schools. Today’s report lists schools that are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and those identified for improvement under state and federal requirements. This is the sixth year states have issued AYP ratings under No Child Left Behind.

Under Oregon’s NCLB plan for this year, 60% of all students in public schools must reach state standards in English/language arts (up from 50% last year) and 59% of students must meet state standards in mathematics (up from 49% last year). The 2007-08 academic targets are ten points higher than last year and will increase another ten points in 2010-11. Schools must also meet an attendance or graduation requirement to meet overall AYP.

Oregon’s 2007-08 Preliminary AYP Report shows:
  • 61.3% (758 of 1237 Oregon schools) met AYP standards; last year, 74% met.
  • 35.1% (434 of 1237 Oregon schools) did not meet; last year, 21% did not meet.
  • 69.4% (651 of 938) of elementary and middle schools met AYP compared to 85% in 2006-07.
  • 35.8% (107 of 299) of high schools met AYP compared to 43% in 2006-07.
  • 45 schools still have a PENDING Rating (school report is not complete).
“This information highlights the urgent work we need to do to make sure students are meeting standards at every grade,” Castillo said. “As Oregon implements the new diploma standards, we are creating more tools to help us move forward faster. At every grade, educators will need to check progress to make sure students get the targeted support they need to stay on course to graduation.”

“The Department continues to work to develop Oregon’s growth model, so we can track the progress of each student and provide even better information for teachers,” Castillo said.

“We have raised our expectations for students and schools, now we must provide the funding needed to meet the challenge. I will work with the Governor, Legislative leadership and our partners to see that our schools have the funds they need to ensure that students succeed at every grade,” Castillo said.

One of the purposes of the Preliminary AYP Report is to identify schools needing improvement, especially those serving a high percentage of children in poverty and receiving federal funds under Title I. School districts must inform parents and communities about schools identified as needing improvement.

This year, 36 Title I schools were designated as being in need of school improvement – that is, they did not meet for at least two consecutive years in the same subject. Schools that receive Title I funds and do not make AYP are required to provide parents with the opportunity to transfer to another school in the district that meets AYP. Title I schools that do not make AYP for a third consecutive year must provide students with supplemental services, such as tutoring or after-school assistance. Schools that do not meet AYP targets beyond three years are required to take additional corrective actions.

On a bright note, three Oregon schools previously in school improvement met AYP for two consecutive years and moved off the list. They are: East Gresham Elementary in the Gresham-Barlow School District, Grant Community School in the Salem Keizer School District, and Astoria Middle School in Astoria School District.

No Child Left Behind requires all students to meet state standards by 2014 and requires schools to meet growth targets each year in order to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress definition of the law. As part of AYP, students have their progress measured and reported by the following population groups: economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, English language learners, and racial and/or ethnic groups.

Click here to read the full press release.

Oregon Diploma Talk
This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the Oregon diploma.

The Oregon Diploma and a New School Year
Message from Superintendent Susan Castillo

Welcome back! As we kick off the new school year, I want you all to know how proud I am of the hard work you do for our students. You have the most important and difficult job in the state, and I am honored to work with you to make every student and every day a success.

Educators have always worked to ensure success for all students. With Oregon’s new diploma requirements, success for all students at every grade has never been more important. Working together, we have set a new vision for all students in Oregon’s public schools to make sure that they graduate ready for work, college and life. We want to see every student reach their full potential, and everyone has a vital role to play in helping students reach this goal.

Beginning in kindergarten and continuing all the way through high school, educators must assess progress and make sure students stay on course toward graduation. Whenever a student falls behind, we all need to work together to intervene so that child can be brought back on track to the diploma.

We know what it takes for all students to achieve at high levels. For some students, we may need to provide additional instructional time and support, such as tutoring, afterschool programs and summer school. We will need to work together to provide professional development and essential planning time for classroom teachers, too.

Because Oregon has raised diploma requirements for students, it is essential that we also raise our level of support to make sure students, teachers, and schools have the resources they need to be successful. I am working with the Governor, Legislative leadership and our partners to see that our schools have the funds they need to implement the new requirements at every grade level, not just in high school.

I know that many school teams are taking the lead and working to be ready for the new school year and the new requirements. Teams are already digging into their students’ scores in reading, writing, and mathematics, making plans for how they can best address the needs of those who are struggling to achieve the results we all want.

We have better information than ever before, and it is exciting to see schools using it to help students and empower teachers. I encourage everyone to look closely at what our data tells us. For example, only about half of African-American and Hispanic 8th graders meet standard in math and reading today, far below white students. It is our responsibility to make sure that when our students come to school, we have specific plans to address this achievement gap.

This is an important year for our state. We have high expectations for both our schools and our students. A big part of my job is making sure you have what you need to be successful.

As always, I welcome your ideas and comments. You can contact me at superintendent.castillo@state.or.us eMail.

Detailed information regarding the Oregon Diploma can be found at
Get Ready Oregon

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants
The NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants are provided to improve students' academic achievement by engaging them in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work also should improve students' habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: practicing U.S. public school teachers, public school education support professionals, and faculty and staff members at public institutions of higher education. Deadline: Oct. 5, 2008.For more information: http://www.neafoundation.org/programs/StudentAchievement_Guidelines.htm

Mini-Grants for Service-Oriented Projects for Youth
Pay It Forward Mini-Grants go to one-time-only, service-oriented activities that young people would like to perform to benefit their school, neighborhood, or greater community. Projects must contain a "pay it forward" focus, which is based on the concept of having one person do a favor for others, who in turn do favors for others, and so on, so the results grow exponentially. Maximum Award: $500. Eligibility: K-12 youths. Deadline: applications accepted starting September 15, 2008. For more information: http://payitforwardfoundation.org/educators/grant.html

Susan’s Schedule
Week of August 4th – Susan Castillo participated in the Superintendent’s Summer Institute and presented a Community School Partnership Award to the Winston Area Community Partnership.

Week of August 11th – Susan will meet with the Albany Democrat-Herald about changes to the Oregon Diploma, attend a Joint Boards Workgroup meeting, meet with other statewide elected officials, and present to the Gresham Chamber of Commerce on the new Diploma Requirements.

The August 2008 issue of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website.

For scheduling inquires, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848
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