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Susanne Smith, (503) 947-5637

March 4, 2010

U.S. Dept. of Education Grants Oregon’s Request to Move High School Testing Accountability to 11th Grade

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo today announced that the Oregon Department of Education has received approval from the US Department of Education to move the grade of accountability from 10th grade to 11th grade.

Starting with the 2010-11 school year, high school testing accountability will be based on the number of students who pass state assessments by the end of their 11th grade year. High school students may still take the state Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) in 10th grade and if they pass, they do not have to re-test in their junior year. No Child Left Behind requires that states assess all students in math, reading, science and writing at least once during high school.

“This change will be a tremendous help for Oregon’s schools and Oregon’s students,” said State Superintendent Susan Castillo. “It supports Oregon’s increased graduation requirements and allows more time for students to focus on learning the higher standards we have set for them.”

With this change, students will have additional time to receive the full breadth of instruction that may be included on the high school OAKS, while leaving time to focus on any knowledge or skills deficiency before graduation. This is particularly important since students may use the OAKS as one means of meeting the Essential Skills requirements.

“Many educators expressed concerns about assessing high school standards so early in a student’s high school career, and we listened closely to those concerns. This decision is a direct result of collaboration between ODE staff, education groups, districts, and schools,” Castillo said. “ODE is committed to working with districts and stakeholders on continuously improving our education system to better meet the needs of schools, educators, and kids.”

Groups which have formally recommended this shift include the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), the Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel (AESRP), and the State Board of Education. Oregon will join many other states that assess students in the 11th grade year.

To keep the accountability systems aligned, this change will also be implemented for school and district report card ratings.

This change will apply to high school Math, Reading, Science, and Writing assessments. Click here for more background information.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Morgan Allen, Interim Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5920

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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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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