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Susanne Smith, (503) 947-5637

October 14, 2009

Superintendent Castillo Announces Oregon’s Performance on National Math Assessment Holds Steady for 4th and 8th Graders

Oregon 8th Graders above U.S. Average, 4th Graders at U.S. Average

SALEM - State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today the release of Oregon's results for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math assessment. Also known as The Nation's Report Card, the test was administered to a representative sample of Oregon 4th and 8th graders in late January to early March last year.

"While Oregon isn’t losing ground during these challenging economic times, the results point to the need for continued focus in Oregon on mathematics education,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo. “With Oregon recently adopting improved content standards and assessments for kindergarten through eighth grade math, we are on a path to boost our students’ achievement.”

The results of NAEP indicate no statistical change for Oregon’s 4th graders who scored an average of 238, not statistically different from the national average of 239.* In 2007, Oregon 4th graders scored an average of 236; based on margin of error, the two point increase is not statistically significant. The national 4th grade NAEP scaled score for 2009 held steady with no statistical change reported. Reflecting a national trend, Oregon was among 40 states/jurisdictions to hold steady on 4th grade math.

Oregon 8th graders scored an average of 285, higher than the national average of 282. In 2007, Oregon 8th graders scored an average of 284; there is no statistical significance in the one point increase. National scores for 8th grade math rose two points from 2007, a statistical increase.

The performance of Oregon’s minority and free and reduced lunch students held steady across all groups in both 4th and 8th grade.

“Our new K-8 math content standards and corresponding math assessments are aimed at enhancing elementary and middle school mathematics instruction so that our students can acquire a deeper knowledge and skills base at these critical early learning years,” said Castillo. “The high school class of 2014 will need three years of Algebra I and above to graduate. My agency has undertaken several initiatives to ensure students are ready for the increased high school math requirements.”

The Oregon Department of Education has undertaken several initiatives to enhance mathematics education in Oregon:

  • Adoption of new Math K-8 standards: At the direction of the State Board of Education, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently streamlined the Oregon Math K-8 content standards. The new standards will help students build a deeper knowledge base in mathematical fundamentals and aid them with higher level high school mathematics. More information on the 2007 K-8 math standards is available at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/certificates/diploma/core-standards-math-leads-way2.pdf PDF

  • In process of creating new Grade 3-8 assessments: Seventy-five percent of Oregon school districts have indicated that their students will have had the opportunity to learn most of the 2007 K-8 math standards by 2009-10 school year. The Oregon Department of Education is currently in the process of creating new assessments for grades 3rd – 8th to gauge student acquisition of the new mathematical standards. Only those standards that carry over from the previous standards will be assessed in 2010-2011 school year. More information on assessments for 3rd – 8th grades is available at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?=4908

  • Professional development trainings: In addition to holding a monthly math webinar to establish a statewide professional learning community on mathematics education, the Oregon Department of Education led professional development workshops this summer to provide an opportunity for Oregon teachers to become more familiar with the standards and effective instructional strategies. Several districts have now been awarded grant dollars to continue this professional development in their own schools. ODE will conduct regional follow-ups this school year. ODE is also funding a program to train math instructional coaches focused on the K-8 standards to improve math at the elementary and MS levels.

To access the national & Oregon results for NAEP 2009 math, please visit: http://nationsreportcard.gov/

To access a NAEP FAQ, please visit: http://www.ode.state.or.us/superintendent/priorities/naep-faq.pdf PDF

For background information on NAEP including governing policies and sample test items, go to: http://nagb.org/flash.htm

*NAEP results are reported on a scale of 1 – 500.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jake Weigler, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

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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