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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

August 10, 2011

Superintendent Castillo Statement on National Assessment of Educational Progress Mapping Study

State Superintendent Susan Castillo today released the following statement:

SALEM – “Today, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report which maps state proficiency standards onto National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scales. This mapping process allows us to compare states’ proficiency standards to each other, using NAEP as the common metric. This type of mapping study, which NCES produces every few years, can provide us with valuable information about how our state’s standards compare to those of states around the country. While this report portrays an accurate picture of where Oregon's standards were in the 2008-2009 school year, it doesn't include information about how Oregon would now compare to other states after having raised our standards.

“Over the past few years, Oregon has been on a journey to increase our standards and ensure our students graduate college and career ready. We have adopted increased expectations for the Oregon Diploma and implemented proficiency-based graduation requirements. And we have raised the rigor in math and reading for our elementary and middle school students to better prepare them to meet these tougher graduation requirements. But since the study released today is based on data from 2008-09 and before, it does not reflect these changes. Instead, it provides a picture of where we were a few years ago and why it was so critical that we raised those standards and asked more of our kids.

“Before Oregon increased our standards for reading and math, our 4th grade standards were some of the lowest in country and our 8th grade standards were about middle of the pack. Results from the last mapping study helped us make the case for why Oregon’s standards had to be increased. We want our students to have the skills to compete not just here in Oregon but around the nation and around the world and that is why we used both national and international standards to inform our standards setting process.

“As I look over the results of this study, I am looking not only at where we were a few years ago, but also at how far we have come. This report shows Oregon as one of the states with the lowest achievement standards in 4th grade reading, well below NAEP Basic. After raising our standards this year, our new achievement standards would fall in the top 25% of states, right around NAEP Basic. In 8th grade reading, the increase in our standards raises us from just above middle of the pack, to one of the top 10 states, well above NAEP Basic. In 4th grade math, our previous achievement standards placed us in the bottom quarter of states, right about NAEP Basic. But with our new more rigorous math standards, we would now be one of the top few states, with standards just under NAEP Proficient. And in 8th grade math, the increase in achievement standards moved us from the lower-middle of the pack, right above NAEP Basic, to one of the most rigorous states in the country, approaching NAEP Proficient.

“Our state has made a firm commitment to excellence and has taken the critical step of increasing the rigor for our students. We have also enthusiastically embraced the idea of national Common Core State Standards which will help all states provide consistent, rigorous, and internationally benchmarked standards aligned to college and career readiness. It no longer makes sense for states to have 50 different sets of standards and 50 different ways of assessing students. We need to align our work as a nation to provide our students with the highest quality education possible to prepare them for future success.”

To read the full NAEP report, go to: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/studies/statemapping.asp

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Acting 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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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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