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School scores shine

Lake Oswego schools received pleasant news about the statewide assessment scores released by the Oregon Department of Education this week.

More students are meeting - or exceeding - state standards at each of grade levels tested. That can be said for all categories, which include science, reading and math.

Lake Oswego School Super-intendent Bill Korach said 'the scores that we have are consistently in a good range,' adding that 'if we get something that falls out of the 'good' category, then we get concerned.'

'We're not seeing a great deal in the scores that is troubling to us,' Korach said.

District officials 'just got the scores and are in the process of doing an analysis on them,' he noted.

The state assessment scores are based on tests given to third-, fourth-, fifth-, seventh-, eighth- and tenth-grade students. Students are tested in reading, math, science and writing.

Academic standards were adopted by the state Board of Education in 1996. For the first time this year, district percentages included Christie School students and out-placed students.

Those non-district students can affect the overall results that the district is posting. Korach said he looks specifically first at the scores posted by district schools.

For example, the district score for tenth grade writing is 79 percent. However, Lake Oswego High School tenth graders posted 94 percent; Lakeridge tenth graders came in at 95 percent.

'Some are our (students) that have been placed elsewhere,' Korach said. 'This throws another dimension in that we are used to comparing just us to us.'

The Lake Oswego School District beat the state average in every category and in some cases, the percentage of students who met state standards in certain Lake Oswego schools is nearly double the state average.

For example, 42 percent of students statewide met or exceeded the standard for fourth grade writing, while 81 percent of students did so in Lake Oswego.

Improvement fluctuations were, for the most part, undramatic, as were slight dips in scores. Fourth grade writing fell from 94 percent to 81 percent, but still kept the district high above the state average.

Seventh grade writing fell from 91 to 75 percent. Tenth grade writing and math each fell by about five percentage points, while tenth grade writing took the most substantial hit: From 95 to 79 percent.

Korach said the standard is higher at higher grade levels.

'As you move up the grade levels, what it takes to sceed gets ratcheted up.'

Compared to other districts across the state, Lake Oswego scored higher in almost every category, except for tenth grade reading. Lake Oswego also tied with some schools in a few categories.

Bryant Elementary School's fifth grade scores across the board 'look off but we don't know why yet,' Korach said.