Featured Stories

Student performance targets hit

However, higher standards, some special education students keep district from making Adequate Yearly Progress overall

In a year with heightened state requirements, all 13 of Lake Oswego's schools maintained their high achievements of the past.

According to final data recently released by the Oregon Department of Education, the schools - individually - met standards for Adequate Yearly Progress. However, because special education students struggled to meet the targets, the district as a whole failed to meet AYP goals overall.

'Given the size of our district and the number of tests that are administered, I think these results are pretty good,' said Donna Atherton, director of secondary instruction. 'Overall, we're pretty pleased.'

Adequate Yearly Progress is used to determine whether schools are meeting standards mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind law. The entire Lake Oswego School District has hit the targets only twice since NCLB became law in 2002.

Under Oregon's AYP plan for 2010-11, 70 percent of all students in public schools had to reach benchmarks in English language arts and mathematics. With next year's results, 80 percent of students will have to reach benchmarks.

To achieve AYP, public schools must meet these annual performance targets for both the overall student population and for any demographic group within a school that includes 42 or more students. These demographic groups are based on socioeconomic status, English proficiency, race or ethnicity, and special education needs. Schools must also meet a participation target for the number of students taking tests and an attendance or graduation target to meet overall AYP requirements.

While all of Lake Oswego's schools and subgroups met the standards in reading, many students had a harder time with the new mathematics standards.

Although both junior highs overall met standards, middle school students with disabilities that the district is also responsible for did not meet the targets. Special services students are often tagged for the district rather than for a specific school; additionally, the district is held accountable for students living in the school district who might not attend local schools - such as homeschoolers or alternative placement students.

Only 60 percent of all middle school students with disabilities reached the math benchmark, which required 70 percent of students to pass. The district would have hit last year's target, which was for 59 percent of students to pass the test.

Likewise, high school students in special services did not hit their target for math achievement. Only 37.8 percent of students passed the state test, which also had a target of 70 percent passing. However, with a smaller number of students in special services at the high school level, the percentage is more easily skewed by only a handful people.

The district also missed a graduation rate target for its students with disabilities. Only 46 percent of students graduated from the cohort of students who attended the district between 2006 and 2010, a 65.5-percent drop from 2002-2006. The state target for students with disabilities is a 65 percent graduation rate.

Riverdale School District met all standards for both its grade school students and high school students.

Statewide, 54 percent (684 of 1,270) of Oregon schools met AYP standards in 2010-11, compared to 71 percent in 2009-10.

'With increased federal and state expectations, we are seeing fewer schools meeting AYP targets this year, but we know from recently released test results student achievement is on the rise,' State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo said. 'We are not yet where we need to be, but students are making strong gains ...'

To see the preliminary AYP results visit: www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx .