Test scores add up to more work for CCHS

The results are in for Crook County High School.
   The good news is that unlike past testing results, nearly 100 percent of sophomores were tested in reading, math, science, and writing.
   Because 95 percent of the students were not tested in 2004, the test results were skewed to show that CCHS had unacceptable ratings in those four categories.
   The bad news is that now that the accurate results are in, less than 70 percent of the students met or exceeded the benchmarks for science, only 53 percent met or exceeded those benchmarks in reading, and only 30 percent of sophomores tested met the math benchmark. Writing scores won't be made available until later this summer.
   It's great that the school staff's efforts in getting the required number of students to take the standardized tests has paid off. Unfortunately, the truth about the results almost hurts more than knowing that the results were skewed due to low testing turnout.
   In the 2004-2005 school year, CCHS was at 31 percent in math, compared to a statewide average of 49 percent meeting or exceeding the benchmark in that subject. By comparison, Pendleton was at 43 percent, Redmond was at 49 percent, North Wasco was at 48 percent and Ontario and Madras were at a miserable 21 percent.
   Although statewide results for the 2005-06 tests have not yet been compiled, according to Gene Evans, communications director for the Oregon Department of Education, the low math scores are not out of the ordinary. Part of the reason is the test covers material through Algebra II, which many students don't take until their junior year. Consequently, the State Board of Education is considering moving the math test to students' junior year.
   However, until that happens, school districts throughout the state - CCHS included - are going to have to make better efforts at improving those scores.
   We're looking forward to seeing how CCHS students fare in next year's testing, and hope that any changes made in the teaching and curriculum for the 2006-07 school year result in higher test scores across the board.
   After all, better educated high school graduates add up to a better citizenry for the state of Oregon.
   Vance W. Tong
   for the editorial board