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State test results mixed

Hillsboro School District students performed ahead of state averages in only two areas — 11th-grade math and sixth-grade reading — while falling short in writing and science, according to 2012-13 Oregon Assessment of Knowledge & Skills results released earlier this month.

High school juniors beat statewide averages in math by two percentage points, 71 to 69 percent, on the OAKS tests last year. They were ahead of state averages in reading, 66 to 63 percent, as sixth-graders.

But across the district, students showed poorly compared to their peers across Oregon in the following subject areas and grade levels:

n Math: Pupils fell below state averages in grades 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 and virtually tied them at grade 6, with 59 percent passing.

n Reading: Student scores in grades 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 were below Oregon averages but tied at grade 11 with 85 percent passing assessments.

n Science: Fifth-graders in Hillsboro tied state averages with a 67 percent pass rate. Students fell short at grades 8 and 11.

n Writing: With tests taken only at the 11th-grade level,

Hillsboro pupils fell below statewide averages, 56 to 60 percent.

In Salem, Oregon Department of Education leaders acknowledged a marked drop in assessment results across the state, but at least one official pointed a finger at diminished school funding.

Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton was particularly dismayed over a significant decrease in the percentage of students meeting state high school writing targets. Between 2011-12 and 2012-13, that marker dropped seven percentage points.

— Nancy Townsley

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