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LO kindergarteners above average


Asian students receive highest average scores

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: LAKE OSWEGO SCHOOL DISTRICT - Lake Oswego students by far exceeded the state average in math and literacy.Lake Oswego students by far exceeded the state average in math and literacy, according to the recently released results of assessments of students entering kindergarten this fall, but there is a wide range of average scores among ethnic and gender groups.

Statewide and in Lake Oswego, there are gaps between male and female students in math and literacy, and there also are marked differences among ethnic groups. Oregon Department of Education last month released Oregon Kindergarten Assessment results, which Lake Oswego School District Director of Elementary Education Jonnie Shobaki presented to the board in late February, offering context to the numbers.

“Gov. Kitzhaber is very keen on early childhood education, and this study provides information that has not been previously gathered by the state and now will become part of our state report card,” Shobaki said.

The report card ranks districts on academic performance and academic growth. Shobaki said the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment information will be helpful to determine what academic areas to improve. She said local teachers already assessed kindergarteners, but the state’s test is a little more accurate.

Students were tested on early math, so they had to know their numbers, as well as early literacy, a category composed of letter names and letter sounds. Students also were assessed on interpersonal skills and self-regulation, which together are called approaches to learning.

“Could you comment on approaches to learning a little bit?” Patti Zebrowski, Lake Oswego School Board chairwoman, asked Shobaki.

Shobaki said approaches to learning covers skills including using “your words not your hands” and playing well with others.

“There’s a social and emotional development piece,” she said. “There are some questions that would ask about how a child interacts with their peers and an adult.”

The average total population’s score in each category of the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment for Lake Oswego was far above the state average. For the state average, it was 6.7 out of 110 possible points in letter sounds, 18.5 out of 100 possible points in letter names, 8 out of 16 points in math and 3.6 out of 5 points in approaches to learning. The average Lake Oswego student earned: 14.6 points in letter sounds, 30 points in letter names, 9.8 points in math and 3.8 points in approaches to learning.

The average female student’s Oregon Kindergarten Assessment scores, statewide, were higher than the average male students’ in all but one portion of the test. Boys and girls tied when it came to the average score in math, 8 points.

In Lake Oswego, the average girl’s score on approaches to learning was 4 points, and the average boy received 3.5 points. The average boy had a score of 10.1 in math, less than a point more than the average girl. Girls received an average sore of 31.6 points in letter names, 3.1 more points than boys, and 15.3 points in letter sounds, about a point more than boys’ average.

On average, statewide, Hispanic and Pacific Islander students received the lowest scores, and Asian students received the highest scores. African American students scored close to average in letter sounds and math and above average in recognizing letter names.

As for Lake Oswego students on average in ethnic subsets, Hispanic students received the lowest scores on average. Asian students earned higher average scores than the other ethnic groups in every category, including receiving 37.2 points on average in letter names, much more than any other group.

Board member Bob Barman said preschool officials should take note of the results, and Shobaki said she will be approaching preschool officials this spring.

View the results on the Oregon Department of Education’s website at ode.state.or.us.