Thirty-one percent of Oregon schools were rated outstanding

Though it came as no surprise, every school in West Linn was rated as outstanding, according to the report card ratings released Oct. 11 by the Oregon Department of Education.

The report cards measure and rate Oregon’s K-12 public schools and districts. All but two schools the the district — Wilsonville High School and Inza R. Wood Middle School which both received satisfactory ratings — received an outstanding rating in the district.

“We are proud of our students and of our teachers,” said Deputy Superintendent Jane Stickney. “Our students continue to do well.”

Superintendent Bill Rhoades echoed Stickney’s remarks. Stickney said the school report card results — along with other data released from the Oregon Department of Education — provide different data points and lenses for the district to examine student success.

The annual report cards provide an overview of school data including student performance on state tests, student growth, attendance, graduation rates, dropout rates, class size, enrollment, percent of English language learners, SAT scores, expulsions due to weapons and information on staffing and teacher education/experience, in addition to a school’s overall report card rating.

District report cards provide an overview of how all of the schools in a particular district performed and how the district compares to the state overall. A school’s overall designation on the report card is determined by a rating system that looks at student achievement on state reading and math tests, growth in student achievement, participation on reading and math and graduation or attendance rates.

Oregon’s 2011-2012 school report card ratings are as follows:

  • 31 percent of schools were rated outstanding, compared to 28 percent last year

  • 59 percent of schools were rated satisfactory, compared to 64 percent last year

  • 10 percent of schools were rated in need of improvement, compared to 8 percent last year

    The new report card

    This will be the final year Oregon releases the current version of the school report cards thanks to the state’s federal flexibility waiver. This July, Oregon received federal approval for its Elementary and Secondary Act flexibility application. With this approval, Oregon will be able to tailor the mechanisms of the ESEA, or No Child Left Behind Act, to create a more accountable and responsive system.

    “Part of having strong, vibrant and successful schools is having engaged and informed families and communities,” said Oregon Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “Our state is embracing a new model for education — one that is better coordinated, more student-centered and more focused on key outcomes.”

    As part of Oregon’s federal flexibility waiver, the state proposed designing a new state report card. The main change is the removal of overall Adequate Yearly Progress designations since these are no longer required under Oregon’s waiver.

    In addition, schools were identified as priority, focus or model schools this summer under Oregon’s new accountability system. Priority, focus and model schools are high-poverty schools identified as needing additional support and intervention (priority and focus) or as examples of student success (model).

    This fall and winter, a statewide online survey will solicit feedback on the changes people would like to see made to these reports. A report card redesign steering committee will present a final recommendation to the Oregon Department of Education in late February. A website with additional information on the redesign process will be online later this fall.

    “I want to encourage parents, community members, business partners, students and educators alike to participate in this redesign process,” Saxton said. “We want and need all of your ideas, feedback and suggestions in order to build the world-class report card we envision for our state.”

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