Education

Is This New Math? Test Scores Down, But That's A Good Thing

OPB | Sept. 24, 2007 7:57 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:19 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Rob Manning

Some of Oregon’s statewide school assessment results out Monday appear far worse than scores from a year ago. That seems to conflict with preliminary federal reports released last month. Rob Manning explains.


If you held the new state assessment report for last school year against the one that came out a year ago, you’d see as many as 15 or 20 percent fewer grade schoolers meeting math standards.

Why then, is Salem-Keizer’s deputy superintendent, Glenn Gelbrich, calling this good news?

Glenn Gelbrich: “It’s very important that people understand that there’s been a change in the target.”

In other words, the score requirements for younger students to be considered at “grade level” went up. When that factor is eliminated, scores are  similar to a year ago.

A new lower standard for 10th graders led to more of them passing. The federal reports released last  month did not show this same trend because they give schools a pass or fail grade based on whether a majority of students passed.

Even with the double digit drop, nearly all Oregon grade schools still had a majority that passed.

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