Oregon’s school report cards don’t have overall grades for local schools and districts this year. But there is new information in them.
Federal education officials allowed Oregon to drop overall ratings for this year, because of the switch last spring to new standardized tests. Lawmakers encouraged the move, in part due to the large numbers of students who opted not to take the Smarter Balanced exams.
Data from Oregon Department of Education/OPB
New this year, the report cards have started tracking student mobility — how often students change schools mid-year. Younger students are less likely to move mid-year than high schoolers, but many elementary and middle schools have mobility rates above 15 percent.
The rates are higher in parts of the state where poverty is a significant problem.
School districts with the largest percentages of students who qualify for free lunch — like Parkrose in east Portland, Gervais in the mid-Willamette Valley, or Umatilla in eastern Oregon — have student mobility rates for primary-aged students that hover around 20 percent.
Mobility rates are highest at high schools, in part because they include students who are dropping out. Almost 25 percent of students at Reynolds High School, and at high schools in Medford, either changed or left school partway through. High schoolers in Portland, Salem-Keizer, Bend-La Pine and Eugene moved more than 20 percent of the time.
There’s also class size information for middle and high schools for the first time in the report cards. In past years, the Oregon Department of Education had published only class size data for elementary schools.
Class size data for entire districts show that some districts have large classes throughout, such as Beaverton, where classes average 29 students in science and social studies courses.
In other districts the numbers can vary, such as Reynolds, where high school math classes average only 14 students, but social studies classes are almost twice as big at 27.5 students per class.