Oregon: New Report Cards Help Paint the Whole Picture

NAEP_ReportCard

Last week, Oregon released new and improved school report cards. Rather than simply providing a snapshot of what schools are “good” and what schools are “bad”, the updated version offers:

  • Level 1 to Level 5 Scale

    • Levels 1-3 are lagging and failing schools

    • Level 4 is in the middle or better

    • Level 5 is exemplary (top 10%)

  • Separate section that outlines whether a school is “Below Average”, “About Average” or “Above Average”

  • Ratings are weighted to allow improvement and graduation rates

    • Elementary and middles school reports are focused on student improvement on test scores rather than just passing rates

    • High school reports focus on graduation rates and student improvement. Only 20% of their ratings are based on test scores.

In addition to the new way data is reported on each school, there is now a separate component which allows each school to provide some context around what is happening at their school from a non-data perspective (ie curriculum, school environment, staff changes).

In a time when education is so focused on testing and data analysis, I find this to be an exciting step for Oregon schools. While this improved report card doesn’t absolve the trend of using testing to gauge student and teacher performance, I believe that augmenting the test data with real-life context is a big win for students and parents.

How do you think Oregon’s new report card will change the way we implement curriculum and testing strategies?

The full article on Oregon’s new report card is available here:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/10/oregon_school_report_cards_ref.html

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6 thoughts on “Oregon: New Report Cards Help Paint the Whole Picture

  1. I find it interesting that Oregon is attempting to take a new approach in regards to how schools are evaluated. The new system seems to have a more holistic view of the schools and it is great that they are beginning to consider influencing factors that were not accounted for previously. I would be interested to see what schools will be putting in to give additional context and what is done with that information. Who will have access to the information? Could it be used to bring light to some of the bigger issues for the public to see?

  2. I’m not sure on how to feel of this new approach; but I keep thinking about what parents might be thinking about this new report card. I’m not a parent, but if I was to read on my kid’s report card that the school is ‘below average’ I would want to know more information as to what school administration/teachers are focusing on to make improvements. My hope is for school districts and administration to be prepared in answering questions that come up from parents who are concerned with the school performance and how they will be involving parents and school partners to make changes for academic improvements.

  3. I like how these new reports include a warning about the limited scope of these report cards due to their being based on standardized testing. I completely agree with the notion that, “test scores by themselves tell an incomplete story,” and am glad to see these school assessments expanding to include more information, especially the emphasis on improvement/change rather than test scores alone.

  4. I agree, Genie, that there needs to be very clear communication both with parents and with community members. I’ve seen really negative attitudes and a withdrawal of support (either in the form of transferring students or just impacting general neighborhood support). I like to see reports based on growth in students and improvement rather than flat scores for that year…

  5. How can the general public access these report cards? I would love to see how James John is doing in scores and compare them to other schools in Portland. I spend time helping with the homework club at James John and sometimes the kids don’t have homework. I would love to bring fun activities to help boost their enthusium for academics and it would be good to see what their school (as a whole) needs work on.

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