Central Oregon Daily▶️ Oregon math, reading scores drop during COVID; Local schools find positives

▶️ Oregon math, reading scores drop during COVID; Local schools find positives

▶️ Oregon math, reading scores drop during COVID; Local schools find positives

Student assessment bubble test

English, science and math proficiency scores in Oregon dropped dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to numbers released by the Oregon Department of Education Thursday morning looking at state assessment results.

School districts in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties did not buck the trend. Some were able to note achievements in specific categories and even, in some cases, finishing above state averages.

Oregon Department of Education officials say 2022 testing shows students who were already behind before the pandemic had the most learning loss but all children overall lost ground when compared to 2019 test scores.

Statewide, English Language arts proficiency dropped from 53.4% in the 2018-19 school year to 43.6% in 2021-22. Math fell from 39.4% to 30.4% and science dropped from 36.9% to 29.5%.

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Across grades three through eight, just 39% of students scored as proficient at reading and writing last spring, down from the previous low of 51%, and just 28% scored proficient in math, far below the previous low point of 40%.

In addition to the overall numbers, the report breaks the levels down by multiple demographic groups including grades, gender, race, students with disabilities and more.

Here is the breakdown of districts in Central Oregon. These numbers are for total population in all grades combined. If you want to see a school-by-school breakdown, we have a list of links at the bottom of this story.

Bend-La Pine

English Language Arts

  • 2018-19: 60.7%
  • 2021-22: 56.0% 

Math

  • 2018-19: 49.4%
  • 2021-22 44.9%

Science

  • 2018-19: 43.0%
  • 2021-22: 33.4%

Redmond

English Language Arts

  • 2018-19: 52.8%
  • 2021-22: 45.5%

Math

  • 2018-19: 42.2%
  • 2021-22: 32.8%

Science

  • 2018-19: 34.5%
  • 2021-22: 30.9%

Crook County

English Language Arts

  • 2018-19: 54.4%
  • 2021-22: 48.8%

Math

  • 2018-19: 38.0%
  • 2021-22: 32.6%

Science

  • 2018-19: 34.9%
  • 2021-22: 29.0%

Sisters

English Language Arts

  • 2018-19: 63.7%
  • 2021-22: 55.4%

Math

  • 2018-19: 42.5%
  • 2021-22: 34.4%

Science

  • 2018-19: 53.8%
  • 2021-22: 41.4%

Jefferson County 509J

English Language Arts

  • 2018-19: 41.2%
  • 2021-22: 30.1%

Math

  • 2018-19: 26.4%
  • 2021-22: 20.8%

Science

  • 2018-19: 16.4%
  • 2021-22: 15.2%

“The results were generally not surprising. They are also consistent with what we are seeing across the country,” Oregon Department of Education spokesman Marc Siegel told Central Oregon Daily News said in a statement.

“We do not know how the results break on socio-economic lines due to changes in program eligibility for free/reduced price lunch, which we have used as our ‘economically disadvantaged’ indicators,” Siegel added, “but we do know that students who were behind before the pandemic fell further behind and those who were advanced did not lose much ground.”

Bend-La Pine responds

The Bend-La Pine School District released this statement from Director of School Improvement Dave VanLoo.

“These statewide assessment results are one of many ways that our schools assess students academically and are fairly in line with what we anticipated. While we avoided steep declines seen in some districts across the nation, we did experience an overall dip. Likely these results are connected to the disrupted learning that students experienced during the pandemic, which included a variety of increased stressors both in and outside of school for families. Our teachers and schools are doing great work now to support learning for all students and move forward in a positive direction.”

Redmond responds

Redmond released a statement saying its results fall in line with state averages. It said the impacts of the pandemic — including remote learning and inconsistent attendance due to quarantines and illness — need to be taken into account.

It also said that the information has been unreliable for some groups due to lack of participation.

A 95 percent participation rate is ideal for getting accurate and usable data and an 80 percent participation rate is recommended as a minimum by Oregon Department of Education’s Technical Advisory Committee. Redmond School District ranged from a high of 91 percent participation in 3rd to 5th grade language arts to a low of 6.1 percent participation in 11th grade science,” the district said.

Redmond said it performed at or above the state average in 3-5 and 7-8 grade language arts and math and all grades tested in science.

Crook County responds

Crook County said the results show its students are above the state average in 14 of 20 categories.

“We’re now above the state average in a number of categories, particularly in English Language Arts. We still have a ton of work to do. We’re not satisfied with where our math’s at. Until every student is achieving on grade level, we’re not going to be satisfied,” said Dr. Joel Hoff, Assistant Superintendent of the Crook County School District.

Crook said much of its gains happened at the elementary school level and were most significant in English Language Arts and Math. it noted that 4th and 7th graders were 10% above the state average in English and 4th graders were 9% above in math.

Even with that, Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson said more needed to be done.

“We’re better now at tracking students, knowing where the gaps exist and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Our next big step is to give more individualized attention to students who need interventions. It’s our responsibility to find those barriers and respond to the uniqueness of each child,” Johnson said in a statement.

Links to results

English Language Arts

Math

Science

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