Student Achievement

Indicator: 
Percentage of third and sixth grade students who meet or exceed math and reading assessment standards, by race and ethnicity and by school district.
Outcome(s): 
Well-educated workforce.
Well-educated individuals.
Significance: 

In both Oregon and Washington, students take their first standardized statewide achievement tests in third grade. Student achievement on these tests reflects both the successes of early programs (PreK-3) and the baseline aptitude that students bring to school as they enter the public system. Students take standardized statewide achievement tests in sixth grade. Student achievement on these tests reflects both the successes of elementary programs and mark their progress and potential for the middle school system.

Data (click image for interactive version): 

Percentage of 3rd grade students who meet or exceed math assessment standards, by school district, 2012-2013 school year

Source: Oregon Department of Education; State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Percentage of 6th grade students who meet or exceed math assessment standards, by school district, 2012-2013 school year

Source: Oregon Department of Education; State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Percentage of 3rd grade students who meet or exceed reading assessment standards, by school district, 2012-2013 school year

Source: Oregon Department of Education; State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Percentage of 6th grade students who meet or exceed reading assessment standards, by school district, 2012-2013 school year

Source: Oregon Department of Education; State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Finding & Trends: 

During the 2012-2013 school year, twelve of the Oregon school districts in the greater Portland region had a lower percentage of third grade students meeting or exceeding math assessment standards than the statewide average (70 percent): Gaston (59 percent), Hillsboro (57 percent), Canby (56 percent), Forest Grove (54 percent), David Douglas (54 percent), Oregon Trail (53 percent), Parkrose (51 percent), Colton (51 percent), Gresham Barlow (50 percent), Estacada (58 percent), Centennial (46 percent) and Reynolds (42 percent). In Clark County, the Evergreen (63 percent), La Center (61 percent) and Green Mountain (30 percent) school districts did not meet the Washington State average (65 percent).

During the 2012-2013 school year, ten of the Oregon school districts in the greater Portland region had a lower percentage of sixth grade students meeting or exceeding math assessment standards than the statewide average (59 percent): Oregon City (58 percent), Gresham Barlow (58 percent), Banks (54 percent), Molalla River (53 percent), Parkrose (49 percent), Estacada (49 percent), Centennial (48 percent), Gaston (45 percent), Forest Grove (45 percent) and Reynolds (41 percent). In Clark County, the La Center (54 percent), Evergreen (54 percent), Vancouver (53 percent) and Washougal (50 percent) school districts did not meet the Washington State average (59 percent).

During the 2012-2013 school year, fourteen of the Oregon school districts in the greater Portland region had a lower percentage of third grade students meeting or exceeding reading assessment standards than the statewide average (66 percent): Oregon Trail (63 percent), Corbett (63 percent), Molalla River (62 percent), Hillsboro (62 percent), Forest Grove (62 percent), Canby (62 percent), Gaston (61 percent), Gresham Barlow (59 percent), Parkrose (56 percent), Colton (56 percent), Gladstone (53 percent), Centennial (49 percent), Reynolds (46 percent) and Estacada (45 percent). In Clark County, the Evergreen (72 percent) and Green Mountain (61 percent) school districts did not meet the Washington State average (73 percent).

During the 2012-2013 school year, ten of the Oregon school districts in the greater Portland region had a lower percentage of sixth grade students meeting or exceeding reading assessment standards than the statewide average (63 percent): Gresham-Barlow (61 percent), North Clackamas (60 percent), Molalla River (59 percent), Gaston (57 percent), David Douglas (57 percent), Forest Grove (54 percent), Estacada (51 percent), Centennial (51 percent), Parkrose (50 percent) and Reynolds (47 percent). In Clark County, the Washougal (69 percent), Vancouver (66 percent) and Green Mountain (63 percent) school districts did not meet the Washington State average (71 percent).

To see maps of previous school years click on the link:

Third Grade

Sixth Grade

Decreases in student achievement on standardized math scores between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 can in part be explained by the implementation of higher math standards. Decreases in student achievement on standardized reading scores between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 can in part be explained by the implementation of higher reading standards. 

Proficiency (meeting a state benchmark) provides a fairly crude measure of student achievement and can mask important trends in average achievement levels and in student growth. However, proficiency levels provide the most comprehensive and only widely available point of comparison of student performance across states. Disparities apparent in proficiency levels reflect underlying disparities in more meaningful measures of academic achievement. Notably, across the region, black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, low income, migrant and American Indian or Alaskan Native children leave third grade with substantially lower achievement levels than do their Asian and white peers.

Maps and analysis of student achievement for the following groups can be found by clicking on the link:

American Indian or Alaskan Native – Third Grade

American Indian or Alaskan Native – Sixth Grade

Asian – Third Grade

Asian – Sixth Grade

Asian or Pacific Islander – Third Grade

Asian or Pacific Islander – Sixth Grade

Black or African American – Third Grade

Black or African American – Sixth Grade

Hispanic or Latino – Third Grade

Hispanic or Latino – Sixth Grade

Low Income – Third Grade

Low Income – Sixth Grade

Migrant – Third Grade

Migrant – Sixth Grade

Multiracial – Third Grade

Multiracial – Sixth Grade

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander – Third Grade

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander – Sixth Grade

White – Third Grade

White – Sixth Grade

For additional information about Student Achievement in our region visit the Coalition for a Livable Future's Regional Equity Atlas.

Driver(s): 
Equity
Quality human capital
Quality curriculum
Using the indicator to drive change: 

For each cohort of students, third and sixth grade scores foreshadow the challenges the system will face as each cohort progresses through the system. They also provide a rough indicator of needed investments in early grades to ensure that all students follow a trajectory towards academic success. Similarly, disparities in achievement across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status can highlight specific deficiencies in how the system allocates resources. By targeting these deficiencies for improvement, policymakers can ensure all students have the opportunity and ability to reach their potential.

Methodology: 

The percentage of third and sixth grade students who meet or exceed math and reading assessment standards was aggregated from individual school district records from the Oregon Department of Education and the State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The two states have different assessment stardards, but both report the number of students by race and ethnicity who are meeting those standards. 

The geography for the student achievement data is the greater Portland region which includes Clackamas County, OR;  Multnomah County, OR; Washington County, OR; Clark County, WA.  Please note that the geography used varies across different indicators.

Metadata

Disclaimer: 
This indicator is based on information from credible sources. However, changes in collection methods and statistical procedures that have occurred over time may affect the data presented. Limitations that are acknowledged by the sources are noted below. Nevertheless, caution should be taken when interpreting all available data. Not all students enrolled in 3rd or 6th grade in 2009 participated in the standardized testing. In many smaller school districts, student test scores were not reported for all races and ethnicities in order to ensure privacy, so percentages may not reflect all students in each school district.
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