Standardized testing shows Estacada trails state averages
Half of the students in the Estacada School District met testing benchmarks in English and 29.1 percent of students did so in math, according to test scores released by the Oregon Department of Education.
Across the state, 54.9 percent of students tested at grade level in English and 40.5 percent of students met benchmarks in math.
Implemented in Oregon schools several years ago, the Smarter Balanced Tests focus on knowledge for college and career readiness outlined in the Common Core State Standards. Students' skills in English and math are tested and scored from Level 1 through Level 4. If a student scores at Level 3 or higher in a particular subject, they are considered as performing at grade level or higher.
Scores in science were also released, though this subject is part of the OAKS (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) exams rather than the Smarter Balanced tests. This year, 52.6 percent of students across the Estacada School District met science testing benchmarks, compared to the 60.2 percent of students who did so across the state.
The districtwide score for Estacada factors how students from Estacada High School, Estacada Middle School, River Mill Elementary School, Clackamas River Elementary School, Summit Learning Charter and Summit Community College High School performed on the tests.
"Our district believes we should continue to improve in all areas until every student succeeds," said Maggie Kelly, communications coordinator for the Estacada School District. "We're seeing good trends and growth. We're happy with the direction we're going, and there's always room for improvement."
At Summit Learning Charter, which is based in Eagle Creek and draws enrollment from across the state, approximately half of students participated in English and math testing. Of these students, 62 percent met testing benchmarks in English and 34.6 percent showed proficiency in math. Last year, 59 percent of participating students scored a 3 or 4 in English and 31 percent did so in math.
Of the 63 percent of students at Summit participating in the science exams, 61 percent of students met testing benchmarks, compared to 60.6 percent last year.
At Summit Community College High School, which is based in Salem and offers GED, high school completion and dual college and high school credit programs, 81 percent of students participated in the English tests and 37.6 percent of students scored 3 or 4, up from 25.5 the year before. In math, fewer than 5 percent of students met testing benchmarks, though fewer than 6 percent took the exams. Just under 80 percent of students participated in the science testing, 18.2 percent of which performed at grade level or higher.
At Estacada High School, 84.2 percent of students are performing at grade level in English. This number has risen 2 percent from last year. In math, 32.1 percent of students met testing benchmarks, down from 46 percent the year before.
Looking at test scores in the district's younger grades, less than half of students at Estacada Middle School met benchmarks in Math and English. In math, 22 percent of students scored a 3 or 4 on the tests, and in English, 39.8 percent of students did so.
English scores have risen at both Clackamas River and River Mill elementary schools. This year, 51.2 percent of students at Clackamas River met testing benchmarks, up from 43.8 percent last year. At River Mill, 42.4 percent of students tested at grade level, up from 34.8 percent the year before.
Both elementary schools saw less than half of students meeting testing benchmarks in math, though scores at River Mill are higher than they were last year. At River Mill, 37.6 percent of students tested at grade level, up from 28 percent last year. At Clackamas River, 35.8 percent of students scored a 3 or 4 on the tests this year, compared to 37.1 percent last year.
At Estacada High School, 65.5 percent of students met science testing benchmarks, down from 73.5 last year. Estacada Middle School saw 39 percent of students meet testing benchmarks, up from 38.5 the prior year.
At Clackamas River Elementary School, 68.3 percent of students met testing benchmarks, compared to 76.1 percent last year, and at River Mill Elementary School 57.5 percent of students tested at grade level, compared to 60 percent the year before.
Kelly noted that district leaders hope to continue to facilitate student growth by continuing to create opportunities for teachers to work with one another and discuss strategies and student progress.
"We've seen a lot of evidence that when teachers work collaboratively, it improves student learning and all students receive the same benefits," she said. "It's important to not see inequities. A River Mill second-grader should have the same experience as a Clackamas River second-grader."
Additionally, success coaches work with ninth- and tenth-graders to facilitate engagement at Estacada High School with school and dropout prevention, and other coaches work with educators at the elementary school level.
"It's really important for us to support our teachers," Kelly said.