Creswell School Board – Curriculum assessment data trends upwards

The results of the Smarter Balanced assessments taken from students in grades three through eight, and high school have come back with Creswell trending upwards.
”Annual tests give us a snapshot of student learning, but there is more we should be doing to give teachers the tools to target complex thinking in students,” Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill said in a news release. ”Shorter, more focused testing throughout the year can give teachers insights into activities that can help students think and work out problems. That is how we get better results.”
The information was discussed during the Oct. 10 regular Creswell School Board meeting.
The assessment looks at a percent level at three or four, which is considered on track to demonstrating skills and knowledge necessary for college, according to the assessment’s website.
In English language arts, Creswell came in at 55.7 percent. Not only a 1.9 percent increase from last year, the results also put Creswell above the State average of 54.9 percent and third in the district.
With math, Creswell was 2.9 percent above the State average – coming it at 43.4 percent of students at a level three or four. Creswell scored second highest in the district under Eugene, as well as improved from its 41.2 percent in 2016-17.
The last assessment category, science, bounced down to fifth in the district at 63.7 percent. That is a 3.5 percent increase from the state average of 60.2 percent. Compared to 2016-17, however, Creswell dropped in this category; last year the percent level was 68 percent.
Although the trend was overall positive, Board Director Lacey Risdal said she was disheartened that in most of Creswell, the percentage was lower than or around 50 percent of students placing at the third or fourth level.
Board Director Natalie Smathers commented that it seemed like a State problem, because many districts in Oregon were struggling with lower percentages as well.
Superintendent Todd Hamilton said the percentage has always been lower, but the assessment has also changed to focus around discourse and explanation of deep understanding. There’s more emphasis in vocabulary and writing, and an expectation of third graders to demonstrate deep thinking.
”We’re focusing on that experience for kids to be successful,” Hamilton said.
Although the data compares schools within the district, there isn’t a comparison of all schools in Lane County or in all of Oregon.
Overall, the scores statewide are relatively flat, the assessment did show that every grade level increased their English language arts percentages this year over 2016-17.
The next school board meeting with be Nov. 14. The public is encouraged to attend.



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