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Most Oregon students miss state targets

By CHARLES E. BEGGS

Associated Press

SALEM - Though most Oregon schoolchildren still fail to meet state standards for reading, writing and math, scores from this spring's tests are showing improvement.

State School Superintendent Norma Paulus said Wednesday that 30 percent of fifth and eighth graders passed the tests, up from about 19 percent last year. And 20 percent of 10th graders met the standards, up from 13 percent a year ago. About 160,000 students took the tests this year. [Comment: That means 70-80% did not pass the benchmarks, i.e. failed in reaching the goals set.]

"This is clear evidence that students are climbing up the academic ladder," said Paulus.

She conceded, however that a majority of 10th graders won't qualify for the certificate of initial mastery [CIM], to be awarded for the first time next spring.

"But even kids who don't get a CIM will benefit from the beefed-up curriculum," Paulus said.

Published in the East Oregonian (1998 - no date provided).


Hermiston 5th-, 8th-grade test scores improve

But few Hermiston High students meet state benchmarks

By KRISTIN WALP

of the East Oregonian

In the third year that the Oregon Department of Education has released results of statewide spring tests, area school districts generally followed state trends of improvement in the lower grades and stability or marginal declines in the upper grades.

The tests are based on statewide standards of achievement, called benchmarks, for each grade level in math, mathematics problem solving, reading and literature, writing and, for the first time last spring, science. The math and reading tests are multiple choice, while the problem solving, writing and science tests require written responses and are evaluated by panels of trained educators.

Students in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 all tested in math and reading and literature. Only the three upper grades tested in mathematics problem solving, writing and science while the state has tested in at least two subject areas since 1991, it only began measuring the numbers of students who meet benchmarks in 1996.

Statewide, 30 percent of all fifth graders, 30 percent of all eighth graders, and 20 percent of all 10th graders met or exceeded benchmarks in every subject area they were tested in. [Comment: That means 70% did not pass the benchmarks, i.e. failed in reaching the goals set.]

State schools superintendent Norma Paulus said Wednesday that gains in mathematics boosted the overall averages.

Scores were release Wednesday morning and not all area districts could be reached for a breakdown of their testing information.

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