State report cards mixed bag

POLK COUNTY — Oregon Department of Education released report cards on all schools and school districts in the state on Thursday.

The reports include data on test scores, graduation rates, academic progress, dropout rates, class size, percentage of freshmen on track to graduate, and student demographics.

Schools are not rated in the report cards, but performance at the district level and school level is compared to state averages, and averages for similar districts and schools.

For Polk County districts, the data show a mixed bag of results for 2016-17.

Central School District saw students meeting standards on English language assessments fall slightly in the elementary grades (3-5), drop in the middle school grades (6-8) and increase by more than 8 percent for high school juniors.

All those marks are below state average and below the average of similar districts in all age groups except for high school juniors.

Students achieving standards on math assessments are below state and similar district averages, but 2016-17 performance was up slightly in the elementary grades and high school juniors.

Central freshman on-track rate (the percentage of students who earned 25 percent of gradation credits by the end of their freshman year) is higher than state and like-district averages and up slightly from 2015-16.

Graduation rates from 2015-16 (the last year data is available) saw a significant jump to 86 percent from 72.3. That is more than 10 percentage points higher than the state average.

In Dallas, about 70 percent of freshmen were on track to graduate after the 2016-17, compared to the state average of 83.4 and similar districts at 81 percent.

Graduation rates also fell to about 75 percent in 2015-16, from 82 percent the year before. The 2015-16 mark is nearly identical to the state average and slightly higher than like districts.

English and math assessment scores fell in 2016-17 in all grade levels tested.

Comparisons to state averages saw high school juniors performing better in English and elementary grades slightly higher in math.

Falls City’s graduation rate for 2015-16 is 77.8 percent, up from 50 percent the previous two years. That is higher than state and similar district averages. The district’s dropout rate in 2015-16 is 3.4 percent, down from 4.3 percent. More than 95 percent of freshmen were on track to graduate.

Tests scores for Falls City students are down at all levels in both English and math, and are below averages for state and similar districts. Less than 95 percent of students were assessed in the 2016-17, a state standard for participation.

Perrydale’s graduation rate is 96.4 percent, higher the state average and like district graduation rates.

Freshman on track to graduate of 86.4 is better than both comparisons.

Juniors at Perrydale performed better on English tests, but scores fell for elementary and middle school grades. Middle school students performed below the state average by more than 10 percentage points, but other grades performed better. Math scores were lower at all grade levels and below state and similar district performance.

Report cards will contain different information next year as the state unveils a new report card.

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