Oregon Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton released the newly redesigned report cards for Oregon’s K-12 public schools and districts. Oregon first released school and district report cards in 2000, and while there have been small changes to the reports over the years, today’s release represents the largest redesign since the report cards’ inception. The redesign is the product of a broad-based effort which gathered feedback from parents, community members, educators, and stakeholders from around the state on the key elements, layout, and focus of the report cards.
“These report cards are designed to provide parents and community members with important information about their schools and districts, and it was essential that the audience for these reports had a strong voice in their redesign,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “Our education system is changing, our schools are changing, and we needed these report cards to change as well to better tell our schools’ stories and to provide parents and community members with critical information on student and school performance. I want to thank everyone who engaged in this redesign process, and I hope to continue to hear from our broader community as we further refine and improve these report cards in the years to come.”
One of the goals of the redesign was to make the report cards more visual, user-friendly, and relevant. For the first time, the reports are in color and include a number of new features designed to better describe each school or district.
The new school and district report cards include:
• A letter from the principal/superintendent
• An enhanced school/district profile with demographic charts
• Two overall ratings – one which compares the school to all others in the state; one which compares the school to other schools with similar student demographics
• Student performance over time
• Outcomes by student group
• Information on the curriculum and learning environment
• For high schools data includes graduation, completer, and dropout rates, percent of freshmen on track to graduate, and percent of students going on to college
The Redesign Process
Last fall, a 17-member Report Card Steering Committee was convened to make recommendations on the design, content, and rating methodology of the new report cards. Goals for the redesign included aligning the report cards with district achievement compacts, more accurately reflecting student learning and growth, and incorporating important measures of college and career readiness necessary to move the state toward its 40/40/20 goal. The redesign was undertaken as part of the larger accountability systems change precipitated by Oregon’s federal ESEA flexibility waiver.
The Report Card Steering Committee gathered feedback on the redesign from over 130 parents, teachers, and administrators around the state via in-person focus groups. In addition, online surveys gathered over 2,000 responses from around the state. This community outreach was made possible through the support of the Governor’s Office and funding from the Oregon Community Foundation. The State Board of Education adopted the newly redesigned report cards this spring.
How Schools Are Rated
As part of our federal waiver application, Oregon developed a new accountability system with a much greater focus on student learning and growth. This new system uses multiple measures to rate schools. For high schools these measures include academic achievement, academic growth, subgroup growth, graduation rates, and subgroup graduation. For elementary and middle schools the first three measures are used. Schools receive an overall rating of Level 1 through 5 based on how well they are doing in each of these areas. Level 1 schools represent the bottom 5% of schools. Level 2 schools represent the next lowest 10%. Level 3 makes up the next 30% of schools. Level 4 represents the largest share of schools, those that fall between 44% and 90% of schools. Level 5 represents the top 10%.
For the report cards, schools also receive a rating that compares them to “like” schools - other schools with similar student demographics including percent poverty, mobility, students of color, and English learners. Schools are rated as below average, about average, or above average as compared to similar schools. This provides parents and community members with another perspective on achievement at the school.
In addition to the main report cards which are distributed to parents by local school districts, further information is available online. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) creates a detail report that provides more information on the various rating components and the Chalkboard Project is hosting an interactive online version of the report cards which will be available on the Open Books Project website starting in November.
Focus, Priority, and Model Schools
In order to provide support to the schools that need it most, last year ODE identified a list of Focus and Priority schools using our new accountability model. Identification of these schools was part of our state’s federal flexibility waiver. These schools were the lowest performing, high poverty (Title I) schools in the state last year and have been receiving additional supports, interventions, and funding to increase student success. As outlined in the waiver, these schools will receive supports for a total of four years and new Focus and Priority schools will not be identified until these schools have exited the program in 2015. However, last year we also released a list of Model schools - high poverty schools that have been identified as examples of successful student outcomes. These schools serve as models and mentors to other schools around the state. Unlike the Focus and Priority schools which are designated for four years, the Model school designation is done annually. This year, 27 schools were identified as Model schools. 12 of these schools were on the Model schools list last year.
An FAQ on changes to the School and District Report Card is available at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/docs/report-card-faq.pdf
School and district report cards are available on the Department’s website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx