Education Report Card: Did your kid's school make the grade?

Education Report Card: Did your kid's school make the grade? »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- Thursday marked the release of Oregon's annual state report cards for K-12 public schools in districts throughout the state.

The report cards give an overview of school performance in a range of areas, like student achievement, attendance, graduation and participation. These numbers are all a part of determining a school's overall rank within the state.

From there, schools are placed into one of three categories that are reminiscent of a primary schoolteacher's outstanding, satisfactory or needs improvement.
 
In Oregon:
  • 31% of schools were rated “Outstanding.”
  • 59% of schools were rated “Satisfactory.”
  • 10% of schools were rated “In Need of Improvement.”
 
The Director of Secondary Education for Eugene Public Schools, Laurie Moses, told KVAL news that North Eugene High School was rated “In Need of Improvement.” Moses said that these ratings help educators in creating improvement plans for each school year and some schools need more improvement than others.
 
“What I would say about North (Eugene High School) is that we have made some great decisions in the district in the past year, and we are in fact differentiating our schools with the expectation that that additional support will really help them." Moses said.
 
Moses added that the district takes note of the state's ratings, but that there are measures conducted on the local level as well.
 
On the other end of the spectrum, Centennial Elementary in Springfield was named a “model” school on this year’s report card. Principal Mike Donnelly said that he is proud of the accomplishment.
 
“It's a big deal and we're pretty excited but we're still kind of reacting to, wow! What does this mean?" Donnelly said.
 
Donnelly said he can't pinpoint what exactly lead to their success, but rather attributed the great rating to his team of educators.
 
"What we have here is a staff that works, as all staffs do across Oregon, really hard. They’re dedicated, caring." said Donnelly.
 
Both Moses and Donnelly agree that school ratings give districts a big picture of how they are doing, but monitoring individual student growth is essential, too.
 
"It's a considerably different way of measuring success,” Moses said, and one that will be included on next year’s report cards. The state is embracing a new model for education. It aims to be better coordinated, more student-centered, and more focused on key outcomes.
 
"That's a good thing for education,” Donnelly said. “That's what we're really all about."
 
To find out how your school placed on the state report card visit the Oregon Department of Education's website and select your school district.