Eleventh-Graders Out Perform State in Math and English Language Arts

Data released today from the Oregon Department of Education shows that while Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) students do start off behind their peers across the state on assessment tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and math, cohorts of students demonstrate significant growth, and by 11th grade, students are outperforming their peers across the state.

“We know that our students come to us with significant obstacles to learning,” said Assistant Superintendent Linda Myers. “Our students face traumas that don’t help them get a solid foundation, so we put an intentional focus on growth. While we know that these results reflect important aspects of how our students are growing and learning, no single assessment provides the complete picture. Our teachers and principals use multiple other data points to provide high-quality, focused instruction for students.”

Classroom teachers have real-time access to individual student data throughout the school year with ongoing assessments and intervention programs. The district’s Key Performance Indicators outline the targeted goals for students as they move through their educational careers.

“While these numbers don’t tell the whole story, they are a part of the story, and frankly, it’s easy to become disappointed by them,” said Superintendent Christy Perry. “These results make us more resolved to provide the high-quality instruction and targeted interventions that our students deserve. We are so fortunate to have dedicated teachers and education support professionals who are committed to moving the needle.”

English Language Arts (ELA)

In ELA, cohorts of students average 1.9 percentage points in growth each year between third and eighth grades. In 2018-19, 11th-graders scored 1.2 percentage points higher than their peers across the state.

Some schools did have significant growth in ELA over the previous year. For example, Myers Elementary students scored 11 percentage points higher than students the previous year. Washington students performed 7.7 percentage points higher and Salem Heights students performed 7 percentage points higher.

Sixth-graders at Parrish Middle School increased scores by 5 percentage points.


Cohorts of students also demonstrated growth in math through the middle school years. At the high-school level, student performance mirrored that of ELA. In SKPS, 35 percent of students scored a 3 or 4 on the assessments, as compared to 32.1 percent statewide.

Some schools did have significant growth in the math assessment over the previous year. Third-graders at Lee Elementary had a 25 point percentage increase over the previous year’s assessment and third-graders at Washington improved by 19 percentage points over the previous year. Grant Community School fourth-graders improved by 18.7 percentage points over the previous year and fifth-graders at Brush College Elementary increased scores by 19 percentage points.

Sixth-graders at Parrish increased scores by 9.4 percentage points. Seventh-graders at Straub and Waldo increased scores by 10.4 percentage points and 8.6 percentage points respectively.

You can view full results on ODE’s Assessment Group Reports site.