Oak Ridge Schools is pleased to announce that we have received our results from high school end of course assessment for the 2015-2016 school year. Only high school results have been released because testing was canceled for grades 3-8 last school year due to difficulties with the state’s assessment vendor.
We are delighted to report that Oak Ridge Schools excelled in high school achievement and growth as compared to the state. In fact, we outperformed the state in every subject area in every subgroup and in every single subscore.
Here are a few highlights:
- At Jefferson Middle School, 77 percent of their students who took the algebra 1 exam last year were in the performance levels “on track” and “mastered,” as compared to the state average of 19 percent.
- At Robertsville Middle School, 54 percent of their students who took the geometry exam last school year were in the performance level “mastered,” as compared to the state average of 6 percent.
- At Oak Ridge High School, 63 percent of their students who took the English II exam last year were in the performance levels “on track” and “mastered,” as compared to the state average of 34 percent.
- At Oak Ridge High School, 81 percent of their students who took the Biology I exam last year were in the performance categories “on track” and “mastered,” as compared to the state average of 54 percent.
- The overall systemwide composite growth score for the 2015-2016 school year for Oak Ridge Schools is a 5, which means that Oak Ridge teachers are providing positive value to their students’ academic development.
Despite these highlights, it is important to note that proficiency (calculated through “On track” + “Mastered”) scores have dropped overall as a state as compared to the previous assessment. This is because the assessments were new and fundamentally different; they have different kinds of questions based on higher standards than ever before. In addition, the new assessments were scored in an entirely different manner. It is therefore not productive to compare current results to past results. As Commissioner Candice McQueen said, “Not only was the exam based on the higher standards, but it also included different types of questions and looked for critical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills that are required to be successful after high school…Statewide, we saw lower scores than we have had in the past. That does not mean students are learning less. Instead, we have set a higher bar for what all students should know and be able to do…” These results reflect a reset moment for the state, so please be wary of anyone trying to compare the apples and oranges of testing before and after the 2015-2016 school year.
In Oak Ridge, we believe in success for all of our students. We celebrate these positive comparisons to the state, but we measure ourselves through how are students are meeting our Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness. To meet those, we continue to work to build on the successes we already have while improving areas of challenge. We are grateful to the Oak Ridge community for their continued support of our public schools.
Tracey Beckendorf-Edou is executive director of teaching and learning for Oak Ridge Schools.