Oregon Common Core participation below fed levels

Portland, Lake Oswego both below participation levels

An elementary school student takes notes during instruction. (KOIN 6)
An elementary school student takes notes during instruction. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several school districts in Oregon, including Portland, fell below the federal participation requirements for the Common Core tests.

States are required to test at least 95% of students to get federal education money. But 21 districts in Oregon did not meet that level in either English, math or both.

Portland didn’t meet the requirements in either test and had only 86% participation overall. Lake Oswego missed the mark, with 92% participation.

A list of districts provided by the Oregon Department of Education

A chart from the Oregon Department of Education showing Common Core participation rates, Aug. 31, 2015
A chart from the Oregon Department of Education showing Common Core participation rates, Aug. 31, 2015

Parents like Libby Crawford, who has been fighting to stop Common Core testing for months, see the lowered participation rates as good news. Crawford told KOIN 6 News that means parents are paying attention to the test’s issues and sends the message that states – not the feds – should control education.

The US Department of Education warned more than $300 million in funding could be lost if Oregon doesn’t hit the participationg mark for all groups.

PPS spokesperson Christine Miles, June 2, 2015 (KOIN)
PPS spokesperson Christine Miles, June 2, 2015 (KOIN)

In an email statement to KOIN 6 News, Crystal Greene with the Oregon Department of Education said overall participation in the state was 95%, “although it fell below for two student groups – students with disabilities and African American students.”

She was unsure if the lower participation rate would affect federal funding.

“We know that participation is something the federal government takes incredibly seriously and they will be looking to see how the state and districts respond and work to boost participation numbers in the future.”

Christine Miles with Portland Public Schools said the district would love to see the participation rates higher but “we also know it was the first year of this test.”

She wants parents to know if they’re concerned about the tests they should talk with the principal. “We also hope by doing that more parents will feel comfortable letting their children take the tests.”

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