Math education in Oregon needs serious reform. The 2018 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results for the U.S. are alarming. According to the results, students in the United States performed below the OECD average in mathematics, with no significant improvement since 2003. Another report stated that 30 countries scored higher in math than U.S. students. The situation for the state of Oregon is no different. Oregon’s Statewide Report Card for the 2020-2021 academic year reflects the unsatisfactory performance of K-12 students in math assessments. Furthermore, a recent state-to-state comparison for the K-12 NAEP math scores placed Oregon in the 27th rank.
The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Statewide Assessments in Oregon
The 2020-2021 academic year in Oregon was unlike a usual academic year in the history of Oregon. As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the state of Oregon ordered schools to close in-person instruction through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Many schools in Oregon opted for online learning in the 2020-21 school year. Regular school-based learning was disrupted, posing complicated issues. As a result, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) reduced the number of statewide exams required in English, arts, mathematics, and science.
Suspension of the Essential Skills Assessment
During the 2021 Legislative Session, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 744. As per SB 744, the students of Oregon will not be required to show proficiency in Essential Skills (reading, writing, and math skills) as a condition of receiving a high school diploma during 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and 2023-2024 academic years. This waiver of Essential Skills Assessments has been regarded as “discarding standards” or “setting the bar too low” by some commenters.
Interpreting the Results from the 2019 NAEP Mathematics Assessment
The achievement level results from the 2019 NAEP mathematics assessment show that a large percentage of all Oregon 4th graders and 8th graders performed at the “Below Basic” level. To be precise, 25% of the grade 4 students performed at the “Below Basic” level, and 38% of them performed at the “Basic” level. Similarly, 33% of the grade 8 students in Oregon performed at the “Below Basic” level, and 36% of them performed at the “Basic” level.
Below is a summary of the student performance in 2020-21 for Oregon State:
|Grade||Number of Participants||Participation Rate|
Mathematics Grade 4
Mathematics Grade 7
Mathematics Grade 8
Mathematics Grade 11
Best School Districts in Oregon
The following school districts are performing better than the other districts in Oregon. These rankings are based on graduation rates, state test scores, college readiness, SAT/ACT scores, quality of teaching, public school district ratings, and more.
Are There Better Options to Improve Math Education of K-12 Students in Oregon?
Reducing the number of statewide assessments to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and distance learning of skills may be a temporary fix, but this may not be useful in the long run. The schools in Oregon must introduce teaching methods that can help make math more relevant, powerful, and exciting to students.
At Math Project, we focus on teaching methods that invite curiosity so that the students can explore mathematical concepts, interpret them in their own ways, and enhance their understanding of how math works in real-life scenarios. By giving your children the best opportunity to learn math fundamentals, you can teach them all valuable life skills that will be helpful to them far beyond a math classroom.
Our math enrichment program is available for K-12 students in all major cities of Oregon such as Portland, Eugene, Salem, Gresham, Hillsboro, Bend, Beaverton, Medford, Springfield, and Corvallis.
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Results from PISA 2018 — www.oecd.org
Is Oregon Dumbing Down the Reading and Math Requirements to Graduate from High School? — www.ethicssage.com
Oregon Statewide Report Card 2020-2021 — www.oregon.gov
Pre-K – 12 Rankings: Measuring how well states are preparing students for college — www.usnews.com
Oregon schools to remain closed for the rest of the school year due to coronavirus — www.kgw.com
Senate Bill 744 — https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov
Opinion: Antiracist math education adds up to better results for students — www.oregonlive.com
Oregon Schools and Districts — www.oregon.gov
2022 Best School Districts in Oregon — www.niche.com