Roughly 66 Percent of Juniors at an Oregon High School Opt Out
For the second year in a row, most juniors at Oregon’s Lake Oswego High School (LOHS) opt out of Smarter Balanced (SBAC) tests.
The LOHS principal even delayed testing by several weeks in order to try to win parents over. Apparently, the campaign didn’t work. Approximately two-thirds of LOHS juniors ditched the SBAC ELA tests scheduled for Monday, April 25, 2016.
The local superintendent likes SBAC and is concerned about sanctions arising from not meeting the federally-required 95 percent related to Title I funding. The 95 percent requirement was part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and has been retained in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The spring 2016 testing is the last testing season to fall under NCLB.
The local superintendent is also concerned that LOHS’s ranking in US News and World Report will suffer. In other words, the LOHS public image could take a hit as its juniors actively resist being over-tested.
LOHS has an active student union that is not an officially recognized club. The student union purposely kept a low profile, avoiding activity on social media in order to dodge notice by school administration.
More details are available in this Lake Oswego Review article.
My favorite line is this:
LOHS did exceed the state’s expectations [on SB last year], despite its 29.6-percent participation rate.
The story continues by adding of those who did test last year (that fewer than one in three), they did a swell job, with 70 percent proficiency in ELA and 48 percent in math.
And even though in 2015, Oregon lawmakers passed an opt-out law that provides for opting out without having to justify the decision, it seems that some state officials are trying to “creat[e] systems to insure students take the tests to meet the new guidelines within the legislation” in order to meet that 95 percent testing requirement retained in ESSA.
That sounds fishy.
So does the SB adulation peppered throughout the article.
It’s worth a read.
Coming June 2016 from TC Press: