Students starting school in Douglas County are on par or slightly below the state standard, according to data released by the Oregon Department of Education on Thursday.
Kindergarteners were assessed in the fall on math, literacy and approach to learning fundamentals.
Statewide, early math students correctly answered 11 out of 16 questions. Oregon kindergarteners recognized 7.7 letter sounds, 14.3 uppercase letters and 11.6 lowercase letters, and the score to approach learning remained at 3.6 out of 5.
In Douglas County, students scored an average of 10.9 on math, 3.4 on approach to learning, 12.8 in uppercase letter recognition, 10.3 on lowercase letter recognition and 6.8 in letter sounds.
The results of the statewide assessment were “largely unchanged” from the previous year, according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Education and the Early Learning Division.
“The Kindergarten Assessment is one tool that can help us learn about some of the strengths, assets, and needs of Oregon’s children. State and, more so, local data is a critical tool in helping children learn and reach their dreams. The more we learn about our children, the more we can help them succeed,” said Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education, in a press release. “Continued investment in early education is a key component to student success throughout their time in school.”
Elkton School District led the county in early math and letter sounds recognition, while Camas Valley students were at the top in letter recognition — both upper and lower case. Reedsport and Yoncalla School Districts tied for the top score in approach to learning.
Hucrest and Melrose Elementary Schools were once again the top schools in Roseburg Public Schools, with Hucrest leading in approach to learning and Melrose in all of the early literacy testing. Eastwood Elementary School was the top school in the district for early math.
There were no big disparities in the numbers for approach to learning and early mathematics.
However, scores in early literacy were mixed. The top school district, Elkton, saw students recognize 12.8 of 26 letter sounds, while students in Sutherlin School District recognized 3.6 of 26 sounds. Similarly, scores were varied in letter recognition with a more than 10 letter difference between the top and bottom schools in the assessment.
“Opportunity gaps for children begin at birth. Our Kindergarten Assessment results continue to underscore that our youngest children do not have access to the quality early learning they need,” said Miriam Calderon, Oregon’s Early Learning System director, in a press release. “We’ve started to move this needle through the Student Success Act and need continued focus on providing supports that are proven to have a long-term impact for young children and families.”
The Student Success Act, which will be funded by a 0.57% corporate business tax, passed in June 2019 and is estimated to add an additional $1 billion in school funding each year. Early learning programs are expected to receive 20% of that funding.