Salute to area’s schools for meeting standards

By Observer editorial August 05, 2011 04:13 pm
A little more than a week ago Susan Castillo, state school superintendent, stopped by La Grande on her whirlwind tour of Eastern Oregon. She was delivering the message that when the federal “adequate yearly progress’’ — or AYP — reports come out it’s likely that Oregon’s schools won’t fare very well. She wanted people to know that the numbers won’t adequately reflect progress in Oregon because the state had raised the bar.
Lo and behold, though, when the AYP report was released Tuesday it showed that Northeast Oregon’s schools were faring better than expected, with more of the schools in Union and Wallowa counties meeting the AYP standards than a year ago. Our schools and their staffs are to be commended for doing a great job — even in the face of the bar being raised in Oregon.

Statewide, however, Castillo’s warning rang true. Less than half of Oregon’s schools came up short of the AYP standards. In fact, only 21 percent of middle schools compared to 45 percent in 2009-10 met the standards. High schools did a little better, with 48 percent meeting compared to 46 percent in 2009-10

“Fewer schools will make the AYP because we are raising the common core standards. The bar schools need to meet is higher and tougher,’’ Castillo said during her visit to La Grande.

All schools in the Elgin, Enterprise, North Powder, Union and Wallowa districts and three each in the La Grande and Joseph districts met the AYP standards. Imbler and Cove are awaiting additional data review, but both districts’ superintendents said they have been informed that they met the standards. That’s a pretty good record considering that more than half the schools in the state did not.

Congratulations, local educators!