Our goal: all third graders can read

September 13, 2012: The Oregon Department of Education reported Sept. 12 that PPS students continue to score above the average on state achievement tests, with more students overall meeting or exceeding the benchmarks in reading, writing and math.

Reading scores improved. Yet the overall percentage of PPS students meeting the new reading benchmark was down from the year before – due to the fact that the bar was raised.

This year we are putting a stake in the ground.   By the time this year’s kindergartners finish 3rd grade, we want 100% of them to reach the third grade reading benchmark. This will provide the solid foundation for success in higher grades.

The state results also show that math scores remained largely flat, with small gains at lower grades and small losses at higher ones. Science scores – with a new, higher bar – were slightly down across all grades and high schools saw a slight increase in writing scores.

District leaders, principals and teachers will use these scores to identify areas of improvement for the coming year strategies to continue to raise student achievement.

Schools can’t do it alone. Families, civic organizations, faith communities and employers all play a role. You can read at home, volunteer, mentor, or help students in other ways. 

Portland depends on schools to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and imagination to contribute to a thriving economy and vibrant neighborhoods. In turn, our students depend on us. They need to know that they matter and we care about their success. That’s a message we want every student to hear from every one of us, throughout the school year.