Three Bend-La Pine Schools Rated ‘Exceptional’ in State School Report Cards Ratings
Oct 13,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Bend-La Pine Schools (BLS) rated well in Wednesday’s release of State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo’s State School Report Card. Three schools -– High Lakes Elementary, Lava Ridge Elementary and RE Jewell Elementary -- rated ‘exceptional’. Statewide, only 137 of the state’s 1,256 schools attained this rating for the 2005-2006 school year.

Students in the Bend-La Pine schools met or exceeded statewide averages in every category measuring student performance and academic achievement. Students are tested on their reading, math, writing and science knowledge in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10.

Deputy Superintendent Ron Wilkinson says the report shows that there are amazing things taking place at BLS schools.

“These ratings are terrific and show the community just how hard the schools are working to educate thriving citizens,” he says. “More kids are staying in school through graduation, students are scoring higher on standardized tests than their peers statewide, and we have more classes being taught by Highly Qualified Teachers than other districts statewide.”

State Superintendent Susan Castillo agrees, “This year’s school report cards show Oregon’s public schools to be stronger and more exceptional than ever.”

Castillo says that improving test scores drove school ratings higher. “I am so proud of the hard work done everyday in classrooms across the state.  Every student, educator and parent can be proud of these ratings,” she adds.

“Imagine what Oregon schools could do if we gave our teachers everything they needed to do the best job possible for every student,” Castillo said.  “We have shown steady improvement in the face of declining budgets, and it makes me think what more we could achieve with strong reinvestment from the state and the legislature.  It is my goal to work with the Governor and legislative leadership to secure an improved state education budget that will deliver more success for our students.”

About the State Report Cards
18 Bend-La Pine Schools were rated either ‘strong’ or ‘satisfactory’ in the report. Two were rated either low or unacceptable. Ensworth Elementary, Oregon Youth Challenge High and Oregon Virtual School were not rated, as they are too new to be included in the rating system.

This is the 8th year that Oregon has issued report cards, and the ratings include 1,075 of the state’s 1,256 schools (85%).  

The Oregon Legislature passed the school report cards law in 1999 to help public schools communicate with parents and their communities about student test performance, school improvement, attendance, dropout rates, class size, SAT scores, expulsions due to weapons, and teacher education and experience.  Schools are given ratings of Exceptional, Strong, Satisfactory, Low, or Unacceptable.

To view the full report, please visit: http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx