[kids-lib] NEWS RELEASE: Oregon Kindergarten Assessment results released

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Mon Feb 8 10:28:15 PST 2016

The following news release from the Oregon Department of Education indicates there is improvement on the statewide Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. However there is still much to be done to help kids get ready for kindergarten, especially among children of color. Now might be a good time to start thinking about what your library is doing to engage children of color in storytimes and other library programs that may help them get ready for kindergarten.


Katie Anderson, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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February 8, 2016
Media Contact: Karol Collymore, (503) 930-1434

State Officials Announce: Oregon Kindergarteners Better Prepared for School
Third year of data capture shows slight improvement in early math and literacy skills

(Salem, Ore) - The Oregon Department of Education released results today from the third annual Kindergarten Assessment. The assessment is given each fall to entering kindergarteners and provides a snapshot of students' foundational skills in three core areas of learning and development: early literacy, early math and interpersonal/self-regulation skills. This year's results showed a slight increase in students' early math and early literacy skills across all populations and groups. The averages for self-regulation and interpersonal skills remained consistent with previous years' results.

Students showing the most positive movement are African American, Latino, and Native American children, gaining an average of 0.4 points in early math and 0.7 points in early literacy.  Asian children - highest overall - gained 0.6 points in early math and 1.7 points in early literacy. White children gained 0.4 in math and 0.5 points in early literacy. While the uptick in math and literacy results for Oregon's young learners is encouraging, the data also show that disparities still persist. Access to the kinds of early learning experiences that support children to enter school with the skills they need to succeed is still limited, particularly for students of color. "This overall positive movement upwards for all of our children is something we are celebrating, "says Megan Irwin, Early Learning Systems Director for the state. "However, we must continue to focus our attention on closing gaps in opportunity and access for populations of students our system consistently and historically has not served well."

The Kindergarten Assessment provides state policymakers with valuable information about opportunity gaps within Oregon's Early Learning System, and helps drive investments in Oregon's youngest children to where they are most needed. The use of the assessment as a tool to drive investment is more important than ever following the $100 million in new funds prioritized for the early learning system by Governor Kate Brown and the Legislature in the 2015 legislative session, including $17.5 million to start new preschool programs.

"Students in Oregon enter kindergarten with a wide range of knowledge and skills," said Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor. "We are working to build bridges between early learning providers, families and elementary schools so that we can continue to improve our supports to children and families in these critical early years. These Kindergarten Assessment results help us understand where our students are when they walk through our doors so that we can help improve our system, address gaps early, and prepare each student for future success." The Kindergarten Assessment focuses on the foundational knowledge and skills that are strongly linked to 3rd grade reading and future academic success. The self-regulation and interpersonal skills are measured through a survey based on teacher observation of the student during regular classroom activities and routines. Teachers spend time with kindergartners one-on-one as they work through the literacy and math assessments, asking them, for example, to identify letters, or to count the number of objects in a picture.

"As a kindergarten teacher, gathering this information about my students really helps me gauge where they are in their development," says Wayne Bund, a teacher in the David Douglas School District. "I am able to get a snapshot of the kids and plan my lessons accordingly."

This year the assessment was delivered in the fall, and data are made available to school districts and educators in the spring. Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, data from the assessment will be immediately ready for analysis and feedback so that educators and hubs can use the information to better inform their practice.

The link to the Kindergarten Assessment data with specific numerical breakdown across student groups and an FAQ can be found here<http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=3908>.

Karol Collymore | Early Learning Public Affairs Director
OFFICE 503.378.2792 |  MOBILE 503.930.1434
Like us on Facebook!<https://www.facebook.com/EarlyLearningDivision>

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