Study Finds Alignment between Performance on State Assessment Tests by sparkunder12

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Contact:   Gene Evans, ODE: (503) 378-3600, ext. 2237
           Di Saunders, OUS: 503-725-5714; Cell: 503-807-5539
Sources:   Shirley Clark, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, OUS: 541-954-3006 (cell);
           541-346-5791 (office)
           Christine Tell, Director of PASS, OUS: 541-954-5714 (office)


       Study Finds Alignment between Performance on State
           Assessment Tests and Freshman Year GPA
Portland, Feb. 10 Preliminary findings of a study shared today at a joint meeting of the
State Board of Education and State Board of Higher Education (the “Joint Boards”)
indicate a positive relationship between student performance on academic standards at
the 10th grade benchmark and successful performance in the first year of college. The
full report, The First Year: 10th Grade Benchmark Standards and First Year College
Performance (2001-02), will be released to the Joint Boards and the State Legislature in
Salem on February 24.

State Board of Education Chair Jill Kirk said, “There have been questions from many
fronts as to the value of state assessment tests in truly indicating students’ academic
achievement levels and future performance. This study clearly indicates that the 10th
grade benchmarks are closely aligned with college success and students’ ability to move
beyond freshman year.”

The First Year study is examining how closely Oregon students’ performance on
academic standards predicts (a) success in their first year college courses and (b)
continuing beyond freshman year at an Oregon public university or community college.
The indicators of college success measured in the study include overall freshman year
college GPA, college GPA by individual subject areas, and continuing in college beyond
freshman year (referred to as “persistence” in college).

Preliminary findings include:
 • Students who “meet” or "exceed" the standard at 10th grade benchmark level are
     more likely to earn a higher GPA in related college courses than students who did
     not meet the standard.

 •   Students performing at higher levels on the various state assessments at the 10th
     grade benchmark also perform at higher levels in college (as indicated by college
     GPA). For example, 71% of students who “exceeded” the standard in 10th grade
     benchmark levels had an average college GPA of 3.0 in math beyond calculus,
      compared to the “meets” standard students, 25% of whom took math beyond
      calculus and had an average college GPA of 2.6.
  •   The combined 10th grade benchmark assessments (reading, writing, math problem
      solving, and math knowledge and skills) correlate with first year college GPA at the
      same level as the SAT.

“While there is no single perfect predictor of first year college success, this study
reaffirms that there is a positive relationship among state assessments, high school
GPA, college GPA, and the SAT,” said Richard Jarvis, Chancellor of the Oregon
University System (OUS). “As we have for almost ten years, OUS will continue to work
with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to align the K-12 standards and
benchmarks with college entry and make that transition a point of success for students.”

Using 1999-2000 state data, researchers in the Institutional Research Services Division
of the Oregon University System (OUS) identified a cohort of students who participated
in state assessments and subsequently enrolled in an OUS institution or Oregon
community college in the fall of 2001.

Cam Preus -Braly, Commissioner for the Department of Community Colleges and
Workforce Development said, "From the writing and math results we have reviewed, we
find it very promising that successful performance in community college programs is
related to the standards that students achieve in high school."

The freshman class that entered OUS institutions and the state’s community colleges in
fall 2001 is also the first group of Oregon students to have additional information about
performance on academic standards at the 10th grade benchmark as part of the
requirements of the Oregon Education Act for the 21st Century. This performance was
measured by the Oregon state assessment system in four areas: reading/literature,
writing, math problem solving, and math knowledge and skills.

Susan Castillo, Superintendent of Public Instruction, said, “Knowing that 10th grade
assessments line up with students’ college performance gives schools and classroom
teachers an ‘early warning’ tool to identify those who need additional preparation. I am
most pleased with the confirmation that our state assessment tests align so closely to
the content of the SAT. It is evidence that our state testing system is rigorous and
reflects content for college preparation.”

The Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching
more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services
and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board
of the seven-campus Oregon University System, is composed of eleven members appointed by
the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate.

For additional information on OUS and the State Board of Higher Education, go to:
http://www.ous.edu/. For additional information on the Oregon Department of Education
or the State Board of Education go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/

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