There was an interesting juxtaposition of articles in my (very pro-testing) newspaper yesterday.
The front page article was "Portland Students Aren't Put To Test". It states that a typical student in a big city school takes about eight standardizes test a year while our students only take two.
The inside article was "Oregon stays average as national math scores drop".
It says that 30 states saw their scores drop on the NEAP but Oregon's remained stable in both math and reading.
Strangely, one of the conclusions they drew from this is that
A study released Monday found that, give its relatively advantaged student demographics, Oregon students shout outscore the national average if its schools were as effective as those in other states. Oregon's very average performance suggests its schools are doing a slightly below average job of teaching elementary and middle school reading and math, that study by the Urban Institute found.
So, of course, I started wondering why Oregon has "relatively advantaged student demographics" when articles like this are not uncommon:
Oregon experienced one of the nation's most severe increases in people living in areas of concentrated poverty during the first decade of this century, according to a new Census Bureau study of living situations in 2000 and 2010.
It was one of just four states -- all in the South except Oregon -- where the share of people living in census tracts with a high share of impoverished residents shot up more than 15 percentage points over that period.
The only thing I can really come up with that they might mean by "advantaged" is that the state is overwhelmingly Caucasian.
I still trying to connect the dots but information is so scattered that it's hard to do....