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SALEM, OR -- Preliminary results are in for new state testing, and they're better than expected. State education officials had predicted that about a third of Oregon students would pass the new Smarter Balance test. But, with about 95% of the tests scored, that passing rate is closer to half.

 

The new tests have higher standards and require students to think more analytically than in the past. Crystal Greene, with the Oregon Department of Education tells KBND, "We were very pleased with the preliminary results. We do emphasize that we expect a slight drop when the final five-percent come in, which include partial tests. Regardless, these results are much higher than expected, and for college and career preparation, that's really good news for our state."

 

Those early numbers show 45% of students passed in math and 55% passed in reading and writing. "Right now, English is coming in significantly higher than math, but that's not surprising given the shift. The approach in math, explaining their work, is a bigger change than in English," Greene says. 

 

The final results are expected to be released by mid-September. When compared with neighboring states, Oregon's results fall in the middle. Washington was the highest, Idaho was the lowest. 

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