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2020-21 Statewide Assessment Results

Student Education Equity Development Survey

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) piloted a series of Student Educational Equity Development (SEED) Surveys in spring 2021. The SEED Surveys are designed to help serve the following five purposes:

  1. Honor the importance and necessity of incorporating student voice into the continuous improvement process for Oregon’s public education systems.
  2. Provide Oregon districts with actionable data regarding investments and quality pedagogy that can be used to increase student group outcomes (e.g., academic achievement, graduation rates, post-secondary success).
  3. Develop promising practices guidance regarding appropriate uses of SEED Survey data independently and in combination with comparison to summative assessment results.
  4. Expand reporting beyond outcomes to include information about investments and quality pedagogy that Oregon’s education systems make in supporting students, their families, and the educators who serve them.
  5. Validate summative assessment approaches by reviewing SEED Survey results in comparison to summative results, reviewing expected and unexpected patterns in relationships.

The SEED Survey design is founded in current research and literature, as well as input from education and community partners. The 2021 pilot was made available in Spanish and English. ODE will expand the items to additional language groups based on student population percentages in future administrations. The pilot SEED Survey was administered online to Oregon students in Grades 3-8 and 11.

The SEED Survey pilot measured student perceptions in four core constructs: Access to Learning Resources, Opportunity to Learn (OTL), Self-Efficacy Beliefs, and Sense of Belonging. The OTL and Self-Efficacy constructs focus on specific content areas in each grade level. State averages from the SEED Survey data are available in Microsoft Excel format. It is important to note that the results in the file are not representative of all students in the state and should not be interpreted as such.


Statewide Assessment Waiver

Grades Required to Test

In spring 2021, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) received approval from the U.S. Department of Education to reduce the number of statewide assessments that were required to be administered in English language arts, mathematics, and science, as shown in Table 1.

Families still had the option to opt their children out from ELA and/or Math per ORS 329.479 or from Science per OAR 581-021-009. Families could also ask that their students access the assessments at optional grade levels.

Table 1: Required Tests

GradeEnglish Language ArtsMathematicsScience
3 Required Optionaln/a
4 Optional Requiredn/a
5 Optional Optional Required
6 Required Optionaln/a
7 Required Requiredn/a
8 Optional Required Required
11 Required Required Optional

Participation Rates

Many students had only a very limited number of days of in-person instruction during the 2020-21 school year due to the impacts of the pandemic upon Oregon schools. Due to concerns related to the impacts on families, particularly those supporting emerging bilinguals and students experiencing disabilities, and the lack of available research to address item security concerns at the time, ODE did not support remote administration of statewide assessments. As a result, many districts prioritized instruction over test administration, and this led to low statewide participation rates, as shown in Table 2. In this table, participation rates for required assessments are indicated by an asterisk (*).

Table 2: Participation Rates

GradeEnglish Language ArtsMathematicsScience
3 37.5%* 4.7%n/a
4 4.6% 37.5%*n/a
5 3.3% 3.6% 37.3%*
6 33.9%* 4.3%n/a
7 28.8%* 28.6%*n/a
8 3.1% 26.5%* 27.6%*
11 11.1%* 11.1%* 5.2%

The low participation rates show that statewide assessment data for the 2020-2021 school year are incomplete and are not representative of the state’s population. This is also true for those districts and schools with low participation rates.

Interpreting the Results

Assessment results may not be representative of a school, district, or the state when participation rates are low. Because of this, the following cautions must be in place to guard the 2020-21 state summative assessment results from misuse. These results:

  • Should not be compared across schools, districts, or time
  • Should not be compared across student groups
  • May be used locally in schools/districts where at least 80% of eligible students participated and the sample was representative of the overall student population

When reporting assessment results, ODE usually reports the percentage of students who score proficient among those with a valid test score, which is the number proficient divided by the number of students tested. When testing rates are high (e.g., above 95%) these proficiency rates are reflective of the achievement of the school or student group. However, when participation rates are lower, we can not be sure that the students tested are representative of the population as a whole. In these cases, the reported proficiency rates may not be valid indicators of the achievement of all students in the school or within a particular student group.

To reflect this uncertainty, the assessment files include three proficiency rates:

  • Observed Proficiency: the percentage of students proficient among those who tested.
  • Minimum Proficiency: proficiency rate if all of the students who did not participate scored not-proficient.
  • Maximum Proficiency: proficiency rate if all the students who did not participate scored proficient.

A school or district’s level of proficiency could be anywhere in the minimum to maximum proficiency range. The width of the range is associated with participation rates, with narrow bands where high percentages of students participated and wide bands where low percentages of students participated. A data caution has been placed in the file when participation rates are below 80%.



For more information, please contact Jon Wiens or Dan Farley.