Mac district scores high in ‘17 standardized tests

Elizabeth Stoeger, Staff Writer

Standardized test scores fell in most districts across the state, except one: the McMinnville school district.

McMinnville students, about half of whom are low-income students, outperformed state averages for students from all income groups on the 2017 standardized test, reported the Oregonian.

Latino students in McMinnville also achieved higher test scores than those in all other districts.

The standardized tests showed that among low-income students throughout the state, a paltry 41 percent were proficient at reading and writing.

Furthermore, no grade level showed significant improvement from 2016, according to the Oregon Department of Education standardized testing statistics.

With test scores dwindling both within Oregon and on a national scale, McMinnville’s achievement is not to be taken for granted.

Teachers are expected to comb through the latest education research and put into practice teaching strategies that have been shown to have a big effect on student learning.

“I believe that they have been successful because they have switched their teaching methods to being more student-centered, rather than teacher and standard-centered,” said Hope Flores-Austin, a senior education major who grew up in McMinnville.

For Flores-Austin, the stellar teachers she had in McMinnville inspired her to become an educator. “Their passion for teaching and for truly caring about how their students are doing, aside from academically, is what made a huge difference in my life,” she said.

“The district is allowing open dialogue to be a part of the teachers training and experience in order to help out the students,” Elide Sanchez Rivera, ‘19, said. “I think that is a great way to help out the students as it opens up more ways for teachers to learn how communicate with them.”

Sanchez Rivera is also from McMinnville and participated in McMinnville High School’s Engineering and Aerospace Science Academy (EASA) program.

“I was able to acquire vast knowledge over the field of engineering which helped some of my social, communicational, problem solving, and team skills,” she said. “There were a lot of opportunities that I doubt many other students have had (like going to the space museum every day).”