Definitions for School Statistics

Pop quiz time: What's the difference between a Magnet School and a Charter School? Learn more about how we graded Portland-area schools with this cheat sheet of definitions.

Edited by Martha Calhoon January 25, 2010 Published in the February 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

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Adequate Yearly Progress: Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, each school’s students must meet performance targets in English/Language Arts and in mathematics, and a certain percentage of students must hit attendance and graduation benchmarks. If a school hits these targets, it is designated as meeting AYP. “Y” indicates a school has done so; “N” means it has not.

Average number of students per grade: The number of students enrolled in a school divided by the number of grades offered.

Charter school: An independent, publicly funded school that must meet the state academic standards and goals stated in its charter. Charter schools must be sponsored either by local school districts or the state.

Magnet school: A public school offering specialized curricula that draws students from across established school district boundaries.

Oregon School Report Card Grade: The Oregon Department of Education’s overall rating for a school based on components like statewide assessment results, student attendance, and dropout rates. Schools are given one of three ratings: Outstanding, Satisfactory, or In Need of Improvement (which we have abbreviated to OUT, SAT, and INOI).

Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS): The standardized math and reading tests for the state of Oregon. Our scores reflect the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards in grades 3–8 and grade 10.

Student-Teacher Ratio: In Oregon, these figures reflect a school’s total enrollment divided by the number of “full-time equivalency” teachers, which includes the positions of head teacher, teacher, librarian and or/media specialist, guidance counselor, special education teacher, and special ed PE teacher. For Washington schools and for private schools, this figure reflects classroom teachers only.

Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL): The standardized reading, math, and writing tests for the state of Washington. The scores provided reflect students in grades 4, 7, and 10. The number indicates the percentage of students that either met or exceeded the standard.

Schools spanning primary and secondary levels are listed only once in the grids, unless they include grade 12. Schools at the elementary and middle-school level that also offer graduation data are listed again under the high school category (example: a K–8 school will be listed only under elementary schools; a K–12 school will appear under elementary and again under high school to capture graduation and SAT data).

Students per grade, student-teacher ratio, ethnicity statistics, the percentage of teachers with master’s degrees, SAT scores, and private school tuition and enrollment figures reflect averages from the 2008–2009 academic year.

Among public schools, those offering only preschool are not included. Among private schools, those offering only preschool and kindergarten are not included.

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