Local educators react to Oregon state testing scores

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:36 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - New test scores from the Oregon Department of Education show a majority of students are falling behind after two years of learning online, and parents and educators said they’re not surprised.

Meg Weber owns Creative Insights tutoring and has been tutoring students in the Portland area for years. She saw firsthand the struggles of learning online.

“I just reassured them a lot that we would figure out the learning together,” Weber said.

Weber specializes in language art. She said just one year without in-person teaching has made a lasting impact on Oregon’s students.

“They missed that year when developmentally it’s so important to learn phonemic awareness, the letter sounds, how letters sound when they’re put together,” Weber said. “That’s the basis of reading.”

RELATED: ODE: Statewide test results show how much support Oregon students need after pandemic

Newly released state test scores show what many teachers and parents feared, a majority of Oregon’s students are not meeting state standards and are falling behind. Weber said she’s not surprised.

“I think the main thing is to help with their self-esteem because suddenly they’re behind,” Weber said.

Zil Jagger, director of elementary education at Puddletown School, said there’s not much more teachers could have done during the pandemic with the hand they were dealt.

“It was challenging for everybody,” Jagger said. “I think we did exactly what we could. We made the strides that we could, we helped children learn the best that we can.”

What can parents do? Weber said finding a tutor is one of the best ways to get students back up to speed. Also, she said parents must spend one on one time with their children to help them study. Some schools have resource centers where you can get extra help as well. And also trust your child’s teacher, because in the end education is a team sport.

“Just reiterate this is not your fault, this is what you tell your child with anything traumatic happens and then say we will be able to catch you up,” Weber said. “They need assurance they will get caught up.