State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo named sixteen Oregon public schools that have made significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The announcement was made in April at a press conference at Boise-Eliot School in Portland.
Each school named for the award has demonstrated significant improvement in student achievement for minority and/or low income students. This is the fourth year that Castillo has recognized schools for the Celebrating School Success Awards. This year there are six Champion Schools, six Rising Star Schools and four Continuing Success Schools. The champion schools will each receive a $3,000 award and the Continuing Success Schools will each receive a $1,000 award. All sixteen schools will receive trophies and recognition at the Celebrating Student Success Banquet on May 9 at the Oregon Convention Center.
“There is a great deal we can learn from these schools about the power of high expectations, about the importance of strong leadership, and about what we can accomplish when we keep our eyes on the goal,” Castillo said. “These awards highlight the successes and growth of schools from around the state that, despite great challenges, are showing us that it can be done—we can reduce the achievement gap and ensure success for all of Oregon’s students.”
Castillo initiated the Celebrating Student Success Award in 2004 to recognize leadership within Oregon’s K–12 public school system and highlight schools that have made significant progress toward closing the academic achievement gap.
Special thanks go to the Portland Schools Foundation, whose work inspired these awards.
Selected schools made it through a “data screen” that identified schools where student subpopulations (minority groups, students with limited English, special education students, etc) made significant progress compared to the comparison groups (white students, English speaking students, non-special education, etc.). Student cohorts were analyzed using data from 2003–04 through 2006–07. A team reviewed the data and examined both school to state comparisons and within school comparisons. Statewide report card and AYP data was also analyzed. Schools demonstrating the strongest subpopulation growth (and hence the most progress in closing the achievement gap) were invited to submit an application for further review. A Blue Ribbon Panel composed of educators, business leaders, and community members reviewed the data and the applications and made recommendations to Superintendent Castillo.
The 2008 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools are:
- Boise-Eliot School, Portland Public Schools
- Centennial Elementary, Springfield School District
- Gilbert Park Elementary, David Douglas School District
- Grant Community School, Salem-Keizer School District
- McLoughlin High School, Milton-Freewater Unified School District
- Merrill Elementary, Klamath County School District