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Statewide Testing Information

The Goal: All Students Graduate Prepared

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests, known as Smarter Balanced.

How Do Tests Help Reach the Goal? 

  • Challenge your child to think critically and apply his or her knowledge to real-world problems
  • Go beyond multiple choice and ask your child to explain his or her answers
  • Act as a snapshot of your child’s progress and may be considered along with other pieces of information to determine your child’s academic success
  • Help identify schools and districts that need additional supports to ensure more students are meeting higher standards

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do the tests take?
The tests are not timed so your child can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do. With our new exams, your child only tests once each year, unlike our previous exams which many students took multiple times. 

What do the results mean and where do I get my child’s results?
Test results identify your child’s strengths and areas for improvement in English Language Arts and Math. Each subject will be broken into categories and will show how well your child performed in each area. The tests measure student learning on a 4 point scale. Your school will share your child’s scores with you at the beginning of the next school year to help support your child’s success as he or she moves from grade to grade.

Can I opt-out my student from taking  statewide tests?
Each year parents and adult students have the right to opt-out of statewide tests if they acknowledge that they along with teachers and administrators may lose valuable information about student progress. State of Oregon Test Information and Opt-out forms are available in English and Spanish. You can also request a printed form from any school office. 

Why does participation matter?
While no single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provides educators and administrators with information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. Your child’s participation is important to ensure schools and districts receive the targeted resources they need to help all students succeed.

When will my child take the test?
Your child will be tested once after he or she has completed at least two-thirds of the school year. Your child’s school will determine the specific dates your child takes the tests within the statewide testing window above.

Where can I get additional information about statewide tests? 
You can visit the Smarter Balanced website or the Oregon Department of Education for additional information and resources.