The numbers are in: TTSD releases the 2022 OSA scores


Katarina Ilić

All OSA tests are taken online, in settings like the library, in the spring of junior year.

On September 22, the district released an email to students and parents announcing the State Assessment results. The district summarized it by saying, “Overall, TTSD performed above the state average yet we see declines in all categories. This aligns with the trends represented throughout the state and nation and validates the student impact on learning throughout the pandemic.”

The state assessment is a test that students 3rd-8th and 11th graders participate in. The test, according to the ODE website, is supposed to measure how well students know and understand state standards. The test covers three categories: ELA (English Language Arts), math, and science.

In terms of how students did on the test, numbers dropped significantly with 48.8% of students meeting the benchmark in ELA compared to the 61.2% that met the benchmark in 2019. In math, there was a 12.4% drop in scores with only 35.3% meeting the benchmark compared to the 49.6% in 2019.

Reactions to these scores did not vary in terms of response. “The test scores should come as no surprise, given all the hard situations that we have lived through in the past couple of years,” school board member David Jaimes said. “Instruction during COVID was extremely difficult. We saw so many inequalities grow.”

The email stated that in terms of participation, TTSD’s numbers dropped drastically. Compared to the 2018-2019 test, ELA and math participation dropped 15% and science participation dropped 20.3%.

However students had the option to “opt out” of the test as long as they had a signed form from a parent or guardian. When asked about the process of “opting out” senior Miriam Hajdu-Paulen said, “For reading and math it was pretty straightforward. My mom just had to sign a form, but for science it was more frustrating because you had to have a religious or medical reason and I couldn’t do that.”

Anatomy and biology teacher Kenneth Harms believes the drop in participation was due to students feeling the need to be in class. “Lack of participation is from the ability to be able to drop out of it. And people realizing it’s a waste of their time and they’d rather be in class – especially the students that care about their classes, and if they’re IB, or honors, or dual credit.”

“My reasons for opting my two children- teenagers- out of testing last year were that it was the first year back in person full-time with instruction and I felt it was more important to focus on the learning and the teaching of the content than taking a test that, at the time, didn’t seem as crucial as adapting to catching up on some of the other learning gaps,” parent Angela Kastrava said. “And also one of my kids was taking another test — I think it was the ACT– and that seemed to be sufficient for testing at that level at the time.”

Kastrava, a teacher as well, also seemed not phased. “I’m not surprised. As a teacher I’ve seen that in other areas. I’ve seen that at the primary school level; I’ve seen it in our tests for second language learners; and I’ve seen that across the district in which I teach. So, yeah, it makes sense, especially given some of the gaps in literacy instruction in the last couple years for kids that were not getting as much support if they would have been in the classroom.”

Now what exactly led to the drastic drop in scores? The district aligned it with the results of pandemic learning. Other reasons might include students’ level of effort. When asked about their personal performance on the tests, senior Emmeline Gale, who took each one in Spring 2022, said, “I’ll be one hundred percent transparent: I clicked through all of the questions because it doesn’t affect my grades or my chance of getting into college.”