Local Schools Adopt New Teaching Model

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EUGENE, Ore. — Local schools are switching to a new system to measure what students have learned.

On Thursday, the state’s deputy superintendent got a look at how classroom curriculum is changing. Deputy Superintendent of Education Rob Saxton got to see the proficiency model first hand.

The new system measures what students know rather than giving out points for homework and frivolous extra credit assignments.

This is the first year Cascade Middle School is trying out this new teaching model, and teachers say so far students are learning a lot more than they did on the old system.

Instead of taking exams, students now take something called a proof. If they don’t pass, they can redo the proof until they get the score the teacher requires.

It’s up to individual teachers to set the standard. One teacher says each student needs to get an 80 percent to pass.

“Rigor has definitely increased. Students are working harder than they’ve ever worked before, and they’re learning more than they’ve ever learned. They cannot be successful unless they can show that they’ve learned and what they’ve learned, and that’s making a huge difference at the middle school level for sure,” said eighth grade teacher Natalie Oliver.

Deputy Superintendent Saxton says every district is approaching the proficiency system in a different way, but all are trying to get students up to common core standards that line up with other schools across the country.

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