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JABS AT THE WEST SURPRISING LOSS Putin claims right to act in Ukraine, A7 Blazers fall at home to Lakers, B1 TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2014 Serving Oregon’s South Coast Since 1878 ■ 75¢ Coos Bay test scores inching higher BY CHELSEA DAVIS The World COOS BAY — Light bulb moments are becoming more common in Coos Bay classrooms. More Coos Bay kids are low-risk in reading and math this year than when standards assessment easyCBM was implemented during the 2009-2010 school year. The reading and math tests, which K-7 students take in the fall, winter and spring, are aligned to state standards. The tests allow teachers to pinpoint exactly which skills are giving students trouble and which are a breeze. From the fall to winter test, the number of Coos Bay kindergartners in the low-risk reading category doubled. More than 25 percent of second-graders fell out of the high-risk math category into either medium- or low-risk. For the last few years, more kids were slipping out of low-risk and into medium- or high-risk categories, a negative trend that correlated to slipping scores on the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. But last year, school improvement coordinator Chad Putman saw easyCBM scores plateau. He wasn’t sure whether it was a bump in the downward slope or a new trend in a positive direction. According to positive results from this year so far, Putman said it’s the latter. “I attribute the increase in ECBM scores to district coordination, focus on best practice, intervention/acceleration and equity through the use of PLCs (professional learning communities),” he said. “By equity I mean targeting specific skills or standards as opposed to sorting students into high, medium and low performing groups, which is ‘tracking.’ All students should receive help or acceleration based on their need.” Districtwide standardization encourages teamwork, he said, which has put more teachers on the same page. “It’s a culture shift, so there has been some pushback,” he said. Several teachers say the tests are inaccurate since some kids are placed in higher-risk groups than the teacher had placed them in originally. At school board meetings this year, a few Madison Elementary teachers have voiced their concerns. Madison third grade teacher Melia Jasso worried she was working from a “script” that forced her to divert attention from struggling students. “I’m afraid I’m becoming an ineffective teacher,” she recently told the board. “I’m trying to conform ... at the cost of students.” SEE SCORES | A8 Oregon, Oracle reach accord Look at me BY GOSIA WOZNIACKA The Associated Press By Lou Sennick, The World Two Canada geese take some time on a misty day on Coos Bay to do some preening while standing on a log. The two were off the North Bend Boardwalk on Monday afternoon. It may be a little wet weatherwise a little longer. The forecast calls for off-and-on rain until Thursday night, then a chance of rain over the weekend. 2015 budget focuses on boosting economy BY ALAN FRAM The Associated Press WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is unwrapping a nearly $4 trillion budget that gives Democrats an election-year playbook for fortifying the economy and bolstering Americans’ incomes. It also underscores how pressure has faded to launch bold, new attacks on federal deficits. Obama’s 2015 fiscal blueprint, which he is sending Congress on Tuesday, was expected to include proposals to upgrade aging highways and railroads, finance more pre-kindergarten programs and enhance job training. The White House said it would also enlarge the earned income tax credit to cover 13.5 million low-earning workers without children, expand the child care tax credit for some parents and make it easier for workers to contribute to Individual Retirement Accounts. A revamping of corporate income taxes and higher tobacco levies would help pay for some of the initiatives. White House aides say Obama’s blueprint would obey overall agency spending limits enacted in December that followed a pact Shutdown cost national parks at least $414M The Associated Press Striving for unity among Democrats rather than compromise with Republicans, President Barack Obama unveils an election-year budget Tuesday that drops cuts to Social Security and seeks new money for infrastructure, education and job training. between Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees. Yet Obama will propose an additional package of $56 billion in spending priorities, the aides say, half for defense and half for domestic programs. It would be fully paid for by cutting spending and narrowing tax loopholes, such as boosting collections from U.S. firms doing business overseas, they said. That package, like much of the president’s plan, seemed sure to draw catcalls from Republicans. Their recipe for accelerating economic growth includes cutting taxes or overhauling the entire tax code, and they criticize higher spending as wasteful. With the Democratic-led Senate and GOP-run House gridlocked, WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says the government shutdown last fall resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the shutdown was a striking reminder that national parks are a powerful economic engine for local economies across the country. The report released Monday said five states, including California and Arizona, lost more than $20 million during the 16-day shutdown. Six states received permission to reopen national parks within their borders using state money. The report said those states generated nearly $10 in visitor spending for every dollar spent. PORTLAND — Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange said Monday it will pay its main technology contractor much of the money it’s been withholding in payments, in exchange for Oracle’s promise to continue working with the state during a transition period. Meanwhile, Gov. John Kitzhaber expressed pessimism about the prospects for Cover Oregon and Oracle finishing the website before the end of March, when nearly all Americans are required to have insurance under the federal health care law. “It has become increasingly clear that we may not be able to have the public portion of the website operational for the current enrollment period,” Kitzhaber said in a statement following Cover Oregon’s announcement. “While I am deeply disappointed in the technology’s performance to date, we must do everything possible to ensure that we continue to enroll Oregonians through our current process.” Kitzhaber’s statement followed the announcement by Cover Oregon that it’s reached a transition agreement with Oracle. The state agreed to pay $44 million of the nearly $70 million it was withholding. Cover Oregon said it will continue to withhold $25.6 million that Oracle Corp. has billed for technology development work from September 2013 through Feb. 28, 2014. The state has already paid the Redwood City, Calif., company more than $90 million in federal funds for building the exchange. It stopped payments after the exchange website failed to go live Oct. 1 and serious problems with the site’s coding came to light. Oregon is the only state that still doesn’t have an online portal where the general public can sign up for health insurance in one sitting through a marketplace required under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Cover Oregon said that under the transition agreement, Oracle will provide services during open Comics . . . . . . . . . . A6 Puzzles . . . . . . . . . . A6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . B1 Classifieds . . . . . . . C3 SEE ORACLE | A8 No decision The Legislature delayed voting on a bill that would grant local governments the power to forbid medical pot dispensaries. Need to sell something? Page A5 FORECAST Police reports . . . . A2 What’s Up. . . . . . . . A3 South Coast. . . . . . A3 Opinion. . . . . . . . . . A4 STATE INSIDE SEE BUDGET | A8 Rain 60/53 Weather | A8 WE CAN DELIVER YOUR MESSAGE OVER 100,000 TIMES! Call Valerie Today! 541-267-6278


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