Ashland schools made modest strides and compared favorably to similar schools in the state at almost every grade level last school year, according to Oregon school report cards released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education.

The state hasn't assigned schools overall performance ratings since switching to the Smarter Balanced tests in spring 2015, but it continues to rate measurable outcomes across a number of statistical categories and track performance across a wide range of demographics.

In English language arts, the percentage of Ashland third- through fifth-graders who scored a Level 3 or 4 on the four-tier scale in 2017 dipped 5.5 percentage points from the previous school year to 67 percent. That represented the only slip at either third-through-fifth, sixth-through-eighth or 11th grades, in any of the three subjects tracked, and it still far exceeded the 49.4 percent hit by schools demographically similar to Ashland's. Ashland's sixth- through eighth-graders improved that percentage in English language arts slightly to 76.8 percent, and 86 percent of Ashland 11th graders scored Level 3 or 4 in 2017.

In math, 63 percent of Ashland's third- through fifth-graders hit Level 3 or 4, 67 percent of Ashland's sixth- through eighth-graders did the same and 61.1 percent of its 11th graders hit the mark.

In science, 85 percent of Ashland's third- through fifth-graders rated at Level 3 or 4, 91.1 percent of its sixth- through eighth-graders (a nearly 10 percent increase) and 68.1 percent of its 11th graders.