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High School Graduation Rates Up in Oregon, Closer to US Rate

Former English language learners — including immigrant kids — had among the highest high school graduation rates in Oregon, while statewide the rate increased by 2 percent, reaching closer to the national average.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 5:14 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2019 6:11 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY , Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former English language learners — including immigrant kids — had among the highest high school graduation rates in Oregon, while statewide the rate increased by 2 percent, reaching closer to the national average.

For the 2017-2018 class, the graduation rate was 78.7 percentage points, marking the fifth straight year it has gone up but still almost 6 points off last year's national average.

Gov. Kate Brown commended the results. She noted that she has a $2 billion education investment package, in addition to her base budget, in her proposed state budget that would require some type of tax increase.

"To build on this progress, I am dedicated to re-investing in our schools to bring them back to a level we can be proud of," Brown said in a statement.

Also Thursday, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Student Success released its recommendations, and said schools receiving new investments must demonstrate how their expenditures will help students of color, low-income students, English language learners, students with disabilities and rural students. The committee said those students have fewer educational opportunities.

"It is our belief that Oregon must do more to ensure that the 580,000 children enrolled in our schools are receiving a first-class education," wrote Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, and Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, the committee co-chairs.

The committee's leaders proposed a system of targeted investments based on progress toward outcomes, increased accountability and cost containment.

For the first time, the Oregon Department of Education listed the graduation rate for students who had attended an English language leaner program before high school, but not while in high school. Their graduation rate was 82.5 percent.

"The asset of bilingualism is highlighted by the fact that students who exited English Learner programs before high school graduate at a rate nearly 4 percentage points higher than the statewide average," the department said. It credited educators' hard work in welcoming and helping students with non-English speaking backgrounds.

The education department's 2016-7 report had a different measurement for English Learners, looking at the graduation rate for students regardless of when they exited the programs. That graduation rate was only 74 percent.

In the most recent national report, covering the 2016-17 school year, the graduation rate in America was 84.6 percent. Oregon's lagged then at 76.7 percent. Oregon will be able to see where it ranks nationally when the next report comes out.

In other findings, the graduation rate in Oregon for Asian students was 90.6 percent; for African American students 68 percent; homeless students 54.1 percent; Latino students 74.6 percent; and career technical education 88.1 percent.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 78160

Reported Deaths: 953
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah18149245
Washington10929103
Marion9634147
Clackamas672781
Lane450747
Umatilla446850
Jackson401737
Deschutes251715
Malheur245945
Yamhill179717
Linn160023
Polk133219
Douglas98119
Klamath9265
Jefferson87411
Benton8457
Union8098
Morrow6717
Lincoln66515
Josephine5785
Wasco54319
Columbia5394
Coos4533
Hood River4303
Clatsop3730
Baker2914
Crook2446
Tillamook1470
Curry1462
Lake1431
Grant1381
Harney1041
Wallowa723
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler60
Unassigned00

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Cases: 1265182

Reported Deaths: 19410
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Los Angeles4141857740
San Bernardino966571136
Riverside885301444
San Diego846381035
Orange805511578
Kern42614449
Fresno39004488
Sacramento38999586
Santa Clara35945486
Alameda30330520
San Joaquin26432510
Contra Costa24914261
Stanislaus22624430
Tulare21645312
Ventura20604185
Imperial16429356
Monterey15835123
San Francisco15797160
San Mateo14812170
Sonoma12662160
Merced12281182
Santa Barbara11631137
Kings1143489
Solano1095781
Marin7840129
Placer679471
Madera642786
San Luis Obispo634538
Shasta518750
Yolo502081
Santa Cruz463829
Butte419560
Sutter363719
Napa312418
El Dorado25814
Yuba222110
Lassen21823
San Benito196817
Tehama177326
Mendocino163223
Nevada141410
Tuolumne11049
Glenn98910
Lake97120
Humboldt9499
Colusa7476
Siskiyou7373
Amador66616
Mono5503
Calaveras54422
Del Norte3571
Inyo30816
Plumas2300
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Modoc1560
Mariposa1443
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Sierra230
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