Oregon high school graduation rate increases

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Oregon high school graduation rate increases

Published 9:19 a.m. PT Jan. 26, 2017 | Updated 8:49 a.m. PT Jan. 27, 2017

Oregon continues to improve the graduation rate for high school students, although it remains near the bottom of national rankings.

According to data released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education, the four-year graduation rate for all students in 2015-16 was 74.8 percent, up from 73.8 percent in 2014-15 and 72.0 percent in 2013-14.

Oregon regularly has one of the nation’s lowest graduation rates — it was 48th in 2015 —  and the uptick still leaves it well below the 2015 national average of 83 percent.

“These rate increases are encouraging signs of the impact that can occur when communities, educators, and schools work together,” said Colt Gill, Oregon’s Education Innovation Officer, in a statement.

The data showed gains for students of color, but still highlighted a noticeable difference in races and economic status.

Oregon graduated 1,300 more students in 2016 than in the previous year; its drop-out rate stayed steady at 3.93 percent.

This was the first year Oregon released data on Career Technical Education, showing students who completed at least one CTE course graduated at 85.4 percent, compared to the 74.8 percent state average.

Oregon has set a goal of a 100 percent graduation rate by 2025. No state graduates all of its high school students, though Iowa and New Jersey reached 90 percent in 2015.

“Although many of the gaps remain large, it is good news for all Oregonians when the disparity in graduation rates decreases,” Oregon schools chief Salam Noor said in a statement. “It is critical that we continue to work together to help Oregon students achieve at their highest potential.”

View graduation and drop-out rates by district or school online at www.oregon.gov/ode.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Natalie Pate at npate@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6745, or follow her on Twitter @Nataliempate and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist

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Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is the education reporter for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. Natalie has previously worked for organizations and publications such as Direct Relief International, Waging Non-Violence, and Amnesty International USA. She has had stories published with USA Today, Associated Press and Ozy, among others. Natalie earned her B.A. in Politics and French and Francophone Studies (FFS) from Willamette University. During her studies, she wrote a Politics thesis titled, "No One is Dying: How and Why the U.S. Federal Government Avoids Executing Prisoners on Federal Death Row" and an FFS thesis, in French, on cannibalism in the 16th and 17th centuries. Natalie is a journalist, performer, traveler, fiction writer and more. She is working to publish her dystopian novella, "Choice," which follows a man during 24 hours in solitary confinement for allegedly committing murder. For more information on Natalie visit www.about.me/natalie_pate, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist, or follow Natalie on Twitter (@Nataliempate) or Tumblr (Nataliempate blog "In the Shoes of a Journalist"). Her reporting with the Statesman Journal can also be found at www.StatesmanJournal.com.

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