News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Oregon records 80.6 percent graduation rate

The statewide graduation rate for the class of 2020-21 is 80.6 percent, the second highest graduation rate ever recorded in Oregon, according to data released today by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).

“The data released [Jan. 20] both demonstrates the tremendous resilience of Oregon’s youth and makes it clear that COVID-19 not only had a disproportionate impact on the health of Oregon’s communities of color, it also had a far greater impact on students of color,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “We know districts continue to work hard to help those students still making progress towards graduation. 

“Over the summer, districts spent $24 million in funds allocated by Governor Brown and the Legislature to help more than 18,000 high school students earn credits towards graduation,” Gill continued. “Districts are also using funds from the Student Success Act to improve access and opportunities for students who have been historically underserved in the education system. Through unprecedented engagement with their communities, every district has their own plan to address student achievement.”

The 80.6 represents an uptick from the most recent, pre-pandemic rate of 80.0 for the class of 2018-19, but a 2 percent decrease from last year.

“When I became Governor, Oregon’s graduation rate was 72%. Today, it is 80%, as we have made significant investments and reforms to help ensure all students, regardless of their zip code, are prepared for lifelong success,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “But there is so much more work to be done to address the needs of Oregon’s students, particularly given the impacts the pandemic has had on them––not only on their academic and career readiness, but on their mental, social, emotional, and behavioral health. 

“I remain committed to working with school leaders and legislators to assess what resources will be necessary to meet the needs of our students this school year and into the summer months.”

Other key findings from the data:

Students participating in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) course of study significantly exceeded the statewide average, graduating at a rate of 92.9 percent.

Students who have successfully completed English Learner programs in Oregon graduated at 84.2 percent, 3.6 percentage points higher than the statewide average.

Black/African American students’ graduation rate of 73.5 percent was down from 76.3 percent the year before, but still higher than the 70.4 percent graduation rate for the Class of 2019. 

Hispanic/Latino students’ graduation rate of 77.0 percent was down from 79.5 percent the previous year, but higher than the 76.2 graduation rate for the Class of 2019.

American Indian/Alaska Native students had one of the smallest decreases of any student group, just 0.2 percentage points down to 67 percent.

The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student group saw the largest decrease, down from 76.6 percent two years ago to 69.8 percent last year.

The graduation rate for students experiencing homelessness dropped five percentage points to 55.4 percent, the same rate as the Class of 2019.

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