Oregon’s graduation rate ticks slightly up, but achievement gaps persist without investment

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The good news: Oregon’s 2017 graduation rates are out, and a small uptick in students graduating on time marks another consecutive year of improvement.

The bad news: Disparities in graduation rates among black and brown students and students from low-income households still persist, despite students of color continuing to narrow the achievement gap. And overall, Oregon’s graduation rate is still among the very worst in the country.

With some of the largest class sizes and shortest school years in the nation and inadequate mental health supports for students, these results are likely to persist. Students of color and students from low-income households already face institutional barriers to success. It’s time to fully fund our schools and give students and teachers the resources that they need to succeed.

You can read more about the new report over at OPB. Excerpt:

Oregon high schools bumped up their graduation rates last spring, to an average of 78.7 percent statewide. That’s a two percentage point gain over the state’s 76.7 percent rate from a year ago. The director of the state’s education agency, Colt Gill, sees the report demonstrating steady improvement over nearly a decade when it comes to helping students complete high school.

The gaps may be smaller, but they remain. African-American students graduate at a rate 10 points below Oregon’s average. For Native American students, it’s 13 points lower. Latino students are within four points of the state average. And low-income students, regardless of ethnicity, graduate at a rate six points below the state average.

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