Oregon Lags Behind National High School Graduation Rate

Oct 17, 2016

Despite recent improvements in local and statewide high school graduation rates, Oregon still ranks third from the bottom nationwide.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Credit U.S. Dept of Education

Oregon outdoes only Nevada and New Mexico, due to the Beaver State improving its graduation rate by a couple percentage-points from the previous year.

As for Eugene’s rate of high school seniors walking off stage with a diploma, it too has improved.  Kerry Delf is the 4-J district’s spokesperson:

“The graduation rate in 2015 was 74.2 percent.  That was a strong increase over the previous year, when it was 71.8 percent.” 

But those upticks still pale compared to the national rate of 83 percent.  Delf says Oregon and 4-J students contend with a number of challenges.  

Credit National Archives

“The length of the school year is shorter, students have less class time, and higher class sizes than in many other states across the country," Delf tells KLCC.  

"Students who are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and students with disabilities are less likely to graduate on time with a regular diploma.” 

The 4-J district did see a bump in the number of freshmen with a fourth of credits required to graduate.  Delf says they’ll work to keep students on track, and narrow achievement gaps.