First, from the Oregonian article “Oregon schools faiol to budge the state’s low graudation rate” by Besty Hammond (here)
Oregon high schools' on-time graduation rate remained mired at 68 percent for the class of 2012, the same as the year before, when Oregon ranked fourth worst in the nation.
In 2011, Oregon's governor and Legislature set a goal of having all students complete high school by 2025. Getting there would require the graduation rate to rise by about 1.5 percentage points a year.
But in the first year, the rate improved less than 1 percentage point, the state reported today…..
….Oregon's first chief education officer, Rudy Crew, said the results are so bad that education leaders must dramatically remake high schools' and middle schools' "educational architecture" before next school year, even without more money. Schools with the worst graduation rates need to deploy technology in new ways and use summers and weekends to get all students reading at grade level, he said.....
Second, from the Oregonian article “Portland Public Schools makes little increase in overall graduation rates” by Nicole Dungca (here):
Most high schools in Portland Public Schools improved their graduation rates in statewide date released this week, but the district still ranks in the bottom fifth of the state.
Portland graduated about 63 percent of the class of 2012 on time, lagging behind the state's average of about 68 percent, according to data released by the Oregon Department of Education. That represents an increase of less than one percentage point for the district.
The graduation rate for Oregon's largest district has long been in the spotlight, particularly after a study on the class of 2004 revealed slightly more than half of its students graduated on time. The district's own 2012 report on a high school redesign plan called last year's graduation rate "unacceptable."….
I constantly push three reforms needed by Oregon schools: (1) More foreign language immersion programs, especially Mandarin; (2) Paid high school study abroad programs; and (3) More online classes in high schools. None of my proposed reforms are part of the educational establishment’s, the Governor’s, or the OEIB’s reform packages. All three would help increase graduation rates. Spanish immersion programs, especially, can be used to boost the success of latinos in school. High schools years abroad might keep the more adventurous and bored in school. And online classes, as well as more blended uses of technology, can be used to motivate students, offer a broader range of classes, and to reduce costs (and, thus, increase educational productivity). By reducing the costs of educating some (more independent and motivated students), resources become available to shift to programs helping those less likely to graduate.I do note Crew saying that schools need to “deploy technology in new ways.”