Bethel Leads Area in Graduation Rates

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EUGENE, Ore. — The numbers are out for high school graduation rates in Oregon, and two local districts are headed in opposite directions.

Out of the three school districts in the Eugene/Springfield area, Bethel showed major improvements.

This year, the Bethel School District, which has seen a decline in graduation rates for years, is up to 70 percent, up almost 7 percent from last year.

Bethel spokesman Pat McGillvray says the district has been making great strides, with a focus on graduation starting at the elementary level.

4J’s numbers fell to 64 percent, that’s the lowest rate since 2009.

4J spokeswoman Kerry Delf says a major contributing factor is a counting error and that more students graduated than were actually reported.

“Our actual student achievement is significantly higher than that. About 72 percent of our students were ready and eligible to graduate on time. Unfortunately, we had some reporting issues so some of the students who did graduate weren’t counted,” said Delf.

Delf says a portion of the students eligible to graduate went on to a fifth year program.

Springfield Schools saw a decline in their rates as well.

Previously they had four consecutive years of improved graduation rates.

Springfield Assistant Superintendent Matt Coleman says what’s not factored in are dropout rates, which have declined in their district to 3.7 percent, down from 4.6 the previous year.

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