SALEM, Ore. -- Today a state audit validated work currently being done to improve graduation rates.
Some of the recommendations include tactics like providing targeted support to students in groups that have lower graduation rates. Some of these groups are highly mobile students, kids that transfer schools and districts. As well as economically disadvantaged students and middle school students. Another recommendation is providing more support to schools with mid-range graduation rates instead of focusing on schools with the lowest rates.
The Oregon Department of Education has improved disparities in outcomes experienced by Black and Hispanic students, but there are still sizeable gaps for other groups. Groups like students with disabilities, students experiencing economic issues and English learners.
Here is a list from the ODE of some programs and policies either already in place or expected to be implemented soon that are consistent with the audit’s recommendations:
· The Oregon Framework for School Counseling, which provides intentional focus on advocacy and socially just outcomes by embodying the Oregon Equity Lens to ensure the creation of a data-informed, equity-based school counseling program that helps close achievement, opportunity and attainment gaps and access for all students.
· The High School Success Fund (Measure 98), which allows districts to spend up to 15 percent of their allocation on 8th grade, which can help keep middle school students engaged in school and ease the transition to high school.
· Guidance on the use of Early Indicator and Intervention Systems, which helps districts use data to identify students that need more supports before they get too far behind on their path to graduation.