SALEM, OR -- Oregon's high school graduation rate, which has been among the worst in the country, improved two percentage points last year; 77% of students graduated within four years. "This is actually the largest rise we've seen since calculating these rates," says Jon Wiens, with the Oregon Department of Education.
He says the state and school districts are using several programs to increase the number of graduates, "We’re trying to look at early indicators and early interventions for students, to help them on the way to graduation." He says the rate has shown a lot of improvement over the last three years, "The graduation rate for this state as a whole has increased by 4.7% over that time. But, we’ve seen Hispanic/Latino grad rates go up more than 7%, the same for African American students."
And, for the first time, the report includes the graduation rate for homeless students: 50%. Wiens says those students face a variety of challenges, "this is a significant barrier to a lot of kids that schools and districts and parents need to work really hard to overcome."