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Fewer freshmen on track to graduate in East Multnomah County schools

Sam Barlow High School Fewer high school freshmen in East Multnomah County are on track to graduate compared with their peers statewide, statistics released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education show.

The “on track” measurement does not mean all these students will graduate, only that this percentage of freshmen have passed enough classes to be on schedule to graduate.

The ODE released school and district report cards, which provide a treasure trove of information on how schools are doing.

“Report cards serve as a tool for helping schools and districts share information on student demographics, performance on state assessments, student outcomes and educational programs,” the ODE said in an announcement.

One important number is how many freshmen are on course to graduate from high school. If a student is already behind in credits at the end of the freshman year, research shows it is difficult for them to catch up and graduate.

Of the four East Multnomah County districts, only Corbett, which routinely outperforms other school districts, had more freshmen on track to graduate than the state average. In the Corbett district 92.6 percent of freshmen were on schedule in the 2015-16 school year, compared with 83.5 percent of freshmen statewide and 85.6 percent of ninth-graders in schools similar to Corbett.

Centennial High School, with 83 percent of ninth-graders on track, was about even with the 83.5 percent of freshmen statewide and a hair below the 84.5 percent of students at similar schools in the 2015-16 school year.

At Reynolds High School, 81.7 percent of first year high school students were on track to graduate, 1.8 points behind the state average.

In the Gresham-Barlow district, the gap was a bit wider. At Gresham High 74.6 percent, at Barlow 79.4 percent and at Springwater Trail, 79.1 percent of freshmen were on course to graduate on time.

See The Outlook on Tuesday, Oct. 18, for a closer look at the state report cards.