High school graduation and completion rates are improving
The Oregon Department of Education released graduation and completion rates for students, and we have good news to share with our community.
Over the past few years, an increasing number of Woodburn School District students are finishing high school.
The Class of 2012 achieved a 90 percent completion rate, and we anticipate better than a 95 percent completion rate for the Class of 2013 when the final results are reported next year.
This information is timely as the Woodburn School Board has voted to place a bond on the primary election ballot for May.
Studies are linking student achievement to well-maintained, safe school buildings with adequate classroom space.
The bond is designed to accomplish those objectives while lowering the amount of estimated taxes that you currently pay for schools.
By way of review, graduation rates measure the number of students who receive a diploma within four or five years. Completion rates include the number of students who finish high school with a GED, modified, extended, or adult high school diploma within the same time period.
Both graduates and completers achieve the necessary educational requirements for high school and earn a diploma or other certification.
At the Woodburn School District, we have an incredibly successful Early College High School program through a partnership with Chemeketa Community College.
This means that many of our seniors (21.3 percent in 2013) could graduate on time, but choose to remain Woodburn School District students for an optional fifth year to earn college credit.
These students have met all requirements for a high school diploma and are, in fact, successfully earning college credits.
Unfortunately they are not included in our state-reported four-year graduation rate.
To give you a more accurate picture of our districts results compared to the rest of the state, we include those students in our data to present our true four-year graduation rates (See Graph A to the right).
School districts also look at how they are doing with different student populations that they serve.
In the case of the Woodburn School District, 78.2 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Economically disadvantaged students can be more challenging to educate, which is why traditionally their graduation and completion rates are lower.
However, our school district does an excellent job in this category (See Graph B).
Many people ask me how our English language learners students do in school.
Here is data on that student group, which we want to share with you (See Graph C).
Finally, we look at how our graduation and completion rates compare to previous years. In this category, Woodburn School District is showing great progress (See Graph D).
This data is important for us to see and share with the community.
What it shows is that our students do achieve academically, and our efforts to improve student performance are working.
We appreciate your support for public schools.