One in five Oregon students do not graduate

As noted in the front page of The Oregonian, nearly one out of five students entering Oregon high schools does not graduate. The rate is a reversal of a positive trend over the last few years. Oregon education officials said it was because of the economy. What is the solution?

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 24 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield


    1) Start making schools about students, not teachers unions. Promote based upon excellence in teaching, not union seniority.

    2) Initiate a voucher program. Let parents pick whatever they may for their child rather than what the government assigns. Set the voucher at such a level that parents have to pay something. This would increase parental involvement.

    3) Stop teaching to the lowest level in the classroom. If a child is not up to the level of a particular school or class maybe they need to select one that they are more able to be in.

    4) Stop trying to make every student some sort of special needs child to get more money per student. This money grab does nothing to increase the education level of students.

    5) Eliminate bilingual education. Stop increasing teacher pay for obtaining ESL ( English second language ) certificates. This only provides increased incentive to categorize more and more students as ESL.

    6) Increase emphasis on the vocational aspects of school. Not every student is going to college. Maybe for those that don’t continue on, graduating with some useful skills and knowledge beyond the three R’s ( Racism, Recycling and Reproduction ) would be helpful.

  • Jerry

    It has nothing to do with the economy or with money.

    It has a lot to due with:

    very, very lax graduation requirements (among the lowest in the nation),

    very, very little actual instruction time (Oregon has among the fewest actual teacher contact days with students in the nation and the world),

    a teacher’s union that pushes each and every year to do less for more (without exception) and succeeds in getting it,

    parents who are not involved directly with their child’s education,

    total lack of accountability (everyone gets paid no matter what happens – in fact, they get raises each and every year no matter what happens),

    teachers with little or no subject matter proficiency being licensed freely by TSPC as long as they took a lot of “education” courses,

    teachers being licensed by TSPC with NO check whatsoever on subject specific expertise,

    Oregon ranking 49th in the nation in by the Education Week study and then being in total denial about that ranking,

    a legislature that is owned lock, stock and barrel by the teacher’s union, ensuring that no meaningful education legislation is ever passed,

    a weak, weak governor in hiding in his tiny little office in Salem,

    a state department of education that does so little work as to be almost unmeasurable,

    no independent, third party tests being administered to either the students or the teachers, so no one can ever really know what is happening,

    and, most of all, a population that accepts all of the above as good, sound policy and practice.

    • Sybella

      AND put sports back were it belongs as an extra cirricula activity, after school with grade requirements. Gag the parents who think sports is an education.

  • eagle eye

    What is the solution? Is there really a problem? This slight “reversal” may or may not signal some long term trend.

    But is it really so bad if 1 in 5 doesn’t get a high school diploma? 15% of the population have an IQ of 85 or less. There is a limit to how much educating you can do for them, without dumbing things down for everyone else.

    Perhaps a non-acadeic track could be devised that would help them. But not with the pressure to increase high school graduation standards.

    It simply is a sad fact that for every smart person, there’s somebody equally dumb. It’s the bell curve.


      Too cool! I’m not in the lower percentile, mine’s a robust 86!

      • eagle eye

        We’ll let you graduate then! But don’t slack off, or you might get pulled under anyway.

  • Anonymous

    “Educators were at a loss to explain the widespread rise in dropout rates.”

    Of course they are. That’s why the school system ranks so low.

    They’re at a loss.

    And this isn’t about teachers. I’ve known many teachers and most have special qualities allowing them to bring patience and enthusiasm to their classrooms every day and month with a new batch of kids every year.

    But with the teacher’s union and their lap dog Democrat politicians having a death grip on our schools this story is nothing but the same thing we’ve been looking at for at least the 17 years going back to the Katz-Kitzhaber assualt on K-12 with CIMCAM.

    Even today what are ODE officials looking at?

    Better drop out rate statistics and tracking.

    “Tony Alpert, director of assessment, who is “optimistic” the improved statistics will be available for the class of 2008.”

    I wonder if the forever CYA – ODE will start counting correctly?

    Because this story is much worse than the ODE is telling us.

    Graduation rates issued by The Oregon Department of Education, are generally much higher than those shown in the national sudies.
    Because the state does not count students who drop out to earn a GED, even though they the fail to finish and earn the diploma.

    You got that folks?

    That’s fudging the numbers folks. The ODE has been doing this sort of thing for years.

    As if that’s not bad enough there’s worse news.

    We have a high drop out rate even with some of the lowest graduation requirements in the country.

    Imagine what our drop out rate would be if we merely had average graduation standards.


    What are those?

    Standards are those things we were promised would be “high” and “world class” as our Educators attacked every Oregon school with the outcome based nonsense of CIMCAM.

    These “Educators”, now at a loss, placed baseless experimentation ahead of fundemental instruction and basic Math and English course requirements.

    And here we are 17 years later and the same lacking course requirements have been delayed till 2014.


    Because the OEA- Teacher’s Union told their lap dog politicians it will take that long to adjust to average course requirements.

    In the mean time these same enemies of public education are working on adopting further restrictions and attacks on charter schools due to come on line in 2010.

    Nice priorities.

    There is no mystery here. Nearly immediate remedies would result from adopting direct instruction, immersion english and other fundemental changes.

    Some of the reform’s the Chalkboard Project came up with would be helpful as well. But agian the OEA/lapdog politicians stand in the way.

    The only way we will ever loosen this death grip on K-12 is by revolt.

    As exampled in Watts/LA.
    A must watch.

    To boil your blood.

    Public-sector unions protect the dismal status quo. Detroit high schools graduate just a third of their students, according to an estimate by Michigan State University. But when a philanthropist offered to spend $200 million to create 15 new charter high schools, teachers staged a walk-out. Mayor Kilpatrick spurned the offer. These failing schools throw kids with no skills into a struggling economy in an environment characterized by social breakdown.

    • eagle eye

      Revolt? Get a grip. Elect a new super of schools. And “fundemental”? Is this the result of direct instruction?

  • Anonymous

    Elect a new super? Get a grip. That’s not going to happen. The super is selected by the OEA.

    Fundemental would be a genuine focus on reading early on with reading instruction that works.

    • eagle eye

      Right, the OEA controls everything. They enacted Measure 5, right? They stopped Measure 30, right?

  • dian

    Schools offer nothing to students to give them a desire to stay in. Why stay somewhere where you can’t gain, How can they stay if they have no goals. Why don’t they have goals?

    Why is IQ so low? Could it possibly have anything to do with the prescriptions so many kids are on?

    This all comes down to our education system and the parents.

    We need to get the unions and the government out of the education process. I’m not knocking the teachers There are excellent teachers and there is the status quo. Get rid of the status quo. I would rather pay the good teachers a really good salary, but also expect from them the best for the kids. Get rid of the status quo. It’s killing our kids and our country

  • John in Oregon

    School Administrators and the Union complain that the problem is lack of parental involvement. They say if parents don’t value schools the students wont either.

    Lets accept that premise and examine how schools encourage parental involvement.

    A group of parents want to open a charter school. The Admin / Union answer, no.

    You would like to choose the school your child attends. The Admin / Union answer, NO.

    Your child and teacher are like oil and water. Its no one persons fault so you make the obvious suggestion that your child move to another class. The Admin / Union answer, NOOOO.

    Parents suggest that funding follow the student. The Admin / Union answer, HELL NO.

    Ten years ago I felt that school choice with funding attached to the student would fragment the public school system. As the public school system is less and less accountable, becoming worse and worse I now believe that vouchers attached to the student and parental choice where the child goes is the only way we can save the schools

    Graduation standards, new math – old math, one experiment after another, none of that will make any difference. Neither parents or the public will have anything to say about what happens unless and until parents have the choice to select the school.


    Its too bad so many kids opt out of graduating but the state blaming it on the economy is almost laughable!

    Here’s something that works for Florida: If you are not in school, you can’t get a drivers license! When this was enacted it cut the Florida drop out rate by 50%.

    Since 10-15% of the students are illegals we could drop this rate just by sending them home……or at least not counting them during studies like this.

  • Anonymous

    You got it John.

    Our public schools, especially Oregon;s have become dis-proving gounds for every lousy idea private schools would never consider.
    Private schools where the affluent and many educators send their children.
    Whole language, whole math and CIMCAM assessments that have zero correlation to anything, let lone a national norm, are run through our public schools as if our children were meaningless rats to toy with.

    The endless excuses for this perpetual trial and fail status quo is sentencing another generation of students to a school system well beneath mediocrity.

    Imagine what’s in store form the current batch entering high school.

    We’re coming out of the monumental waste of CIMCAM since 1991 when it was adopted, and it will be 2014 when the State finally adopts an average amount of math and Englisah course requirements. 23 years of total bullshat with not a single person held accountable for any of it.
    The Current State Superintendent, Castillo defended CIMCAM during her first campaign, praising it as vital to providning a world class education. Her, with help from the usual suspects, coughed up all sorts of absurd evidence that progress was being made.

    Of course all the while demanding more money to build on their “successes”. Yuck, what’s that rotten smell?

    Having witnessed the extensive effort to fabricate, deceive and make shiny what is dull there is no mercy I will lend to those running the system. They have failed miserably and must be replaced. The idea that those who have plundered our public education system are the same ones assigned to re-build it
    could not be more insulting and bad news for thousands of children.

    • John in Oregon

      A close friend of mine attended Jefferson high in Portland nearly 40 years ago. Even then Jeff was a failing school.

      My friend succeed because of his family, his determination to succeed, and in spite of Jefferson. About every 5 years the failures at Jeff boil over, the School Board wakes up, runs around waving their hands in the air, throw some token changes in the direction of Jefferson and go back to business as usual. That has been going on for some 30 years.

      Nothing will change until the Administration and Unions stop following the Education Establishment and start listening to the parents and public.

  • Betty

    Where’s dean?

    Hello, calling dean??

    Anybody home, dean???

    It takes a Village to educate a child, and evey Village has a dean, so where IS dean????

    • dean

      Betty…relax. I’m here. Are you developing a strange obsession with me? Should I be worried?

    • Anonymous

      See what you did you called up the ?????????

  • bean

    I think our schools should adopt a system wide program teaching IPCC global warming and New Urbansim.
    Perhaps Metro could take the lead.
    Our best science tells us that our children may not be around to learn if we don’t address the bigger is of survival.

    • John in Oregon

      I hate to tell you this Bean, BUT you weren’t included in the loop on that one. The schools are already doing the IPCC and the New Urbansim as you suggested.

      The schools are also promoting world harmony by teaching students to pray to Mecca while in class.

      By the way in case you hadn’t noticed the latest high quality science (including that done by IPCC reviewers) in the last 5 years or so is showing cooling and the IPCC alarmists are wrong. I suspect that is why the latest IPCC report excluded science work done after 2004.


      That is a subject for a different post.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        I for one have a big problem with teaching IPCC, AGW stuff in schools. Look, its fine if you want to be into all that stuff on your own but some of us get very leery when it comes to the subject of proselytizing a particular religion in the classroom.

        Keep your druids the hell away from our kids!

        • cc

          “Keep your druids the hell away from our kids!”

          Very apt metaphor. Didn’t the druids practice human sacrifice?

          Not that there aren’t some I wouldn’t sacrifice.

        • dean

          Rupert…where are you on teaching evolution in our schools versus intelligent design?

  • bean


    ,,, the bigger issue of survival.

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