The Oregon Department of Education released a report this week showing high school graduation and dropout rates statewide for the 2014-15 year. According to the report, Lincoln County School District has a four-year cohort graduation rate of 73.27 percent, a five-year cohort graduation rate of 76.15 percent, and a dropout rate of 4.28 percent. This is compared to the Oregon four-year cohort graduation rate of 73.8 percent, five-year cohort graduation rate of 76.49 percent and dropout rate of 4.26 percent.
It is important to note that the state tracks graduation rates based on four-year and five-year cohorts of students, whereas the federal government still requires states to report a one-year dropout rate; this rate is calculated by looking at the number of students who drop out of grades 9-12 in a given school year. This is the reason why the dropout rate is not the inverse of the graduation rate. In other words, a graduation rate of 76 percent does not equate to a dropout rate of 24 percent.
Newport High School was used as an example of success by ODE, whose staff spoke with principals from seven Oregon high schools that have significantly improved their graduation rates or reduced the graduation gap between student groups. Newport High was recognized for almost entirely eliminating the graduation rate gap among its student groups. In 2008-09, Hispanic students had a graduation rate of 53%, 25 percentage points lower than for White students. Economically disadvantaged students had a rate of 65%, and Limited English Proficient students, 40%. By 2014-15, these gaps are gone with Hispanic and LEP students outperforming their White peers.
Newport High Principal Jon Zagel attributes Newport’s success to a culture that engages all students and promotes three values the school calls “The Cub Way”: A Growth Mindset, a focus on Achievement and an emphasis on Character. School staff is committed to students both inside and outside of school, and the school intervenes early when students are struggling.
Director of Secondary Education Eric Clendenin congratulated Newport High on their achievement, and said “While we are not where we want to be as a district, the trends indicate we are improving. We are using several strategies to address the achievement gaps that I feel certain will achieve measureable positive results.” For more information on results from each school, please visit: http://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/data/schoolanddistrict/students/docs/summarycohortgrad1415.pdf