Oregon graduation rate climbs; still below national average

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s high school graduation rate improved in 2017, largely driven by gains from Latino students.

Figures released by state education officials Thursday show 77 percent of students earned a diploma in four years, a two percentage point increase from the year before and almost 10 percentage points higher than the class of 2012.

Latino students boosted their graduate rate by three percentage points from a year earlier and have increased their rate by nearly 8 percent in the past three years.

Oregon regularly has one of the nation’s lowest graduation rates and the uptick still leaves it below the most recently available national average of 84 percent.

Voters in November 2016 passed a measure requiring the Oregon Legislature to fund dropout-prevention strategies, such as fighting absenteeism and expanding career-technical course offerings.

The Education Department is getting ready to implement its plan to reduce absenteeism.