Statement from Toya Fick, executive director of Stand for Children Oregon, following Governor Kate Brown’s announcement of the newly created position, Education Innovation Officer:
"Oregon high schools are grossly underfunded. Further, the lack of rigor and relevant coursework in Oregon high schools cripples our students' ability to graduate on time, prepared for and with access to a successful college or career. With that combination, it should come as no surprise that we have the fourth-lowest graduation rate in the country, despite above average student performance in earlier grades.
We commend Governor Brown for stepping out in front immediately following the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by creating the position of Education Innovation Officer. Governor Brown’s speech today shows that she understands the opportunity Oregon has to lead the nation to ensure our students receives the education they deserve. She will be one of the first governors to take advantage of the new flexibility under ESSA to employ state-driven leadership that could lead to more equitable and effective policies and change the odds for Oregon students.
Oregon high schools are our last best chance to launch students into successful lives. This is a great step for our state leader to take, but it's just the beginning of the work needed to bring Oregon's graduation rates from near bottom to the top. We look forward to working with her and leaders from across the state to make bold changes on how we fund and expand upon the strategies that work in high schools to put more kids on the pathway to successful careers.”