ICYMI – Governor Kate Brown released a comprehensive Education Policy Agenda today outlining her vision for Oregon schools in 2019 and beyond. The Governor’s plan is a welcome offering – she calls for a full 180-day school year; she advocates for more funding for career and technical education (CTE); and she acknowledges the importance of guiding students through their crucial high school years. And while Governor Brown calls for “investing at least $300 million in High School Success (Measure 98) and CTE,” we hope to see more clarity on this issue, including assurance that all three components of Measure 98 will receive full funding.
When Stand for Children first championed Measure 98, we knew that the three pillars it funds – CTE, college readiness opportunities and strategic dropout prevention policies – were already improving graduation rates in schools and districts across the state.
In the time since then, data from the Oregon Department of Education show the profound impact these strategies are having.
Here’s a glimpse of how 9th Grade Success, which is a strategic dropout prevention plan spreading across Oregon with Measure 98 funding, is delivering for our kids:
- On-track students were more than twice as likely to graduate in four years than their off-track peers (91.07 percent to 40.12 percent);
- On-track status alone is credited with more than doubling (137 percent increase) the likelihood of graduating;
- These amazing results are consistent across demographic groups.
Career and technical education (CTE) is having similar results. Notoriously underfunded in recent years in Oregon, schools and districts are now re-envisioning vocational education with Measure 98 dollars. Where students once learned basic woodworking, they’re now learning skills that qualify them for high-paying jobs within their community, including careers in manufacturing, HVAC, 3D printing and much, much more. On top of that, students with at least one full credit of CTE graduate at a rate of 92 percent, while the rest of the state continues to struggle with a 77 percent graduation rate.
The impact is plain to see at schools across our state:
Newberg High School hired a Success Coach and a hybrid School-to-Business/Success Coach. Both positions support student planning for dropout prevention, reengagement, and regular attendance. Both positions coordinate with teachers, school counselors and administrators to ensure every student has the support they need to succeed in high school and beyond.
St. Helens High School launched a brand new 9th Grade On-Track team, which meets every other week to review student progress and develop real-time supports for struggling students. Take a moment to read about the impressive operation they built up in less than a year by clicking here.
Redmond School District is implementing the AVID College Readiness System in all secondary schools, including sustained professional development for over 100 educators. This includes the AVID Elective for over 250 students, as well as AVID schoolwide.
These are just a few of the opportunities Measure 98 is creating across Oregon. With your support, we will continue partnering with the Governor and other elected officials to ensure every students, regardless of background or circumstance, graduates high school on time, prepared for college, a career, or both.