At 74 percent, Oregon’s four-year cohort graduation rate lags behind the national average. Oregon’s children are as creative, ambitious, and academically capable as other students across the country. Governor Kate Brown recognizes this and has put forward a vision that every Oregon student graduate with a plan for his or her future.
I have been appointed by Governor Brown to lead this work as the state’s first education innovation officer. In this role, my tasks include recommending policy, budget priorities, and actions to improve graduation rates while also preparing students for their next steps.
After 13 years in school, Oregon’s Class of 2015 included 11,826 students who did not graduate on time. These students were disproportionally tribal students, students of color, boys, and students living in poverty. If we don’t innovate to change this trend, there are another 150,000 students currently in Oregon schools who will not graduate on time. That gives us 150,000 reasons to act now to create a future of opportunity and prosperity for all Oregon students . . .