22 Responses to Oregon has the 2nd lowest HS graduation rate

  1. anon says:

    This just makes Gottfredson that much more impressive. Imagine, that out of such terrible beginnings, he could lead the very best public university that has ever existed this side of Tatooine.

  2. chuck says:

    What this says is that there is no justification for the massive increase in student populations at Oregon universities. Unis are at the mercy of k-12 in terms of their admits, and there is no reason why the student population at U of O should have been allowed to doubled since the late 90’s. But it does explain why we’re having more U of O drop outs, the Oregon hs cohort is increasingly incapable of doing the work. And there is no justification for Oregon unis to recruit student from adjoining states, when growing numbers of our own kids can’t do hs work, much less university fare. Why the hell should OR unis pile on public debt, backstopped by Oregon taxpayers, so as to educate other states kids?????

    • Observer says:

      Chuck, I don’t think you understand the concept. First of all, the kids who drop out from the UO aren’t the kids who failed to graduate from high school — the drop-outs don’t get admitted to college. Second, the kids from other states pay astronomical amounts of tuition and subsidize Oregon kids at Oregon public universities. The taxpayer isn’t paying for the out-of-state kids — the out-of-state kids are reducing Oregon kids’ tuition. Why do you think there are so many out-of-state and foreign kids at the UO? So the UO can use their money to subsidize Oregon kids.

      • chuck says:

        @ Observer no, I do understand the concept, OR high schools aren’t preparing students for college. Along with a very high drop out rate, OR also has one of the shortest academic years in the country. In many school districts, the lack of teachers means that kids don’t have classes for large stretches of the day, U of O has to spend money on remedial courses in order to try to get kids up to speed. It’s those students that have been allowed into U of O from our high schools that are having the toughest time, and many eventually drop out. The high dropout rate underscores how poorly our k-12 are preparing their students for much of anything, including college.

        And what the hell are you talking about that the U of O doesn’t have to spend taxpayer money for out of state students? Are you unaware of that the school continues to claim increasing enrollment, which they use as the rational for more building taking place on their campus? Who the hell is subsidizing that public debt Sparky, other than taxpayers, meaning that money that would go for k-12 is now being siphoned off to act as collateral for massive building debt now being taken on by U of O?

        Further, wtf is wrong with you, are you really so stupid as to think that having outside kids paying huge tuition to supposedly subsidize OR kids is a sustainable mechanism? Are you outta your fucking mind, that has to be one of the stupidest ideas that’s been trotted out by anybody. At some point, sweetheart, those outside students are going to catch on that it’s really stupid to pay almost 3x more tuition than instate, and it will all come to a halt, but the 30 year public bonds will still be on the books, their debt service sucking away scarce resources from other state obligations, due to the idiocy of people like you who think that relying on the fickle nature of 18 year olds is a viable option to maintain our unis.

        • another observer says:

          I was under the impression out-of-state and international students were subsidizing the administration along with pet ‘new idea’ projects and inspirations? (Kinda joking, but not really.)

          While the flow of out-of-state students *might* dry up a bit, the international students may take up the slack. Bonds and debt are another issue. K-12 is another issue. Oregon with the 2nd lowest graduation rate is yet another issue. Seems like chuck, in a decidedly ‘fowl’ mood, is conflating a few issues and irrationally upchucking all over bloggers. Bad form, chuck.

        • chuck says:

          @Another Observer, I am sorry, but you and others who are apologists for the thinking that out of state/foreign students will make up the slack need to rethink your positions. Aside from the fact that nearly every uni is doing the same thing, U of O has seen a drop in admits, and it’s a matter of time that will become permanent, the student population, from wherever it may come from, is going to fall. Both the UC’s and Udub projections for student enrollment forecast falling admissions, why you or anyone else thinks otherwise underscores delusional thinking.

          Sorry, if you cannot see the link between public debt and the current policies of all unis, including U of O, tells me that you guys have little if any insight into the bigger issues involving higher education. Those burdens were based on increased student populations, which cannot continue, in large measure, because OR is not educating a large enough population to sustain enrollment. How you cannot see this is amazing, either that, or you are purposely trying to deflect attention on the critical issues facing public unis. I would suggest that you get up to speed on the work done by UC faculty regarding the tie in between increased student enrollment, their debt, and bonds.

          • another observer says:

            Lots of rhetoric, assumptions and finger-pointing, chuck, but no answers. It’s easy to come out swinging—and since you’re clearly a cut above us people here, what is the answer? I imagine you’ll offer some more rhetoric about what public universities used to be and still should be, but those days have passed with the corporatization of the educational system and ever increasing focus on global concerns whether anyone likes it or not.

          • Observer says:

            Interesting that I was just reading a piece that said that everyone who loses their temper and wants to be condescending says “Sweetheart” somewhere in the argument. QED, I guess. Anyway, I’m certainly not defending subsidizing Oregon students by enrolling great masses of foreign students. If they let me decide, I’d fund the university by increasing taxpayer contributions back up to historic levels, which are more than twice current levels. But since the taxpaper doesn’t want to pay, the financial folks at the university (note: not me, no one gives me a vote) decided that the way to pay for more Oregon students to be enrolled was to admit foreign students to subsidize them. Far from a perfect idea, and certainly vulnerable to the problem of the students deciding to enroll elsewhere. But Chuck, your original argument was “Why the hell should OR unis pile on public debt, backstopped by Oregon taxpayers, so as to educate other states kids?????” So I guess your argument is that Oregon is making a net loss on these kids that supposedly subsidize Oregon kids? Or that at some point they’ll stop coming to Oregon and then we’ll be in a bad position? Again, I’m not defending it as a good idea — we’re out of good ideas. But I’m curious as to how you’d solve the problem, Chuck.

          • another observer says:

            “Those burdens were based on increased student populations, which cannot continue, in large measure, because OR is not educating a large enough population to sustain enrollment.”

            I surmise chuck is suffering from an anachronistic idea that public state universities exist to educate in-state students.

    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      boy, chuck, nothing you say makes much sense to me.

  3. Birdy says:

    A quick glance at the table indicates that Texas is second from the top. It’s graduation rate is equal to that of Vermont, and higher than every other New England state?

    That seems incredible.

    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      Yeah, Texas seems to be getting a lot of things right.

      I remember when Paul Krugman wrote about how backward Texas was compared to Wisconsin when it comes to education. This was during the controversy about Wisconsin public unions. He brought out statistics about how Texas did poorly on national standardized tests (NAEP) and blamed this on lower Texas spending per student on K-12 education. Sounded pretty damning.

      But then, somebody who wasn’t famous, may have been just a blogger, pointed out that when you take ethnicity/race into account, Texas was doing much better than Wisconsin. i.e. every ethnic group in Texas was performing at a higher level than the corresponding group in Wisconsin. Texas simply had a much higher proportion of low-performing minority students, especially Hispanics, which brought the weighted average student performance down.

      I was impressed with how well this blogger smoked out Krugman’s sloppy analysis. Not what you expect from a Nobel-prize winning economist in the NYT.

      Note that this was performance on the NAEP national exam. Whether they did anything to cook the data, I couldn’t tell you — see the post nearby from Birdy — but it seems to me it would be hard to do it on such a massive scale as to get such impressive results.

  4. Birdy says:

    “When Texas uses its comprehensive unique student identifier system to report an 84% graduation rate, with rates nearly as high for Black and Latino youth, folks in urban districts just scratch their head as they know such numbers do not reflect reality in their own school systems. Only a short time ago, in August 2003, the New York Times revealed widespread fraud by school administrators in Houston, the heart of the “Texas miracle.” According to this article, Texas administrators had falsified data about thousands of children that should have been attending Houston’s high schools. The source for most of the story was Robert Kimball, an Assistant Principal at one of the city’s high schools. Kimball observed that, while 1,000 freshmen, predominantly Black and Latino, entered the school as ninth graders, only 300 seniors graduated four years later. Despite the disappearance of 700 students–a full 70% of the entering freshman class–the school did not report having a single dropout! Kimball told the Times reporter that he knew that the dropout rates of less than 2% reported in dozens of Houston’s schools, were “impossible” and described intense pressures from high level administrators to make these dropouts invisible. “They want the data to look wonderful and exciting. They don’t tell you how to do it; they just say ‘Do it.’” When he was asked how principals and administrators in Houston, who earned bonuses between $5,000 and $20,000 for “making their numbers” accomplish the mandated goals of reducing dropouts, Kimball replied, they “make up” their numbers.”


    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      That report apparently is from 2006 — kind of out of date?

      You know, there are new federal guidelines for determining graduation rates — OREGON used to have high rates, then the new federal standards knocked the Oregon rate down to its shocking current level. Texas seems still to be keeping its high rate. If there has been fraud or misreporting, maybe OREGON is a place to be suspicious.

  5. Anas Clypeata says:

    Not to worry, everyone. We’ll have this all fixed in short order, starting with unfunded mandatory full-day kindergarten in the fall of 2015.

    We might even provide enough funding for your children to have class sizes lower than 31 at the elementary level, or reduce the current number of teacher furlough days (i.e. we don’t pay the teachers and your kids are not in school, so you’re on the hook for child care costs and your own lost wages, too bad) from nine to something better, like seven or eight.

    What’s that? Your students don’t attend school for the state-mandated number of educational hours? Don’t look at us for more money. Oh wait, we’re the ones who are supposed to be funding your children’s education, and hence the state’s economic future? Hey, look over there! Something shiny!

    The Spineless Oregon Legislature

  6. Tweety bird says:

    Birdy’s critique does not account for the fact that Houston is not the same as the entire state of Texas or that the federal dept of Ed set new strict regulatory definitions for monitoring and measuring grad rates so that they can be compared across states more reliably. The new data are reflected in the figure above. part of the reform was to use numbers based on cohorts of students standardized to be comparable across states. states accustomed to looking good because of less challenging cohort compositions, e.g. Oregon,

    Vermont and so on, now look worse. Other states with more challenging cohorts now look better after the apples to apples, oranges to oranges comparisons

    • Canard says:

      What are “more challenging cohorts”? How does one standardize them to be comparable across states?

    • Birdy says:

      I knew the report I quoted was based on older metrics, but my point was that these statistics are only as good as the reported data. We have seen many instances of administrators falsifying or inflating data across the country. How do we “confirm in writing that a student has transferred out, emigrated to another country, or is deceased”? Can they transfer to being home schooled? Are children entering the 9th or 10th grades at the same rate as other states? In general, my interest is not so much in graduation rates but in the fraction of children who are receiving an education. Given the heterogeneity of the population, low funding per pupil, and a history of low literacy rates, it seems a bit silly to accept this data at face value as a metric of education quality.

  7. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    The Oregon graduation data are very disturbing. The Eugene data are doubly disturbing — there has been a drop of 15% or 19% in the graduation rate, depending on which source I refer to.

    Obviously something very wrong with this picture. But there seems to be very little serious discussion of what’s going on with the Eugene schools.

    I remember the last election for school board members, all the candidates in Eugene had to offer was the most bland bromides.

    The Eugene schools seem to be in big trouble, in recent years there were declining enrollments (while private school enrollments were increasing). I don’t know what’s happened lately on enrollments, but the graduation figures are shocking.

    • Anas Clypeata says:

      Eugene public schools: Budgets have been cut year after year. Class sizes are increasing to beyond-untenable numbers. Teachers have gone quite a while without a cost of living adjustment. On top of that, teachers have received an ever-increasing number of furlough days (i.e. they take a pay cut) annually for the past few years. Art and music and physical education are a shell of their former selves. Parents are being asked to fund basic needs and supplies that were previously covered by taxpayers. Standardized testing, with results that will be discarded this year, is increasingly questioned and refused. Teachers, who love your children and are passionate about the power of education, are demoralized. Students are frustrated. I don’t think this ends well for any of us.

      Public education today is NOT the public education that you grew up with. It has changed drastically in a generation, and in most ways not for the better. Serious conversations are needed at all levels of society, and SOON.