Beyond the Challenge

To chart a path forward, it’s important to know where we stand. This video provides an overview of how Oregon students compare to their peers across the nation and explores the gap between the public’s stated priorities for education, and reality.

Here’s the Situation

We know Oregon’s kids are just as bright as kids anywhere in the nation. Yet they’re consistently ranking at the bottom of the pack when it comes to knowledge. Oregon’s educators have a solid plan for how to address this gap. But we also want to hear from you. What matters most to you? Oregon’s students are our future leaders, neighbors and citizens. What should their education encompass?

Don’t get this mixed up with funding. For too long, we’ve defined Oregon’s education system by what we can afford. We’re asking that you dream bigger. Imagine no limits. What would you have benefited from as a student? What do you wish for today’s kids?

1 in 5 Oregon Kids live in Poverty.

Annie E. Casey Foundation, Oregon Kids Count Profile 2015

Oregon students are ranked #38 in the nation for performance, which is not at all surprising given our investment in schools ranks at #39

Source: OregonLive US School Performance Rankings, June 2015

Funding is about 25% below what an expert, non-partisan committee on quality education in Oregon says it would take to help 90% of Oregon students graduate.

Source: Oregon Quality Education Commission 2014

1 in 4 Oregon students – that’s 10,000 kids – fails to graduate from high school on time.

Source: Oregon Department of Education, 2014-5 four-year cohort rates for students entering HS in 2011-2

Where We Got Our Stats:

The following list profiles our sources for statistics used in various materials, including the “State of Schools” video.

Funding for schools is well below the national average.

Source: Education Week Research Center, Quality Counts 2015

What Oregon considers a ‘full school year’ makes for one of the shortest in the nation. If you add up the time an Oregon student spends in school between first and twelfth grades, and compare it to the national average, Oregon kids lose nearly an entire year of learning.

Source: Education Commission of the States, “Number of Instructional Days/Hours in the School Year”, 2013

The average class size in Oregon is among the highest in the nation, with about six more students per classroom than the national average.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, school year 2012-3

When kids don’t graduate, they are more likely to be unemployed, to live in poverty, to require public assistance, to be in prison, and ultimately, their children are also more likely to drop out from high school and continue in this cycle.

Source: The Silent Epidemic, Perspectives of High School Dropouts, Gates Foundation, John M. Bridgeland, Karen Burke Morison, 2006

Oregon’s Economy is growing fast. (2.5 x the national rate from 2001-14)

Source: Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon’s Fast-Growing Economy Leaves Many Workers Behind, 2016
More Stats
Education and Oregon’s Economy: Education in Oregon:
Article: Underachieving Oregon: Schools perform in the bottom third nationally Analysis by Oregonian/OregonLive - US School Performance Ranking by State
Momentum in Oregon: Graduation Rates and Why It Matters: