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Franklin, Jefferson 'bright spots' in state grad report

Most PPS high schools improve in latest graduation rates


Portland Public Schools as a whole has the same four-year graduation rate as Jefferson High School, according to new state data released this week.

Both the district and Jefferson Middle College for Advanced Studies have a 66.9 percent graduation rate for the cohort (student group) that graduated in 2012, according to data from the Oregon Department of Education.

Both the district and Jefferson show increases from last year. The district jumped nearly 4 percentage points from last year.

Jefferson saw an 8.6 percent gain from last year, and a 12 percentage point gain in the past two years.

Franklin High is also considered a “bright spot” in the statewide data, according to ODE, rising 6.9 points in the past year (to 85.3 percent) and 13.8 in the past two years.

Both schools are part of Oregon’s Focus and Priority Schools program, receiving extra funds and assistance to provide culturally responsive instruction, attention to personalized learning, and targeted interventions to re-engage students and keep them on track to graduation.

Roosevelt High is another Priority School that showed improvement. This is the first year data is available for Roosevelt as a full campus, since its three academies merged. In the last year of Roosevelt’s academy system, the Spanish-English International School graduated 50 percent of its students, Renaissance Arts Academy graduated 49 percent and Pursuit of Wellness Education at Roosevelt graduated 57.8 percent.

In the 2012 four-year cohort, Roosevelt as a full campus graduated 63 percent.

Bringing down the average were the alternative schools, which serve the district’s most challenged students. Many are parenting or struggle with addiction, behavior, incarceration or abuse issues.

District leaders have argued that without its portfolio of flexible and strategic alternative schools to reach these students, they would fall through the cracks.

Also, most of the alternative schools students graduate or earn a General Equivalency Diploma in more than four years, so their data does not appear in the four-year cohort graduation rate statistics.

Not including the alternative schools, the district’s high schools have an average 78 percent graduation rate.

Here are the graduation rate results for PPS high schools:

• Benson Polytechnic High rose 3.8 points to 86 percent

• Cleveland High rose 5.4 points to 81 percent

• Grant High rose 2.2 points to 86 percent

• Jefferson rose 8.6 points to 66.9 percent

• Franklin rose 6.9 points to 85.3 percent

• Wilson High dropped 1 point to 83 percent

• Lincoln High dropped 2.6 points to 86 percent

• Madison High dropped 8.6 points to 62 percent

• Roosevelt graduated 63 percent

Here are the results for PPS alternative schools:

• Alliance rose 5 points to 15.8 percent

• Trillium stayed the same at 56 percent

• Metropolitan Learning Center dropped 5.5 points to 57.5 percent

• Leadership and Entrepreneurship Center rose 1.7 percent to 23 percent