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ODE Research and Data Briefs

A Study in Equity: Oregon's Ninth Grade Transition 

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the University of Oregon (UO) have been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to investigate the efficacy of Oregon's high school success initiative that was passed under state ballot Measure 98. The primary objective of the project is to evaluate the short- and longer-term impact of 9th grade student success team investments on the 9th grade on track to graduation (9G-OTG) readiness of Oregon students.

In November 2016, Oregon's ballot Measure 98 passed with strong voter support, initiating the state's High School Success (HSS) fund. Measure 98 allowed ODE to allocate more than $150 million dollars across approximately 200 districts for high school success efforts. Across the state, many districts and schools used HSS funds to develop and implement 9th grade student success teams to improve 9G-OTG outcomes. Researchers from the UO are now collaborating with their colleagues at ODE to investigate whether implementation of the HSS initiative increased 9G-OTG rates initially and over time with respect to COVID-19 disruptions.

The materials posted here are designed share what the project team has found to date.   

Did You Know (DYK)?  

One-page summaries intended to highlight a key aspect or finding from the project.


 Select Conference Presentations : Research findings presented at national conferences.

American Educational Research Association

 Zvoch, K., Loan, C. M., & Scalise, K. (2024, April). Student success teams and on-track to graduation status in Oregon: An interrupted time series analysis.

 American Evaluation Association

 Zvoch, K., Loan, C. M., & Scalise, K. (2023, October). Identifying implementation and subgroup effects with ML methods in a statewide intervention.

 NCES STATS-DC Data Conference, Managing the Data Highway

 Scalise, K., Zvoch, K., Loan, C. M., Guha, A., & Farley, D. (2023, August). A study in equity: Oregon's ninth grade transition.

A Study in Equity: Oregon's Ninth Grade Transition. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences (IES, CFDA 84.305S, R305S210005). Daniel Farley, Principal Investigator; Kathleen Scalise and Keith Zvoch, Co-Principal Investigators.

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305S210005 awarded to the Oregon Department of Education. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

Extracurricular Participation and Barriers 

This brief examines data from the Student Educational Equity Development (SEED) Survey on student access to and participation in extracurricular activities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Only around half of students surveyed reported participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.
  • While most students reported having opportunities to participate, most reported their barrier to participation was or included a lack of interesting or relevant options. 
  • Some students  did not participate in extracurricular activities because they did not feel welcome or safe engaging. Students expressed a desire to be invited to participate, rather than just allowed to join. 
  • Participation in extracurricular activities is correlated with higher attendance rates and increased sense of belonging. 
  • Students with disabilities reported less access to school-sponsored activities and events.

Published in February 2024 by Lisa Joy Bateman, Isabella Jacoby, Beth LaDuca, Caitlin McRae, and Kathryn Torres.

Student Sense of Belonging in Schools: Connection to Outcomes

This brief examines how students’ sense of belonging in schools correlates with attendance and 9th grade on-track outcome measures, using sense of belonging data from the Student Educational Equity Development (SEED) Survey.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a strong positive relationship between sense of belonging and attendance rates across grade levels.
  • A similar relationship exists with ninth grade on-track rates, with the same four indicators again showing stronger associations. 
  • Having a caring adult at school is a strong protective factor for both attendance and credit attainment, even when other sense of belonging indicators are absent. 
  • There are students with a strong negative response to questions about sense of belonging, and these students have substantially lower rates of credit attainment and regular attendance.

Published in October 2023 by Isabella Jacoby.

Student Sense of Belonging in Schools: Predictive Factors

This brief explores findings on the relationship between student demographics and experiences, including experiences of exclusionary discipline, and sense of belonging data from the Student Educational Equity Development (SEED) Survey.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sense of belonging is positively connected to both the experience of learning and the outcomes of learning.
  • There are demographic inequities in student sense of belonging, including by gender. Students typically report less sense of belonging on most measures as they increase in grade level. 
  • Exclusionary discipline is strongly correlated with a reduced sense of belonging. 
  • Student sense of belonging is strongly related to measures of social identity within the school.

Published in July 2023 by Isabella Jacoby, Jennifer Bevers, Marisa Molnar and Dany Douglas.

In Their Own Words: Analysis of Student Short Answers 

This brief analyzes student responses from the Student Educational Equity Development (SEED) Survey to “Is there anything else about your school you would like to share?” Students shared feelings of belonging or disconnection, described ways they could be better served in terms of both academics and mental health, and gave us a window into their experiences in school and what they would need in order to feel safe, comfortable, and supported.

Published in May 2023 by Isabella Jacoby, Beth LaDuca, Mason Rivers, Juliana Pacicco, and Steve Slater. 

Summer Seed Survey Report 

The following report highlights the results of the Student Voice, Summer Student Educational Equity Development (SEED) Survey. The aim of this report is to amplify student voice statewide in order to meet the strengths and needs of students and responsively improve summer learning opportunities.

Published in March 2023 by the Summer Learning team.

Falling Enrollment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This brief examines trends in student enrollment leading up to and through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to understand and explore the significant enrollment declines during that time period.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oregon public school enrollment dropped substantially during the first year of the pandemic (2020) and has continued to decline. 
  • Declines in enrollment are concentrated among white students and kindergarteners. 
  • There was no evidence to suggest that students moving from Oregon to Idaho was a significant factor in enrollment changes, but data indicate substantial increases in homeschooling within Oregon.
  • Some Oregon districts experienced enrollment increases during this period, largely connected to the operation of virtual schools.
  • Virtual programs are expanding in Oregon.

Published in December 2022 by Isabella Jacoby and Robin Stalcup.

Why NAEP is important for Oregon 

This brief summarizes how the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provides Oregon with valuable information not available from other sources. 

Key Takeaways:

  • NAEP has been a stable measure of student achievement since 1990
  • NAEP is the only source of comparable achievement data from all 50 states
  • NAEP informs educators, policymakers, parents and the public about the rigor of Oregon’s expectations for students.

Published in October 2022 by Beth LaDuca.

Algebra I Repetition: Predictive Factors

The purpose of this brief is to investigate and describe what we know about Oregon students who repeat Algebra I. This brief looks closely at the data that helps us understand when a student is most likely to repeat the course and other predictive factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of repeating the course.

Key Takeaways:

  • Students who repeat Algebra I are significantly less likely to earn an Oregon diploma within four years of entering high school, and are more likely to earn a modified diploma or not graduate. 
  • Starting Algebra I before high school is strongly associated with repeating Algebra I. The effect varies by math assessment score, but remains significant even at fairly high score levels. 
  • Algebra I repetition is more common among certain disadvantaged groups.

Published in September 2022 by Isabella Jacoby.

Community-Informed Recommendations for Equitable Graduation Outcomes 

This legislative report starts with a review of Oregon’s current diploma requirements. Next, there is a national scan of diploma policies, followed by a summary of ODE’s statewide engagement approach and findings. Finally, an analysis of graduation data provides the lead-in to the recommendations for proposed changes to diploma requirements. Representative quotations from participants in the engagement process are provided in blue text boxes throughout. Through synthesis of the information gathered during this process, ODE made two determinations and developed eight recommendations for the Legislature and Oregon State Board of Education to consider.

Published in September 2022.

Students on Section 504 Plans: Overview of a Potential Focal Population

This brief provides an analysis of the demographics, experiences, performance, and challenges facing students served through Section 504 plans, in an effort to assist districts and schools in identifying and addressing the needs of this group of students with disabilities.

  • Section 504 plans are disproportionately used for white students, non-binary students, and students who are not emerging bilinguals. 
  • Better support may be needed to provide continuity of service for students on Section 504 plans across inter-district transfers. 
  • Students on Section 504 plans experience disproportionately high rates of exclusionary discipline and chronic absenteeism, and are less likely to earn enough 9th grade credits to be on-track to graduate, but have similar overall graduation rates to students without these plans. 
  • Students served through Section 504 plans have higher TAG and accelerated coursework participation than students with disabilities served through IEPs.

Published in May 2022 by Isabella Jacoby.

Participation in College-Level Coursework

This brief examines trends and geographic distributions for access to AP and IB coursework.

Published in March 2022 by Isabella Jacoby.

Impact of High School Success on CTE Programs and Enrollment

This brief examines trends in career and technical education (CTE) program offerings and enrollments, before and after the implementation of High School Success.

Published in September 2021 by Isabella Jacoby.

Predictors of On-Time High School Graduation

This brief presents new analysis of the relationship between the 9th grade on-track measure, on-time (4-year) high school graduation rates, and other predictive factors in early high school grades, using the records of more than 130,000 Oregon students across three graduating cohorts to assist in identifying areas in need of additional supports. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Being on-track in 9th grade is strongly predictive of on-time graduation.
  • Regular attendance, course enrollment, mobility, and discipline are also important predictors of graduation.
  • Many important factors have stronger predictive power as a secondary indicator, among students who were not ontrack in 9th grade. 

Published in August 2021 by Isabella Jacoby.

ODE/OSU Research Partnership

The ODE/OSU English Language Learner Partnership brings together researchers and practitioners from the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon State University to improve education for ELLs in Oregon.

The Use of Implementation Science to Study Trauma-Informed Practices:  A Closer Look at Implementation in Two Oregon Schools

This report, jointly drafted by Oregon’s Chief Education Office (CEdO) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), presents findings from the three-year Trauma-informed pilot study. The report focuses on the factors that promoted or impeded the process of implementation, such as organizational capacity, shifts in adults’ beliefs and practices, and communication strategies. 

Published in October 2019