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Critical Elements to Improving Graduation

College graduates throwing caps in the air  

Families, teachers, school administrators, business leaders and community members agree: Together we need to

  • Raise overall graduation rates
  • Reduce opportunity gaps associated with low graduation rates
  • Ensure students graduate with knowledge and skills for college and career

The good news is that through our collective efforts over the last few years — ODE, school district leaders, staff and communities working together — the number of students earning a high school diploma has been increasing. Although we still have an opportunity gap, we have examples of districts using best practices that result in impressive gains, especially with historically underserved students. You can read more about this in the graduation brief our research staff released with the graduation rate data.

Our future workforce and the health of our communities and state depend on our success. But more than that, we have a duty and a moral imperative to our students to give them the tools for success they will use throughout their lives. There are eight critical elements to improving graduation outcomes and each element has examples of successful strategies being used around the state. The full report, Oregon's Graduation: Critical Elements Leading to Positive Graduation Outcomes, goes into great detail on the elements and strategies. A brief outline of the eight critical elements is available for downloading. School and districts can use the blue buttons to see how the critical elements and strategies are being used around the state, then share their successes by clicking on the Your Story button on any of the pages. Families, community-based organizations and others can use the white buttons to see how they can help improve graduation rates in Oregon.

Our Commitment

Oregon is committed to address the disparities experienced by American Indian/Alaska Native students, African-American/Black students, English Learners, Students with Disabilities and Opportunity Youth. To that end, the Oregon Department of Education has been working with stakeholder groups to develop success plans. These plans include many or all of the critical elements identified in the graduation report. Oregon will continue to focus on these young people as a key to improving our education system for all.

  • Supports
    • Leadership
    • Inclusive School Culture
    • Start Strong
    • Whole Child Education
  • Systems
    • Quality Data Systems
    • Clear Education Pathways
    • P-20 Seamless Education System
    • Leadership
  • Engagement
    • Effective Instruction
    • Whole Child Education
    • Inclusive School Culture
    • Clear Education Pathways

Successfully supporting all students to graduate depends upon strong partnerships between educators, parents, businesses, community organizations, tribes, social service providers and communities-at-large. Find out more about what you can do to improve graduation or submit your school's graduation success story through the following buttons.

Thank you!

The information in this section of the website is a direct result of the work of the 2016-17 Graduation Advisory Committee which collected classroom examples of successful educational practices and provided expert judgments on how these practices could improve outcomes for students under current funding. Special thanks to the many school staff and partners who contributed stories of their work. We would also like to thank all of the agency staff who contributed to the Graduation Improvement work!