State HS graduation rates are incomparable

By on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 in Local News

PENDLETON, Oregon – It only took one day after the state’s high school graduation rate was announced before the Portland media was at it again, reporting that Oregon’s high school graduation rates have fallen to “49th in the nation.” The tendency to blindly crunch the numbers irks state educators because Oregon’s graduation requirements are among the strictest in the nation.

“Our state requires 24 credits to graduate, which is the highest that I saw in the nation,” Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Matt Yoshioka of the Pendleton School District said. “There were a few other states that required 24 credits, but most of the states required fewer than that.”

Yoshioka said that most states only required 18 to 22 credits to get a diploma. The media’s tendency to act like all states are equal as far as high school requirements irks him, but he doesn’t think it means Oregon should lower its high standards.

“I don’t think we should change our requirements,” he said. “I just think that when we report it, we need to be comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.”