SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Education has released its At-A-Glance report for last school year.

And it’s a mixed grade.

While more ninth-graders are on track to graduate, attendance is down.

“I’m in no way satisfied with where these results are. I took this role to make a difference, we need to see what the data are telling us and be responsive to that,” said Dr. Charlene Williams, Oregon Department of Education Director. “It’s a good sign that the 9th Grade On-Track figure, a key metric in making sure students are on track to graduate from high school, is rising. The decrease in attendance, however, is a signal that we need to continue removing barriers to attendance by making our schools engaging and welcoming for students.”

Here’s ODE’s findings:

• The statewide 9th Grade On-Track rate rose last year by 0.8% and is approaching pre-pandemic levels. This increase represents nearly 700 more students being on-track to graduate at the end of 9th grade, compared to a year ago. It’s encouraging to see the critical 9th Grade On-Track numbers continue to rise.

• The rate of students going to college within 16 months of graduation declined nearly a full percentage point from 56.4% for the graduates of the Class of 2020 to 55.6% for the class of 2021. These declines are similar to overall declines in college enrollment seen in Oregon and
nationwide and reflect data from when the global pandemic was at its peak. The decline is much smaller than the 5.4 percentage point drop reported last year.

• College going rates declined for most racial/ethnic groups, while increasing by 1.6 and 1.4 percentage points for students who are federally-identified as American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian, respectively.

• We have seen a decline in regular attendance in 2022-23, with the rate falling 2.0% from 2021- 22. Rates of regular attendance remain significantly below pre-pandemic levels. We know that students aren’t benefiting from instruction when they are not in the classroom, so this is a serious concern for Oregon’s educators. Our Every Day Matters team is working with districts to address attendance concerns. Every Day Matters is a statewide initiative that works with schools and districts to boost attendance and student engagement by building relationships with students, families, and community members to address the root causes of chronic absenteeism, and include strategies such as hiring of community-school liaisons, family advocates, and school counselors.