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Report: Portland Schools' Overhaul Yielded Mixed Results

OPB | Dec. 12, 2012 5 p.m. | Portland

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Oregon’s largest school district got mixed results in a new report on its recent high school overhaul.

The ECO Northwest report says Portland Public Schools is on track to meet its on-time graduation goal, having improved the rate by nine points, to 62 percent. But the district is sliding backwards in getting students to take college-level classes, and in getting minority students to be college ready, as measured by college board exams.

The report also found teachers gave minority students failing grades more than twice as often as they did to white students.

Chief Academic Officer Sue Ann Higgins says the high school overhaul dealt with school size and course offerings. She says a new high school action team will look at the classroom level, too.

“Making certain we have more universal practices there, so that there’s less subjectivity in our grading, and so that all students have equal access, to being fully successful and future ready, in our school courses,” Higgins says.

Higgins says the new team will also dig into the district’s alternative and charter offerings for high schoolers, as the report suggests.

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