Governor Kitzhaber is holding the entire Oregon Class of 2025 — now finishing up their first grade year — to an ambitious goal: 100 percent high school graduation rates. OPB is following a group of these students, as they learn at school and go about their daily routines at home. The idea is to get to know them and the challenges they face along the way. That includes academic challenges, like the new Common Core curriculum, but also all the other challenges that life presents — challenges that could become obstacles to that 100 percent graduation goal.
At Earl Boyles Elementary, where most of the students OPB is following go to school, principal Ericka Guynes says about 80 percent of the kids qualify for free or reduced lunch. The school is also part of a unique early learning program spearheaded by the Children’s Institute, a privately funded policy nonprofit. That program is multifaceted and includes a new Early Learning Wing, currently under construction just outside the library.
We recorded this show on Wednesday, May 28, at the Earl Boyles library and heard from many in the first grade class, and others, including their parents, teachers and district administrators.
Editor’s note: Be sure to tune in to the OPB News documentary on the Class of 2025, by education reporter Rob Manning, Tuesday, June 3 at 6 p.m. And check out the multimedia site with pictures and videos of the kids posted by the project’s lead digital producer, Amanda Peacher.