Why follow the Class Of 2025?
In 2012, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber set a goal: by the year 2025, he wants the state to graduate 100 percent of its high school students.
But today, Oregon is far from that goal. According to state figures, the four-year graduation rate in 2013 was below 69 percent. The high school graduation rate nationwide has risen above 80 percent, according to a recent study.
Educators say early education is key to student success and graduation. Kids need to start mastering certain skills as early as first, second and third grade to reach high school graduation on time.
So what will it take to get all of Oregon's high schoolers to graduation in 12 years? What will a public education look like, from kindergarten to 12th grade for the Class of 2025?
OPB is following a group of young students as they start their journey toward high school. In 2013, those students started first grade. OPB plans to stay in touch with these students. We aim to track their progress all the way to twelfth grade. We want to report on their academic challenges and accomplishments through the years, to share stories about their families, and provide a lens into their lives at school and at home.
OPB's Class of 2025 Project
OPB is zeroing in on a group of students that started kindergarten at Earl Boyles Elementary , an ethnically and racially diverse school in Southeast Portland. Most of the students at Earl Boyles qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Twenty-eight Earl Boyles families with children who entered first grade in 2013 agreed to allow OPB reporters and producers to follow them. During the past year, we've visited these families in their homes. Reporter Rob Manning, Public Insight journalist Amanda Peacher, and photographer Michael Clapp have interviewed, filmed and photographed these students and their families.
This spring, we take an in-depth look at first grade students with the broadcast of a one-hour documentary, "Class of 2025" on June 3, 2014 and this interactive multimedia site showcasing some of the students' stories. Explore the stories here and follow #ClassOf2025 for updates on Twitter.
Class Of 2025 Radio Documentary
Listen to the one-hour radio documentary by OPB's Rob Manning here.
Reporter: Rob Manning
Public Insight Journalist/Lead Digital Producer: Amanda Peacher
Photographer/Digital Producer: Michael Clapp
Digital Producers: John Rosman and Jason Bernert
Audio Engineer: Steven Kray
Spanish Interpreter: Africa Ramirez
Music: Audio Network
Director of Content Partnerships: Julia Silverman
Director, News and Public Affairs: Eve Epstein
Director, Digital Content: Rebecca Galloway
Sr. VP And Chief Content Officer: Morgan Holm
This project is part of American Graduate — Let's Make It Happen! — a public broadcasting initiative to address the drop out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Support for this special report was also provided by The Equity Reporting Project: Restoring the Promise of Education, which was developed by Renaissance Journalism at San Francisco State University. The project is funded by the Ford Foundation.