The number of Oregon teens dropping out of high school has hit its lowest point in more than 15 years, but the dropout rate for minority students continues to climb.
"It is clear from today's report that we need to focus our efforts on reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates for poor and minority students," said Oregon Superintendent of Schools Susan Castillo on Tuesday, the day the dropout report was released. "Graduating from high school is fundamental to success in the workforce or in college."
Castillo said Oregon's dropout rate tends to fluctuate with the economy, but said the most recent report contradicts this trend.
"The good news in today's report is that it appears that overall rates have remained low even as Oregon's economy has improved," Castillo said. "That means Oregon is making progress in the fight to help students stay in high school, rather than leave school for employment."
The 2005-06 statewide dropout rate was 4.1 percent, down one-tenth of a percent over the previous year.
The dropout rate for White students decreased slightly, but for Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American students, the rate actually increased.
For African American students, the dropout rate for 2005-06 increased by four-tenths of a percent to 6.4 percent – the third highest dropout rate for Oregon's minority students next to Native American students, who have a 6.6 percent dropout rate; and Hispanic students, who have the highest dropout rate at 8.4 percent.
Locally, the Arts, Communications and Technology at Roosevelt High had 42 graduates, 32 dropouts and a 56.8 percent graduation rate in 2005-06;
Grant High School had 393 graduates, 37 dropouts and a 91.4 percent graduation rate;
The Pursuit of Wellness Education at Roosevelt had 32 graduates, 32 dropouts and a 50 percent graduation rate; and
The School of Champions at Jefferson had 115 graduates, 23 dropouts and an 83.3 percent graduation rate.