Moving Toward 100% of Students Graduating High School

, Posted: Wed, August 14 2013 at 6:19 PM, Updated: Wed, August 14 2013 at 7:04 PM

Governor John Kitzhaber is taking more steps to ensure Oregon meets its new educational standards.

He wants all Oregon students to graduate high school by 2025.

"100% graduation all students, no excuses," said Julie Evans, the Elementary Education Director for the Medford School District

They are preparing for a complete education overhaul that's on the horizon.

"Oregon will have new testing and new alignments [...] coming next school year in full implementation," said Evans.

"They are more rigorous standards."

It's all part of meeting the state's 40-40-20 goal. Where 40% of students go to a four-year college, 40% attend a community college or technical school and 20% get a job.

Add it up and that means 100% of students graduating high school.

Schools will likely get some help from the state since the four bills signed by Governor Kitzhaber on Tuesday will mean about $75-million to make sure Oregon meets its goals.

"It might give us dollars to help train our teachers...which during the last 10 years when we've been doing all the budget cuts, has dwindled down to bare bones."

In addition, money will go toward helping kids with reading, math and other common core skills, keeping kids on track and out of trouble, and putting emphasis on preschool programs.

According to Evans, kindergartners are now expected to be able to write three sentences where before ti was just going to school learning to get along with others.

Evans said since standards have been raised so much, preschool is now more important than ever since 3-4 year olds will be expected to do what typically is expected of a 5-year-old.

To help meet higher standards, the Medford School District will be starting pilot programs in the fall. The plan? To have a preschool program at Jackson Elementary in coordination with the Family Nurturing Center and Kids Unlimited, extra staff in high schools to help students who are a part of English Language Learners (ELL), success coaches for elementary kids who will be a liason between the school and community resources and more counselors in middle and high schools.

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