Flunk Factories The ugly truth about Portland’s high schools.

Portland’s four-year high-school graduation rate of 63 percent is 14 points lower than Beaverton’s, 12 points lower than Hillsboro’s and six points lower than Salem’s. That puts Portland at the bottom of the barrel in a state that has the fourth-lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation. Portland’s rate of graduating minority and low-income students is also worse when compared with other districts. The problem is not a lack of money. Portland’s per-pupil spending is, on average, 19 percent higher than the three other aforementioned Oregon districts’ and 24 percent higher than Long Beach’s.”The bias toward alternative education and special-interest groups is actually cutting the programs that are working for diverse populations,” says Lainie Block Wilker, a Northeast Portland activist who has tried to reverse the district’s effort to drive students away from Benson.


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