Set the education bar high

By Observer editorial February 08, 2013 02:10 pm

The graduation rate at La Grande High School is climbing, and it exceeds the state average.

Kudos to the students, teachers and administrators who are making that happen. The state of Oregon has set the education bar high, but it deserves credit for its audacity. Remember the 40-40-20 goal Oregon has set for 2025? The goal is for 40 percent of adults to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, 40 percent of adults to earn an associate degree or post-secondary credentials, and 20 percent of adults to earn a high school diploma, a modified high school diploma or the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The 40-40-20 goal is a law being implemented across all levels of education. 

The graduation rate at LHS is 74.14, above the state average of 68.4 percent, and its completer rate is 85.63 percent, above the state average of 75.1 percent. The completer rate is comprised of students who receive a standard diploma, a modified diploma or a GED within four years. 

Essential skills requirements make high school graduation more difficult. Yet LHS counselors are helping keep students on track to graduate.

The 40-40-20 program is as audacious as the Oregon Bottle Bill, adopted in 1970 that reduced litter by 83 percent by 1974, and the Beach Bill, from 1967, which gave Oregonians public ownership of the beach. The 40-40-20 program sets the bar high as Oregon seeks to have a population of educated people, which will attract industries that need smart workers while reducing poverty and social problems.

The local progress shows we are taking steps toward that goal.