Success at the Next Level - Preparing Students to Achieve in Learning and in Life

Student Progress Milestones

Portland Public Schools progress on its state Achievement Compacts in 2013-14 shows strong improvement as well as areas for continued focus and affirms the priorities that Superintendent Carole Smith has set this year for the school district.

PPS reported its progress on its state Achievement Compacts during the Oct. 6 school board meeting. The PPS Achievement Compact Advisory Committee has used the Governor's 40-40-20 goal for high school and college completion as a key guide in setting its ambitious recommendations. View full presentation.

PPS exceeded attendance and graduation rate targets.

  • Attendance: PPS exceeded its targets for the percentage of all students, and historically underserved students, who regularly attended school in sixth and ninth grades.
  • Graduation: The on-time graduation rate has improved from 55 percent for the Class of 2010 to 70 percent for the Class of 2014, exceeding the target. Steady gains from a 54 percent graduation rate for historically underserved students to a 58 percent rate fell one point short of the target.
In reading, on track to graduate and five-year high school completion, PPS has held relatively stable.

  • Third grade reading: PPS has gone from 76.4 percent reading to learn in third grade in 2011-12 to 74.3 percent in 2013-14, with a similar trend for historically underserved students of between 63.2 percent and 59.7 percent. The district remains significantly above the state average - which has hovered at about 70 percent - yet fell short of its 87.5 percent target for all students.
  • On track to graduate (9th grade credits earned): PPS has hovered between 86 percent and 84 percent for all students over three years, short of its 89.3 percent target. A similar trend held for historically underserved students
  • Five-year high school completion: Over the last three years, 79 to 82 percent of PPS students have graduated high school in up to five years, just shy of the district's target of 83.3 percent. A large percentage of historically underserved PPS students complete high school in a fifth year, suggesting where to look for strategies to pursue sooner to get more students to on-time graduation.

PPS focuses on three priorities to drive progress

Superintendent Carole Smith announced three priorities at the start of the school year around which the school district is organizing itself and investing resources. The priorities reflect the areas in need of focus evidenced in the district's Achievement Compact results. The priorities are:

  • Reading: All students reading to learn by the end of third grade.
  • Discipline: Reducing out-of-school discipline and the disparity in discipline between white students and students of color by 50 percent. (Keeping students in school learning – to read, to stay on track, to graduate)
  • Graduation: Accelerating improvement in the high school graduation and completion rates.

Smith announced her priorities in her back-to-school message in fall 2014, "Sharing the excitement of a new school year."