HOW OREGON STACKS UP EDUCATIONALLY

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Oregon's profile of educational achievement is uneven wheplaced in a national context. A high percentage of residents earn high school diplomas, but the percentage who go on to complete at least four years of college is below the national average, according to a recent United States Census Bureau report, "School Enrollment: Social and Economic Characteristics of Students, October 1989."On the first score, Oregon is seventh nationally with a high-school graduation rate of 83.9 percent among persons 25 or older, after Utah and Washington (88.2 percent), Alaska (86.9 percent), Wyoming (85.6 percent), Minnesota (85.5 percent), and Nevada (84 percent). Using the second criterion, Oregon is well down the list in the proportion of college educated residents, its 21.1 percent placing it 26th nationally. The District of Columbia (35.2 percent), Massachusetts (28.1 percent), Connecticut (27.5 percent), Maryland (27.4 percent), and Virginia (27.3 percent) are the leaders in this category. The pattern of these results is repeated in a study of 37 selected US metropolitan areas. Portland-Vancouver (Ore.) ranks fifth in the proportion of high school graduates (87.6 percent), after Seattle-Tacoma; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Sacramento, Calif.; and Salt Lake City/Ogden (Utah) but 27th in the proportion of college graduates (20.3 percent). Commenting on the importance of improving the population's overall educational level, Mary Wendy Roberts, Oregon commissioner of labor and industries, says, "There is no longer a dichotomy between working with your hands and working with your head. It is a new world out there."

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