PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s historically low graduation rate has prompted state auditors to look at boosting student success by addressing system risks and closing equity gaps.

The Oregon Audits Division released an advisory report Tuesday identifying five risks that limits student success in K-12 education.

  1. Performance Monitoring and Support
  2. Transparency on Results and Challenges
  3. Spending Scrutiny and Guidance
  4. Clear, Enforceable District Standards
  5. Governance and Funding Stability

“While most audits look at the past for past performance, this systemic risk analysis and report is designed to head off problems before they occur,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan.

According to the report, the Oregon Department of Education’s current monitoring system “lacks crucial” data, like course grades and specific credits, that could better track student and district performance. This data would allow ODE to see when a student was likely going to fall behind.

With better monitoring of student and district performance, comes better reporting of those setbacks. To keep schools accountable, the Audits Division suggests ODE should have to report school improvements and challenges.

Further, the report says the standards Oregon schools must follow right now are unclear. Those standards are reportedly already being revised by the ODE, so schools can better implement the guidelines set forth.

With that, ODE is expected to create a “comprehensive road map” to better different sectors of the K-12 system, including what students are served, funding, district reporting requirements and performance measurement requirements.

Allowing these risks to go unnoticed “could allow lagging student results and equity gaps for low-income and historically underserved students to persist despite a historic investment in the education system,” according to the report.

State auditors want the governor’s office and the State Board of Education to address the risks outlined in the report.