Personal Opinion: Centennial High School–Perfect or Disaster?

Jalen Knight, Staff Writer

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September 5 marks the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year for Centennial High School. While we sadly say goodbye to the seniors of last year, we welcome the new freshmen with open arms.

This school has stood tall and proud since 1959; growing and, in certain aspects, it prospers.

For such a statement to be said about CHS that must mean that it has been doing things right for the past six decades.

Yet then arises the proper question, the most logical question to ask after a declaration as this; But how correct is CHS, what has it done wrong that prevented to reach its full potential? That is a question, the question, I look to answer.

Every 18 weeks students get a report card that tells them how they progressed over the year, and surprisingly enough, schools do too! Discovering this, I felt the best way to get to the nitty-gritty of what this school has achieved, or failed, was to look at its report card. Every year CHS gets a class of freshmen who are better, or worse, at certain aspects than last year’s freshmen, now made sophomores.

Now to cope with the yearly changes, CHS is constantly changing curriculum, either by add new things or taking away, what they believe were, the old and unimportant parts; the example this year being the addition of freshmen teaming.

When working in a business that constantly deals with the people, or teenagers, there are limited ways to understand what works and what doesn’t, the voice of the people. The interesting thing, however, is that their voice resonates in numerous, varied facets. Now, a school can’t ask every one of its students for their opinion of what’s wrong or right with their school, there’s too many of them, especially in a 6A school like CHS. That’s where their report card comes in.

Now the report card for CHS is very similar to their students, as in it are their grades for that particular year, then that’s where the similarities stop. The report doesn’t tell them that they got an “A” in Physics with a 92 on the final, it instead grades them based upon how well they are leading their students, of various backgrounds, on the path towards graduation.

So in the presence of such divine knowledge I decide to choose two report cards, one recent and the other years ago, and criticize them; and if I’m feeling a little nice, I might praise them. This way I can see if Centennial High School has been getting better or worse.

The first report card is from 2012, ten years ago. Back then CHS had a graduation rate of 78.7 with a dropout rate of 1.4. Along with that 81.1 percent of freshmen students on track to graduate. During this year the school had predominantly White, Hispanic, and Asian students. The graduation rate for each group 86.8 (White), 62.7 (Hispanic/Latino), and 79.3 (Asian).

For On-Track statuses the percentages were: 83.6 (White), 79.3 (Hispanic/Latino), and 83.0 (Asian). Comparing the different genders, 78.1% of males were on track to graduate and 75.1% did graduate; whereas 84.1% of females were on track to graduate and 82.4% did graduate. With all of these high percentages, Centennial became a level 4 high school (level 5 is the highest.)

The second report card is 2016, only two years ago. The school graduation rate this year was 82.9 with a dropout rate of 1.9.

For the Freshman 84.7 percent were on track to graduate this year. Same as the 2012 year, most students fell under Hispanic/Latino, White, or Asian. The graduation rate for each was 83.3% (White), 85.4% (Hispanic/Latino), and 79.3% (Asian). The Ontrack rate was 87.2% (White), 79.5% (Hispanic/Latino) and above 95% (Asian).

The student number for CHS grew from 1,665 students to 1,697 in four years.  However despite such a small increase in students, the graduation rate increased by 4.2 percent. Centennial High School is a big school in comparison to many others in Oregon,  and it seems that they are doing a great job at taking care of the students they are entrusted with.

There are still things that they can do to continue to increase their graduation rate to over 90 percent, yet it seems that this school is learning to do so. If CHS keeps going the way it has been, then it might become a top school and great role model for other school who just can’t seem to get it right.

For more information about CHS and accessibility to its report cards, go to: https://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx

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