Follow-up Report on Department of Education Alternative and Online Education Audit

SALEM, OR — Today, Acting Secretary of State Leslie Cummings released a report showing the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has made little progress implementing the recommendations made in audit report 2017-30, “Stronger Accountability, Oversight, and Support Would Improve Results for Academically At-Risk Students in Alternative and Online Education.”

The audit, released in December 2017, issued 15 recommendations to the agency. ODE agreed with all of the recommendations. Implementation of these recommendations would help improve education for at-risk students in alternative and online schools and programs. These students account for nearly half of the state’s high school dropouts.

According to the follow-up report, the agency has not fully implemented any of the 15 recommendations. It has taken actions to partially implement three recommendations. Specifically, ODE has:

  • Developed a clearer definition of alternative schools and programs to use in future data collection;

  • Held work sessions with stakeholders to discuss ways to strengthen attendance and funding standards for virtual schools; and

  • Increased its alternative education program staff in 2019.

ODE needs to conduct significant work to fully implement all 15 recommendations. The agency cited Every Student Succeeds Act requirements and alternative education program staffing as challenges encountered in implementing the recommendations.

“We are disappointed ODE has made little progress implementing the audit recommendations,” said Acting Secretary of State Leslie Cummings. “Fully implementing the remaining recommendations is critical to improving the education of Oregon students in alternative education and online schools.”

Read the full report on the Secretary of State website.