Students Enrolled in Oregon’s Public Alternative Education Schools

The OCID analysis Students Enrolled in Oregon’s Public Alternative Education Schools is an initial, high-level description of students who had been enrolled in public alternative education schools.

On average, public alternative education schools have lower graduation rates than traditional schools, which may indicate that students need additional support to attain their educational goals. However, little statewide information about this group of students is publicly available.

This analysis provides a foundation to conduct similar analyses with other groups of children as well as deeper analysis into students in alternative education services.

Highlighted Key Findings

Below is a selection of key observations about students in public alternative education schools that emerged from this descriptive analysis. Public alternative education schools, which do not include charter or magnet schools, are sponsored by school districts and are part of the Oregon Department of Education’s accountability system. For more details, please see the policy brief.

Disproportionality of Educational, Student, and Family Characteristics

Compared with students enrolled only in traditional public schools, among students enrolled in public alternative education schools at any point between 2007 and 2019:

  • Over 3 times the proportion experienced discipline at some point during their school career;
  • A higher proportion experienced homelessness at any point between the school years of 2012-2013 through 2018-2019;
  • Proportionally half as many were ‘on-track’ to graduate high school after ninth grade;
  • A higher proportion had Individualized Education Programs (IEP) at any point during their school career, a school system designation of having a disability that interferes with a student’s ability to learn;
  • Higher proportions of students with IEPs experienced school discipline at any point in their school career, regardless of race or ethnicity category, and sex/gender.

Any disproportionality of IEP status by categories of race and ethnicity or sex/gender does not imply a biological relationship to disability, but rather could suggest that structural or interpersonal bias could contribute to differences in which students are identified, tested for, and documented as having a disability.

Featured Data Visualization

Percent of Students in Alternative Education with School Discipline by Race/Ethnicity, Sex/Gender, and Disability Status
Students who had been enrolled in public alternative education schools at any point between 2007 and 2019.

Chart showing percent of students in alternative education with discipline experience by race/ethnicity


  • With a single exception, across all categories of race and ethnicity, male students with an IEP had the highest overall proportions of school discipline.
  • Across all categories of race and ethnicity, female students with an IEP had higher proportions of school discipline than their female peers without an IEP.

Related OCID Resources

9th Grade On-track Dashboard

Screen shot of 9th grade on-track to graduate dashboard

Explore our 9th grade on-track to graduate indicator to investigate potential trends or disparities among groups of children.

OCID’s Race and Ethnicity Methodology

Read more about OCID’s methodology to consistently report race and ethnicity information across data sources and to select information for individuals when there are multiple options within and across points in time.

Student Homelessness Dashboard

Screen shot of student homelessness dashboard

Explore our student homelessness indicator to discover how characteristics vary among groups of children with different well-being outcomes.