UPDATE: Gov. Kate Brown has ordered the public release of annual school performance ratings after The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported that the results would be delayed until after the high-stakes Nov. 6 gubernatorial election.
State education chief Colt Gill, a Brown appointee, said Wednesday that the delay had nothing to do with the election.
He says he decided to delay the release because materials to help struggling school districts were not ready yet and because changes in federal law unfairly skewed results for schools where many students opted out of standardized testing.
Brown is in a tight race with GOP challenger Rep. Knute Buehler, who has made statewide education reform a top campaign issue.
Oregon schools statewide rank third-worst in graduation rates and absenteeism is rife.
The academic reports have been in the school districts' hands since Oct. 4 and were originally to be released this week.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Department of Education, whose leader was chosen by Gov. Kate Brown, has decided to delay releasing its annual school performance ratings until after the high-stakes Nov. 6 election.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the statistical rankings have been in school districts' hands since Oct. 4 in preparation for the originally scheduled Oct. 25 release of the ratings to the public.
But the department informed school district officials that it would delay the release.
The move comes as Brown is locked in a tight race with Republican challenger Knute Buehler who has said that Brown's failure to improve public school outcomes is his No. 1 campaign issue.
Department spokesman Marc Siegel says the release was moved back so it could launch a website to fight chronic absenteeism and because it's taking longer to handle the ratings of schools who had too few students take state tests.