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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 11 February 2009

The Oregon Progress Board's latest Benchmark Highlights Report shows that the state continues to do well in public safety and the "built environment," but aspects of education, civic engagement, social support and the natural environment show the same challenges seen in the 2007 report.  The economy received a negative grade for the first time in a benchmark report.
Issued every other year by the Oregon Progress Board, the Benchmark Highlights Report provides a snapshot of Oregon's progress toward the goals in the statewide plan called Oregon Shines.  
The report identifies several notable strengths and concerns. 
The strengths are: 1) export stability; 2) volunteering; 3) adult non-smokers; 4) emergency preparedness; 5) state road condition; and 6) a new way of accurately tracking the extent of Oregon's natural habitat. 
Areas of concern are: 1) a continuing drop of per capita income in relation to other states; 2) eighth-grade reading; 3) lack of understanding of Oregon's tax system; 4) hunger; 5) teenagers carrying weapons; 6) affordable housing (also a concern in the 2005 and 2007 reports); and 7) air quality.
"We have made progress, but we must do better," said Governor Ted Kulongoski.  "More than ever, we must think and act strategically to restore prosperity and lay the groundwork for a future where our children are the best educated in America, our environmental leadership is unquestioned in America, and our economy stands ready to take full advantage of the green industrial and energy revolution that is stirring in America."
The Oregon Legislature created the Progress Board in 1989 to develop a strategic vision for Oregon and monitor progress toward that vision using a set of 91 measures—known as Oregon Benchmarks—of economic, social, and environmental well-being for the state. 
Go to http://benchmarks.oregon.gov to view the 2009 Report and its Executive Summary and Data Tables, plus the interactive report generator for individual benchmarks. 


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