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Students give Oregon legislators tips on fixing schools

Jenessa Teachout, a junior at Gresham's Sam Barlow High School, and Meagan Graves, senior at Portland's Madison High School, chat with Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, at a legislative committee session Thursday. (Jonathan House/Portland Tribune)

If given a choice for one reform at his high school, Des’smen Pooler would add a mandatory class on preparing for college or career.

The senior at Portland’s Parkrose High School said only about half of his peers have learned the value of attending postsecondary school or even how to apply for federal financial aid.

His schoolmate, senior Meme Branch, said students need more basic help with skills such as managing personal finances or cooking a meal at home.

“Some kids don’t have . . .