ASHLAND, Ore. — In a list overwhelmingly populated by neighborhoods and suburbs of Portland, the city of Ashland came in at an impressive 6th place for Best Public Schools in Oregon, according to the website Niche.
Ashland was beat only by the Portland suburbs of Lake Oswego, West Linn, Stafford, Oak Hills and Bethany—making Ashland the first Oregon town on the list that isn't a part of the greater Portland area. A total of 160 Oregon areas were ranked in the list.
The overall grades for Public Schools come from the combination of marks for each individual school—including test scores, teacher ratings, and diversity.
Niche also ranks overall livability in various cities by gathering data on a number of different subjects.
According to Niche's grading system (which employs A, B, C, D, F grades like most schools) Ashland enjoys an overall A rating after averaging all of their categories. Its highest grades (A or A+) were for categories like Public Schools, Good for Families, Weather and Commute.
The categories that brought Ashland down the most were Housing and Cost of Living (C+ and C-)—perhaps unsurprising for anyone that has looked for housing in the area lately.
By contrast, the city of Medford has an overall B- rating from Niche. Medford's highest grades came from Weather, Outdoor Activities and Commute (A or A+). The lowest ratings? Crime & Safety, Cost of Living and Housing (C or C-).
Medford also received a B- grade from Niche for its public school systems.
Niche reports that their data is compiled from sources such as the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others.