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Oregon graduation rate tops 80 percent, most southern Oregon districts topped that

All but three school districts in our region were able to beat the state average, and the vast majority of districts saw progress.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 12:08 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 8:46 AM

SALEM, Ore. — High school graduation rates at Oregon schools climbed again last year, but the state continues to lag behind the national average. In southern Oregon specifically, many districts saw marked improvements — though a few continue to fall beneath even the state average.

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) just recently released the latest grad rates, and NewsWatch 12 has been poring over the numbers for the past several days.

Graduation rates by District

(2018-19 / 2017-18)

  • State of Oregon avg.: 80.01 / 76.88
  • Ashland SD 5: 89.33 / 85.61
  • Phoenix-Talent SD 4: 85.34 / 75.25
  • Klamath County SD: 82.37 / 79.20
  • Brookings-Harbor SD 17C: 80.58 / 74.44
  • Medford SD 549C: 80.34 /80.50
  • Central Point SD 6: 80.06 / 83.33
  • Three Rivers SD: 77.48 / 75.20
  • Grants Pass SD 7: 77.27 / 72.21
  • Ealge Point SD 9: 74.36 / 72,41
  • Klamath Falls City Schools: 71.43 / 63.31

After the 2018-19 school year, the overall Oregon graduation rate rose to 80.01 percent. Though it's the sixth year in a row that grad rates have improved, it still falls well below even last year's national average of 84.6 percent.

In southern Oregon, only two counties rose above the state average: Jackson and Lake, with 80.64 and 92.16 percent, respectively. The dropout rates in both counties were lower than the state average in all categories but one — Asian students in Jackson County and CTE Concentrators in Lake.

Still, many individual districts rose above the state average. The Ashland, Phoenix-Talent, Klamath County, and Brookings-Harbor school districts all beat the state average and improved their grad rates over the previous year. Medford and Central Point both beat the state rate, but actually fell slightly over their previous year rates.

Three Rivers, Grants Pass, Eagle Point, and Klamath Falls City Schools fell below the state average, but made progress over last year.


RELATED: Oregon needs 'significant work' to raise graduation rates


For at least the fourth year in a row, Henley High School in Klamath County had the highest graduation rate in southern Oregon with nearly 98 percent. Henley topped the entire state in grad rates for multiple years in a row, but has since fallen to the third highest.

Graduation rates for the entire Klamath County School District went up for the fifth year in a row.

Ashland School District had the highest graduation rate of any district (of more than 100 students) in southern Oregon, and increased its rate from 85.61 to 89.33 percent over last year.

Phoenix-Talent School District increased its graduation rate by more than 10 percent over last year, the largest improvement in our region. The next highest increase was Klamath Falls City Schools at 8.12 percent.

Both school districts in Josephine County — Grants Pass and Three Rivers — performed below the state average for graduation and completion.


REPORT: Oregon's school system among the worst in the nation


In August, Governor Kate Brown visited South Medford High School on the first day of the new school year to ceremonially sign the "Student Success Act." Supporters of the $2 billion funding bill, which added a new tax on major Oregon businesses, have touted it as a major investment in Oregon schools and their historically lagging grad rates.

According to the Oregon Department of Education's most recent annual count, more than 22,000 K-12 students experienced some form of homelessness last year, representing one of the most significant barriers to student learning. The agency claims that Student Success funds will help schools combat the issue.

"Thanks to the Student Success Act, we’ll be able to do more to help students experiencing homelessness graduate from high school with a plan for their future,” said ODE Director Colt Gill in a November statement.

Graduation rates represent students who received a regular diploma, participated in "post graduate scholars," or received an Oregon modified diploma. The data from ODE also includes a separate number for completion rates, which includes adult high school diplomas, extended diplomas, or GEDs.

Most schools and districts tend to see a proportionately higher completion rate than graduation, though the difference between the two varies.

NewsWatch 12 is still looking into the information furnished by ODE and will update the article with any further takeaways throughout the day. Watch our broadcasts at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. for the latest developments.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20224

Reported Deaths: 339
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah465393
Washington294324
Marion278968
Umatilla216726
Clackamas148438
Malheur73412
Deschutes5678
Lane5523
Jackson4371
Yamhill41312
Lincoln4119
Union3922
Jefferson3413
Morrow3293
Polk30112
Linn26510
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1783
Benton1616
Douglas1451
Josephine1102
Columbia900
Coos900
Clatsop830
Crook431
Baker370
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant30
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

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Reported Deaths: 10021
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Los Angeles2012004869
Riverside39741770
Orange38711697
San Bernardino34635490
San Diego31127583
Kern21724152
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10334196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8532134
Ventura795379
San Francisco722863
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5891120
Marin519978
Monterey512035
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma320842
Madera220836
San Luis Obispo204716
Placer203920
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12134
Butte10608
Napa10259
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6330
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3614
Glenn3523
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2122
Amador1560
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou900
Inyo841
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
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