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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: 42808

Reported Deaths: 664
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9292163
Marion5929108
Washington583877
Umatilla337645
Clackamas317265
Lane241927
Malheur192738
Jackson17076
Deschutes113613
Yamhill100115
Linn81615
Polk65715
Jefferson6059
Morrow5457
Lincoln51713
Union4682
Benton4456
Klamath4173
Douglas3598
Wasco34816
Hood River2771
Columbia2691
Josephine2693
Coos2510
Clatsop2440
Baker1253
Crook1102
Tillamook700
Curry581
Wallowa462
Lake380
Harney340
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 914888

Reported Deaths: 17460
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3020777027
Riverside669931303
San Bernardino633671073
Orange589801454
San Diego55210877
Kern33928416
Fresno30969439
Sacramento25601491
Santa Clara24425392
Alameda23471462
San Joaquin21729489
Contra Costa18763242
Stanislaus17714398
Tulare17590288
Ventura14330165
Imperial12967336
San Francisco12189140
Monterey1141990
San Mateo11198159
Santa Barbara9827122
Merced9531155
Sonoma9494136
Kings826483
Solano744576
Marin7096129
Madera503774
Placer420757
San Luis Obispo417432
Yolo321959
Butte309552
Santa Cruz280825
Napa196616
Shasta195431
Sutter186512
San Benito144215
El Dorado13514
Yuba132310
Mendocino113621
Tehama8928
Lassen7661
Lake69816
Glenn6713
Nevada6238
Humboldt56810
Colusa5516
Calaveras34218
Amador33116
Tuolumne2754
Inyo23115
Siskiyou2050
Del Norte1801
Mono1802
Mariposa792
Plumas700
Modoc360
Trinity270
Sierra60
Alpine30
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