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Oregon graduation rate rises to record 80 percent

(Updating: Some C.O. schools also show promising trends)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Department of Education reported Thursday that the statewide graduation rates rose to 80 percent last school year, the highest seen in the state.

Bend Senior High's graduation rate rose to just over 91 percent,  the highest in the school's history.

Principal Christopher Reese said the under-served students, classified as special education, lower-income and racially diverse students, saw their graduation rates rise more than 5 percentage points. He credits great staffing as the reason for the improvements.

"I give all the credit to our staff, classIfied, certified, we're all pulling in the same direction," Reese said. "Our staff makes connections with our students. In order to make movement with graduation rates, you have to have a positive school culture. You have to have a positive school climate, and our staff is second to none."

La Pine High School's graduation rate for the number of students who graduated in four years fell from about 77 to 70 percent, but the five year  graduation rate rose from 70 percent to 81 percent in just one year.

Crook County High's graduation rate rose by 2 percentage points, to 94 percent for the Class of 2019. It's the highest figure in the school's history.

Principal Michelle Jonas shared what the school did that helped last year's graduating class.

"I think part of the reason that we really saw the growth is this the first year we focused on the freshmen," Jonas said. "We started working with these students, tracking them and mentoring them because as we know, one of the stronger indicators of whether someone is going to graduate high school is how they're doing by the end of their freshman year."


Here's the state Department of Education's news release:

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The statewide graduation rate for the class of 2018-19 was 80 percent, up 1.3 percentage points over the previous year and the highest graduation rate ever recorded in Oregon, according to data released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education.

The four-year graduation rate has increased eight percentage points over five years.

Also, the gap in high school graduation rates between historically underserved student groups and the state average is smaller than in previous years.

The year-to-year increase in graduation rates was greater for every underserved student group than the increase in the state average, bringing underserved student groups closer to the statewide average than ever before, ODE said in its announcement.

Oregon’s graduation rate has been considered an embarrassment for many years, with it typically ranking in the very bottom tier of states, The Associated Press noted. 

 “This year’s graduation rate increase means nearly 600 additional students earned a diploma,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “We are seeing even faster growth for students of color, students with disabilities and students navigating poverty than the state as a whole. Student Success Act funding will build on this promising foundation to foster equity and excellence for all Oregon students.”

The table below shows how some student groups fared since the 2010-2011 cohort graduated in 2014:

Student groupClass of 2014[1]Class of 2019[2]Difference
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander68.877.68.8
American Indian/Alaska Native53.567.714.2
Black/African American60.270.410.2
English Learners in High School51.760.28.5
Special Education51.163.412.3

“Every student in Oregon deserves to graduate prepared for lifelong success and with a plan for their future,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “Working together over the last five years, through a commitment to closing opportunity gaps for students in all our communities, we have made steady progress increasing the number of Oregon students completing high school.

"With the historic reinvestment in education made possible by the Student Success Act, our schools will be further empowered to engage and support Oregon’s students in reaching new levels of learning and achievement.”

Other highlights from the data:

  • Students who have successfully completed English Learner programs in Oregon graduate at a rate of 84.3 percent, higher than the statewide average. Speaking multiple languages improves education outcomes no matter which language a student learns first.
  • Students taking a Career and Technical Education (CTE) course graduated at a rate of 88.9 percent in four years and those enrolled in a CTE program of study had a 93.5 percent graduation rate in four years.
  • The graduation rate for students experiencing homelessness is up from 50.7 percent from the class of 2017, to 55.4 percent for the class of 2019. The class of 2017 was the first class for which this data was collected.
  • Students in the Migrant Education Program saw a 4.4 percentage point increase in graduation rates over last year to 79.4 percent, less than a percentage point below the statewide average.

 # # #

Bend-La Pine Schools news release:

Graduation Rate Remains High for Bend-La Pine Schools

Grad rate is second highest on record; gains hold steady from previous year

Bend-La Pine Schools recorded its second-highest graduation rate on record, 80.6 percent, according to a report released by the Oregon Department of Education today. The Class of 2019 continued on the strong gains made the previous year, when the district recorded its highest graduation rate on record (81.8 percent).

In addition, Bend-La Pine Schools saw graduation rates increase among many student groups, including: Hispanic/Latino students, students with disabilities, students learning English in high school and underserved races/ethnicities.

School highlights:

  • Bend Senior High School recorded its highest graduation rate in history (91.1 percent) and the grad rate among students of underserved races and ethnicities soared more than 5 percentage points.
  • La Pine High School’s 5-year cohort graduation rate increased from 70 percent last year to 81 percent this year.
  • Marshall High School recorded a graduation rate of 46.2 percent, up from 21.3 percent just four years ago. The school’s completer rate (which includes students earning GEDs, among others) also jumped to 63.4 percent, up from 30.9 percent four years ago.
  • Both Mountain View and Summit high schools recorded strong graduation rates among students with disabilities (81.8 percent for both schools, compared with 63 percent graduation rate for students with disabilities at the state level).

“We are proud to see our graduation rate holding steady at record levels for our high schools, knowing that we will not be fully satisfied until all of our students graduate ready for the future they choose,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “We owe our success in large part to the numerous dedicated staff members who build positive relationships with our students.”

About the Numbers: The graduation rate tracks students beginning in ninth grade and measures how many of those students graduate within four years. The rate is adjusted for students moving in or out of the district.

            2018-19: 80.6 percent

2017-18: 81.9 percent

            2016-17: 78.7 percent

2015-16: 77.5 percent

2014-15: 77.2 percent                                   

2013-14: 77.2 percent

2012-13: 78.6 percent

2011-12: 72.2 percent           

2010-11: 68.2 percent


Redmond School District news release:

Redmond School District Graduation Rate Surpasses State Average

Redmond, OreRedmond School District is proud to announce its 2018-2019 graduation rate for the district is 84.3 percent, which is all inclusive, district wide graduation rate.

This puts Redmond School District among the highest district graduation rates in the region and four percentage points higher than the state average of 80%.

The district is proud of the upward trend of student graduation rates with an increase of more than 14 percentage points since 2013-2014. Redmond School District also happy to report a steady increase in the district’s five year completer rate at 86.4% which includes graduates, plus students who earned a GED or other form of high school diploma.

The district’s historical four year cohort graduation rates are illustrated in the following table:

2018-19 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate2017-18Four-Year CohortGraduation Rate2016-17Four-Year CohortGraduation Rate2015-16Four-Year CohortGraduation Rate2014-15Four-Year CohortGraduation Rate2013-14Four-Year CohortGraduation Rate

Redmond School District’s model of inclusion, targeted supports and the importance of student relationships has proven worthwhile in helping students walk across the finish line at graduation. Redmond School District high schools place significant emphasis on efforts to engage students in meaningful relationships through individualized outreach and student engagement. 

Redmond School District does not operate an alternative high school, believing in the model of inclusion where students can equitably access extracurricular, athletic and Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities. District data shows that Redmond students that participate in two or more CTE courses graduate at a rate of 93.5%, proving the value of meaningful student engagement.

The district also reports an increase in four year graduation rates in students of underserved populations such as students with disabilities, migrant students, homeless students, and English learners. 

“Redmond School District is proud of the work our schools and team members are doing to serve our families,” shared Mike McIntosh, Redmond School District Superintendent. “In an ever changing world we’re taking steps to adapt to the needs of our community, our students and the future workforce.”

For questions or more information about Redmond School District’s graduation rate release, please contact Kelly Jenkins, communications coordinator, at 541-923-8233.


Crook County School District news release:

CCHS graduation rate climbs to 94.74%

The class of 2019 graduation rate is up 2% from the previous year

Oregon Department of Education reports the Crook County High School graduation rate for the class of 2019 at 94.74%.

“As long as I’ve been here, the graduation rate has never been as high as 94%,” said Crook County School District Curriculum and Special Programs Director Stacy Smith, noting that this is an increase from 92.44% for the CCHS class of 2018.

Of the 152 students in the CCHS class of 2019 cohort, 144 graduated.

Administrators believe relationships and a hard-working staff have contributed to the increased graduation rate that CCHS has achieved in recent years.

“We have good systems in place to make sure kids don’t fall through the cracks,” pointed out CCHS Assistant Principal Jake Huffman.

“The district has a champion for our students, graduation coach McKenzie Kudlac, who continues to work with individual students to help them reach their potential,” added CCHS Principal Michelle Jonas.

ODE also reported that CCHS students in the underserved races and ethnicities subgroup had a 96.15% graduation rate, which CCSD Director of School Improvement Joel Hoff said was very high.

CCHS students who participated in Career and Technical Education classes also graduated at a high 96% rate.

There are some areas, however, that administrators say need improvement.

ODE reported the district graduation rate for the class of 2019 at 72.85%, down from 78% for the class of 2018. The district rate includes students who graduated from CCHS, Pioneer Alternative High School, Rimrock Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and the online option FuelEd.

“We still have room to grow for those student populations, and our job isn’t done,” Smith said of the alternative education graduation rates. “We are working hard to improve the graduation rate of our community students from vulnerable student populations.”

Overall, administrators are pleased with the ODE graduation rate report.

“The five-year trajectory has been fantastic, and we’ll continue to make small refinements until all students graduate,” Hoff said.

Author Profile Photo

Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.

KTVZ news sources



    1. Actually, Between 2010 and 2015 the rate went from 68.2 to 77.5 with a difference of 9.3… Between 2016 and 2019 it went from 78.7 to 80.6 with a 1.9 difference… so thank who???

      1. “Record High” stock market- “Record High” graduation rates- All while President Trump is in office. His administration- his guidance- his future vision of real hope- change-prosperity.

        Maybe you should go back to your CNN world of make believe.

        1. Why do you trump supporters always forget those Trillion dollar deficits he is running to prop up this economy. When a Dem is in office that is all you want to talk about is the deficit, Trump though crickets weird.

          Maybe you should go back to your fox world of make believe.

          1. Trump’s trillion dollar deficits are yielding results- you see the markets lately ? The unemployment rates ? Wage increases ?

            None of that happened when Obama was in office. His doubling of the national debt- deficits- had no positive results. Instead- Obama bloated government that will take decades to whittle down… of course that is all hard to address with the Dems manufacturing one crisis after another- like those fake “invalid” FISA Warrants used to spy on the Trump campaign- Russian Collusion- and Impeachment.

            All made up make believe pushed into your household by the Democrat party- the media- and liberal whiny losers who are setting themselves up for four more years of one of America’s greatest Presidents ever DJ Trump.

    2. That is so hilarious! all the DOE hag Devos has done is take away form the public school system so there’s absolutely nothing here trump can lay claim to!

    1. My observation also. Where’s the subgroup of low income people of northerly European descent? They should also show gender. Then they might realize why we have a gangster in the White House exploiting and abusing poor white male followers. At least he’s too busy to swindle them with a Trump University diploma.

    2. You can follow the links for data on white people…Though it is a little weird that it was left out of the table in the article.

      There’s only one logical explanation: MASSIVE LEFT-WING PROGRESSIVE CONSPIRACY.

    3. That does seem to be what progressive aspire too. Their statements suggest they regard their ethnomasochism as something virtuous that they wish to inflict on the rest of us.

    1. Had to be her. She’s been catching great for being at the bottom of the barrel for 40 years. Gotta do something…oh I know!!! Fudge the numbers! Cook the books!!! We’ll get the news to help us out and 4 million people will eat it all up

  1. Great job, Kate. Well done to the Democratic majority in Oregon, also. Zero kudos to Trump, who has spurned the West coast states at every opportunity.

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