Benton County school districts generally outperformed districts with similar demographics on key performance measures such as graduation rates, rates of freshmen on track to graduate and rates of students going to college, according to district report cards released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education.
The data also included report cards for individual schools with similar data.
The reports compile a lot of data already available, but add the dimension of comparing schools and districts to schools and districts with similar demographics, such as the rate of students learning English, economically disadvantaged students and students who are part of an underserved racial or ethnic group.
The Philomath School District outperformed its peers on key measures across the board.
Like all of Benton County, the rate of students going onto higher education after graduating from Philomath was better than comparable districts. The 72 percent of Philomath graduates who went to college after the 2015-16 school year was better than the 54 percent in its comparison districts.
Philomath’s rate of freshmen on track to graduate in 2016-17 was about 94 percent, while in its peer districts, the rate was about 84 percent.
Elsewhere around the county, the area in which the Corvallis district held the biggest edge over similar districts was in the rate of students going to college after completing high school. After the 2015-16 school year, more than 75 percent of Corvallis graduates started at a community college or four-year college within 16 months of graduating. The number in similar districts was just under 60 percent of graduates.
The district also had a high rate of freshmen on track to graduate. Over 91 percent were rated on track in the 2016-17 school year, while in similar districts the rate was 86 percent. Freshmen are considered on-track if they earn at least 25 percent of the credits necessary for a diploma.
Crescent Valley High School’s rate of 87 percent of students on track for graduation trailed the 92 percent average at its comparison schools.
Monroe’s rate of 52 percent of graduates enrolling in college after 2015-16 was lower than the state average of 57 percent, but it was ahead of its comparison districts, where less than 50 percent of students enrolled in college. The 88 percent of Monroe freshmen on track to graduate in 2016-17 was also better than the rate of 82 percent in its comparison districts.
Alsea School District’s graduation rate of 50 percent in 2015-16 was 22 points lower than its comparison districts. However, its 73 percent five-year completion rate in the same time frame was about a percent better than its peers. Alsea’s rate of 90 percent of its freshmen being on track to graduate in 2016-17 was better than the 87 percent in its comparison districts.