These numbers are due in large part to the
region’s strong educational opportunities at
every level, from early childhood and K- 12
options to the numerous high-quality post-secondary institutions that call Oregon and
Southwest Washington home.
QUALITY K- 12
In 2016, the graduation rate for Portland
Public Schools (PPS) was 75 percent—
not bad for an urban school district. The
city’s lone public school system has also
made some significant gains in several key
areas over the past several years, including
improvements in third grade reading, an
increase in the number of freshman students
on track to graduate and a reduction of
discipline issues within school settings.
The school district is also well regarded for
its focus on science, technology, engineering
and math (known as STEM) education,
taking part in the Portland Metro STEM
Partnership that counts Intel, Portland
State University, Portland General Electric, Boeing, J.P. Morgan Chase and U.S.
Bank (among others) as members. Through
this partnership, students in PPS and other
regional school districts are able to gain
valuable scientific literacy and technical
knowledge to attain greater levels of college
and career readiness.
PPS is by far the largest school district in
Oregon, serving approximately 49,000
students as of fall 2016. That number is
projected to grow to more than 53,000 by
the 2028-2029 school year. The tri-county
greater Portland area is also home to 24
additional public school districts.
Along with the public school system, there
are roughly 120 private schools in the city
alone, and an estimated 14 percent of
school-aged children who attend them. One
of the most highly acclaimed is the Oregon
Episcopal School in southwest Portland,
Education is a big deal in the Portland area, and as a result the
region boasts a highly educated workforce. According to recent
U.S. Census data, about 45. 5 percent of Portland residents over
the age of 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree, outpacing the
national average of 32. 5 percent, while more than 91. 3 percent
of residents are high school graduates.