Benson Polytechnic headlines most-improved Portland public high schools

How strong are the public high schools in Portland?

With a fresh school year kicking off, we analyzed newly released data from, which incorporates comprehensive report cards, rankings and reviews to help you choose the right school, to identify those schools that made the biggest strides last year, as well as those that top the city's best public high school rankings.

Benson Polytechnic High School's overall rating improved the most among its peers in Portland, rising from a B to a B+, according to data from Niche.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the school, located at 546 N.E. 12th Ave., enrolls 992 students. Benson Polytechnic High School serves a diverse population: 36% of students identify as white, 25% identify as Hispanic and 17% identify as black. Niche gave the school mixed grades: B- on an A-D scale for academics, B for administration and C+ for clubs and activities.

The overall ranking comes from Niche's proprietary algorithms. A school's ranking might change due to many factors, including the relative rankings of similar schools and whether a school gained or lost peers due to openings or closings. Other numbers come from current public data from the U.S. government.

Academically, 27% of Benson Polytechnic High School's students scored as proficient or above in math, and 77% did so in reading. That's compared to city averages of 33% in math and 65% in reading. The school's improved rating is notable since it serves a less affluent population, with 71% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, 24% more than the city average.

It's not the only school that's climbed Niche's rankings this year. Parkrose High School saw its overall rating increase from a B- to a B. The school is located at 12003 N.E. Shaver St. and currently serves 970 students, of whom 30% identify as white, 25% identify as Hispanic and 18% identify as Asian.

Niche gave Parkrose High School mixed grades: B- on an A-D scale for academics, C for administration and C- for clubs and activities. Parkrose High School's latest math proficiency was at 28%, and reading proficiency was 71%. Parkrose High School also serves a less affluent population, with 70% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

While some public high schools are moving up the ranks, others are consistently top-rated overall, including:

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