Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dropout Rate Reduced at San Diego Unified

 California Urban District Dropout Rates
District Rate
San Francisco   10.7
San Diego Unified12.8
 Long Beach14.1
 Garden Grove 14.4
 Fresno 20.1
 Los Angeles 26.1
 San Bernardino33.7
Only one large school district across California -- San Francisco -- has a lower dropout rate than San Diego Unified, according to figures released today by the California Department of Education.

According to the figures, 12.8 percent of San Diego Unified students left high school without a diploma in the 2009-10 school year, under the new reporting system adopted by the state this year. The graduation rate of students in that class was 74.9 percent.

"Ensuring that students graduate is one of the key focuses of our district," said Dr. Nellie Meyer, Deputy Superintendent for Academics. "While we are encouraged by these statistics, it reminds us we must redouble our effort to ensure that all our students graduate."

For four years, reducing the dropout rate has been one of the district's top priorities. The effort has focused not just on high school seniors, but as early as sixth grade, where studies show that students who miss more than 10 days of school have a higher dropout rate. Behavior in middle and high school students, as well as their academic performance, are also monitored, with some struggling teens repeating grades or placed in special programs.

"Even in these tough budget times, we have to remember that it is a tragedy to lose even one student," said Dr. Meyer. "These aren't just numbers, they're our future citizens."
Meyer also noted this is a problem throughout California, particularly with certain ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, with 11.1 percent rate in San Diego Unified, and African American, with 8.6 percent of students failing to receive a district diploma.

Statewide, San Diego Unified's dropout rate placed second-lowest among the largest districts at 12.8 percent, behind only San Francisco's 10.7 percent. Other large districts include: Los Angeles, 26.1 percent; Long Beach, 14.1; and Sacramento, 24.1. San Diego Unified's "cohort rate" -- students in ninth grade who graduated -- was fourth with 74.9 percent, behind: San Francisco, 82.3; Garden Grove, 81.9; and Long Beach, 78.8. Other districts with lower results include: Los Angeles, 64.2; Sacramento, 65.3; and Oakland, 54.3.