San Diego Unified School District once again has the lowest dropout rate and second highest graduation rate in 2014 among the state's largest districts according to statistics recently released by the California Department of Education. The district-wide dropout and graduation rates surpassed both the statewide and countywide percentages.
San Diego Unified also remains the district with the second-highest graduation rate among large urban school districts in California. Among the district’s 7,096 students in the 2014 cohort—students who started high school together in 2010—89.6 percent of the seniors graduated. That is an increase of 1.7 points from 2013. Only Garden Grove Unified School District had a higher rate, narrowly edging out San Diego Unified with 89.7 percent of its 3,644 student cohort graduating. Sacramento, with 85.1 percent of its 2,802-student cohort was third. The statewide 2014 graduation rate was 80.8 percent and countywide was 79.6 percent.
“As part of our Vision 2020 to create quality schools in every neighborhood, we made a promise and commitment to the community to advance and accelerate student achievement, to improve graduation rates and to decrease the dropout rate. To once again be at the top among the state’s largest school districts in these important areas is an incredible validation of the hard work and commitment of our teachers, staff, families and students to ensure all students will graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary for academic and career success," said Superintendent Cindy Marten. "The data show that our high expectations for all students are being met and that we are on the right course to make even greater progress across all student groups.”
Graduation rates between ethnic groups continued to narrow, although there was still a gap. The increases in the 2014 graduation rates for African American and Hispanic students groups, compared to 2013, were 3.8 and 3.4 points respectively. These increases in graduation rates doubled the district overall rate increase of 1.7 points from 2013 to 2014.
Although graduation rates for English Learners, students with disabilities, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students are much lower than the district-wide rate, the one-year increase in graduation rates for English learners was 5.5 points., students with disabilities was 6.8 points, and socially disadvantaged was 2.5 points.
Since 2010 when the first cohort dropout rates were released, the rate for African American students has dropped by 57 percent, the rate for Hispanic students has dropped by 42 percent, and the rate for English Learners has dropped by 37 percent.
"To see our graduation rates continue to rise at the same time we are raising academic standards is a testament to the hard work of our students and our staff, and, as a Board, we could not be more proud," said Board of Education President Marne Foster. "We will continue to focus on providing a world-class education and ensure equity, access and success for all students.”
Marten and Foster cited programs and interventions that have been successful in making sure students stay in school and graduate: the Check and Connect program, graduation coaches at all high schools, expanded summer school, San Diego Community College District partnership, online learning interventions, Linked Learning Initiative, and the College Career and Technical Education pathways program.
For specific school results, go to the California Department of Education website, www.cde.ca.gov.