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High School Graduation Hits New High As Minority Groups Show Improvement

The rate for English learners was largely unchanged at 92.5 percent.

In 2012-13, Hart district students posted a graduation rate of about 93 percent, which has risen to stay above 95 percent each year since.

Statewide, just over 83 percent of the students finished in four years, up about 1 percentage point from the prior year to reach a new high, Torlakson told a packed Woodland High library. The rate for white students increased by 16 percent to 96.2 percent. Filipino students had the highest percentage of students who graduated with 90.2 percent.

County highlights include a number of larger districts that topped a 90 percent graduation rate.

Trustee Mary Lane said she did some research on the importance of graduating high school. Grossmont Union High's 82.3 percent graduation rate was down 0.9 percentage points, and Sweeter Union High's 82.7 percent graduation rate was a drop of 1.9 percentage points.

Three of the four counties in the region saw the number of graduates grow by at least 1.8 percentage points, but Orange was the only large county to graduate at least 90 percent of its class. Through this program, the state provides increased funding tied to greater accountability for the 30 lowest performing school districts. Mt. Diablo High School's graduation rate dipped slightly, down 1.3 percentage points to 85.3 percent.

The federal Education Department is auditing the accuracy of the California Department of Education graduation rates.

California is among two states the U.S. Office of Inspector General began auditing a year ago for its graduation rates.

"Continuing to focus on the annual graduation rate as the ultimate indicator for student success shortchanges the potential for our students, perpetuates the cycle of poverty, and undermines the needs of our economy", Nadia Diaz Funn, executive director of Alliance for a Better Community and leadership core member of Communities for Los Angeles Student Success Coalition, said in a statement. "There's some incremental closures here and there, and some districts had a significant bump upward and a few districts that went down a percent or two". Among English learners, almost 57 percent graduated in 2016, up from 50 percent the year before, according to the state figures. Its small alternative education school, Granada High, got every one of its 15 students past the bar, a 100 percent success rate. The dropout rate was 14.2 percent, a 0.8 percentage point drop. The state average for the 2015-16 school year was 2.81 percent. Both have had steady increases since 2009-10, when the county's graduation level was 74.9 percent and the state's was 74.7 percent.

As we reported in a story last week, the section of ESSA that deals with identifying and supporting low-grad-rate schools was a bit unclear.

Although San Bernardino County is slightly below the state average at 82.6 percent, it's a significant improvement over last year's 80.7 percent.

She noted that the county's rate was the second highest of any California county with 10,000 or more high school graduates, behind Orange County.

"The students, parents and teachers of San Diego Unified should be immensely proud of this achievement", said Superintendent Cindy Marten. "State graduation and advancement standards are so loose that in struggling cities the neediest are leaving schools with diplomas but without the education we promise them".

In 2016, 80 percent of Hispanic or Latino students and less than 73 percent of African-American students graduated on time, compared to 93 percent of Asian students and 88 percent of white students. The District's 9-12 dropout rate is 3.09 percent.

According to the program website, the Promise "creates a culture of college expectation, increases college readiness, and improves graduation rates" among Long Beach students.

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