SD Has Fewest Dropouts in State: Report

Minority student retention rate growing

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    San Diego high school students are graduating at higher rates than any other urban school district in the state, a report released Wednesday said.

    The dropout rate in San Diego Unified School District was just under 6 percent, the report from the state Department of Education reported.

    "For parents, this means that they can be confident that their child is receiving, in our district, as good an education as they can get anywhere in California," said Dr. John Lee Evans, Board of Education Principal.

    School districts across the state have increasingly focused on retaining minority students. Graduation rates increased from the class of 2010 to the class of 2011 for Hispanic and African-American Students.

    The graduation rate among Hispanic students in SDUSD was more than 75 percent and 80.3 percent for African-American students for the class of 2011, the report stated.

    Click here to see district-specific results of graduation and dropout rates.

    Overall in California the dropout rate among all students -- and minority students especially -- were lower last year. About 1.5 percent more students graduated in 2011, compared to the year prior.

    The rate was even higher overall among minority students, with a 2.2 percent gain in Hispanic graduates and a 2.3 percent gain among African-American students.

    State leaders say the improved figures aren't a sign that their work is done. However they do reflect efforts to retain students from when they enter the school system to when they are eligible to graduate.

    "Our research shows that chronic absence from school, even as early as kindergarten, is a strong indicator of whether a child will drop out of school later," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "The dropout rate shows there's still much work to be done, particularly to address the needs of disadvantaged and minority students.

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