SAN DIEGO–San Diego Unified again has the lowest dropout rate among the state’s largest districts, while the overall graduation rate has risen more than five percentage points in four years according to statistics released today by the California Department of Education.
For the Class of 2013, the dropout rate continued its decline, to 5.2 percent in 2013 from 6.2 percent in 2012, for the lowest rate among large California districts. Other rates ranged from second-place Sacramento with 5.9 percent, to Oakland, with 21.6 percent.
San Diego Unified is still the district with the second-highest graduation rate among large, urban school districts in California with 87.8 percent of seniors graduating among the 7,282 students in 2013 cohort – students who began together in ninth grade. Only Garden Grove Unified School District had a higher rate, with 89 percent of its 3,879-student cohort graduating. Sacramento, with 85.4 percent of its 2,826-student cohort was third. Other districts’ rates ranged from Oakland’s 62.7 to Long Beach’s 80.6.
“I want to salute our hard-working students for realizing that staying in school is one of the most important decisions that they can make,” said Board of Education President Kevin Beiser. “Creating an environment where our students are challenged and can thrive is one of our goals in Vision 2020.”
Graduation rates between ethnic groups continued to tighten, although there is still a gap. For example, in 2010, the Hispanic graduation rate was 73.8 percent, compared with the White rate, which was 92.7, a difference of 16.6 points. In 2013, the difference had narrowed to 12.5 points. For the Class of 2013, the graduation rate among African Americans was 82.8; Filipino, 96.8; and Asian, 92.9. District wide, it was 87.8. The dropout rate for the largest ethnic groups: Filipino, 1.0; White, 2.4 percent; Asian, 3.3; African American, 6.7; Hispanic, 8.2.
San Diego Unified has made reducing the dropout rate a top priority since 2007.
“This is a tremendous success and a great celebration for San Diego Unified. I am especially proud of our students,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “We are well on our way to our Vision 2020 goal of having a quality school in every neighborhood.”
The superintendent made special mention of four programs that have been successful and she hopes to expand in future years: the Check and Connect pilot program, graduation coaches at many high schools, the Linked Learning Initiative schools, and the district-wide College Career and Technical Education program.
The results have meant more high school graduates from San Diego Unified’s campuses.