One In Five Students Drop Out In California
August 12, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
SACRAMENTO, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Nearly 94,000 students in California’s class of 2010 dropped out of high school and 17,000 eighth-grade students quit without attending one day, data indicated.
The state’s Department of Education said the numbers may be California’s first accurate assessment of dropout and graduation rates using a system that tracks individual students during their four-year high school career, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.
The data indicated 74 percent of high school students graduated on time and 7 percent who didn’t graduate or drop out were still enrolled or earned a general equivalency diploma.
In previous years, California officials relied on schools to manually track students and report dropout rates and the data was considered imprecise.
In past years, the state used an unreliable system that relied on schools to track students manually and report dropout rates. The data were sketchy at best, with rates fluctuating year to year and among districts with similar demographics, between 11 percent and 22 percent.
“For far too long, the discussion about graduation and dropout rates has revolved around how the results were obtained,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement. “Now, we can focus on the much more important issue of how to raise the number of graduates and lower the number of dropouts.”