Thursday, August 11, 2011

NEWS RELEASE -- Dropout Rate Reduced at San Diego Unified

NEWS RELEASE from the San Diego Unified School District, August 11, 2011

New Method Gives SD Unified Second Lowest Among State¹s Largest Districts

SAN DIEGO -- Only one large school district across California -- San
Francisco -- has a lower dropout rate than San Diego Unified, according to
figures released today by the California Department of Education.

According to the figures, 12.8 percent of San Diego Unified students left
high school without a diploma in the 2009-10 school year, under the new
reporting system adopted by the state this year. The graduation rate of
students who entered ninth grade in San Diego Unified that year was
74.9 percent.

"Ensuring that students graduate is one of the key focuses of our
district," said Dr. Nellie Meyer, Deputy Superintendent for Academics.
"While we are encouraged by these statistics, it reminds us we must
redouble our effort to ensure that all our students graduate."

For four years, reducing the dropout rate has been one of the district's
top priorities. The effort has focused not just on high school seniors,
but as early as sixth grade, where studies show that students who miss
more than 10 days of school have a higher dropout rate. Behavior in middle
and high school students, as well as their academic performance, are also
monitored, with some struggling teens repeating grades or placed in
special programs.

"Even in these tough budget times, we have to remember that it is a
tragedy to lose even one student," said Meyer. "These aren't just numbers,
they're our future citizens."

Meyer also noted this is a problem throughout California, particularly
with certain ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, with 11.1 percent rate in
San Diego Unified, and African American, with 8.6 percent of students
failing to receive a district diploma.
Statewide, San Diego Unified's dropout rate placed second-lowest among the
largest districts at 12.8 percent, behind only San Francisco's 10.7
percent. Other large districts include: Los Angeles, 26.1 percent; Long
Beach, 14.1; and Sacramento, 24.1. San Diego Unified's "cohort rate" --
students in ninth grade who graduated -- was fourth with 74.9 percent,
behind: San Francisco, 82.3; Garden Grove, 81.9; and Long Beach, 78.8.
Other districts with lower results include: Los Angeles, 64.2; Sacramento,
65.3; and Oakland, 54.3.

For more information on San Diego Unified's Dropout Prevention programs,
go to
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