The California Department of Education (CDE) today released high school graduation data that showed rates remained largely steady overall in 2019–20—and some of the state’s highest-need students saw increases—during a school year in which the majority of California’s schools abruptly shifted to distance learning midway through their spring semesters due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“The COVID-19 crisis upended the senior years of hundreds of thousands of high school students throughout California, and I am proud of the resilience of these young adults and of the educators who went above and beyond to help keep them on track to graduate,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
Among all students statewide who started high school in 2016, 84.3 percent graduated with their peers, compared to the 84.5 percent from the year before. Rates for many student groups remained level year-to-year, though some experienced decreases (Asian, Filipino, White) while others, including some of the state’s highest-need students, saw increases (American Indian or Alaska Native, English Learners, Foster Youth, Students with Disabilities). (See Table 1).
Source: 2019-20 High School Graduation and Dropout Rates – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Morrison
Schools have been accused of pushing out students with low levels of achievement, in a practice where the students become the victims of a high-stakes testing regime.
School inspectors have identified 19,000 students who left their publicly-funded school shortly before crucial public examinations.
And while around half of those moved to another state-funded school, around half did not, and simply vanished from school registers.
Some may have moved into fee-paying schools, but with no information on their destination, the likelihood is that many will have effectively left education altogether.
Source: Departing Students Are Victims Of High-Stakes Testing
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville Unified School District leaders Thursday noted an increase in high school gradation rates and a decrease in dropout rates in 2014-15.
“We are moving in the right direction,” and Vacaville educators are “diligently” pursuing students at risk of dropping out, accounting for the good-news changes, a smiling Mark Frazier, the district’s chief academic officer, said in his remarks to the governing board in the Educational Services Center.
His report, delivered early in the meeting, came as State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson earlier in the week reported California’s cohort graduation rate climbed for the sixth year in a row in 2015, a record high, with the biggest jump taking place among English language learners and migrant students.
Source: Vacaville Unified leaders hail higher grad rates, decreased dropout rates
By Lanz Christian Bañes
The Solano County grand jury again singled out two Vallejo high schools as needing improvement in a report released Thursday, more than a year after another report highly criticized safety issues at Vallejo High School.
“The number of offenses reported regarding disruption and defiance at (Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high schools) is alarming and must be addressed!” stated the grand jury in a report titled, “Security Impact on Gradation Rates in Solano County High Schools.”
The report reviewed all 10 comprehensive high schools in Solano County. However, the report reserved much of its criticism for the two Vallejo sites, pointing out that they have higher dropout, truancy and suspension rates than the other eight.
via Report: Vallejo’s high schools have high dropout, discipline rates – The Reporter.
By Sarah Rohrs
The good news is that California’s graduation rate is climbing steadily. The bad news is that there’s still a lot of work to do to ensure all youth get a high school diploma, state officials said Monday.
In releasing the latest graduation data, the state Department of Education announced that 80.2 percent who started high school in 2009 graduated with their class four years later — an increase of 1.3 percent over the previous year.
The Vallejo City Unified School District is also seeing a similar trend of improved graduation rates, local officials announced.
via School dropout rate declines, graduation rate grows in Vallejo, statewide – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Melissa Murphy
High school dropout rates continued to decline in Solano County last year, as more students walk the stage and graduate.
Statewide, school district saw gains in their graduation rates as well, according to figures released Monday by the California Department of Education.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that for the fourth year in a row, California’s graduation rate climbed as the dropout rate fell, particularly for students of color.
via Drop out rates decline in Solano County – The Reporter.
By Thomas Elias
As California teachers and students open the new school year, they’re feeling proud of a recent trend toward decreased dropouts and increased graduation rates.
But several of the state’s largest urban districts are about to embark on new course requirements that risk major reductions in those rates.
via Risks apparent with new school requirements Daily Republic.
By Annie Murphy Paul @anniemurphypaul
An article in Education Week sparked a controversy recently when Thomas C. West, an evaluation specialist at Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, announced that he had devised a tracking formula that can predict, with startling accuracy, which students will drop out of high school—as early as their second semester of first grade.
via Your First-Grader is Going to Be A High School Drop Out | TIME.com.
By Ross Brenneman
It’s not precognition, but it’s still prescient: A new dropout-warning system being built in Montgomery County, Md., can flag 75 percent of future dropouts as early as the second semester of 1st grade. My colleague Sarah D. Sparks has a big story about the tracking system, which you should read.
Some things are hard to foretell: the lottery, the NFL playoffs, love. But there is so much data and research about what increases the odds of a student doing poorly that this system seems inevitable for many more districts. It’s not perfect—it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future—but it seems workable. This is the future of big data in education: more and better comprehensive modeling systems.
via News From the Future: You’re Going to Drop Out – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
By Ross Brenneman
A new study adds further clout to the idea that dropouts are a national problem, not a personal one—because they cost the medical system money.
Wealthy people are healthy people, more or less. They have the money to pay for health insurance, and get better medicine, and more frequent treatment.
High school dropouts rarely achieve the kind of success that makes them wealthy. They earn less over the course of a lifetime than high school graduates (annually, about a $10,000 difference), and fare even worse against college graduates.
via Dropouts Are Driving Up Medicaid Costs, Says New Report – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
High school seniors throughout the greater Fairfield-Suisun City-Vacaville area will take that big step into their futures as a string of commencement ceremonies get going.
We saw a taste of what’s to come Thursday with commencement at Solano Community College. We gave the day a special touch by covering a kindergarten graduation ceremony at Vacaville Christian Schools. The pair of ceremonies served as bookends in terms of the age spectrum, a point-counterpoint, if you will.
via Graduation season upon us.
The Vallejo City Unified School District’s graduation rate for the 2011-2012 school year has significantly increased over past performance. On Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 the California Department of Education released information about the graduation and dropout rates for all California schools. In 2011-2012 the graduation rate for VCUSD high schools jumped to 59% for a 5 percentage point gain. This is in contrast to the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years where the graduation rate remained stalled at 54%.
Graduation Rate 2011-2012
FAIRFIELD — Dropout rates dropped over a three-year period throughout Solano County as districts worked to identify at-risk students earlier in their school careers.
News of the improvement – between 2009-10 and 2011-12 – came in the California Department of Education’s Graduate and Dropout Rates report, released last week.
The report indicates that Solano County’s dropout rates declined by 5.5 percent. Information in the report shows that school districts within the county logged substantial gains in curtailing the number of children who drop out of school.
via Fairfield, Vacaville schools see dropout rates fall.
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that 11 programs have been designated as models of attendance improvement and dropout prevention by the State School Attendance Review Board (State SARB).
Torlakson congratulated the 2012-13 Model SARBs for their work in reducing the number of students who are chronically absent, which results in costing school districts millions of dollars each year in lost income and greatly increases the likelihood a student will drop out of school. Reducing absenteeism is a major focus for Torlakson as new research points to chronic absence as a key indicator of a student’s academic future.
via Model SARBs Selected.
Educators and policymakers can learn more about school climate research, measuring school climate, the relationship between school climate and bullying, and climate and dropout prevention through a set of 11 new briefs published by the National School Climate Center.
via New Briefs Connect School Climate to Bullying, Dropouts, More.
We know that about 7,000 high school students drop out every school day and that, for many, this process starts with chronic absenteeism. So it makes perfect sense that BoostUp, a dropout prevention campaign created by the U.S. Army and the Ad Council, is adopting attendance as a key component of its efforts.
Tomorrow (2/25) at noon, BoostUp is hosting a Twitter Q&A from noon to 1 with Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang and Johns Hopkins University researcher Bob Balfanz (follow us at hashtag #AttendanceCounts). BoostUp is also releasing an Attendance Spark, a video widget that you can post on Facebook or embed on your website. The spark includes a recent PSA on attendance, along with links to other resources.
via BoostUp’s “Day of Action” Links Attendance to Dropout Prevention.
FAIRFIELD — The Literacy in Education Access Resource Network recently received grants of $3,000 each from Comcast and Kaiser Permanente.
Combined with a $2,500 sponsorship from Sutter Health’s Sacramento Sierra Region, the program is enhancing its efforts to stem the dropout rate in local schools.
via Program gets donations to further efforts to curb dropout rate.
Growing up in Tennessee, it’s interesting to note that in my immediate family of five siblings, including me, I was the only one that didn’t drop out of high school. I’ve thought about this many times over the years. Since I’m the oldest, many ask why my siblings didn’t follow in my footsteps.
Maybe riding on the back of the bus with shirt factory workers (round trip) 32 miles a day to the county seat was too much. We caught the bus at 6 a.m. and didn’t arrive back home until around 5 p.m.
Though there were so many things missing at our high school like a library, science lab, typing, higher level math, music, art, physical education, vocational education and textbooks handed down from the white high school, the thought of dropping out of school never entered my mind.
via Student dropout has long history.
By Louis Freedberg
New research dramatically shows the value of an education: The more you have, the longer you are likely to live.
Research has shown that people without a high school diploma have higher mortality rates than those who graduate from high school. That was particularly the case for African Americans, whose life expectancy has lagged far behind both whites and Hispanics.
But a compelling new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, reported in the New York Times, shows that the life expectancy of whites without a high school diploma has plummeted by four years between 1990 and 2008. The decrease in life expectancy was greatest among women: an extraordinary five years.
via Life expectancy plummets for whites without a high school diploma – by Louis Freedberg.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Switching gears now, it’s Hispanic Heritage Month. That’s the time of year when we talk about the contributions and, sometimes, challenges facing people of Latino heritage in this country.
And, today, we want to point out a story that has both in the area of education. A new report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education says that only 58 percent of Latino male ninth graders graduate high school in four years. Only 52 percent of black males graduate in that length of time and that’s compared to 78 percent of white non-Latino ninth graders.
So that’s the challenge. The opportunity is that a number of organizations and individuals are trying to turn that situation around. I’m joined now by John H. Jackson. He is the president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Also with us is Pilar Montoya. She is the CEO of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, which is also called SHPE, and she’s looking at ways to get Latino students more involved in the so-called stem fields, which is science, technology, engineering and math.
via What’s Driving Dropout Rate For Black, Latino Men?.