By Matt Miller
Thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week, some students who did not qualify for graduation in June may now be able to do so just one month later.
Newsom inked Assembly Bill 104, which relieves some students’ requirements, retention and grades because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The legislation was listed as urgent and immediately applies to all school districts, retroactive to the 2020-21 school year and applied to the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
“For many, distance learning has not been ideal across the state,” said Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Superintendent Kris Corey. “We don’t want to penalize and hurt students for things that may have been out of their control. This was not a normal situation. Students should not be punished for a pandemic.”
Source: New state bill helps students with grade relief during pandemic
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)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced California’s high school graduation rates today under a new methodology that was adopted in response to a federal audit.
As part of this new methodology, three significant changes were implemented for calculating 2017 high school graduation rates: (1) Students who receive an adult education high school diploma are no longer considered regular high school graduates, and (2) students who pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) are no longer considered regular high school graduates, and (3) students who transfer to adult education programs or a community college will remain in the denominator for the cohort calculation.
Using this new methodology, which reduces the number of students counted as graduates, 82.7 percent of California students who started high school as ninth graders in 2013–14 graduated on-time four years later in 2017. Under the old methodology, the statewide graduation rate was 83.8 percent in 2016.
Overall, the number of graduates increased from 2016 by over 900 for a total of 408,124 students. In addition, the number of students who dropped out in 2017 decreased by over 2,200 compared to last year.
Source: Torlakson Reports 2017 High School Grad Rates – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
Six months after Benicia Unified School District halted its proposed new high school graduation requirements, the discussion was reopened in a forum at Benicia High School on Tuesday night.
The school board held a study session in January to discuss proposed new graduation requirements and went into further detail at its regular March 16 meeting.The proposed requirements— which would have gone into effect starting with the class of 2022— aimed to increase college readiness for all students and were modeled after the UC system’s A-G requirements. These conditions included requiring an extra year of science, an extra year of math, two years of the same world language, one year of a visual or performing art and one year of a new ninth-grade course titled “Get Focused.” The requirements were unanimously approved as part of the consent calendar at the board’s April 6 meeting.
Source: BUSD reopens graduation requirement discussion at community forum
By Richard Bammer
Casting an eye on the state’s new school accountability system, Vacaville Unified’s chief academic officer said the district’s salient strength is its graduation rate, its greatest weaknesses English and math scores on standardized tests.
Mark Frazier made his remarks during Thursday’s governing board meeting, when he updated trustees about progress made on the district’s 2017-18 Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, the document that guides virtually all of a California school district’s spending, especially for programs that aid poor students, English language learners and foster youth.
Toward the end of his slide presentation, he referred to the fall 2017 California School Dashboard, a website released Thursday that offers information in numerous categories — besides test scores, career and college readiness, English learner progress suspension and absenteeism rates — about school and student performance.
Source: Graduation Rates – VUSD
By Niu Gao and Lunna Lopes
California’s high school graduation rate has increased steadily in recent years.
California’s high school graduation rate increased from 75% in 2009–10 to 83% in 2015–16. Much of this increase has come from rising graduation rates among students of color: rates for both Latino students and African American students have increased 12 percentage points (to 80% and 73%, respectively). Graduation rates for English Learners and economically disadvantaged students have risen 16 and 12 percentage points.
Source: California’s High School Graduation Requirements – Public Policy Institute of California
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported today that California’s graduation rate increased for the seventh year in a row and is now at a record high for the class of 2016, with the biggest increases during that period taking place among English learners and African American and Latino students.
Among the cohort of students who started high school in 2012–13, 83.2 percent graduated with their class in 2016, up 0.9 percent from the year before. (See Table 1.) This increase means that 4,917 more students received their high school diploma last year than the year before.
The state’s graduation rate has increased 8.5 percentage points since the class of 2010 posted a 74.7 percent rate.
The graduation rate of almost every student subgroup calculated by the California Department of Education (CDE) also rose in 2016. (See Table 2.) The rate of increase among English learners was 2.7 percentage points, African Americans went up 1.8 percentage points, and Latino students increased by 1.5 percentage points.
Source: Torlakson Announces Record High School Grad Rates – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
The newly released state public school and district accountability system, which uses multiple measures of school progress and performance, gets a mixed reaction from Vacaville Unified’s chief academic officer.
“Overall, I like the concept and the idea of looking at multiple sources of data; I think that’s really good,” Mark Frazier said of the California School Dashboard, launched last month by the state Department of Education.
“But one of the things that is disappointing is, that some of the data they’re using (suspension rate, English learner progress and graduation rate) is not as up-to-date as it could be,” he added. “That data is so old it’s hard to interpret.”
Source: Vacaville Unified official: New school accountability system gets mixed marks
By Richard Bammer
After some field testing, the state’s new school “report card” system, giving parents another way to evaluate their child’s learning environment, will finally debut Wednesday, state officials have announced.
The California School Dashboard, as it’s called, will go live to the general public at www.cde.ca.gov/dashboard.
The public rollout will come nearly nine weeks after the State Board of Education formally approved it, with several changes to be made to strengthen and improve it for the 2017-18 academic year, when it will go into full effect.
Source: State’s new school “report card” system debuts Wednesday – The Reporter
By Louis Freedberg
California lags slightly behind the national average in high school graduation rates, but has increased more substantially over the last five years than the national average, according to figures for 50 states released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.
President Barack Obama touted improving graduation figures at a speech at a Washington D.C. high school Monday morning as part of an effort by his administration to showcase the progress officials say has occurred during Obama’s eight years in office.
The figures show that between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the average graduation rate nationwide, based on graduation rates reported by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, increased to 83.2 percent, compared to 82 percent in California.
Source: California high school graduation rates close in on national average | EdSource
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 John Glidden
Statewide graduation data released this week shows that the Vallejo school district saw a small increase in its graduation rate, while Benicia experienced a slight dip.
Vallejo City Unified School District’s graduation rate slightly rose to 73.8 percent during the 2014-15 school year, up from 72 percent recorded by the state in 2013-14.
According to the data released Tuesday by the California Department of Education, 700 Vallejo students, from a cohort of 948, graduated in the 2014-15 year.
Continuing the trend since 2009-10, the district’s dropout rate has also dropped in the latest school year to 18.5 percent from 21.3 percent in 2013-14.
Although the district’s graduation rates have constantly increased for the past five years since 2010-11 school year, the cohort numbers have also steadily decreased at the same time.
via: Vallejo’s grad rate goes up, while Benicia’s decreases
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today reported California’s cohort graduation rate climbed for the sixth year in a row in 2015 to a record high, with the biggest jump taking place among English Learners and migrant students.
Among students who started high school in 2011–12, 82.3 percent graduated with their class in 2015, up 1.3 percentage points from the year before. (See Table 1.) This increase means that 2,900 more students received their high school diploma last year than the year before. The state’s graduation rate has increased substantially since the class of 2010 posted a 74.7 percent rate.
The graduation rate of almost every student subgroup calculated by the California Department of Education (CDE) also rose in 2015. The rate of increase among English Learners was 4 percentage points—three times the statewide rate—while the rate of increase among African Americans was 2.6 percentage points—double the statewide rate.
Source: Graduation Rates – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)
By Joyce Tsai
The state on Tuesday released some good news for many students, parents and educators: The four-year graduate rate hit a record high of 82 percent last year.
That’s up 1.3 percent from the year before and represents the sixth consecutive year-to-year increase, according to statewide results. The graduation rate of almost every student subgroup rose, with the biggest gains among English language learners and migrant students, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement.
The four-year graduation rates for African-Americans also made gains, but while the achievement gap is narrowing between white and black students, it is still substantial, at more than 17 percent.
By Fermin Leal
California charter schools, including several that intentionally target those at risk of dropping out, account for a disproportionate share of students who fail to graduate high school, according to a report released this week.
“Building a Grad Nation,” which tracks graduation rates among public schools nationally, found that 24 percent of California students in all public schools who failed to graduate in 2014 attended charter schools, even though the state’s charter schools enrolled only 9 percent of all high school students that year.
The report has been produced annually since 2010 by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, as part of an effort to track states’ progress toward reaching a national graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020.
Source: Report: California’s charter schools lag behind traditional schools in graduating students | EdSource
By John Fensterwald
Members of the State Board of Education who favor replacing the three-digit Academic Performance Index with a “dashboard” of measurements highlighting school performance can count on the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown.
The K-12 summary (pages 22-23) of Brown’s proposed 2016-17 state budget, released last week, stated, “The state system should include a concise set of performance measures, rather than a single index.” Brown said the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act creates the opportunity to design a “more accurate picture of school performance and progress” than in the past.
But whether the state should or even can switch, under the new federal law, from a single index like the API to a more complex school improvement system will be a potentially contentious issue this year. Both approaches to accountability, the dashboard with multiple measures – such as test scores, high school graduation rates and an indicator of student readiness for college and jobs – and a single index compiled from a mix of factors, have strong advocates.
via Brown says it’s time to abandon API to judge schools’ performance | EdSource.
By Anya Kamenetz
For the fourth straight year, the U.S. high school graduation rate has improved — reaching an all-time high of 82 percent in the 2013-2014 school year, the Department of Education announced Tuesday. Achievement gaps have narrowed, too, with graduation rates ranging from 89 percent for students classified as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 62.6 percent for English-language learners.
“It is encouraging to see our graduation rate on the rise and I applaud the hard work we know it takes to see this increase,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a statement.
The growth in graduation rates has been steady since states adopted a uniform way of tracking the rate five years ago. This good news comes at the same time that performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (often called the “Nations Report Card”), has dipped. Scores on the SAT are down too.
via U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits Record High : NPR Ed : NPR.
By Theresa Harrington
A U.S. Department of Education report shows that California’s high school graduation ranking dropped from 30th in 2012-13 to 33rd in 2013-14, even though its graduation rate increased slightly.
The preliminary data released Monday shows that states have continued to increase high school graduation rates and to narrow the graduation rate gap for low-income students, students of color and English learners. But Minnesota, Alabama and Delaware surpassed California in state rankings by making more significant gains.
California’s graduation rate rose from 80.4 percent in 2012-13 to 81 percent the following year. Black students graduated at a slightly lower rate in 2013-14, dropping from 68.1 percent to 68 percent. The graduation rate for Hispanic and Latino students, however, grew by 1.3 percentage points during that time, from 75.7 percent to 77 percent, while the rate for whites improved 0.3 percentage points, growing from 87.7 to 88 percent.
via California’s 2013-14 grad rate increased from year before | EdSource.
By Bea Karnes
The number of students graduating from the California State University schools is at an all time high according to a new report, CSU officials announced Monday.
Based on statistical data, the report found that the CSU system graduated 105,693 students during the last academic year. The number increased by two percent from the previous 2013 to 2014 academic year, in which 103,781 students graduated, CSU officials said.
That number rose by four percent from the 2012 to 2013 academic year, in which 101,209 students graduated, according to CSU officials.
via Number of California State University Graduates at All Time High | Dixon, CA Patch.
By Fermin Leal
Graduating more college-ready students ranks as one of most important education initiatives in California, leading Los Angeles Unified School District to implement a sweeping plan requiring all students to complete a college-prep curriculum before they earn a diploma.
In 2005 the nation’s second-largest district joined a growing number in the state that began aligning their graduation requirements with the A-G sequence, the minimum standards needed for admission into the University of California and California State University systems and other four-year colleges and universities.
But like many of the other districts, Los Angeles Unified struggled to implement the new requirement. Officials said they miscalculated the large number of students who would have trouble with the college-prep coursework. The loss in state funding caused by the recession hampered other districts’ efforts to add intervention programs, making them reluctant to punish students who could not meet the tougher targets.
via Raising graduation bar poses challenges for school districts | EdSource.