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Education Officials Pinpoint High School Dropout Rates

The high school dropout problem in the San Diego Unified School District is not as bad as previously reported. New data shows the county's rate also improved slightly.

California's Department of Education says San Diego Unified's four year dropout rate last year was cut in half compared to the year before. It went from roughly 18 percent to about nine percent. Countywide, the dropout rate also dipped by three percent.

State Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell says the decreases are linked to a new, more accurate system of tracking students. He says before students were mistakenly counted as dropouts because they transferred to another school, moved to another state or received an alternative degree somewhere else.

"The student level data that we can now collect, and the information that we now collect about why students leave a school, gives us some important insight and also puts much more accountability on our schools," O'Connell said.

O'Connell says the state's overall dropout rate is still at an alarming level -- 20 percent.

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