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San Diego Unified’s High School Dropout Rate Falls

Officials credit accurate reporting, reforms

The high school dropout problem in the San Diego Unified School District is not as bad as previously reported.

District officials say the four year dropout rate last year was nearly cut in half compared to the year before -- going from roughly 18 percent to about nine percent.

School district officials say the decrease is linked to a more accurate reporting of where students go once they leave a San Diego school.

The district's Karen Bachofer says students are now assigned a California state I.D. number so they can be better tracked as they move through the school system. She says those I.D. numbers -- in addition to the district's own analysis -- gave them a better picture.

"By concentrating in making sure that our data are accurate, we found a lot of students who might have been counted as dropouts, who weren't," Bachofer said. "So by using the new statewide system, and the student I.D. identifiers, we were able to look across the California districts to find students who have enrolled in another district after leaving San Diego."

District officials also credit new programs aimed at finding high school dropouts in San Diego and bringing them back to school.

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