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State Says High School Dropout Rates Down

Aired 6/27/12 on KPBS News.

Numbers released today show high school dropout rates are down in California. But state education officials say – they’re not down far enough.

The new data show about one-out-of-seven students left school and did not get a diploma with the rest of their class in 2011.

That puts the state's dropout rate at fourteen-point-five percent - down more than two percent from the previous year.

Keric Ashley is with the state Department of Education, which released the data. He said the biggest decrease was seen in English learners - four percent fewer dropped out, while two percent and three percent fewer Hispanic and black students left school, respectively.

"It's great to see that they've made gains," said Ashley, "but we need to keep the pressure up and we need to keep those kids in school because they are not yet graduating or staying in school as well as their peers."

Dropout rates do not take into account students who drop out before ninth grade.

The graduation rate in 2011 was seventy-six percent - a one-point-five percent uptick from the graduation rate in 2010.

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