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San Diego Unified Boasts Second-Highest Graduation Rate In California

The San Diego Unified School District had the lowest dropout rate and the second-highest graduation rate among similarly sized urban districts in the last academic year, according to district officials and a report released Monday.

The state Department of Education's annual report on graduation and dropout rates showed that San Diego Unified's dropout rate was 5.2 percent last year, down from 6.1 in 2012, among students who began ninth grade together in 2009.

District officials said last year's figure compared with the statewide range from second-place Sacramento City Unified School District had the state's second-lowest dropout rate, at 5.9 percent, while Oakland Unified had the worst at 21.6 percent, according to district officials.

San Diego schools came in second in graduation rates among the state's large urban districts, according to the report. District officials said 87.8 of the 7,282 students who began high school together graduated in 2013.

Only the Garden Grove Unified School District had a better rate, graduating 89 percent.

Statewide, the graduation rate climbed for the fourth year in a row, according to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

A total of 80.2 percent of the state's students who started high school in 2009-10 graduated with their class in 2013, a 1.3 percent increase than the previous year's class.

"For the first time in our state's history, more than 80 percent of our students are graduating -- a clear sign of their hard work and the support they receive from their teachers, families and communities," Torlakson said.

"We are continuing toward our goal of graduating 100 percent of our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed."

The report also showed a statewide decrease in the dropout rate. Of the students who started high school in 2009-10, 11.6 percent dropped out, a 1.5 percent dip from the previous year.

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