Graduation Rates Inch Up Across State, San Diego County
California's class of 2012 graduated at a rate of 78.5 percent, up from a rate of 77.1 percent for the class of 2011. This is the third year the state has tracked graduation rates based on students who enter high school together as freshmen.
In San Diego County, 78.4 percent of students who were part of the 2012 cohort graduated on time. This is an increase from 77.5 percent in 2011. Coronado Unified had the highest graduation rate for the class of 2012 at 97 percent.
San Diego Unified high schoolers also outperformed state and county averages with an 86.9 percent on-time graduation rate. San Diego city schools have had the second-highest graduation rate among the state’s 10 largest school districts and the lowest dropout rate since 2010. Last year, the district's drop out rate fell to 6.2 percent. San Francisco Unified schools have the next-lowest dropout rate among the state's 10 largest urban districts at 10 percent.
Tom Torlakson, the state's schools superintendent said districts need to improve student attendance in early grades to prepare them for high school success. A focus on attendance at every grade level is part of why San Diego graduation rates have increased for all students, said San DIego Unified Superintendent Bill Kowba.
“Attendance figures build on each other. If the kids are coming to school day in and day out at every grade level and keep moving up the ladder and don’t let up on that emphasis, I think we’re in a great place,” he said
The district’s Latino students had a graduation rate of 80.2 percent last year. 83.9 percent of African-American students graduated on time. The rates for these groups of students have climbed faster than the district’s graduation rate overall. Kowba pointed to targeted mentoring programs as one reason for the gains.
Statewide Latino students had a 73.2 percent graduation rate last year, while only 65.7 percent of African-American students graduated on time.