Published : Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 1:51 PM PDT
Text story by City News Service from myFOXla.com
Los Angeles - The estimated four-year dropout rate for Los Angeles Unified School District high school students rose by more than 3 percent for the 2007-08 academic year, according to figures released today by the California Department of Education.
According to the CDE, the estimated rate of ninth- through 12th-grade LAUSD students dropping out over a four-year period was 34.9 percent for the 2007-08 school year, compared to 31.7 percent the previous year.
Among black students, the estimated four-year dropout rate rose from 37.4 percent in 2006-07 to 43.5 percent the following year. The percentage for Hispanic/Latino students rose from 33.4 percent to 36.1 percent over the same period.
The four-year dropout rate statewide was 20.1 percent during the 2007-08 academic year, down from 21.1 percent the previous year.
"I am heartened that the graduation rate is up slightly, but California's dropout rate is still unacceptably high," said California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.
"If we look deeper into the data, we see alarmingly high dropout rates among African-American and Hispanic students," he said. "There are long-term economic repercussions from not graduating for the student, for their communities and for our statewide economy. These data provide even more evidence of the challenge and the moral imperative of closing the achievement gap as well as increasing graduation rates among all students."
This is the second year the CDE calculated student graduation and dropout rates by collecting student-level enrollment and exit data.
When two more years of student exit data are collected, the CDE said it will have the four years of data necessary to produce more accurate student graduation and dropout rates.
Report finds slight dip in high school dropouts
By TERENCE CHEA Associated Press Writer | from San Jose Mercury News
Posted: 05/12/2009 01:26:23 PM PDT
Updated: 05/12/2009 03:03:18 PM PDT
SAN FRANCISCO—California public high schools showed slight improvements in their dropout and graduation rates in the 2007-08 school year, according to new figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Education.
The report found that the statewide dropout rate was 20.1 percent, down from 21.1 percent in 2006-07. About 68.1 percent of high school students graduated in 2007-08, up from 67.7 percent the previous year.
"The dropout rate in California is still unacceptably high, and it must be addressed in a comprehensive manner," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. "We can't wait until a student drops out to determine there's a problem."
The dropout rates for all ethnic groups fell roughly one percent, but O'Connell said he was particularly concerned about the "alarmingly high dropout rates among African American and Hispanic students."
The report showed a dropout rate of 8.4 percent for Asians, 12.2 percent for whites, 25.5 percent for Hispanics and 34.7 percent for African Americans.
About 11.8 percent of students were not counted as dropouts nor graduates. They include students who re-enrolled as fifth-year seniors, earned GEDs, enrolled in non-diploma programs, moved out of state or died.
The numbers in Tuesday's report are expected to change slightly after school districts review and correct the data over the next two months.
The annual report is the second based on a new state tracking
system that issues each student an identifier number and enables officials to monitor each student as he or she progresses through school, allowing for more accurate accounting of graduation and dropout rates.
State education officials expect to have more accurate figures in 2011 after the state has had the opportunity to track individual students for four years.
Alan Bonsteel, president of California Parents for Educational Choice, said the new system still doesn't accurately reflect California's dropout rate because it fails to count middle-school dropouts and other students who leave the system.
The Department of Education will include dropout rates for middle school students next year, state officials said.
Experts say lowering California's dropout rate could help reduce crime, unemployment, incarceration and health care costs, while boosting the state's economy.
"It has huge social and financial costs to the state," said Russell Rumberger, an education professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who directs the California Dropout Research Project. "Our economy could be threatened by not having a sufficiently educated work force."
California Department of Education (http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr09/yr09rel073.asp)
Page Generated: 5/12/2009 3:50:42 PM
May 12, 2009
Contact: Hilary McLean
State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Releases Annual Report on Dropouts and Graduates Using Individual Student Level Data
Use of Statewide Student Identifiers Improves Data Accuracy
FRESNO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today released the annual report on dropout and graduation rates for the 2007-08 school year.
In 2007-08, 68.1 percent of public school students in California graduated, up from 67.7 percent last year. The adjusted four-year derived dropout rate for the same school year is 20.1 percent, down from 21.1 percent last year.
“I am heartened that the graduation rate is up slightly, but California’s dropout rate is still unacceptably high,” said O’Connell. “If we look deeper into the data, we see alarmingly high dropout rates among African American and Hispanic students. There are long-term economic repercussions from not graduating for the student, for their communities, and for our statewide economy. These data provide even more evidence of the challenge and the moral imperative of closing the achievement gap as well as increasing graduation rates among all students.”
The California Dropout Research Project recently reaffirmed long-held knowledge that when students drop out of school, they face more challenges than their more well-educated peers. Compared to high school graduates, research shows that over a lifetime dropouts have increased dependence on public assistance, lower earnings, poorer health, and higher rates of unemployment, mortality, criminal behavior, and incarceration. According to the report, all these factors generate substantial economic losses to the nation, state, and local communities.
This is the second year of calculating student graduation and dropout rates by collecting student-level enrollment and exit data. When two more years of student exit data are collected, the California Department of Education (CDE) will have the four years of data necessary to produce more accurate student graduation and dropout rates at the school level. This year’s graduation and four-year derived dropout rates may be compared to last year’s rates because the method of collecting data is the same as the prior year. That was not possible last year because the data collection method was different the previous years.
The use of Statewide Student Identifiers (SSID) increases accountability for districts to find students who stop coming to school. It also helps districts identify students who were considered a dropout at a school they left but in fact were enrolled in a different district. The data also allow CDE to identify students reported by a school district as transferring to another California school district but cannot be found subsequently enrolled. These students are now properly counted as dropouts rather than transfers. In total, there are 28 different withdrawal codes used to categorize a student’s status, including whether they graduated, dropped out, completed their education in other ways, moved to a different state, transferred to another school, or are continuing as a fifth-year senior.
SSIDs eventually will be tracked through the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, or CALPADS, which will maintain longitudinal, individual student-level data including student demographics, program participation, grade level, enrollment, course enrollment and completion, discipline, state assessment, teacher assignment, and other data required to meet state and federal reporting requirements. CALPADS is scheduled to be implemented at all districts in the 2009-10 school year.
To view or download state, county, district, and school-level dropout data, please visit CDE’s DataQuest Web page [http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/]. For more information on the California Dropout Research Project, please visit he California Dropout Research Project Web site [http://www.lmri.ucsb.edu/dropouts/] (Outside Source).
Important Background Information on Graduation and Dropout Data:
This is the initial release of graduation and dropout data. Districts have until July 3, 2009 to thoroughly review the data, verify student exit codes, and correct all data.
Traditional high school dropout rates will tend to be lower than the state rate and graduation rates will be higher because many at-risk students are placed in county-run dropout recovery or educational option programs, and if they drop out, the drop out will be attributed to the county-run or educational option program rather than the traditional high school.
There are significant numbers of students who drop out of school during the middle school years. While CDE collects and reports dropout counts for students in grades seven and eight, we do not currently produce dropout rates for these students. We are in the process of developing these rates, which will be available for the 2008-09 dropout data report.
The rates released today are still calculated using aggregate rate formulas since four years of student-level data are needed to transition to a four-year cohort rate. In two years CDE will have the four years of student-level data necessary to produce longitudinal graduation and dropout rates which will be much more accurate. This will occur starting with the graduating class of 2010.
The dropout and graduation rates that CDE currently posts using an aggregate formula provide a reasonable estimate in most cases. However, there are school-level configurations where these estimates do not work well. County-run schools, alternative schools, and dropout recovery high schools will often have inflated aggregate dropout rates because the dropout calculation is based on a single day of enrollment. It is important to note that these schools have very high mobility and may enroll many more students and almost always at-risk students. Therefore, dropout-rate calculations are not posted for schools that are operated by County Offices of Education because of constraints in interpreting these calculations with high-mobility schools. Caution must also be used when calculating or analyzing dropout rates for other schools with high mobility, including alternative schools, dropout recovery high schools, or schools eligible for participating in the Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM).
It may also be inappropriate to compare dropout rates for alternative schools and dropout recovery high schools to local comprehensive high schools. In many cases, alternative schools serve only those students who are already at the greatest risk of dropping out of school because of their prior academic challenges.
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