The San Jose Mercury News reported today on high school graduation rates, and Palo Alto came out looking pretty bad. The graduation rate for Palo Alto Unified dropped from 99.5% in 2004-2005, to 94.6% in 2005-2006. That's a decline of nearly 5% in one year, one of the largest drops in the Bay Area.
Palo Alto's vaunted school district now has a lower graduation rate than school districts in Fremont, Milpitas, Scotts Valley, Mountain View-Los Altos, and Los Gatos-Saratoga. We're now about on par with Gilroy, which graduated 94.1% of its high school students.
I hope there's some explanation for this abysmal showing. Maybe it's a typo. But if not, I'd sure like to know what's going on. I've got one son at Paly, and two more on the way. These numbers do not give me a great deal of confidence in the direction our schools are headed.