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Report: 1 in 4 California students drop out before graduating

Original post made by june, Ohlone School, on Jul 16, 2008

The achievement gap - the academic chasm that separates black and Latino students from their white and Asian peers - is stark.

A sobering 41.6 percent of black students statewide drop out of school, while just 10.2 percent of Asian students drop out.

Latinos, who make up nearly half of California's public school students and are the fastest-growing demographic, have a dropout rate of 30.3 percent.

What is the drop out rate in PAUSD

Web Link

Comments (11)

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Someone else can probably parse this better than me, but here is the PAUSD data by ethnic group from the link in the article (CA Dept of Education Demographics database).

My naive reading is that our 2006-07 dropout rate is astoundingly low at 2.5%

Web Link

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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jul 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Detailed California school statistics can be found using DataQuest at the CA Department of Education’s website: Web Link
This link Web Link answers your specific questions. If that link doesn’t work, the data’s pretty simple to summarize here. All numbers are for the entire district, for the 2006-07 school year.
There were zero dropouts for grades 7 through 9, and one white dropout for grades 10 & 11, each. Grade 12 experienced 10 white dropouts; 3 Asian dropouts; 2 Hispanic or Latino; and 0 African American, Filipino and Pacific Islander.
There was a blip in 2005-06 with significantly more 12th grade dropouts. I believe that was the first year CAHSEE (CA High School Exit Exam) was enforced.

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Posted by a Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Well, that CAHSEE (CA high school exit exam) is so easy that if someone can't pass that they surely should not receive a high school diploma. Or else the diploma will not have any meaning at all.

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm

"Well, that CAHSEE (CA high school exit exam) is so easy that if someone can't pass that they surely should not receive a high school diploma. Or else the diploma will not have any meaning at all."

OK, so how many people who graduated before the CAHSEE could pass it? How many out there will bet their diplomas, plus all their subsequent college degrees and/or professional certifications, on being able to pass that test, on first attempt, right now? Let's see those hands. C'mon now.

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Posted by not shocked.
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 17, 2008 at 6:29 am

One has to wonder why there are such cultural differences that there are such drop-out rate differences.

It would be interesting to study the families and what the differences are between the groups. I suspect much of the problem, and much of the solution, lies buried in the home.

For example: No way at all would any kid of our drop out of high school, period. Just wouldn't happen. We wouldn't allow it. How different is this attitude between cultures?

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Posted by mary
a resident of Ohlone School
on Jul 19, 2008 at 3:47 pm

The vast majority of the students from Ravenswood feed into the Sequoia Union High School District, mostly at Carlmont and Menlo-Atherton. The graduation rate among those students is only 35 or 40 percent,ie 60-65% drop out!

What is the rate for Tinsley students in PAUSD?

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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2008 at 7:04 am

It is time to stop wasting school money on those who refuse to accept education. Make school after the 6th grade voluntary. Look at the improvement the volunteer Army was over the Army with compulsory attendance. I suspect the improvement in schools would be similar.

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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Mary, please read the first few replies. Although I don't know the rate for Tinsley students, the overall PAUSD grade 12 drop-out rates for last year were:
10 whites
3 Asian
2 Hispanic or Latino
0 African American, Filipino and Pacific Islander

Walter, I know you’re critical of Tinsley, but these numbers suggest that Tinsley is working. The EPA families who go through the effort of getting their children into and through PAUSD show a remarkably better drop-out rate than that of their neighbors’, and of their peers in general.

For all the blame people are quick to throw across 101, educating children is one of the best ways to improve social troubles (crime, drugs, poverty, pregnancy, MIA fathers, etc.) I’m pleased to see the drop-out rates so low for the at-risk groups. It’s good for those families, and it’s good for shaking up harmful stereotypes.

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Wow. Check this out. Bush's approval rate Web Link and the dropout rate are a dead heat. Could that be a coincidence?

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Posted by Parent without handles
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm

It is time to look into the value of a two tier high school diploma. For the regular diploma, many students find this much below their levels of achievement. For others, they struggle to get anywhere near and so give up. For these, many are struggling because of their language skills. For them a reduced diploma may be the answer and possibly could include a bilingual aspect as being able to read and write Spanish and this could in fact be a bonus for them.

After all, for those dropping out, wouldn't a reduced diploma be better than nothing, after all it proves they finished the course and the bilingual aspect could get them into entry level jobs ahead of those without it but have the full diploma.

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 21, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Rather than a two-tier diploma system, would we be better off with a two-track high school system? Not every student in every high school is interested in going to college, but that is probably the emphasis of high school education these days. I have read that there is a growing shortage of skilled mechanics, machinists, woodworkers and other trades people. If students knew that they could have a rewarding career without a formal college degree, would they be more interested in pursuing such an education track through high school? Students now get the message that "if you don't have a college degree, you're nobody," but they need to know that there is a real alternative. If high schools provided opportunities for students to get into hands-on apprenticeship programs in skilled trades, everyone might come out ahead.

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