California’s Graduation Rate Climbs for the Fourth Year in a Row

April 29, 2014 8:00 am · 30 comments

California’s high school graduation rate increased in 2013 for the fourth year in a row, according to data released by the state’s Department of Education.

The state’s graduation rate in 2013 was 80.2 percent, up 1.3 percentage points from the year before, according to Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.

“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 in a statement.

The 2013 graduate rate measures students who started high school in 2009 and graduated with their class, Torlakson said.

Of the students who did not graduate with their class, 7.5 percent are still enrolled in school, 0.2 percent passed the GED test and 0.5 percent are non-diploma special education students, Torlakson said.

The rest — 11.6 percent — are dropouts, Torklakson said. The dropout rate is down 1.5 percentage points from the previous year, he said.

In the Bay Area, Marin County had the highest 2013 graduation rate, at 91.4 percent, according to state education data.

Alameda County’s graduation rate was 80.4 percent, Contra Costa County’s was 85.8 percent, Napa County’s was 85.3 percent, San Mateo County’s was 88.2 percent, Santa Clara County’s was 82.9 percent, Solano County’s was 81.4 percent and Sonoma County’s was 82.2 percent.

“We are continuing toward our goal of graduating 100 percent of our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed,” Torlakson said.

. April 29, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Well now dealing in percentages makes it sound so wonderful, too bad Tom Torlakson, a democrat politician, can’t bring himself to deal in REAL numbers. How many tens of thousands do those percentages translate to?

For school year 2012-13 dropouts were. 57,491.
How is that number in any way acceptable?

Need to remember there are no student Unions looking out for students, there are however teachers Unions.

Dorothy April 29, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Now that they have learned how to graduate they also need to learn how to read with comprehension, count without using fingers, and maybe how to write cursive with proper spelling.

nytemuvr April 29, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Unbelievable how many drop out. In the 70s when I graduated school I think we had 1, maybe 2 didn’t graduate, my, my how times change.

Dsmith350 April 29, 2014 at 9:36 AM

You have to love how the article fails to mention that in 2008 the federal government changed how states measure the dropout rate, therefore comparing results of this current survey vs historical data is not an accurate comparison

Little Boy April 29, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Graduation rates climb when the curriculum is dumbed-down. phantom is proof of it.

Crankcord Doug April 29, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I believe the be the most negative place on earth! “Graduation Rates drop for 4th Year in a Row” is the headline, and the first 5 responses are negative? The kids of today are far more creative than the kids of 30 years ago… I can’t wait to see what amazing things they create as they continue to grow.

Lacking Life Skills April 29, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Money management is not taught well in California schools.
Have been working for same firm for over 38 years and have seen a decline in new hire problem solving abilities and proficiency in simple math skills. Our company does not hire dropouts.

Kids now days can not explain the difference between simple and compound interest. Over a quarter of them can’t even balance a checkbook. Is no surprise to me CA saw so many with house payments out of proportion to their take home salaries. Nor is it surprising so many were eager to sign up for variable interest rate loans.

Ask a high school graduate to explain how a variable interest rate home loan works. Then how a one percent increase in a $300,000 loan’s interest rate increases the final amount paid for a home.

How wonderful kids can pass government tests.
But are they equipped for life in the real world upon graduation?

claycordian April 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM

As a teacher for forty years, I applaud the work that the teachers are doing to help these students stay in school and to graduate, some under almost impossible odds. HOWEVER, Tommy Torkelson does not deserve, or should get any of the credit for this.

tired of taxes April 29, 2014 at 11:19 AM

The kids of today are also more unemployed than the kids of 30 years ago.

Idiocracy April 29, 2014 at 11:35 AM

#5 Probably right considering most people can’t even point out the Ukraine on a map. #7 hit it spot on. It’s not just checkbooks they can’t balance. We need to revamp the whole education system …a friends kid told me the history channel teaches better than their hipster teacher.

@claycordian April 29, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Yet democrat politicians in control for so many years are the first to thump their chests taking all the credit, especially in an election year. Most are such perfect examples of Hubris.

Julio April 29, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Agree with #1 and #4 and some others. Once again we are being lied to by a man who has no clue. The numbers are actually higher they just found a new way to screw them around. Children and young adults of today are not educated. Teachers try their damnedest but are undermined at every turn. Including by Tom T.

hehawhosawaseasaw April 29, 2014 at 11:54 AM

I remember taking some stupid test they said you had to pass to graduate and so many failed that they lowered the score you had to get to pass lol they proble did the same thing here to get higher graduation numbers…

Mr. John April 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM

I hate it when we focus on graduation rates rather than the level of academic achievement of the students. Graduation is a useless artificial designation. What matters is how well prepared the kids are to enter adult life – and too many of them lack the skills that kids should have leaving elementary school, much less high school.

school worker April 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Don’t any of you know that you can’t NOT pass a student!! It would hurt their ever-so-precious self-esteem!!! Of course the standards had to be lowered, or mommy and daddy would file a lawsuit that their sweet child had his/her feelings hurt, and was denied their right to walk with the rest of the class! BTW, the test you have to pass is 8th grade level ability.

Your average American adult couldn't answer most of those questions... April 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

…so I’m not sure why you (Lacking Life Skills) expect kids fresh out of high school to be able to. Let alone put into terms of a home loan, something they likely won’t have to deal with in another 20 years (or given how the economy is going, possibly ever).

Given the comments on this website, it’s safe to say 90% of Claycord adults lack comprehensive and critical thinking skills. I’m not sure why some of you are surprised that the bar hasn’t been raised for your kids.

What I am worried about are kids who drop out in 2014. This isn’t the pre-1980’s, where you could squeeze out a lower middle class existence without an education by working an apprenticeship for a physically skilled position (a position that was reliable as well). You’re competing with the global economy in a country that’s sold off almost all of its industries and a business climate that rarely offers long term, let alone life long, employment opportunities (even for the highly educated and skilled).

A high school degree is practically a birth certificate today. Except in this case it shows that you actually sat in a classroom for 12 years and maybe did homework every once in a while. If you don’t have one, then I don’t know. You’re seriously scr*wed.

Wall&Broad April 29, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Balance a checkbook? Who still writes checks? That’s funny. I bet most high school graduates don’t know how to use the Yellow Pages. And I’d be willing to bet a greater percentage of high school seniors could find the Ukraine on the map than could 50 year olds.

I hire college interns every summer… I’d never higher someone in their middle age. Adult brains are not malleable enough to preform in my office. I can’t wait to hear all you complain about age discrimination when this year’s high school graduates take your jobs.

hehawhosawaseasaw April 29, 2014 at 12:18 PM

I’m sure they cant wait to take the jobs #17 because they were “born to work” after all right in today’s MODERN SLAVERY and with the illusion of consent.

The Realist April 29, 2014 at 12:39 PM

You’re all mental defects? Just like your children.

When you set the bar so low,
you can just stumble over it,
no exertion required!

Miss Ranchogirl April 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

of course – lowering standarts will result in this.
Nothing to be proud of, really.

Michelle April 29, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Given the prior standards on education, the system had to be “dumbed” down to accomodate those lacking in reasonable coherent communication skills-so the standards changed and most had to think “out-of-the-box” just to entertain those with only enough education to have a reasonable conversation. Does this surprise anyone?

old lady grad April 29, 2014 at 1:17 PM

What I think is amusing is that so many are posting about how uneducated today’s students are, but heaven help anyone who comments about the lack of spelling, grammar and punctuation skills of the adult posters! If anyone mentions the difference between your & you’re or there, their and they’re, they are labeled Grammar Police, and are dumped on big time! Interesting.

Throw money at... April 29, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Teachers and administrators, lower the standards,
remove elective classes and voila, statistical
success. It’s like saying, unemployment is down
only 325 thousand new unemployment apps.
The previous month. Moral; stats. can be deceiving.
And just because they graduate, has no bearing
or relation to how smart the Gradutes actually are.

unknown April 29, 2014 at 3:01 PM

What state are they going to find a job?

GraduatingDumber April 29, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Well, I’m glad the #s look good, but it doesn’t always reflect reality. I liken this to our unemployment numbers.

Due to lack of discipline and respect, there are tons of dropouts these days. Many kids think they can do whatever they want with no consequences. It’s almost like the parents are afraid of their own kids. It’s sad to see and very crippling to these kids. They don’t learn anything only that nothing happens when they do crappy things.

funny man April 29, 2014 at 4:12 PM

the state of discontent?

#s April 29, 2014 at 5:07 PM

The #s look good–what a concept. Only because of the barn pounding–which can’t be helped because it’s easy. =)

Dumbers April 29, 2014 at 5:08 PM

And that is another reason too… lol–no original thoughts or conversation out of the barn.

Anon April 29, 2014 at 8:28 PM

News Flash!

PhanDummer shows that dumbed down material helps raise test scores.

RealTime April 30, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Who needs to graduate? They
can go to work for BART as a
janitor and make a nice little
income for life with holidays,
regular vacations, sick and
family leave, benefits ad nauseam.

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