California Dropout Rate Reaches Nearly 20 Percent

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – New state figures show that nearly one out of every five California high school seniors dropped out last year, with the numbers even worse in Oakland.

For years, the state’s dropout rate has ranged from 11 to 22 percent, but the tracking system used was not completely reliable.

The new method tracks students over their four year high school career and the first results show that three out of four students who started high school in 2006 graduated with their 2010 class. But more than 18 percent dropped out.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

And in Oakland, only 53 percent of the 3,200 students that were tracked managed to graduate, with 37 percent dropping out.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said it is never too early to start cracking down on attendance.

“In the Los Angeles School District, 23 percent of kindergartners are chronically absent. That means they are missing 20 or more days of the school year. In Oakland, it’s 17 percent,” said Torlakson. “That translates into year’s lost time. By the time you’re a ninth grader, you’ve lost one year of your education.”

Perhaps even more startling is that more than 17,000 eighth graders dropped out before they even entered grade nine.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Holly Quan
  • Chaka Chuka

    I know mcdonalds is hiring, but who wants to work there?
    Why graduate when there are no available jobs to pay decent wages?
    There is more money in milking the system in welfare, crack, whoring or rapping.

  • San Francisco Officials Stress Importance Of School Attendance « CBS San Francisco

    […] Gascon said it’s an important program because today’s truants are tomorrow’s dropouts. […]

  • PLW

    Article sure indicates how great the California School System is… California and the California Teachers Association do not have a clue how to correct the system. When will the California Voters wake up? Get rid of the Nit-Wits that run (rather ruin) the school system and allow special interest groups to tear it down……………..

  • Kathy

    Probably what will eventually happen is that high school will be shortened by two years, thus lowering the dropout rate.

  • Michael Aschoff

    American black’s IQ is 10 points on average lower than their UK equivalents … during slavery and after, bright blacks were targeted and killed … it will take generations for them to overcome this setback … especially with their broken culture and lack of black male leadership.

  • moravecglobal

    Chancellors, Faculty University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have cleaned up at the expense of students, California taxpayers. Californians face mortgage defaults, 12% unemployment, pay reductions, loss of unemployment benefits. UC Berkeley shares sacrifices? No Chancellor, Faculty layoffs or wage concessions. UC Berkeley tuition, fee increases are arrogance. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP apply for positions. If wages are what commit you to Cal, leave for better paying job.
    UC Berkeley wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid. There is no good reason to raise tuition, fees during the longest, deepest recession in USA history when wage concessions available from Chancellors, Faculty. The sky will not fall on UC Berkeley.
    Share the sacrifices UC Berkeley Faculty, Vice Chancellors, Provost, Chancellor:
    No furloughs.
    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.
    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.
    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increase teaching load.
    10 percent decrease non-tenured faculty salaries, increase research, teaching load.
    100% elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

    (17,000 UC paid employees earn more than $100,000)

    There is no question the necessary cuts will be painful to Faculty, Chancellors

    UC Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing can bridge public trust gap with reassurances salaries of Chancellors, Faculty reflect depressed California wages.
    With UC’s shared sacrifices, sky will not fall on the 10 campuses.

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