Friday, August 12, 2011

2011-08-12 "Vallejo's dropout figures improve, but they remain Solano's highest" by Lanz Christian Bañes from "Vallejo Times-Herald"
Breaking a several-year trend, the Vallejo City Unified School District's high dropout rate improved in the 2009-2010 academic year.
According to data released Thursday by the California Department of Education, about 41 percent of Vallejo high school students dropped out during the four-year period ending with the 2009-2010 school year. The same data set also shows about a 50 percent graduation rate.
The dropout and graduation rates for a given period do not necessarily add up to 100 percent because some students neither drop out nor graduate, for example taking the high school equivalency exam.
Because this is the first year the state is using a new system to count students, the education department warns against exactly comparing this year's released statistics with those of previous years. A different formula was used in previous years.
Regardless, it is still notable that the four-year Vallejo dropout rate in the 2008-2009 school year was 49 percent. The district still reports the highest dropout rate among the seven Solano County public school districts, which have about a combined 25 percent dropout rate, including Vallejo.
By comparison, the Solano County Office of Education's schools and programs and the Vacaville Unified School District have the next highest rates, at about 25 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Travis Unified School District and Benicia Unified School District have the lowest at 5 percent and about 10 percent, respectively.
Benicia had about a 5 percent dropout rate in the 2009-2009 school year.
The latest statistics peg the state at an 18 percent dropout rate and a 74 percent graduation rate.
In Vallejo, most of the recorded dropouts are among Latino and African-American students. Nearly half the students of both races dropped out in 2009-2010.
Dropouts are also a problem among district minorities with smaller populations. About 63 percent of American Indians and 46 percent of white students dropped out in 2009-2011. Only 11 American Indian students were represented in the statistics, along with 163 white students of the total 1,500 or so counted students.
Vallejo's dropout rate had been steadily increasing since the 2003-2004 school year, when the rate nearly doubled to 30 percent from 16 percent in the preceding year.
In the 1991-1992 school year, the district posted a four-year dropout rate of less than 7 percent.

By the numbers:
Solano County dropout and graduation rates, 2009-2010 -
* Vallejo -- 41.1 percent dropout, 49.6 graduation
* County Office of Education -- 24.6 percent dropout, 70.4 percent graduation
* Vacaville -- 18.2 percent dropout, 77.7 percent graduation
* Fairfield-Suisun -- 17.5 percent dropout, 79.1 percent graduation
* Dixon -- 14.3 percent dropout, 81.8 percent graduation
* Benicia -- 9.8 percent dropout, 89 percent graduation
* Travis -- 5 percent dropout, 92.3 percent graduation
* Solano County total -- 24.6 percent dropout, 70.4 percent graduation
* California total -- 18.2 dropout, 74.4 percent graduation

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