California’s high school graduation and dropout rates appear to be moving slowly but surely in the right direction, according to new numbers out Monday.
The four-year grad rate is up 1.3 percent from last year – passing the 80 percent mark for the first time ever. The dropout rate dropped 1.5 percent to 11.6 percent. And the improvements for blacks and Latinos are stronger than the overall rates.
“It’s slow. I want to speed it up,” says State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “We have a local control funding formula, we have the new accountability plans, we have a huge new investment focus on helping our English learners succeed.”
But a new report from Johns Hopkins University projects California will need to graduate 440,000 more students by the year 2020 – including 300,000 from low-income families – to reach the state’s 90 percent goal.