STHS, district record higher graduation rates than state | TahoeDailyTribune.com

STHS, district record higher graduation rates than state

Isaac Brambila
ibrambila@tahoedailytribune.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Graduation rates at South Tahoe High School and the rest of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District showed higher success than the rest of the state, but the district's rate dropped by nearly 1 percent.

According to California Department of Education data, 94 percent of seniors graduated in the 2014 class at South Tahoe High School. District-wide, the rate fell from 84.9 percent in 2013 to 84 percent in 2014. Countywide, the rate was slightly higher than in the South Tahoe Unified School district. The rate was 88.8 percent, also a decrease from 2013's 89.2 percent rate.

In contrast, South Tahoe High School saw a 0.8 percent dropout rate (eight out of 1,040 students), in the district it was 2.8 percent (33 out of 1,170), in the county 1.7 percent (156 out of 9,072) and in the state 3.1 percent (61,600 out of nearly 1.96 million). The previous year, STHS had a drop out rate of 0.7 percent, in the district the rate was 2.9 percent, in the county 1.8 percent and statewide it was 3.9 percent.

Compared to the rest of the state, the local figures reflected an opposing trend in graduation rates. While the county and city saw a decline on graduation rates, the state saw the fourth year in a row showing an increase. However, the state's rate was still significantly lower than the local rates, with 80.1 percent of the seniors graduating. By comparison, South Tahoe High School recorded a graduation rate nearly 14 percent higher.

Still, the state average represented a historic high.

"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," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson stated in a California Department of Education press release. "We are continuing toward our goal of graduating 100 percent of our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed."

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In the race and ethnic breakdown, district-wide figures showed that the graduation rate was 80.5 percent for Hispanics, 83.3 percent for Alaskan Natives or American Indians, 90 percent for Asians, 100 percent for Pacific Islanders, 94.1 percent for Filipinos, 85.7 percent for African-Americans and 85.3 percent for Whites. However, it is worth noting that some ethnic populations are significantly smaller than others, which drastically affects rates. The statistics included 113 Hispanics, 156 Whites and 17 Filipinos. Figures for other ethnicities were not available in the data. Still, all ethnic groups did better than the overall state average.

Statewide, 80.2 percent of students who started high school in 2009 graduated with their class in 2013. That is up 1.3 percentage points from the year before, according to the California Department of Education press release. Graduation rates among African-American and Hispanic students climbed faster than the overall statewide average, though the rates remained lower compared to the rest of the ethnic demographics. Among African-American students, 67.9 percent graduated with their class in 2013, up 1.9 percentage points from the year before. Among Hispanic students, 75.4 percent graduated with their class, up 1.7 percentage points from the year before. Local rates for Hispanics were nearly 5 percent higher than the state's Hispanic rate, while local African-Americans did nearly 17 percent better than African-Americans statewide.

Graduation and dropout rates for counties, districts and schools across California were calculated based on four-year cohort information using the state's California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).

Cohort graduation rates are used to determine whether schools met their targets for increasing the graduation rate for Adequate Yearly Progress reporting under the federal accountability system. The cohort dropout rate is calculated for high school students from grades nine through 12, although some students drop out as early as middle school.

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