For the first time ever, California is reporting the eighth-grade dropout rate, reports the Los Angeles Times. Statewide, about 3.5% of eighth-graders didn’t return to school for ninth grade.
California now gives each public school student an identification numbers, so it’s possible to know whether vanished students enrolled in a different school or passed the GED.
Overall, 74.4% of California high school students graduated in four years, according to state data; 18.2% dropped out. The remainder were still in school (6.6%), were in non-diploma programs for disabled students (0.5%) or left high school by taking the General Educational Development (GED) Test (0.4%).
The graduation rate is 68% for Latinos, 59% for blacks, 83.4% for whites and 89.4% for Asians.
“The latest numbers could still underestimate the number of dropouts, because, for example, they depend on school clerks verifying whether a student dropped out, moved or transferred to a private school,” the Times notes.