Yuba-Sutter high school graduation rates up
While Yuba-Sutter joins a national trend with its recent influx of high school grads, the US Department of Education has reported the highest percentage of graduates since 1976.
More than a fifth of students nationwide are still dropping out of high school, according to a department report released on Jan. 22, but most schools and districts in the area are seeing fewer dropouts over the past few years as graduation rates continue to climb.
At Marysville Joint Unified School District, graduation rates in the 2010-11 academic year were at 80 percent, or 4 percent more than the previous year.
Yuba City Unified School District saw an increase as well with a graduation rate of 84 percent in 2010-11 that was up from 82.3 percent in 2009-10.
According to a statement by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the national graduation rate in 2009-10 was up substantially from four years earlier.
"And it's promising that high school graduation rates are up for all ethnic groups in 2010 — especially for Hispanics, whose graduation rate has jumped almost 10 points since 2006," Duncan said in a statement.
Graduation rates are surging because the country is focusing more on education, said Gary Cena, principal of Marysville High School.
"It's people coming together for a common goal that is really being manifested in the higher graduation rates," Cena said.
Marysville High had a graduation rate of 95.7 percent last year and a dropout rate of 3.4 percent. The tenacity of the staff to get kids prepared for the exit exam — which 86 percent of students pass on their first try — was among the factors that contributed to the school's high success rate, he said.
Overall, Cena said he is encouraged but not surprised by the national trend.
"We know more now about how to educate people than ever before," he said.
Bob Eckert, principal at Lindhurst High School, said he shares similar sentiments. He expects the number of grads to grow, and the number of dropouts to decline.
"Good isn't good enough," he said. "We want to be better."
California, the state with the highest overall enrollment, had more graduates and dropouts in 2010 than any other state. About 405,000 students graduated and almost 93,000 dropped out — a number that translates to a rate of about 5 percent above the national average, according to The Associated Press.
In 2010, 3.1 million students nationwide — or 78 percent — earned their high school diplomas on time. It was the best graduation rate since the 1975-76 academic year, when the rate reached 75 percent.
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