Grad rates higher than state

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat

Nearly 20 percent of Tuolumne County high school seniors, and 10 percent of Calaveras County seniors, failed to graduate last year, state education officials reported Monday.

The figures are down slightly from last year but are still better than the state average of 80.2 percent, and the national average of 80 percent, which both set records this year.

Calaveras County's graduation rate last year was 89 percent and Tuolumne County's was 81.5 percent.

These numbers are based on "cohort" data, which divides the number of graduates by the number of students that enrolled at the school four years ago, accounting for transfers or deaths.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson on Monday saw the statewide graduation numbers as a success when stacked up against the national figures and past rates.

"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," Torlakson said. "We are continuing toward our goal of graduating 100 percent of our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed."

State and national numbers show the most movement in graduation rates for minority students and English language-learners. However, the groups' graduation rates remain below average, along with special education students.

For the complete story, see the April 29, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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