Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
Posted on May 13, 2009
Pointing to a dramatic structural problem with schooling in Los Angeles, California’s Department of Education reported Tuesday that the dropout rate of students in the L.A. Unified School District has risen to a whopping 34.9% for the 2008-09 school year.
The L.A. Times:
The high school dropout rate improved slightly in California last year but rose in Los Angeles, where more than one-third of students are officially classified as dropouts, state officials said Tuesday.
Statewide, 68.3% of students graduated and 20.1% dropped out, according to data released by the state Department of Education. For the Los Angeles Unified School District, the dropout rate was 34.9%. Although the state dropout rate was down 1 percentage point from the previous year, the Los Angeles Unified rate was up by more than 3 percentage points.
The dropout rate is an estimate of how many students began ninth grade four years earlier and failed to graduate last spring. The dropout rate and graduation rate do not add up to 100% because they don’t count students who get high school equivalency degrees, are still in school after four years or die.
A report in 2008 also found that the top 50 cities had an aggregate dropout rate of 48%.