Southern California breaking news and trends

CDE: Dropout numbers drop, high school graduate numbers grow in California

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Photo by cityyear/Andy Dean via Flickr Creative Commons

California is making some progress in graduation rates as the overall number of high school dropouts drop.

The California Department of Education reports Wednesday that slightly more high school students graduated in 2011 than the year before, and fewer students dropped out.

More than 76 percent of students statewide earned their high school diplomas, marking a 1.5 percent increase from the 2010 graduation rate, said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

The increase, Torlakson says, was higher for Hispanic, black and English learner students — just over 2 percent for black and Hispanic, and nearly 4 percent for English learners.

Meanwhile, overall dropout rate for the state — which does not include students who drop out before ninth grade — decreased by 2 percent.

The biggest decrease was seen in English learners - 4 percent fewer dropped out, while 2 percent and 3 percent fewer Hispanic and black students left school, respectively.