Dropout rates fall in LA Unified, soar in two local districts

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The California Department of Education is out with the latest high dropout numbers. L.A. Unified is doing better at keeping students in school. But KPCC's Nick Roman says two local districts saw their numbers soar.

The high school dropout rates come from the state Department of Education. The most recent numbers come from the 2007-08 school year.

LA Unified’s dropout rate for that year was 26.4 percent. That’s five percentage points lower than the year before. But even though L.A. Unified’s dropout rate is down, it’s still higher than those of other big school districts in Southern California.

San Bernardino City Unified has a dropout rate just under 23 percent. Long Beach Unified’s is 16 percent. Santa Ana Unified’s dropout rate is about 8 percent. In southeast L.A. County’s ABC Unified School District, it’s a little above 7 percent. Like L.A. Unified, they’ve all brought their dropout rates down – some by a little, some by a lot.

Not so in Pasadena Unified and Inglewood Unified. Both saw enormous one-year jumps in their dropout rates, with Pasadena now at nearly 25 percent, and Inglewood at a whopping 28 percent.