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Graduation Rate Trends in California Essay

In California, graduation rates among public high schools students declined from sixty nine percent in 1992 to sixty five percent in 1996 (Plucker, ET all). In 2000, the State managed to exceed the national graduation average rate for public high schools for the first time in that decade. Before that year, California had always being between half to four points below the national average (Plucker, ET all).

Johnson (2008) quotes from the 2008 Sacramento County Children’s Report Card report by stating that graduation rate in the high schools has fallen with fewer students meeting the requirements needed to join either California State University or The University of California. According to the report, the high schools graduation rate declined from 85. 1 percent in 2000/1 to 79. 6 percent in 2006/7. In the same report, it was revealed that the percentage rate of graduates (high school) who meet the GSU and UC requirement fell from 34.

4 % in 2002 to 22. 5 % in 2006 (Johnson, 2008). On the other hand, Mitchell (2008) reports that in Los Angeles, the number of public school students graduating has fallen for two consequent years (2006/7). She attributes this to the policy requiring all the students to pass an exit examination if they will have to get a diploma. The study also shows that decrease in the graduation rate can be attributed to the experiences of students while at the middle school and the quality of the high school teachers (Mitchel & Sberg, 2008).

According to San Jose Mercury News, the administration of exit exam was the reason for the decline in the graduation rate in the year 2006 (the first class sat for the exam). The rate of the high school graduates fell by four percent in California that year (Dave, 2007). However, despite the general decline in the number of students who are graduating, the number from the minority students is increasing (Nierstedt 2008). Experts have projected that the rate of graduation will continue falling over the next five years and that will definitely cause a decrease in college applications.

On the other hand, due to the rising numbers of the graduating minority groups such as Asians and Hispanics colleges’ diversity will increase (Nierstedt 2008). The graduation rate in California among the blacks is increasing as compared to that of the whites students. For example, Pomona College in California has a graduation rate of black students being eighty-three percent, which is below that of other similar institutions. However, if compared with graduation rate of the white students, the rate is higher because the rate of graduation for the later is eighty one percent (Edwards, 2009).

In addition, the methods that are used to calculate the rate are criticized because of the variations that are gotten if checked by different institutions. For example, California data shows that its graduation rate is better than the national average. However when the rate is analyzed by ethnic or racial groups, the results show that the number of African Americans and the Latinos is lost disproportionately (Koehler, 2004). Seventy percent of all the students in Californian schools graduate but two out of every five black Americans never graduated in 2000(Olmos, 2008).

According to Patrcia (2008), Latino and African American students are less likely to graduate from high schools when compared to the white or Asian students. Also about one third or a quarter of all the public high schools students in California do not graduate. There is an allegation that there are States, California included that inflate graduation rate. The Education Trust based in Washington stated that “many States hide behind false data” with the study conducted showing that California had once reported that its graduation rate was eighty seven percent while in the real sense it was approximately seventy one percent (Eslinger, 2005).

The report by the US Department of Education shows that the rate of graduation in all secondary schools is seventy percent with some schools in poor urban areas of California with a rate of forty four percent. This has been attributed to high costs of education and political and social factors (Douglass, 2008). Of all the 2004 high school students who sat for The California High School Exit Exam, only less than a half passed the exams a situation that forced the education board to postpone the use of the results as a graduation requirement until 2006 (Warren, 2008).

Many young people in the State of California do not complete high school, many of them being African Americans and the Latinos (WestED, 2008). Fifty three percent of LAUSD students (freshman) never graduate four years later when compared to thirty eight percent of County freshman and twenty eight percent of California ninth graders (California Department of Education, 2009). A report by the Los Angeles County, Sheriff Lee Baca gave a report that associates the increase in criminal activities with the low rate of graduation among students.

The reports suggests measures to increase the rate of graduation which include participating in high quality preschool, check and use of connect programs (to monitor whether high risk students are in school and connect them with needed services) (Bagchi, 2008). To improve the situation, several researches have been undertaken to get the main reason why the rate of graduation is moving down. The University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute has initiated the California drop out research project.

The main objective of the research is to synthesize the researches that already exist and also to be in a position to make the policymakers and the public know the nature and the solutions to this problem(California Dropout Research Project, 2008). The report also suggests claims that the government of California is not doing enough to reduce the decreasing rate of graduation and more investment should be done to contain the situation (FCIK, 2008).

The California Get Real coalition has proposed that Career technical education expansion can be useful in increasing the graduation rate in California (Price, 2007). On the other hand, Eccles (2008) states that students should be motivated to continue with their studies by building a stronger student teacher relationship. Students should also enroll in CTE programs as they increase their chances of graduating (Bates, 2008). REFERENCES Bagchi, S. (2008). Improving Graduation rates can cut crimes. Los Angeles: Heartland Institute.

Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www. heartland. org/publications/school%20reform/article/22869/Improving_ Graduation_Rates_Can_Cut_Crime. html Bates, S. (2008). Facts about Academic success, drop-out rates, and career technical education. Retrieved March 5, 2009 http://www. citea. org/images/resources/Facts_about_academic_success_dropout_rates_ and_CTE pdf California Department of Education. (2009). Student Enrollment and Graduation Trends for LAUSD, Los Angeles County and California. Retrieved March 5, 2009 from http://www. afabc.

org/chevron%20texaco%20brochure-2. pdf Douglass, J. A. (2008). Wrong Trajectory. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://alumni. berkeley. edu/california/200805/freespeech. asp Eccles, J. (2008). Can middle school reform increase high school graduation rates? Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www. edcoe. k12. ca. us/departments/curriculum_instruction/documents/ CILC082008_DropOutMiddleSchoolReform. pdf FCIK. (2008). Drop out Prevention report. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www. fightcrime. org/ca/dropout/index. php Rumberger, R. (2008).

California Dropout Research Project. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www. lmri. ucsb. edu/dropouts/about. htm Johnson K. (2008). Report: High school graduation rates decline in Sacramento County. Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved March, 5 2009, from http://www. bizjournals. com/sacramento/stories/2008/11/17/daily7. html Mitchell, L. & Sberg. (2008, June 21) Graduation rates declining in L. A. unified despite higher enrolment, study finds. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March, 5 2009, from http://articles. latimes. com/2008/jun/21/local/me-grads21


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