HMB High’s dropout rate soars under new reporting system
More accurate tracking and counting methods have resulted in substantially higher reported dropout rates for California schools. CUSD’s reported dropouts rose from 10 in 2005-06 to 49 in 2006-07.
From the Sacramento Bee’s July 17 story:
A new high school dropout report released Wednesday shows significantly higher rates of students leaving public school in California than reported in previous years.
In the past, dropout counts were self-reported by schools and districts. In many places, the figures were considered serious undercounts, especially when compared with the rates of freshmen who actually graduated with their classes four years later.
[State Superintendent] O’Connell said the new system was designed to make better sense of transfers.
In the past, he said, when students left schools saying they were switching to another campus, their schools counted them as transfers, not dropouts, without checking if the students actually re-enrolled elsewhere. With the new student tracking system, the state was able to determine whether such transfers took place.
The newly released Half Moon Bay High School 2006-07 numbers show 313 seniors and 239 graduates, a loss of 74, with 49 reported dropouts, a 15.6% dropout rate (27% among Hispanic students).
By contrast, in 2005-06, the last school year under the old system, the preliminary report shows a senior class of 323 students, 272 graduates, and only 10 dropouts, a 3% dropout rate.
Not all the missing graduates dropped out; some simply failed to meet their graduation requirements, including the required exit exam, and some of those may yet graduate.
The accompanying graph shows reported dropout rates for the most recent six years (through 2006-07) for CUSD, San Mateo County, and California as a whole.
NOTE: Coastsider called CUSD Superintendent Rob Gaskill for comment, but he didn’t call us back before our 5pm deadline. We’ll post an update when we hear from him.