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State Data Shows Fewer WCCUSD Students Drop Out, More Complete College Requirements

RICHMOND—More West Contra Costa Unified School District graduates from the Class of 2017 were prepared for college, fewer dropped out and more continued their path to a high school diploma than in previous years, according to data released recently by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

The data from the California Department of Education also shows that nearly 4 in 5 West Contra Costa Unified School District students who entered high school in August 2013 earned a traditional diploma within four years, a slight decrease from the previous class due to a change in the way the state calculates graduation rates.

“The state’s numbers indicate that we are making progress in a few key areas, which shows that we are on the right track,” Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. “Fewer students are dropping out and more of our students are prepared for college when they graduate. Those are positive trends that must continue and we will do so with our focus on college and career readiness as outlined in Roadmap 2022.”

Three significant changes were implemented for calculating 2017 high school graduation rates: (1) students who receive an adult education high school diploma are no longer considered regular high school graduates, (2) students who pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) are no longer considered regular high school graduates, and (3) students pass the CHSPE or who transfer to adult education programs or a community college will remain counted as part of the cohort.

Using this new methodology, which does not count students who earn their diplomas through non-traditional pathways or take more than four years to do so, 79.3 percent of District students who started high school as ninth graders in 2013–14 graduated on-time four years later in 2017. Under the old methodology, the District’s graduation rate was 83.1 percent in 2016.

The graduation rate reported by the state fell despite a decrease in the percentage of students dropping out. The Class of 2017 had a dropout rate of 7.7 percent. The rate was 8.7 percent for the Class of 2016.

The percentage of West Contra Costa Unified School District high school graduates in the Class of 2017 who completed the course requirements for admission into a University of California or California State University school rose to 43 percent from 40 percent for the Class of 2016.

You can view graduation rate data here and student outcome data here.