More Sweetwater Union High School District students graduated high school in the 2011-12 school year than the prior school year, according to data released April 9 by the California Department of Education.
The district's graduation rate increased from 79.5 percent in the 2010-11 school year to 82.4 percent in the 2011-12 school year.
In Imperial Beach, though a 83.3 percent graduation rate at Mar Vista High School was higher than district, county and state averages, the school saw a 3 percent decline since the 2010-11 school year.
The dropout rate at Mar Vista stayed about the same at 8.1 percent, while Sweetwater's dropout rate fell 1.6 percent compared to last year to 6.7 percent. Both Mar Vista and Sweetwater maintained a lower percentage of dropouts than San Diego County and California, who saw 10.4 and 13.2 percent dropout rates respectively.
Nearby Southwest High School saw a 13 percent decline in graduates in the 2011-12 school year and 2.6 percent increase in dropouts compared to the prior school year.11-12 Grad 11-12 Dropout 10-11 Grad 10-11 Dropout Mar Vista High School 83.3 8.1 86.1 8.2 Southwest High School 73.2 8.9 86.2 6.3 Sweetwater Union High School District 82.4 6.7 79.5 8.3 San Diego County 78.4 10.4 77.5 10.9 California 78.5 13.2 76.3 14.4
Source: California Department of Education
Overall, California's graduation rate rose while dropout rates declined.
The state superintendent's office reported 78.5 percent of students who started high school in 2008-2009 graduated last year. That was up 1.4 percentage points from the year before.
Among African-American students, 65.7 percent graduated with their class in 2012, up 2.9 points from the year before.
Among Hispanic students, 73.2 percent graduated in 2012, up 1.8 points from the year before.
There was a corresponding drop in the state's dropout rate.
Sweetwater Union High School District2011-12 Grad 2011-12 Dropout 2010-11 Grad 2010-11 Dropout Hispanic or Latino of Any Race 80.5 7.4 78.6 8.8 Asian 94 3 99.4 3.2 White, Not Hispanic 85 5.7 84.7 5.1 Pacific Islander, Not Hispanic 82.9 9.8 78.7 10.6 Filipino, Not Hispanic 95.1 0.7 90.5 2.7 African-American 78.5 9.4 79.1 9.1
To see more information on graduation and dropout rates visit DataQuest on the California Department of Education website.
The superintendent's office reported 13.2 percent of students who began high school in 2008-9 dropped out. That was down 1.5 percentage points from the year before.
The dropout rate among African-American students dropped 3.1 points to 22.2 percent. Among Hispanic students, the dropout rate fell 2.1 points to 16.2 percent.
Another 8.3 percent of students were labeled as neither dropouts nor graduates.
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said while the trend is positive, California schools still need to do more. He said he'd like to see the graduation rate top 80 percent in the near future and reach 90 percent by 2020.
He commended local school officials for improving education despite budget cuts.
"As I travel up and down the state, I see great things happening in California schools every day," said Torlakson.