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According to new figures from California's Department of Education, San Francisco Unified School District was the only large district in the state to report a lower high school dropout rate than San Diego Unified.

According to the newly released high school dropout numbers, 12.8 percent of San Diego Unified students left high school without a diploma in the 2009-10 school year. 74.9 percent of students entering the school district during their ninth grade year went on to graduate.

"Ensuring that students graduate is one of the key focuses of our district," stated Dr. Nellie Meyer, Deputy Superintendent for Academics in a district press release. "While we are encouraged by these statistics, it reminds us we must redouble our effort to ensure that all our students graduate."

School district officials say the low dropout rate is evidence that efforts to reduce high school dropouts by focusing on grade-school students works. "Studies show that students who miss more than 10 days of school have a higher dropout rate. Behavior in middle and high school students, as well as their academic performance, are also monitored, with some struggling teens repeating grades or placed in special programs."

Not all news was good, at least for some student groups. According to the data, Hispanic students enrolled in SDUSD high schools had a 11.1 percent dropout rate in San Diego Unified, African-American students had a 8.6 percent dropout rate.


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