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State's high school graduation rate up for 4th year in row

Alameda County rate was 80.4%; Contra Costa County at 85.8%

California's high school graduation rate increased in 2013 for the fourth year in a row, according to data released Monday by the state's Department of Education.

The state's graduation rate in 2013 was 80.2 percent, up 1.3 percentage points from the year before, according to Tom Torlakson, state

superintendent of public instruction.

"For the first time in our state's history, more than 80 percent of our students are graduating - a clear sign of their hard work and the support they receive from their teachers, families and communities," Torlakson said in a statement.

The 2013 graduate rate measures students who started high school in 2009 and graduated with their class, Torlakson said.

Of the students who did not graduate with their class, 7.5 percent are still enrolled in school, 0.2 percent passed the GED test and 0.5 percent

are non-diploma special education students, Torlakson said.

The rest -- 11.6 percent -- are dropouts, Torklakson said. The dropout rate is down 1.5 percentage points from the previous year, he said.

The graduation rates for black and Hispanic students climbed faster than the statewide average, though their overall rates are below

average, Torlakson said.

The 2013 graduation rate for black students was 67.9 percent, up 1.9 percentage points from the year before. The rate for Hispanic students

was 75.4 percent, up 1.7 percentage points from the year before.

In the Bay Area, Marin County had the highest 2013 graduation rate, at 91.4 percent, according to state education data.

Alameda County's graduation rate was 80.4 percent, Contra Costa County's was 85.8 percent, Napa County's was 85.3 percent, San Mateo County's

was 88.2 percent, Santa Clara County's was 82.9 percent, Solano County's was 81.4 percent and Sonoma County's was 82.2 percent.

San Francisco Unified School District's graduation rate was 81.6 percent, which the district said was similar to its rate for the previous two

years.

"We are continuing toward our goal of graduating 100 percent of our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed," Torlakson said.

— Bay City News Service

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