Pleasanton schools' graduation rate above California results

PUSD sees 95.7% high school grad rate in 2014, better than figures countywide (82.8%) and statewide (80.8%)

California's high school graduation rate increased in 2014 for the fifth year in a row, but it remained lower than results seen locally, according to data released April 28 by the state's Department of Education.

The state's graduation rate in 2014 was 80.8%, up 0.4 percentage points from the year before but below marks posted in Alameda County (82.8%) and the Pleasanton Unified School District (95.7%) in 2014.

"Our record high graduation rate is great news, especially since it is occurring at the same time we are raising academic standards," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "This is more evidence that the dramatic changes taking place in our schools are gradually helping to improve teaching and learning in every classroom. We have raised academic standards, started online testing, given local districts more flexibility in spending, and provided more resources to students who need it most."

The 2014 graduate rate measures students who started high school in 2010 and graduated with their class, Torlakson said.

In 2014, PUSD saw its high school graduation rate increase by 0.4% and its dropout rate decrease by 0.1% while also seeing its population increase by two students compared to 2013, according to figures provided by the California Department of Education (CDE).

"We are proud of our students' accomplishments and thank our staff for their dedication and commitment," said Pleasanton schools superintendent Parvin Ahmadi.

Of those local students who did not graduate with their class, 2% dropped out, 1.7% are still enrolled in school, 0.5% were in non-diploma special education programs and 0.2% passed the GED test, according to the CDE's data.

In the school-by-school comparison, Foothill High posted the highest graduation rate at 98%, followed by Amador Valley High at 97.2%. Data for Village and Horizon high schools were not released.

Along with the rise in the graduation rate, the state's dropout rate also rose slightly to 11.6% in 2014, up 0.2 of a percentage point. By comparison, the percentage of students still in school but who have not graduated declined 0.5 of a percentage point from the year before and stands at 6.9 percent.

Statewide, of the students who did not graduate with their class, 0.2% passed the GED test and 0.6% are non-diploma special education students, Torlakson said.

The school district's graduation rates for African American (82.4%) and Hispanic students (88%), as well as English learners (87.8%), climbed faster than the statewide average.

"These results should not be a surprise to anyone as we have worked hard to engage all students and close the opportunity gap. I believe all means all and that should be reflected in our actions and outcomes," said Ahmadi. "I have a dream that someday no one will be able to distinguish between various groups of students' achievements related to their ethnic, socio-economic background, native language or gender."

California's 2014 graduation rate for African American students was 68.1%, unchanged from the year before. The rate for Hispanic students was 76.4%, up 0.7 percentage points from the year before.

Pleasanton's neighboring school district, San Ramon Valley Unified, had a graduation rate of 98.3% in 2014.

In Alameda County, Piedmont City Unified School District had the highest 2014 graduation rate, at 100%, according to state data.

Graduation and dropout rates for counties, districts, and schools across California were calculated based on four-year cohort information using the state's California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). Cohort means the same groups of students were followed for four years in this data collection. This is the fifth time this cohort information was calculated, meaning data may only be compared accurately over the five-year period from 2009-10 to 2013-14. Prior to 2009-10, graduation and dropout rates used different calculation systems. Cohort graduation rates are used to determine whether schools met their targets for increasing the graduation rate for Adequate Yearly Progress reporting under the federal accountability system.

To view state, county, district, and school graduation and dropout rates, view the CDE's DataQuest webpage.


13 people like this
Posted by ChirpChirp
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm


five years of climbing grad rates for all, five years of soaring grad rates for underserved students.

no one wants to make note of who's been at the helm? if she gets the blame, she gets the credit too, right?


congrats to the 95.7% of our students that made the grade!

18 people like this
Posted by thanks to Parvin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Awesome news, although, not a surprise! Thank you, Mrs. Ahmadi! Your service to our district is appreciated! There are MANY who stand behind you and the positive changes you have made for students in our district! Best wishes to you as you move on to CV They are lucky to have you!

This article displays what the combination of amazing families, kids, and teachers can achieve under good leadership!

14 people like this
Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Sometimes, of course, success in any field is achieved despite, rather than because of, the leadership. :-)

Let's not wear rose-colored glasses. In almost every field, those at the top tend to take credit for the good and place the blame for any failures elsewhere. I doubt whether Pleasanton is any different.

24 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:41 am

Not crickets, the children that graduated were already on a 13 year track to graduate. Why? Because the families that live here in Pleasanton realize how important an education is. To infer that the failed administration had anything to do with steadily increasing rate of graduation is ridiculous. Parents caring about their children and keeping them on track is what's increasing the graduation rate.

6 people like this
Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:16 am

clearly would have been even better with out Ahmadi and the other total losers who have been running the school district in pleasanton

10 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:48 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Nothing rankles me more then attributing educational success to those in management instead of where it rightfully belongs: to the parents and families in the district.

Take our children and families to any low-performing district and watch what happens to that districts scores.

To quote Ralph Kramden: "Through the roof!"

Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Edit: more THAN. Ugh!

24 people like this
Posted by Bravo
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

Involved parents and great teachers are what keeps graduation rates high.

4 people like this
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:29 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Thanks to Parvin: That was a joke, right?

5 people like this
Posted by TheTruth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:40 am

Ah, I see, this is how the big CEO's annual reports/bonus schedules go correct? When the report is good it has nothing to do with management- only the consumer. When there is a drop in production, it's all the managements fault, no correlation to the consumer.

So...if that's the route we go- parents/kids are the reason the schools are doing so well...let's return to this philosophy when the SBAC test scores come back- we can assume it is also due to parents and students of course.

Only in Pleasanton do we work so hard to make a successful school district look bad. Really its some of the worst "munchausen by proxy" I have ever seen- sick! And to see three of our board members leading this charge is even sicker. Our board president doesnt have ONE good thing to say about the last 5 years? Only one attended the district education summit, none attended the Excellence in Education event. Both events had more participants from the City Council!

You fool no one, except those who see this as the news source for Pleasanton. I congratulate our schools and the management that has delivered this consistent possitive news for the past 5 years, as we recovered from the greatest cuts we've ever seen in education successfully! Cant say I have any trust for 3 Board members who fail to see this or ever mention one positive about our schools- just doesnt match with the facts.

4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 10:36 am

People love to complain. We have it really good here. Quit with all the complaining.

1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 2, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


Yes Truth, because Consuming and Learning are, like, the same thing! /sarcasm.

It's amazing that you didn't catch your own admission about the effectiveness of parents and families in education when you said the following:

>>I congratulate our schools and the management that has delivered this consistent possitive news for the past 5 years, as we recovered from the greatest cuts we've ever seen in education successfully!<<

So even though the budget was cut some time ago, school scores continue to remain the same and in some cases get better, right?

Thanks for the verification!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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