|John Lee Evans|
We had great news this week. With the more rigorous high school graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 Clairemont High has 97% of its graduates on track to graduate and Madison High School has 99% on track currently.
When I came onto the school board in 2008 I hoped we could increase the graduation rate in San Diego Unified, which we have done. It was about 78% ten years ago and last year it was about 89%. But more importantly we wanted to make a San Diego Unified diploma more meaningful. Having students recover credits with diluted filler courses was doing no service to the students who gained a diploma and were still unprepared for college or the workforce.
In 2009 we voted to make the high school graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 in line with the requirements of CSU and UC. We do not expect every student to enter a four year university, but we want all of our students to graduate with that option. Many will go to community college (for which they will now be better prepared) and others will go into technical careers. The added requirements are two years of a world language and one more year of math, as well as one arts course.
We are transforming our high schools to better prepare our students and expanding offerings in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, community college courses, UCSD courses and career pathways and internships. Our students will not experience such an abrupt transition after graduation to the world of work or college.
It is very clear that when we have higher expectations we have higher results. But, of course, many additional supports were put in place so that students at risk would succeed. The faculty at the high school has done a great job, as well as the elementary and middle school teachers who prepared them for this milestone. Congratulations Class of 2016!