Keeping track of dropouts streamlined 

An exhaustive tracking system unveiled today will provide the first accurate dropout rates for San Francisco and statewide schools.

Until now, students who left a school were often counted as dropouts even if they transferred to another district or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam, according to Keric Ashley, director of data management for the California Department of Education.

Starting with the 2007-08 school year, districts are required to report exactly why students left, and state officials will verify whether a student completed a transfer to another district, for example, Ashley said.

San Francisco Unified School District’s dropout rate has swung from a high of 5.2 percent in the 1991-92 school year to a low of 1.1 percent in 2001-02, according to data from the California Department of Education.

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Beth Winegarner

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