San Diego Unified approaches state record for high school graduations

Posted: Thursday, May 12th 2016


The Class of 2015 graduates at Madison High School.

Some 92 percent of all San Diego Unified seniors are on track to graduate this year, a 2 percent rise and enough to put San Diego Unified on course to achieve the highest graduation rate in the State of California among the five biggest districts.

San Diego students achieved these record results at the same time as it is getting harder to earn a district diploma. Today’s graduates must successfully complete the A-G curriculum, something only 40 percent of all graduates did a decade ago.

“San Diego is changing the education conversation in the State of California by showing you can raise graduation standards and graduate more students at the same time. The fact that it is our children leading this change — by stepping up to meet the challenge — makes me incredibly hopeful for the future,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten.

As graduation season nears, San Diego Unified School District is releasing new information on the Class of 2016. The District says its graduating class will be academically stronger and better prepared for the future than any other recent group of students.

Smarter, better-prepared

The increase in the percentage of students on track to graduate comes at the same time as new, more rigorous graduation requirements come into effect. In order to earn a San Diego Unified diploma, students must now pass more than a dozen courses needed to attend a California public university. The stronger standards are designed to prepare more students for college and a career.

Another reason the Class of 2016 is more prepared academically for the future is the large number of advanced classes San Diego Unified now offers, many through partnerships with local colleges and universities. More than 1,600 students are taking college classes while still in high school, and many more students are benefitting from Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.

Diverse and well-rounded

Superintendent Marten also noted the exceptional diversity of the Class of 2016. San Diego Unified students speak more than 60 different languages and come from over 170 different nations. Final demographic traits of the graduating class are still pending, but the overall student population of the district includes more diversity and higher percentages of Latinos, Asians and African Americans than the surrounding San Diego county.

As individuals, the Class of 2016 has had the chance to pursue their special talents in the arts, music and athletics. Indeed, at least a year of visual and performing arts is required for graduation.

“I have no doubts about the bright future awaiting the Class of 2016,” said Supt. Marten. “Not only are they better prepared academically, they also understand how to follow their individual passions in an increasingly diverse society.”

News Coverage

Watch Supt. Marten on KUSI-TV (via YouTube)

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