Well, sort of. Remember the researchers who came out with that report four years ago calling Oakland and Los Angeles “dropout factories” because they graduated fewer than half of their students? That report basically said that California was masking its terrible dropout problem with lousy math, and suggested a new formula to calculate how many students made it from ninth grade to graduation in four years.
By this same formula, Oakland’s four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2005 was about 50.5 percent, about nine percentage points higher than it was for the Class of 1995 (and about three points higher than the estimate cited in the “dropout factory” report), according to the new study, prepared by Editorial Projects in Education Research Center.
The America’s Promise report, which looked at the 50 largest cities in the United States, ranked Oakland 34th. It also found that most of Oakland’s dropouts quit in the tenth grade, something that I hadn’t realized. You can find the study here.
I should note that the last group studied was the Class of 2005, the year before California’s high school exit exam requirement took effect (see this morning’s post). Improvement’s a good thing, but half is still half.