Nearly 75% of California high school grads go to college, state finds
The California Department of Education said Thursday that nearly three-quarters of California's high school graduates went on to higher education, a statistic made possible by a recently developed statewide student tracking system.
Using data from the 2008-09 school year, the education department found that about 75% of students who graduated from California public schools enrolled in a college or university in the United States.
In Los Angeles Unified, nearly 63% of 2009 graduates went on to postsecondary education, the department reported.
The results were compiled by cross-checking students from the statewide database with enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The findings can be broken down by district, county, school and by other demographic categories, including race and ethnicity.
The California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System allowed the state to track students on an individual level by name, date of birth and other identifying factors, said Keric Ashley, the director of data management for the state education department.
"This is just the first glimpse of the kind of data that could be done," Ashley said.
For example, the state also found with data from the 2006-07 academic year that more than half of the graduates that year enrolled in the California Community College, California State University or University of California systems. Of those, 28% received at least one year of credit within two years of their enrollment.
Ashley said the data system also has the potential of tracking students to find how many graduate from college and could even see how students fare in terms of earnings once they start working, both for high school graduates and those who dropped out of school.
-- Rick Rojas
Photo: Graduates celebrate at Locke High School back in July. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times