Fresno Unified graduation rates jump

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Administrators just received brand new data that shows nearly 9% more students are receiving their high school diploma. (KFSN)

Fresno Unified School District is celebrating record high graduation rates.

Administrators just received brand new data that shows nearly 9% more students are receiving their high school diploma.

District officials say more of Fresno Unified's students are graduating high school thanks to a larger effort to provide more services and options for students.

In a press conference, Superintendent Michael Hanson celebrated the increase which brought the district's average gradution rate to 83.8% compared to 75% four years prior.

Hanson says "As the second poorest city in America and one of the ones in California that certainly struggles, it is significant that we have now significantly caught and passed the state average at graduation rate."

Every comprehensive high school in the district saw improvements.

The biggest jumps were seen at Fresno, McLane and Sunnyside High schools.

State officials say elimination of the state exit exam may have contributed to some of the results but add graduation rates have been on the rise since 2010.

Duncan Polytechnical and Edison High Schools had the highest graduation rates in the district.

Here are the results:

The graduation rates for the year: 2011-12 compared with 2014-15

Fresno: went from 78.6% to 89.9%
McLane: went from 74.5% to 87.9%
Sunnyside: went from 83.7% to 94.2%
Roosevelt: went from 83.8% to 89.2%
Duncan: went from 95.2% to 98.4%
Edison: went from 90% to 94.7%
Bullard: went from 92% to 93.6%
Hoover: went from 80.8% to 86.5%

In response to the numbers, Superintendent Michael Hanson says, "For some years Fresno Unified has been labeled and rightfully so it was labeled. We had some schools (like) Fresno, Roosevelt, McLane, in particular, were labeled as drop out factories by the research done by Johns Hopkins University."

"Today, we have no schools left on the dropout factory list. In fact, as our district has moved forward and has surpassed the state average we're happy those days are well in our rear view mirror but we still have work to do, obviously."

Hanson says some contributing factors include increasing safety on school campuses, providing better data for academic counselors, expanding courses at the Fresno Adult School so students can take night classes and encouraging failing students to enroll in summer school.

In fact, he says summer school enrollment jumped from 6,000 to 18,000 students in that four year period.

Students like Tyla Graves who were struggling at one point but are now succeeding and on track to graduate, say they can tell there are more options for students now.

Tyla Graves says, "They build more of a relationship with students now. I feel they help students. They want them to be the best that they can so they give us all these opportunities and we take them."

Fresno Unified is also seeing progress when it comes to drop out rates. Those numbers are on the decline from 20% in 2009-10 school year down to 11.7% last year.
Related Topics:
educationeducationfresno unified school districtgraduationFresno - Southwest
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