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Santa Monica High School Graduation Rate Sees Small Slide  

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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

April 14, 2017 -- A smaller percentage of Santa Monica High School students graduated with their class in 2016 than did the previous year, according to statistics released this week by the California Department of Education.

The Samohi graduation rate for 2016 was 94.1 percent, which was a small drop from 95 percent in 2015.

This is the fourth consecutive year the graduation rate dips. The previous graduation rates were 95.4 percent in 2014 and 96.5 percent in 2013.

Students not graduating with their class does not necessarily mean they have dropped out of school. This is shown by the fact that the dropout rate has not increased every year during the four-year graduation slide.

The recent dropout rates are 4.3 percent (2016), 3.2 percent (2015), 3.7 percent (2014) and 2.6 percent (2013). The students who dropped out could have left school at any time after the start of their high school career.

Samohi students graduated in 2016 at a far higher rate than their peers throughout Los Angeles County and the state.

The statewide graduation rate was 83.2 percent, while it was 81.3 percent in Los Angeles County. Both of those rates were increases from the previous year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson applauded the statewide graduation increase in a prepared statement.

"This is great news for our students and families," Torlakson said. "Graduation rates have gone up seven years in a row, reflecting renewed optimism and increased investments in our schools."

He continued that these increased investments have "helped reduce class sizes; bring back classes in music, theater, art, dance, and science; and expand career technical education programs that engage our students with hands-on, minds-on learning."

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