Students stand in front of Oakland High School. Justin Sullivan/Getty
Students stand in front of Oakland High School. Justin Sullivan/Getty

About 18 percent of California high school students dropped out in 2010, according to new statewide data released today by the state’s Department of Education.

In Oakland, however, that number is closer to 37 percent – one of the highest dropout rates in the state.  The dropout rate in the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, was 26 percent.

KQED’s Ana Tintocalis spoke with Oakland Unified’s spokesman Troy Flint. He said there’s no excuse for the district’s high dropout rate.

“We don’t deny that we have neglected a generation of high school students. All we that can do going forward is admit that and redouble our efforts,” he said.

Flint said Oakland district officials acknowledge they’ve spent too much of their time and resources at improving student performance in the early grades.

Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo counties boasted some of the highest graduation rates in the Bay Area.

This is the first time the state has counted dropout rates at each high school in the state, giving a more accurate snapshot of dropout and graduation rates. Before, the state relied on estimates.

The new data continues to show black students and students learning English as a second language are more likely to drop out than their peers.

New High School Dropout Data: Oakland at 37 Percent 11 August,2011

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