New California education department data released for the first time since 2019 shows that graduation rates hit all-time highs in the state, and San Francisco public schools’ rates were even higher, the San Francisco Standard reported.

The California School Dashboard records data to track student progress and achievement at public schools across the state, reporting on everything from attendance and enrollment stats to graduation rates to test scores to school demographic shifts.

The proportion of California’s high school students who graduated in four years reached about 87.4% this past year, an all-time high. That’s up from roughly 84% in 2020-21. The California Department of Education said that this is likely thanks to new legislation that allowed more accommodations in response to challenges determining grades caused by the early months of the pandemic and at-home schooling.

The San Francisco Unified School District’s 49,204 students had even higher graduation rates during the 2021-22 school year, with 90.4% graduating in four years. The Standard reported that these results might surprise many SF residents who expected pandemic virtual learning to have negative impacts on graduation rates, because absenteeism and attendance rates significantly dropped during the pandemic.

Source: California School Dashboard

The California School Dashboard indeed showed that SFUSD experienced chronic absenteeism  at about 29%, more than double the rate of pre-pandemic levels (chronically absenteeism means students miss 10% of the school year). This matches national and state-wide trends, as California’s rates were 30% in the 2021-22 school years, versus 14% in 2020-21.

Also of note: SFUSD’s English Language Arts scores were 2.1 points above standard, while its math scores were 26.3 points below average.

Source: California School Dashboard

Also, only 45% of SFUSD high students and about 33% of middle schoolers agreed with the statement “students from this school treat other students with respect,” the Standard reported.

Image of Mission via Wikimedia/Dale Cruise.