High school graduation rates are booming, locally and across the nation.

But do those high rates mean what we think they do? Are more students graduating now than ever before?

Last May, San Diego Unified officials projected that 92 percent of the class of 2016 was on track to graduate. It was hailed as a colossal success because the graduation rate was the district’s highest on record, even in the face of new more rigorous requirements

Just months before the district announced that record-setting rate, a team of researchers from UC San Diego looked at the data and predicted graduation rates would fall.

So what happened?

The district did not break or bend any rules to attain its record-setting graduation rate, but officials do remove a students who move, transfer to charter schools in the district or leave the country from the equation. Critics of the high graduation rates also have questions and concerns about online recovery courses that they say lack the length and rigor of regular courses.

In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC 7’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Mario Koran dig in to the unusually high graduation rates touted by local schools.

Kinsee Morlan

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture...

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