Data recently released by the California Department of Education shows about three out of four public high school graduates of 2008-2009 were enrolled in a postsecondary institution within 16 months of graduating from high school, according to California Watch.
Imperial County also hit high marks as having the highest college-going rate of socioeconomically disadvantaged students at 80.2 percent and English learners at 79.2 percent. Kern was also lowest among the socioeconomically disadvantaged at 31.7 percent and in college-going English learners at 11.3 percent.
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Local educators were happy to read about the good news for Imperial County’s rates, they said.
“This success is a reflection of the hard work all of our school districts — especially principals, teachers and counselors — have put forth for the students,” Anne Mallory, county superintendent of schools and chairwoman of the Imperial County P-16 Council, wrote in an e-mail response.
“This is also the result of the effort our P-16 Council, including education groups and the business community, have made to ensure more of our students achieve a higher level of education,” she wrote. “We are very appreciative of this partnership in working together to see how we can improve opportunities for all students.
“I also commend all the students for their effort to achieve such an admirable goal, and their parents for motivating them to do well in education,” Mallory wrote.
Victor Jaime, former P-16 chairman and interim Superintendent/President of Imperial Valley College, attributed the success to a variety of factors including the area’s high unemployment leading to more people becoming enrolled in college and efforts of the P-16 Council.
“I think we’re starting to see a trend in the college-going message and all these programs working together,” Jaime said in an interview Saturday.
Jaime said the deliberate attempts at outreach the P-16 Council has made to high school graduates for college preparation has helped “so that when they are ready to graduate from high school they already have a path.”
“(Another factor) is changing the culture, that college is a possibility for people,” Jaime said. I think we’re beginning to see trends change in that way,” Jaime said.
Both Jaime and Mallory noted college-going programs which have helped students need to continue.
“This accomplishment really underscores the importance of the GEAR UP grant for our community,” Mallory said. “We are hoping that funding continues to support the work to help children of the first generation go to college.”
“I think (the data) really shows that our efforts are paying off and we just need to keep that momentum going,” Jaime said.
“It is exciting to get that bit of good news,” he said.
By the numbers
80.6 percent — San Francisco County (overall)
79.6 percent — Imperial County (overall)
32.1 percent — Kern County (overall)
80.2 percent — Imperial County socioeconomically disadvantaged (highest in state)
31.7 percent — Kern County socioeconomically disadvantaged (lowest in state)
79.2 percent — Imperial County English learners (highest in state)
11.3 percent — Kern County (lowest in state)
Source: California Watch
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com