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California now ranks number one in school drop-outs

California now ranks number one among the 50 US states in the percentage of its residents aged 25 and older who have never completed ninth grade.

Published: December 26, 2018, 6:23 am

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    It is also right at the bottom for the percentage of students who have graduated from high school, according to new data from the US Census Bureau.

    Texas ranks number two for the percentage of its residents 25 and older who have never completed ninth grade and 49th for the percentage who have graduated from high school.

    CBS reported that 9,7 percent of Californians aged 25 and older, never completed ninth grade. California is the state with the most immigrants in the US, and ninth graders are typically between 14 and 15 years old. Moreover, only 82,5 percent have graduated from high school.

    Some 8,7 percent of Texas residents 25 and older never completed ninth grade, and only 82,8 percent graduated from high school. Texas is the state with the second most immigrants.

    California and Texas—while having the highest percentages of residents 25 and older who never finished ninth grade and the lowest percentages who graduated from high school—are also America’s two most populous states.

    In fact, the 2 510 370 California residents aged 25 and older who never finished ninth grade, according to the latest Census Bureau figures, outnumber the entire populations of 15 other states.

    Ten states exceeded the nationwide level of residents 25 and older who have never finished ninth grade. These include: California (9,7 percent), Texas (8,7 percent), New York (6,5 percent), New Mexico (6,5 percent), Kentucky (6,1 percent), Nevada (5,9 percent), Arizona (5,9 percent), Mississippi (5,6 percent), Rhode Island (5,5 percent), and Louisiana (5,4 percent).

    Wyoming—with 1,8 percent—had nation’s lowest percentage of residents 25 and older who never finished ninth grade. More than 90 percent of the state’s population is white.

    In Texas, the resident population aged 25 and older was 17 454 431. Of those individuals, 1 513 995 never completed ninth grade, outnumbering the populations of 11 other states.

    But according to the Pew Research Center, Latino drop out rates peaked in 1995 at 35 percent, which was more than twice the rate of Black students.

    Compared to immigrants in the rest of the US, California is now the most racially and ethnically diverse state, with no racial or ethnic group that constitute a majority.

    The high concentration of immigrants in California makes the state unique in other ways too: Over the last decade, California has also led the US in reducing its prison population by shortening sentences and sending offenders to counties for “humane” treatment.

    But despite the “humane” treatment, crime has increased, an analysis by the Marshall Project and the Los Angeles Times found.

    The overall crime surged in both 2012 and 2015, the years that immediately followed two major statewide measures aimed at decreasing the number of people in prison.

    California saw a 12 percent increase from 2014 to 2017, while the violent crime rate in the other 49 states together increased only 3 percent, the analysis showed.  Thirty-one of the state’s 58 counties saw an increase in violent crime last year.

    “There’s no accountability,” said a retired Sacramento County sheriff’s captain. “People know they can get away with things. That’s contributed to it. That’s really been a big source of frustration. No one’s going to jail anymore.”

    In fact, US national crime data for 2017 showed that violent crime in California has not followed the national trend. In the 49 other states taken together it has decreased. Also, California’s robbery rate jumped 14 percent from 2014 to 2017, while the rest of the country saw a 7 percent drop.

    “It is troubling and deserves more attention,” said Magnus Lofstrom, policy director of corrections at the Public Policy Institute of California.

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