Weekly roundup: Grad rates, a middle school entrepreneur, a mobile planetarium and more

Orange County’s graduation rate edged up slightly in 2018.

Figures released this week by the state Department of Education show that 89.2 percent of the OC students who started high school in 2014 received their diplomas four years later. Last year’s four-year graduation rate was 88.8 percent.


California’s grad rate also saw a modest increase this year, ticking up to 83 percent from 82.7 percent in 2017.

As EdSource reports, graduation rates have trended upward over the last 10 years and dropouts have fallen significantly, yet gaps continue to separate students along racial and ethnic lines — and by income levels.

You might recall that graduation numbers for Orange County and the rest of the state are typically released in the spring. But according to EdSource, state education officials wanted to have them ready for the latest edition of the California School Dashboard.

The Dashboard, a color-coded accountability tool that measures the performance of every public school based on a number of metrics, is scheduled to be released sometime in December.

And here are some other stories that caught our attention for the week ending Nov. 30:

  • A beachfront playground at Newport Elementary School is now sand-resistant thanks to a months-long renovation effort between the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and the city.
  • With remarks from family, friends, colleagues and dignitaries, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District honored a pair of retiring board members who have a combined 71 years of service at the dais.
  • Based on the theme “Our Humanity, Our Technology, Our Future,” the fourth annual OC Pathways Showcase celebrated partnerships that are creating career pathways and work-based learning opportunities for Orange County students. The OCDE Newsroom has a recap, a photo slideshow and a video of the event, which was held at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with our local education coverage by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates or following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.