Santa Ana tops in dropouts in Orange County

I had a talk recently with Santa Ana School Board member John Palacio about the dropout problem in our town. Take a look at these awful numbers, from the O.C. Register:

  • No. 35: Century High in Santa Ana, 251 dropouts (9.6 percent)
  • No. 106: Valley High in Santa Ana, 132 dropouts (4.3 percent)
  • No. 213: Saddleback High in Santa Ana, 81 dropouts (3 percent)

Those schools are amongst the O.C. leaders – in dropout rates. And the news is far worse. According to Palacio, as many as HALF our students drop out. If you compare the number of kids who start out in kindergarten to the senior high school classes, half the kids are long gone. Some may have moved, but who really knows? The state does not track dropouts or transfers.

The City of Santa Ana spends a ton of money on its police department. Could it be that the dropout problem is part of this? Why aren’t our community leaders up in arms about this?

Consider that SAUSD Trustee Rob Richardson has NO kids.   Trustees Rosie Avila and Audrey Yamagata-Noji sent their kids out of district, from what I hear. So really, they could care less if the kids in our community are going to Hell in a hand basket.

With this many kids dropping out, you really have to wonder what sort of future they have. The market for manual labor is going down every year as we continue to allow jobs to go overseas. And the problem is magnified when you include the kids who do not graduate but are instead handed worthless certificates because they could not pass their high school exit exams.

We really need to take back our school board this year. Avila, Richardson and the inept Jose Hernandez are all up for reelection. We simply cannot give these people a hall pass. They must go. That is particularly true for Avila and Richardson. They have been partners in low expectations for far too long.  How Pulido can stomach backing her every year is beyond me.

Who will step up? I can think of three great candidates right now in Irene Ibarra, Lynnette Verino and Deborah Vasquez. I hope they will think about it.

No matter what, we cannot ignore the dropout issue in our city anymore. Something must be done – and soon.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.