The California Department of Education (CDE), as well as U.S. News & World Report and other data reporting resources and “ranking” sites, use very specific data sets to rank high schools such as AP and IB exams, which we very intentionally do not offer at Da Vinci Schools. Another Da Vinci statistic recently cited by the CDE, the 2017-18 Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate, is also misleading without additional context.
The CDE has a very specific and narrow methodology for measuring performance on the graduation rate indicator, and while it is unfortunate that they publish data that paints a misleading picture of our work and outcomes, we remain confident in the excellence of the education that we provide our students each day. There are many ways to measure schools, and we stand by the Da Vinci outcomes that we see for our students.
Da Vinci’s four-year cohort graduation rates at Da Vinci Schools as cited by the CDE do not include those students who elect to take college courses beyond their senior year as part of our innovative college and career pathway program known as Da Vinci Extension (DVX).
DVX students are counted as high school students for purposes of state and federal funding and do not receive their high school diploma until completion (or withdrawal) from the DVX program. Because these students don’t technically graduate high school in four years, they have an impact on Da Vinci’s Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate. For the 2018-19 school year, there are close to 100 students who would otherwise have earned a diploma who elected to enroll in DVX.
Taking into account our graduated students combined with our “Still Enrolled” DVX students, we have calculated the following Class of 2018 Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates:
DV Communications: 96.6%
DV Design: 96.8%
DV Science: 92.4%
The 2017-18 Statewide four-year graduation rate is 83.5%.
At Da Vinci Schools, two of the many ways we seek to focus our energy are on providing students with affordable, flexible pathways to college degree completion and exposure and access to the workplace via internships, project consults, mentorships, and other real-world learning experiences. We are proud of our results at DVX where 100% of DVX students earned college credits in their first year after 12th grade and persisted into a 2nd year of college while gaining valuable work experience.