Last week, we got a firsthand look at the many ways in which students at East Village High School cheat on the district’s online credit recovery courses. A San Diego Unified spokesman dismissed claims that cheating occurs were merely “anecdotal.” Since then, more teachers and students have come forward with stories that suggest the problem is pervasive.

On a recent visit to an online credit recovery course at a San Diego Unified high school, students — and even teachers — showed us just how easy it is to game the assignments, including Googling the answers in real time, muting lectures and typing gobbledygook in as responses and receiving credit.

A closer look at data from individual high schools reveals a trend that might seem contradictory at first glance: Schools whose graduation rates are rising are simultaneously losing a significant number of students to charter schools and schools in other parts of town.

New records obtained by Voice of San Diego quantify for the first time how many struggling students in the class of 2016 left district high schools and how many of them were not on track to graduate. The records also reveal which schools students left. Top among them were high schools in poorer areas like Lincoln High and Morse High.

When students’ stellar test scores are called into question in the 1988 movie “Stand and Deliver,” actor Edward James Olmos, playing a real-life high school math teacher whose success story the movie is based on, calls out the racial motivations behind the investigation. “Those scores would have never been questioned if my kids did not have Spanish surnames […]

Many officials have warned that aging schools are more likely to be at risk of lead exposure. But age alone isn’t a solid indicator. We’ve mapped district schools by age, as well as by the condition of campus facilities. Buildings in bad condition are more likely to have plumbing issues.

The state confirmed Tuesday that 91 percent of San Diego Unified’s class of 2016 graduated. But that number doesn’t show all the factors that came together to make the rate possible – whether it was allowing certain students to test out of requirements or losing low-performing students to charter schools.

San Diego Unified and Grossmont Union are suing to shut down certain charter schools that offer online credit-recovery courses and independent study options, saying they’re illegally operating within their boundaries. Meanwhile, San Diego Unified is expanding its own versions of those programs, hoping to capitalize on the growing market for non-traditional education options and hold onto students who would otherwise leave.