Graduation Numbers Rise to ‘Record High’
By EGP Staff Report
For the seventh straight year, California is making gains on the number of students who graduate from high school, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported Tuesday.
The number of seniors graduating in 2016 reached a record high for the state, Torlakson said in a written statement.
The highest gains were made among English learners and African American and Latino students, according to the data just released by the state Department of Education.
“This is great news for our students and families,” Torlakson said, crediting “increased investments in our schools that have helped reduce class sizes; bring back classes in music, theater, art, dance, and science; and expand career technical education programs that engage our students with hands-on, minds-on learning” for the progress made.
“The increasing rates show that the positive changes in California schools are taking us in the right direction.”
Statewide, the data, which tracks students who entered high school in 2012-13 and graduated in 2016, shows an increase of 0.9 percent from 2015, for a record high of 83.2 percent, which translates to 4,917 more students receiving their high school diploma in 2016 than in 2015.
In Los Angeles County, the graduation rate was 81.3 percent, compared to 78.7 percent for the class of 2015. The dropout rate for students who started high school in 2012-13 was 10.6 percent, down from 12.5 percent for the class of 2014-15.
The Los Angeles Unified School District saw similar trends, with the 2015-16 dropout rate at 13.7, down from 16.7 the previous year. The graduation rate was 77 percent, up from the previous year’s 72.2 percent.
“I am proud of the heroic efforts by our teachers, counselors, parents, administrators and classified staff who rally around our students every day,” LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King said. “We also thank our education leaders and partners who work with us to understand our challenges and
celebrate our gains year after year.
“This data shows we are closing opportunity gaps and preparing more L.A. Unified students for college and careers, but we still have work to do,” King said. “I expect these numbers to keep rising until we reach our goal of 100 percent graduation.”
In the Montebello Unified School District, which has one high school in Bell Gardens, the graduation rate rose to 87.7 percent, 0.07 percent higher than the previous year.
The report also showed a statewide lowering of the dropout rate. Of the students who started high school in 2012-13, 9.8 percent dropped out, down from 10.7 percent the previous year.
While there is room to be optimistic, Torlakson said there is still much work to be done that will require effort from everyone “—teachers, parents, administrators, and community members—to keep our momentum alive so we can keep improving.”
He singled out as critical the work of narrowing “the achievement gap between Asian and white students and Latino and African American students.”
“The latest statistics show the gap has narrowed. For African American students, the graduation rate reached a record high of 72.6 percent, up 1.8 percentage points from the year before and up 12.1 percentage points from 2010. For Hispanic or Latino students, the graduation rate climbed to a record high of 80 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from the year before and up 11.9 percentage points from 2010.”
For the second year in a row, the graduation rate among English learners went up, increasing 2.7 percent to 72.1 percent, 15.7 percentage points higher than the class of 2010, according to the data from the department of education.
Torlakson said changes in education funding and to curriculum, which he calls “the California Way,” are making a difference.
The California Way, he said, includes “teaching more rigorous and relevant academic standards, which provides more local control over spending and more resources to those with the greatest needs.”Print This Post
April 13, 2017 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.