L.A. graduation rates up

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The high school graduation rate in Los Angeles County for the 2011-12 school year was 74.7 percent, with a dropout rate of 14.9 percent, according to figures released today by the state Department of Education.

The graduation rate was up from 73.7 percent from the previous year, while the dropout rate dipped from 16.7 percent, according to the state.

The graduation and dropout rates were for students who entered the ninth grade in 2008-09. Those who didn’t graduate with their class or leave school altogether either remained enrolled, completed special education programs or passed the General Educational Development (GED) test.

The upticks reflected statewide gains. According to the CDE, 78.5 percent of Californians graduated with their class last year, up 1.4 percent from the previous year. Black and Hispanic students also posted gains of about a couple of percentage points each.

“There are great things happening in California’s schools every day, and the upward climb of our graduation rate bears that out,” according to Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction. “While I am glad to announce that we are moving in the right direction, the fact remains that we must keep moving to ensure that every California student graduates ready to succeed in the world they will find outside our classrooms.”

The statewide dropout rate declined 1.5 percent to 13.2 percent.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second largest, 66.2 percent of students who entered high school in 2008-09 graduated with their class in 2012, up from 64.8 percent the prior year. The dropout rate in LAUSD was 20.3 percent, down from 22.6 percent, according to the state.

In LAUSD, the graduation rate for white students was 70.7 percent, with a dropout rate of 21.1 percent, according to the CDE statistics. For Hispanics, the rates were 65.5 percent and 20.1 percent; for black students 60.6 percent and 24.7 percent; and for Asians, 85.2 percent and 9 percent.

In Orange County, the graduation rate was 85.3 percent and the dropout rate was 9.1 percent, compared to last year’s figures of 85.6 percent and 9.5 percent.

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