The Los Angeles Unified School District’s graduation rate rose in 2014-15 to 72.2 percent, a 2-point jump over the previous year, with increases reported across all major ethnic subgroups, according to figures released this week by the California Department of Education.
The District’s graduation rate has increased nearly 10 percentage points since 2009-10, when the state began using four-year cohort graduation rates as a measure of accountability. At the same time, the dropout rate declined from nearly 25 percent to 16.7 percent.
“I am very proud of the work we are doing—not only in raising our graduation rates, but in preparing our graduates to enter college or the workforce,” said Superintendent Michelle King. “Our students, parents, faculty and staff have worked together as a team, and they can take great satisfaction in this accomplishment.”
To determine the graduation rate, first-time ninth-graders are followed over the course of four years to determine which of them graduated on time. Students who transfer and re-enroll in other public schools in California are removed from the cohort. Students who enter L.A. Unified after ninth grade are added to the cohort.
When examined by subgroup, graduation rates have increased for all major subgroups in L.A. Unified since 2009-10, with double-digit jumps for Latino and African American students. African-American students have increased by 13.3 percentage points and Latino students by 10.8 points. Although there have been fluctuations in the last five years, rates for English-learners increased by 10.3 points and students with disabilities increased by 13 points.
In addition, 24 schools distributed in local districts across L.A. Unified had graduation rates in 2014-15 of 90 percent or higher. Two schools—Roosevelt Math/Science Magnet and Harbor Teacher Preparatory Academy—recorded rates of 100 percent.