Graduation Rates in L.A. Unified Schools Top Expectations

LOS ANGELES (April 28, 2015) – The Los Angeles Unified School District achieved a graduation rate of 70 percent for 2013-14, according to figures released today by the California Department of Education. That figure exceeds by three percent the District’s preliminary estimate last October.

For comprehensive high schools, the typical option for students in the ninth through 12th grade, final graduation rate of nearly 82 percent is higher than the 77 percent previously released.

“I congratulate our students for this improvement,” said Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines,” as well as our administrators, parents, and teachers who encouraged and supported them. I also want to commend the work of support services staff, including counselors as well as health and human services personnel. The entire LAUSD can take great satisfaction in this accomplishment.”

Cortines also expressed pride in the 2 percent rise in graduation rates among African-American and Latino students; the 4 percent increase in the rate for English learners, and the 10 percent improvement for students with disabilities.

“These increases remind us of the good things happening in our schools every day,” Cortines said.

The rising number of graduates also pleased board members. "Progress requires courage and bold action. Today confirms the hard work of our students, parents, community, educators, support staff, and district leadership," said Board Member Mónica García.

"Our children remain the same – students of color and warriors in challenging socioeconomic environments,” she added. “What led to this amazing increase in graduation rates is the belief by adults and our education system that all children can succeed and that targeted investments in our highest needs schools produce better outcomes that benefits Los Angeles, our state, and our nation. Congratulations to all. Adelante!"

Board Member Bennett Kayser agreed. “Today's welcome news is another sign that we
are getting LAUSD back on track and moving forward. Congratulations to our students, their parents and the LAUSD employees who serve them.”

The latest figures move the District closer to its ultimate goal of all students graduating college-prepared and career-ready, said Board Member Tamar Galatzan.

“I’m proud of the progress our district has made, despite the challenges that students, families and schools faced during the financial crisis,” Galatzan said. “I’m also grateful to our teachers and principals for moving us closer to our goal of 100 percent graduation. Now, with the additional resources we expect to get from the state, we must increase our efforts at every level so that our kids graduate with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the real world.”

For that to happen, students must be diligent in their classroom studies. “Each student’s graduation is actually the result of over 12 years of hard work by the student and his or her teachers and family,” said Board Member Mónica Ratliff. Congratulations again to the Class of 2014 and to everyone who helped get them to the graduation stage.”

But implementation of the A-G resolution, which requires that all students meet all college preparatory classes with a grade of “D” or better starting with the Class of 2016 and “C” or better starting with the Class of 2017, requires a more concentrated effort going forward, Cortines said.
“We must focus on elementary and middle school to ensure that all students will be prepared to succeed in college preparatory classes,” Cortines said.

Contact: Thoams Waldman (213) 241-6766