For the past few years, more and more Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students have been listening to the “Pomp and Circumstance” as they bid farewell to their high school years.
This is because less students are dropping out of high school, which means more are graduating.
A total of 67.9 percent of LAUSD students from the Class of 2013 graduated last year. This is 1.3 percent more than in 2012, according to new data released by the California Department of Education.
Consequently, the dropout rate took a three percent dip from 20.3 percent in the Class of 2012 to 17.3 percent in the Class of 2013.
“Despite a series of budget cuts that have had a devastating impact on the LAUSD, we saw once again this past year a rise in the percentage of high school graduates,” said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. “I commend teachers, administrators and parents for their amazing dedication to ensure that more of our students leave the LAUSD prepared for college and career.”
The graduation rate among Latinos also rose. Almost 75 percent of Latinos in California graduated high school last year, according to the data. Their dropout rate is now at 14 percent.
Overall, graduation rates across California improved.
For the first time ever, 80 percent of high school students in California graduated on time in 2013. This a 1.3 percent increase from 2012 and marks the third consecutive year of the number rising.
At this rate, experts believe California will meet the national goal of having a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.
Deasy said the new numbers for LAUSD are due to efforts by the district to educate parents, who put dropouts back in school, which improves attendance and in the end, more students walk away with a diploma.
However, the battle is not over yet.
LAUSD is still the below the state’s average.
Deasy said the district will continue to make sure the district works with students and parents to increase these numbers even further but they are definitely in the right direction.