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LA Unified shows a big jump in high school graduation rates

Craig Clough | October 3, 2014

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Big gain for grad ratesLA Unified announced today a big jump in graduation rates, with preliminary results showing a 12 percent increase for 2013-14, compared with the preliminary stats from the previous school year. Final graduation rates will be announced in the spring, and if the numbers hold it will be the fourth straight year that graduation rates have risen.

“This is a historic high for L.A. Unified. The preliminary rate does not factor in students who completed their requirements in summer school, and have also graduated. I expect the rate to grow,” LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement. “I am grateful for the work that our teachers, administrators and staff have accomplished. I am also exceedingly proud of our nearly 25,000 graduates.”

The numbers show a 77 percent preliminary graduation rate for 2013-14, an increase of 12 percentage points over the previous year’s preliminary figure of 65 percent. Final graduation rates for 2012-13 were 68 percent, and increased from 65 percent the previous year and 62 percent for the 2010-2011 school year.

The preliminary graduation rate includes comprehensive high schools only, not option schools, but the final numbers will also reflect option schools, according to a the district.

The rising graduation rates have coincided with Deasy’s stewardship of the district, and the positive news comes at a time that the school board is reportedly looking to remove him.

Deasy’s tenure has also seen improved academic performance from students, while on the other side he has received large amounts from criticism from the teachers union and some school board members over his managerial style and the problematic rollouts of the iPad and MiSiS programs.

“We continue to move closer to our goal: All students graduating college-ready and career-prepared,” Deasy’s statement said. “The results keep getting better and better.”

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