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Torlakson celebrates rise in AP participation at LA magnet school

Vanessa Romo | April 3, 2014

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Tom Torlakson at LACES

Tom Torlakson at LACES

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson was in town today visiting the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) as part of his week-long “AP Excellence Tour.”

Torlakson said the visits to high schools with innovative Advanced Placement courses are a “celebration” of a 10-year report from The College Board, showing impressive growth in enrollment statewide, especially among low-income and minority students. Nearly 41 percent of the 2013 graduating class took an AP exam, compared with only a quarter of graduates a decade before.

At LACES the numbers are even more impressive.

The popular magnet school offers 27 AP courses. Two thirds of students — that’s 600 out of 900 — enrolled in 9th through 12th grade are taking at least one AP class. About 40 percent of students take AP Calculus, and all 10th graders are automatically enrolled in AP World History.

It’s no wonder that the school is one of the most sought after LA Unified schools for students and parents.

Ellana Selig, Magnet Coordinator for LACES, a 6-12 school, told LA School Report that the school has received almost 1,200 applications for the 2014-15 school year. Only 240 were accepted into the sixth grade. Students in other grades are only accepted as LACES students leave for other schools. Selig says the school has a waiting list of 2,700 students still hoping to get in.

Acceptance letters went out on April 1st.

“You can imagine, my phone’s been ringing off the hook,” she said.

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