High school students are graduating, but are they ready for what’s next?
High school students in L.A. Unified are graduating at higher rates than ever before. But it’s too early to know whether these students will go on to complete higher-level education or succeed in the job market.
Now one of the school board’s new members wants to try to answer these questions by gathering and publicizing a lot more information, both on graduates and current students.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board is scheduled to vote on a resolution that would give the superintendent four months to compile a report on student trends far beyond the graduation rate — including preschool performance, success on a host of standardized tests, and achievement in college, apprenticeships and vocational programs.
“We’ve got all this progress that we’re making on high school graduation rates but as we keep pushing toward that 100% graduation, we can’t forget the college- and career-ready part,” said board member Kelly Gonez, who wrote the resolution. “We’ve got to make sure that our diplomas mean that our kids are prepared for success long-term.”
Some of this data is readily available. A recent analysis of college persistence rates for L.A. Unified high school graduates, for instance, found that although about 70% of graduates enrolled in a two-year or four-year college within a year of graduation, only a fourth earned a degree within six years. But the most recent six-year tracking available for that study was for students who graduated from L.A. Unified in 2008.