State’s high school graduation rate up, dropout rate down

Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, shown at a meeting in 2010, on Tuesday hailed an increase in the state's high school graduation rate.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

State officials Tuesday reported slight improvements in dropout and graduation rates and continued gains made by Latino and African American students.

Overall, the state dropout rate declined by 1.5 percentage points to 13.2% for the class of 2012, when compared to the class of 2011. For Latinos, the improvement was 2.1 percentage points; for African Americans, it was 3.1%.

The state graduation rate was 78.5%, up 1.4 percentage points from 2011, with larger gains among Latinos and African Americans.


This year’s release is the third annual report under a new system that tracks individual students from the time they enter high school, in ninth grade.

Despite years of devastating cuts, schools have focused efforts and used data to educate students more efficiently, said state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a conference call with reporters.

“We must keep moving to ensure every California student graduates ready to succeed in the world they find outside the classroom,” Torlakson said.

The Los Angeles Unified School District experienced similar gains, with a graduation rate of 66.2%, up 1.4 percentage points from 2011.

For Latinos, the improvement was 2.4 percentage points. For African Americans, however, the graduation rate went down slightly by less than a percentage point.

The district’s dropout rate was 20.3%, down 2.3 percentage points. For Latinos, the dropout rate decreased by 2.5 percentage points; for African Americans, the dropout rate fell 1.8 points.


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