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Opinion

Readers React: Why you should not trust the LAUSD’s new, less dishonest graduation rate

MONTEREY PARK, CALIF. -- WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, 2017: Darryll Mercadel, 18, of Youth Opportunities Unl
An LAUSD graduating senior participates in a ceremony at East Los Angeles College on June 7, 2017.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: With test scores plateauing and even dropping, and with a dismal percentage of students performing at grade-level proficiency, the Los Angeles Unified School District has turned to graduation rates to burnish its image and “fuzzy math” to create misleading statistics.

Between the highly dubious “credit recovery” practice and the inclusion of those who drop out and finish in adult education or by passing a high school proficiency exam, even the corrected graduation figure of 76.1% should be looked at with suspicion.

Meanwhile, the percentage of graduates needing remedial help in college remains staggering. Why should graduation rates have ever included high school equivalency or adult school?

Mitch Paradise, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Graduation rates and test scores are important, since many families choose where to live based on those statistics.

Perhaps even more helpful is knowing where graduates will go next, including continuation schools, technical schools or colleges and universities. A small town like mine with one high school proudly publishes that information in the local newspaper. Is that information readily available to the residents of Los Angeles?

Beverly E. Adair, Palm Springs

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