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There were fewer dropouts of Los Angeles County students in the high school class of 2015-16 when compared to the previous year, and there was an upward tick in the graduation rate, according to figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Education.

The dropout rate for Los Angeles County students who started high school in 2012-13 was 10.6 percent, down from 12.5 percent for the class of 2014-15. The graduation rate was 81.3 percent, compared to 78.7 percent for the previous year’s class.

The Los Angeles Unified School District saw similar trends, with the 2015-16 dropout rate at 13.7, down from 16.7 the previous year. The graduation rate was 77 percent, up from the previous year’s 72.2 percent.

“I am proud of the heroic efforts by our teachers, counselors, parents, administrators and classified staff who rally around our students every day,” LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King said. “We also thank our education leaders and partners who work with us to understand our challenges and celebrate our gains year after year.

This data shows we are closing opportunity gaps and preparing more L.A. Unified students for college and careers, but we still have work to do,” King said. “I expect these numbers to keep rising until we reach our goal of 100 percent graduation.”

In Orange County, the graduation rate was 90.8 percent, up slightly from 90 percent the previous year. The dropout rate was 5.4 percent, down from 5.7 percent the previous year.

Statewide, the graduation rate climbed for the seventh year in a row, according to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

A total of 83.2 percent of the state’s students who started high school in 2012-13 graduated with their class in 2016, up 0.9 percentage points from the previous year, according to the state.

“This is great news for our students and families,” Torlakson said. “Graduation rates have gone up seven years in a row, reflecting renewed optimism and increased investments in our schools that have helped reduce class sizes; bring back classes in music, theater, art, dance and science; and expand career technical education programs that engage our students with hands-on, minds-on learning.”

The report also showed a statewide lowering of the dropout rate. Of the students who started high school in 2012-13, 9.8 percent dropped out, down from 10.7 percent the previous year.

—City News Service

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