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Partnership for LA Schools sees rising graduation rates

LA School Report | December 3, 2015



GRADUATIONThe Partnership for Los Angeles Schools announced today that its preliminary graduation rate for the 2014-15 school year rose to 77 percent, a seven-point improvement over the previous year.

The 17 Partnership schools in South LA, Watts and Boyle Heights are part of a non-profit started by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008 while he was still in office. Although still considered traditional district schools, they receive extra funding and support through philanthropic donations and coordination with over 1,000 public and private partners.

In a press release, the Partnership for LA Schools said the graduation rate has jumped 41 points since its formation.

“We are proud that our collective efforts have yielded these remarkable results in some of the city’s highest-needs communities,” Joan Sullivan, the Partnership’s CEO, said in a statement. “Based on a combination of strategies that include a strong focus on academic rigor, leveraging community partners to support college access and heightened use of data to individualize instruction, we’ve more than doubled the percentage of students who receive a diploma each year.”

The rise in graduation rates coincides with rising rates in the district as a whole, which has seen nine straight years of growth. The district’s 2014-15 preliminary grad rate for the last school year was 74 percent. The California Board of Education will certify official graduation rates in the spring.

The Partnership has five high schools, and each one has seen a dramatic rise in graduation since 2008 — the strongest at the Santee Education Complex, which rose to a 74.4 percent graduation rate from 27 percent, and at the Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt (MSTMA), which rose to perfection, 100 percent, from 58.6 percent.

“When our last student in the class of 2015 met all graduation requirements, we stood in disbelief. None of us had ever experienced 100% of students meeting all graduation requirements. Then, we cheered,” MSTMA Principal Jose Espinoza said in a statement. “We now know that providing all students with a rigorous and nurturing curriculum, closely coupled with family and community partner support to provide persistent support and encouragement works.”

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