California’s high school graduation rate rose again in 2016, marking the seventh straight year that statewide rates have climbed. In Orange County, the figure rose to 90.8 percent, making it the state’s only county with at least 3,000 students to top a 90 percent graduation rate.
Among students around California who started high school in 2012-13, 83.2 percent graduated with their class in 2016, up from 82.3 percent the year before, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Tuesday. That translates to 4,917 more graduates than in the Class of 2015.
The state’s graduation rate has climbed steadily since the Class of 2010 posted a 74.7 percent rate, state Department of Education data show.
Three of the four counties in Southern California saw their number of graduates grow by at least 1.8 percentage points.
Los Angeles County, which has by far the most students in the state, was below the average for the Class of 2016, but above the previous year. Of the 121,039 students who were part of the Class of 2016, 81.3 percent graduated, up from 78.7 percent one year earlier.
Riverside County showed a significant increase, graduating 89.2 percent of its students, up from 87.4 percent. Though San Bernardino County was slightly below the state average at 82.6 percent, it made significant improvement over the previous year’s 80.7 percent.
The graduation rate rose among almost every student subgroup. The biggest increases took place among English-learners (up 2.7 percentage points), African American students (1.8 percentage points) and Latino students (1.5 percentage points), Torlakson said.
“This is great news for our students and families,” Torlakson said in a news release.
Additional state dollars have helped cut class sizes, restore art and music classes that were slashed during the recession, and expand career technical education programs.
Common Core academic standards that stress hands-on learning have made school more interesting…