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Felicitas Gonzalo Mendez High School. and Photo by Art Torres

Felicitas Gonzalo Mendez High School. and Photo by Art Torres

Graduation rates are on the rise statewide, and in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

According to the California Department of Education, 68 percent of LAUSD students graduated in the 2012-2013 school year, which marks a one-percent increase over the previous year.

The rate still remains lower than last year’s statewide graduation rate, which topped 80%- the highest in California’s history.

In Board District 2, which includes Boyle Heights, 15 high schools are now above the state’s average””Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet had a 97.4% graduation rate.

District 2 Board Member Monica Garcia said in a statement, “We are proud of our students and staff for their hard work and continuous gains.” But said, “LAUSD must accelerate the pace of growth for our students towards reaching our goals of 100% graduation.”

Overall a total of 56 of LAUSD’s 117 comprehensive high schools had a graduation rate of at least 80%. LAUSD also saw a 3% decline in the dropout rate last year, to 17.3%.

Superintendent John Deasy said, “While both figures give us hope, there is still much more work to be done.”

According to a report by America’s Promise Alliance, the national graduation rate also reached 80% last year, also a new high, and is on pace to reach 90 percent by 2020.

The report states, however, that California will have to graduate a total of 440,000 more students- 300,000 from low-income families- by 2020 in order to make a 90% graduation rate.

While graduation rates continue to climb among African-American and Latino students, there overall graduation rates still lag behind those of white and Asian American students.

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