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Reason Foundation

Los Angeles Drop Out Rate is Good News and Very Bad News

Lisa Snell
August 4, 2009, 6:21pm

In the LA Unified School District the dropout rate fell by 17 percent.

This is good news overall. However, 16,000 students who were counted as dropouts last year were duplications.

In addition, several individual schools continue to have dropout rates approaching 50 percent. These schools should not be open.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, "Jefferson High had an improved but still poor graduation rate of 48.6%. Ditto for the Santee Educational Complex, with a dropout rate of 41.2%."

When the Los Angeles school board revisits a proposal  that would allow charter operators and other outside groups to bid for control of 50 new schools scheduled to open over the next four years, the students that attend these schools with high dropout rates should be first in line to attend new schools.

The Los Angeles school board should resist union opposition and remember the kids that attend high schools with 50 percent dropout rates. The board should allow outside operators to open new schools and let kids in failing schools have priority to attend the new schools.


Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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