DOWNEY – Downey Unified School District's graduation rate increased 2 percent from last year, reaching a record high 96 percent, officials announced.
As the number of students graduating high school in Downey increased, the number of dropouts was cut nearly in half, decreasing from 4.1 percent to 2.2 percent.
"The increase in our graduation rate truly proves that our students continue to benefit from the positive and challenging learning environments provided at each and every school site through our dedicated teachers, administrators and classified staff," said DUSD Superintendent Dr. John Garcia.
Downey's graduation rates far exceeds the state average of 82.3 percent. Downey also tops neighboring school districts, including ABC Unified (94.4 percent), Norwalk-La Mirada (94 percent), Bellflower (92.8 percent), Whittier Union (88.8 percent), Montebello (87.1 percent), Paramount (86.4 percent), Long Beach (84 percent), Lynwood (81 percent), L.A. Unified (72.2 percent), and Compton Unified (70.7 percent).
In L.A. County, the graduation rate is 78.7 percent.
Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction, said graduation rates in California have climbed for six years straight.
"This is encouraging news any way you look at it, especially since the increase is occurring as we are introducing much more rigorous academic standards," he said. "Statewide, our students are benefiting from the additional revenues flowing into our schools."