As L.A. Unified’s graduation rate climbed to 77 percent for the Class of 2016, an estimated 80 percent of the campuses reported increases in graduates, including a dozen schools that neared or topped the District’s average thanks to double-digit jumps in the number of students who earned their diplomas on time.

Based on figures released last week by the California Department of Education, 94 of L.A. Unified’s 117 high schools showed higher graduation rates for 2015-16 than the previous year. Topping the list of most-improved schools is the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) Legacy High School in South Gate, which surged more than 33 percentage points – from 61.8 percent in 2014-15 to 95.4 percent last year.

Filling the next two spots are small learning communities that are part of Marquez Senior High School: the Huntington Park Institute of Applied Medicine, which grew by 24.8 points to 91.5 percent; and the School of Social Justice, which reported a 16.6-point increase, to 90.6 percent.

“I am very proud of the remarkable progress made by our schools,” said Superintendent Michelle King. “This reflects the hard work of our employees and parents – and the students themselves – and the District’s commitment to preparing our graduates for success in college and the workforce.”

Under a policy approved by the Board of Education, the Class of 2016 was the first that must pass a slate of rigorous college-preparatory courses known as “A-G.” The courses are required for admission to the University of California and California State University systems.

The STEAM Legacy High School in South Gate increased its graduation rate by nearly 34 percentage points, the biggest jump among 117 L.A. Unified high schools.

The other schools reporting double-digit growth in their graduation rates are:

  • Sotomayor Learning Academies School of History and Dramatic Arts, a 16.3-point increase to 91.8 percent.
  • Sun Valley Senior High, a 15.4-point increase to 76.2 percent.
  • Legacy School of Visual and Performing Arts, a 14.7-point increase to 85 percent.
  • Panorama Senor High, a 14.7-point increase to 91 percent.
  • Bernstein Senior High STEM Academy of Hollywood, a 13.5-point increase to 93.1 percent.
  • Narbonne Senior High Humanities and Arts Academy of Los Angeles, an 11.7-point jump to 84.9 percent.
  • Cesar Chavez Learning Academy Arts/Theater/Entertainment School (ArTES), a 10.9-point jump to 93 percent.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Ambassador School of Global Leadership, a 10.9-point increase to 75.3 percent.
  • Los Angeles Senior High, a 10.5-point increase to 77.5 percent.

“These outstanding schools demonstrate what is possible as we personalize instruction and provide more opportunities to engage students and help them reach the finish line,” Superintendent King said.

“We still have work to do, however, and will rely on our dedicated administrators, teachers, counselors, support staff and families to help keep our momentum going until we reach our goal of 100 percent graduation,” she said.

In fact, three schools graduated every member of the Class of 2016: 32nd Street USC Performing Arts Magnet; Harbor Teacher Preparatory Academy and Valley Alternative Magnet.