Class of 2010-2011 data released recently by the State Department of Education shows that the Downey Unified School District’s graduation rate of 91.8 percent exceeded that of Norwalk-La Mirada USD, which posted a respectable 90.7 percent rate.
Both school districts’ averages topped the state’s figure of 76.3 percent, that of L.A. County of 71.6 percent and those of its neighbors’ by comfortable margins.
The comparable graduation rates for the surrounding areas: ABC USD, 91.3 percent; Whittier Union High School District, 85.6 percent; Bellflower USD, 84.4 percent; Montebello USD, 80.5 percent; Long Beach USD, 77.9 percent; Paramount USD, 73.5 percent; LA USD, 61.6 percent; Lynwood USD, 57.7 percent; and Compton USD, 57.6 percent.
In absolute terms, DUSD graduated 1,839 seniors out of a student cohort of 2,003 while Norwalk-La Mirada USD bid a fond farewell to its 1,434 graduates out of a cohort numbering 1,581. The good number of graduates has of course caused a high level of euphoria at least among DUSD officials who were especially elated at the high percentage of graduates who have been admitted to prestigious colleges/universities such as Cornell, Berkeley, USC and UCLA.
There is a downside as well. At DUSD, 118 students dropped out, for a 5.9 percent dropout rate whereas 80 students dropped out at Norwalk-La Mirada Unified; the district’s dropout rate came to 5.2 percent. These compare very well, though, with the state’s overall dropout rate of 14.4 percent.