LOS ANGELES

Citywide Education Progress Report

Key Takeaways: Student and School Outcomes

Graduation rates in Los Angeles have kept pace with the state, with rates at about 6 percentage points below state averages in 2014-15. Low-income students perform slightly worse on reading and math assessments when compared to low-income students nationally, but their relative performance did improve between 2010-11 and 2014-15. Our measure of student access to high-quality educational opportunities indicates some disparities: Hispanic students were enrolled in high school advanced math coursework at rates below their enrollment, while Asian American and Pacific Islander students had disproportionately high enrollment.

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Is the education system continuously improving?

► In 2014-15, the city’s graduation rate was slightly below the state’s.

Data: Percent of first-time 9th grade students graduating in four years, citywide and statewide.
Source: EDFacts Initiative, U.S. Department of Education, Assessment Data and Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates, 2011-12 to 2014-15.


Do students have access to a high-quality education?

► The Education Equality Index (EEI) identifies how students from low-income families are performing in cities and schools across the country. See this interactive tool to explore individual school performance.

Data: The Education Equality Index (EEI) was supplied by Education Cities and GreatSchools. See their site for more detail.
Sources: California Department of Education, 2010-11 to 2014-15; National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2010-11 to 2014-15.

Students from low-income families in Los Angeles are performing somewhat worse in math and reading than low-income students in the average city. EEI scores in Los Angeles have improved by 3% over time.

Data: The Education Equality Index (EEI) was supplied by Education Cities and GreatSchools. See their site for more detail.
Sources: California Department of Education, 2010-11 to 2014-15; National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2010-11 to 2014-15.

► In 2013-14, Hispanic students were enrolling in high school advanced math coursework at rates below their enrollment, while Asian American and Pacific Islander students (shown above as “Other”) have disproportionately high enrollment.

Data: Enrollment of students in math courses above Algebra II. Rates calculated by dividing the number of students enrolled in advanced math by the number of students in the school. Sub-group rates determined at the school level.
Source: U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2013-14.


Data & Scoring

Where did we get this data?

► Publicly available state and federal data, making our results comparable and reproducible.

► The most up-to-date data available for all 18 cities at the time of our data collection. See Methodology & Resources for more information.

What makes the data citywide?

► We include all charter and district schools within the municipal boundary of a city.

► In Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Orleans, and San Antonio we use school data from multiple districts within the municipal boundary.

Background

About Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has the second-largest public school system in the nation. District boundaries are somewhat larger than the city of Los Angeles; for example, the district also serves the city of West Hollywood. Since the 1990s, the education system has undergone various reforms to decentralize decisionmaking at the school and regional levels and provide families with more choice over school options. A strong coalition of third-party organizations has long been guiding education efforts across the city.

School Choice in the City

Students are assigned to a neighborhood school. Families can opt into other schools using any one of LAUSD’s broad array of in-district choice programs or apply to a charter school.

Governance Model

The LAUSD school board is a democratically elected 7-member body that oversees district schools and authorizes the majority of the city’s charter schools. It recently selected Superintendent Austin Beutner to run the system. LAUSD has six local districts with regional superintendents who oversee day-to-day operations and report to the superintendent. Some oversight and support of the district is provided by the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which also directly authorizes charter schools under certain circumstances.

2017 District and Charter Student Body

Enrollment: 664,774 students
Race and ethnicity: 74% Hispanic, 10% black, 8% white, 8% other
Low-income: 79% free and reduced-price lunch

2017 School Composition 

Note: Enrollment and demographics data for LAUSD district schools and LAUSD-affiliated charter schools.
Source: Los Angeles Unified School District and ED-Data, 2016-17.
School data from researcher analysis of public records, 2016-17.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is a research and policy analysis center at the University of Washington Bothell developing systemwide solutions for K–12 public education. Questions? Email crpe@uw.edu.