(file photo)

Compton Unified School District’s (CUSD) dramatic turnaround was firmly sealed this week with the release of its official high school graduation rate of 86.1%, a 6% increase over the prior school year.

The latest California Department of Education Accountability Dashboard shows graduation rates for three of the District’s high-schools (Compton, Centennial and Dominguez) as being at 86% and higher, with increases in graduation numbers shown across all demographic groups tracked in the Dashboard.

“The Dashboard shows that more CUSD scholars are graduating than ever before,” said CUSD Board President Satra Zurita. “This is a testament to the hard work of our students, families, teachers, principals and staff…today is truly a great day in Compton!”

The now-dubbed ‘Compton Turnaround’ was initiated five years ago when Superintendent Darin Brawley, along with the current Board of Trustees, pulled the district out of dire financial straits and chronic low-achievement.

“Though we have achieved growth or maintained the prior year’s growth in many of the areas other than graduation tracked by the dashboard, we recognize that there is still much work to be done, as graduation is just one step to ensuring students are college and career ready,” shared Dr. Brawley. “Even still, we are excited about the direction we are heading in and are ready to meet the challenge of continued growth and exponential improvement in achievement.”

A laser-sharp focus on student achievement and student safety has been at the core of the turnaround, bolstered by a shift toward a heightened integration of STEAM throughout all schools, facilities improvements, student wellness and of course, strengthening instruction.

“What I am most happy about when it comes to this exciting news, is that it points directly to our amazing students while completely turning on its head how some folks perceive Compton,” commented Board Vice President Micah Ali, also one of the architects of the Compton Turnaround. “I hope they’re ready, because this is just the beginning!”

Below are the high school graduation rates as found in the California Dashboard. It should be noted that Compton Early College is in its second year of operation and will have its first graduating class in the 2019-20 school year.

-Dominguez 87%
-Centennial 87%
-Compton 89%

Total 86%

In addition, the district will be partnering with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and the California Department of Education to enact continuous improvement measures in certain areas tracked by the Dashboard. Information on the Dashboard can be found at https://www.caschooldashboard.org/#/Home .

The Compton Unified School District is located in the South Central region of Los Angeles County, California, and encompasses the city of Compton and portions of the cities of Carson and Los Angeles. The district currently serves nearly 26,000 students at 40 sites: twenty-four elementary schools, eight middle schools, four comprehensive high schools and five alternative schools. The mission of the Compton Unified School District is to empower leaders to lead, teachers to teach and students to learn by fostering an environment that encourages leaders and teachers to be visionary, innovative and accountable for the achievement of all students.