(FOX 11) - The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced a preliminary graduation rate of 75 percent for the class of 2016, which is the highest in the district's history.
The graduation rate jumped from 72.2 percent last year despite a new requirement that students pass a rigorous college-prep curriculum to earn their diploma, according to Superintendent Michelle King.
King, who took over in January, made the announcement Tuesday during her first State of the District address at James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles.
"This exceeds the expectations of those who said our students couldn’t do it," King said. "Our students can and will thrive to meet the standards of the 21st century."
Aiming to help students stay on track to graduation, King said specialized counselors will be assigned this year to "high-needs high schools."
Additional resources also will be dedicated to help English-language learners, who make up nearly one-third of LAUSD's enrollment.
King mentioned her plans to expand "innovative educational models," including magnet and dual-language programs. In addition, the district is working on a plan to allow more students to earn community college credits while still in high school.
King attended LAUSD and worked as a teacher, principal and administrator before being promoted to lead the nation’s second-largest school district.
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