In 2012, the graduation rate for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the country, was 64%. Among Latino and African American students it was just 60% and 57% respectively.
60% of college freshmen won't graduate. Of those who are admitted to college, a majority will not receive a degree. By 2025, 40% of jobs in California will require a bachelor's degree, and there will be a projected gap of 2.3 million degree holders.
Students who dropout are eight times more likely to become incarcerated and three times more likely to be unemployed. Research from Johns Hopkins University shows that students who are at risk of dropping out can be identified as early as elementary school using three early warning indicators: poor attendance, disruptive behavior and course failure in math and English. A child who exhibits even one of these indicators as early as sixth grade has a 75 percent chance of dropping out. Literacy is the doorway to success in the 21st century economy, yet the literacy skills of our nation's children continue to decline. California is faced with one of the lowest literacy rates in the country as 79% of low-income, African American and Latino third grade students read below proficiency (Source: California Department of Education, 2012). The dismal outlook for California children with poor literacy skills, in addition to our economy and society as a whole, is amplified by the fact that in comparison to the spending per student of other US states, California ranks 46 out of 50.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation seeks to place emphasis on partnering with and supporting organizations that provide access, opportunity and innovation to youth at these critical engagement stages - specifically middle school engagement, and college access and college success. Our partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation highlights our concern for students getting TO and THROUGH college. Supporting an organization that provides access and the tools needed for young adults to become honorable members of today's society is of utmost importance. Additional support provided to organizations like the Roy and Roxie Campanella Scholarship Endowment at California State University Northridge, Los Angeles Education Partnership, Los Angeles Universal Preschool and Teach for America further exemplify our focus on Education + Literacy for youth in Los Angeles.