Los Angeles, the city of Angels and home to Hollywood, has an interesting history. The city was founded by the Spanish and then became part of Mexico, and later in 1848, it became part of the United States. The city is rich with history and historical monuments like some of the oldest schools. But as the city has grown, some of the educational institutions have fallen behind due to enrollment, funding, staffing, and other issues. For those looking to raise a family in Los Angeles, it is important to know which schools to avoid due to low academic performance. Here we take a look at some of the worst schools in Los Angeles based on test scores, reading and math proficiency, and graduation rates. College readiness and student support, and safety are factors in the ranking too.
Learning by Design Charter
Learning by Design Charter is a public charter school for students grades K-5. The school has low test scores in three key subjects, reading, math, and science. Besides low test scores, parents and former teachers at the school have given scathing reviews of the curriculum, administration, and overall school experience.
Hillcrest Drive Elementary School
Hillcrest Drive Elementary School has low test scores, and students are not leaving the school with the education in key subjects that they need. While the teachers are experienced, and all are certified teachers with a 21 to 1 student-teacher ratio, it is challenging for students to receive any individualized lessons and get their needs met.
Coliseum Street Elementary School
Coliseum Street Elementary School received a low rating on Great Schools because of the low test scores. The schools’ demographics show that 96% of the students come from low-income families, and 26% are learning English. Then factor in the high student-teacher ratio of 20 to 1, it is clear the school is in a challenging position, and students deserve more.
Arlington Heights Elementary School
Arlington Heights Elementary School has continued to have low test scores. The school serves low-income families and predominantly Hispanic students. A large number of students, 44%, are learning English which is a major factor in low test scores. In addition, the high student-teacher ratio of 22 to 1 makes it difficult for students to get any specialized help.
Equitas Academy Charter #2
Equitas Academy Charter #2 is a predominantly Hispanic school, with 15% of students that are learning English. The teacher ratio is 24 to 1, which is well over the state average of 22 to 1. The school suffers from low test scores and a lack of adequate leadership.
John W. Mack Elementary School
John W. Mack Elementary School serves low-income students. The school’s overall academic performance is below average. And 42% of students are learning English. The student-teacher ratio is 20 to 1. With such a high number of ESL students, the school’s test scores are bound to reflect that disparity. Despite the low score, many parents left positive reviews for the administration and teachers’ efforts.
Contreras Learning Center-Los Angeles School Of Global Studies
Contreras Learning Center-Los Angeles School Of Global Studies has test scores that are far below average, which may be a reflection of the fact that 39% of students are learning English and 96% are from low-income families. Despite the negative test scores, the school has positive reviews from parents and has a 70% graduation rate.
View Park Continuation School
View Park Continuation School is a small high school with only 64 students. The academic performance of the student is far below the average, and the low test scores show that students are behind in all key subjects. The graduation rate is 63%, but those graduates fail to meet the requirements of state universities. The school lacks advanced courses and college prep courses. With 16% of the students learning English and a 13 to 1 student-teacher ratio, this school should be performing better.
Central High School
Central High School is failing the students they serve. The graduation rate is 25%, and the lack of college prep and advanced courses is keeping students from the education they deserve. The school serves a low-income community where 22% of the student body is learning English.
West Adams Preparatory High School
West Adams Preparatory High School has low test scores and a lack of student involvement in the advanced courses offered. The school has an 80% graduation rate, but those students are not prepared for university. With 30% of the students learning English and 94% of the students from low-income families, the school lacks the infrastructure to educate students. Despite these numbers, the school has received positive reviews from parents.
Frida Kahlo High School
Frida Kahlo High School has a 52% graduation rate which is far below the state average. The low test scores and lack of advanced courses for students to go above and beyond have stunted the student's ability to prepare for college or vocational school. With 14% of students learning English and a teacher ratio of 21 to 1 in this predominately male Hispanic school, it is easy to see where the school can improve to serve students and families better.
Los Angeles Academy Of Arts & Enterprise Charter
Los Angeles Academy Of Arts & Enterprise Charter serves low-income families. The students are predominantly Hispanic, and 37% are learning English. The school has low test scores and a graduation rate of 62%. While the school has a few advanced courses, many students are not able to perform well in those courses. The school has a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1 and many positive reviews by former students and parents.
Richard A. Alonzo Community Day School
Richard A. Alonzo, Community Day School, boasts a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1 but, unfortunately, continues to have poor test scores. The graduation rate is only 26%, and of those graduates, only 20% have the credits to enter the state university.
Susan Miller Dorsey Senior High School
Susan Miller Dorsey Senior High School serves 892 students in grades 9-12. The school has low test scores, low participation in advanced courses, and the students lack college preparedness to help them succeed. The graduation rate is 74%, but only 38% of graduates meet the requirements for the state university. Students' SAT scores from 11th grade are at 6%, which is far below the 50% state average. The student body is made up of 76% low-income students, and 15% of students are learning English. The student-teacher ratio is 22 to 1, which is the state average, but the school is behind in adequately preparing students for post-high school life with two and four-year schools.
Los Angeles Southwest College
Los Angeles Southwest College is a public two-year college. The school offers sixteen different majors, the most popular in Liberal Arts and Health professions. However, the school has a 13% graduation rate. And the students who graduate earn an annual salary of $29,200 at ten years post-graduation.
Los Angeles City College
Los Angeles City College is a public two-year college with a graduation rate of 17%. The school has 44 different majors, with the most popular being Liberal Arts and the Humanities. Graduates earn on average annual salary of $33,000 ten years post-graduation.
California State University Los Angeles
California State University Los Angeles is a four-year public university with a 43% graduation rate. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The school offers 56 majors, and the annual income after ten years for graduates is $46,900.
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Los Angeles Trade Technical College is a public two-year college. The school offers 37 different majors, with the most popular being Personal and Culinary Services. The school has a graduation rate of 23%, and the graduates, on average, earn $32,300 ten years post-graduation.
The schools that are listed here and the statistical information is from Great Schools and parent, student, and faculty reviews. Many low-performing schools are able to turn around those numbers with the help of support staff, tutors, and family engagement.
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