California graduation rate rises to 83 percent

WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) — California's high school graduation rate reached a new high last year.

The state's top education official announced Tuesday that just over 83 percent of students in the class of 2016 graduated on time from public high schools. That's up about one percentage point from the class of 2015.

Data from the California Department of Education shows the graduation rate has increased for seven years in a row. The biggest increases over that time period have been among African-Americans, Latinos and English learners.

Torlakson attributes the improvements in large part to reduced class sizes and expanded arts and science education.

The U.S. Department of Education is auditing the accuracy of California's graduation rate. A spokesman for the state Education Department says officials are confident their calculation is accurate.

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