Last week, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released
high school graduation rates
for the 2012 cohort, students who entered 9th grade in 2012. The overall graduation rate increased to 79.4 percent, up 1.3 percentage points from 78.1 percent for the 2011 cohort. The 2012 cohort graduation rate is more than 12 percentage points higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2002 cohort graduation rate was 67.2 percent.
When August graduates are included, the 2012 cohort graduation rate increased to 81.4 percent, which exceeds the goal established for federal accountability in 2009 to have 80 percent of students graduate by August of their fourth year in high school. Despite this milestone, significant achievement gaps exist.
This year's graduation rate improved for each of the state's Big 5 city school districts, black and Hispanic students, and students with disabilities. While the graduation rate declined for current English language learners (ELLs), it increased for Ever ELL students.
While the upward trend in New York State's graduation rates continues, there is still much work to do. The Regents and I are committed to providing the resources and support to schools statewide to prepare students for the next phase in their lives. It's important for schools to offer multiple pathways to earn a high school diploma as well as career and technical programs. Similarly, we must help enable our struggling schools to improve outcomes for their students.