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News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,
high school student in graduation cap and gown
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.

More information about  high school graduation rates is available in our  news release. Individual school district data may be found on our interactive  data website.


MaryEllen Elia
Commissioner Elia's Education Budget Testimony
This week, Commissioner Elia testified at the joint legislative budget hearing on elementary and secondary education. The Commissioner discussed the Regents' 2017 budget and legislative priorities and state aid request, as well as the importance of early childhood education; serving English language learners (ELLs); career and technical education, and teacher quality and professional development. Commissioner Elia's P-12 education budget presentation is available here.

On January 24, Commissioner Elia also testified at the joint legislative budget hearing on higher education. The higher education budget presentation is available here.
Webinar: SUNY Smart Track High School Financial Literacy Website
happy college student on campus
The SUNY Smart Track High School Financial Literacy website offers free online courses and tools that help students and their families plan for the costs of college.  Last week, SUNY hosted a webinar to introduce this informative new tool to school district superintendents, high school administrators, and guidance counselors. The webinar included basic navigation and use of the resources, as well as ideas for the integration of the financial literacy tools for students and their families. In case you missed it, a  replay of the webinar  is now available.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month
career and technical education teacher and student
February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, a great opportunity to celebrate the value of CTE. Throughout the month, the State Education Department is highlighting the  successes of the wonderful CTE programs across the state and providing information about our programs, job skills, and famous CTE graduates from New York State. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter!