District Graduation Rates Highest in Five Years

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Thursday, December 18, 2014                                    Chip Partner
                                                                                       585.262.8373 (o)
                                                                                       585.474.6296 (m)
                                                                                       Chip.Partner@rcsdk12.org

 DISTRICT GRADUATION RATE IS HIGHEST IN FIVE YEARS,
DESPITE TOUGHER REQUIREMENTS TO EARN A DIPLOMA

  Four-Year Rate is 51 Percent, Boosted by Record August Graduation

 Fifty-one percent of Rochester students who entered high school in 2010 graduated four years later, according to New York graduation data released today—the highest in five years, continuing a five-year trend of annual rate increases despite tougher state graduation requirements implemented in 2012.

The August 2014 rate of 51 percent is 2.9 percent higher than Rochester’s 2013 graduation rate (2009 student cohort) of 48.1 percent, and 0.5 percent higher than the 2010 rate (2006 cohort) of 50.5 percent. In 2012, the state began requiring all general education students to pass five Regents exams with a score of 65 or higher to earn a diploma. In previous years students could earn a “local diploma” by passing three Regents exams and meeting other graduation requirements.

“The date shows that student achievement is improving and our students are on the right trajectory,” said Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D. “We have a long way to go before our graduation rates are acceptable, but today’s results are an important indicator. Our students, teachers, administrators, staff members, families and community partners can see that their hard work is moving our District in the right direction.”

Dr. Vargas cited several promising trends in the August graduation results.

·         A strategic focus on summer school helped 258 students to graduate in August, a District record that was 22 percent higher
         than August 2013.

·         The graduation rate for black students increased 4.8 percent, from 47.7 percent in 2013 to 52.5 percent in 2014.

·         Graduation rates for special education students have increased 8 percent in two years, from 18.7 percent in 2012 to 23.5
          percent in 2013 to 26.7 percent this year.

Achievement for Hispanic students and students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) are areas of concern.

·         The graduation rate for Hispanics dropped 3.6 percent, from 46.9 percent in 2013 to 43.3 percent in 2014.

·         The rate for Limited English Proficient students also dropped, from 20.7 percent in 2013 to 17.5 percent in 2014.

Dr. Vargas said the District will be analyzing the data in the weeks ahead to drive further improvements for the graduation class of 2015 and future years. 

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