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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2019
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

State Education Department Releases 2014 Cohort High School Graduation Rates

Graduation Rate Maintains Previous Gains; Continues Upward Trend to 80.4%

Achievement Gaps Narrow Slightly, But Persist

Board of Regents & State Education Department Remain Focused on Providing Equity in Education for All Students

Commissioner Elia to Hold Conference Call with Reporters at 11:30 a.m.

 Powerpoint with Data Available

The State Education Department today released graduation rates for the 2014 cohort, those students who first entered 9th grade in New York’s public schools in 2014. The overall graduation rate increased slightly to 80.4 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from 80.2 percent for the 2013 cohort. The 2014 cohort graduation rate is 9.5 percentage points higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2004 cohort graduation rate was 70.9 percent.

June Graduation Rates - 2013 Cohort and 2014 Cohort

2013 Cohort

2014 Cohort

% Point Change

80.2

80.4

+0.2

June Graduation Rates - 2004 Cohort and 2014 Cohort

2004 Cohort

2014 Cohort

% Point Change

70.9

80.4

+9.5

When August graduates are included, the 2014 cohort graduation rate improved to 82.6 percent, an increase of 0.5 percentage points over last year. Despite these overall gains, significant gaps in achievement persist.

2014 Cohort Graduation Rates

June

August

% Point Change

80.4

82.6

+2.2

This year’s graduation rate improved for black and Hispanic students, for students with disabilities, and for both current and "Ever" English language learners (ELLs). Of the Big 5 City School Districts, Rochester and New York City improved their graduation rates this year; Buffalo remained essentially flat, while Syracuse and Yonkers experienced declines. The State’s charter schools experienced a decline in their graduation rate as compared with last year. The gap in graduation rates between black and Hispanic students and their white peers narrowed again this year. This year’s cohort represents the first increase in cohort size statewide since the 2005 cohort; there were 3,400 more students in the 2014 cohort than there were in 2013 the cohort.

"When we provide students with high-quality learning opportunities, we give them a real chance at success in life," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. "The Regents and I are committed to strategies that will lift the performance of all students, while at the same time closing the gaps in achievement that continue to separate too many of our children. By making equity the focus of New York’s improvement efforts, we are well positioned to continue our upward trajectory."

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, "New York’s graduation rate continues its steady, upward trend. We would, of course, like to see the pace of improvement accelerated, especially in our gap-closing efforts. But it’s critical that we continue to maintain and build upon our gains, as we have done consistently. I’m confident that our ESSA plan’s focus on equity will keep our students and our schools moving in the right direction."

2014 Cohort Graduation Rate Data for the Big 5 City School Districts

Graduation rates among the Big 5 City School Districts varied this year, with New York City and Rochester experiencing increases greater than the overall rate of growth statewide. Buffalo’s graduation rate remained essentially flat, while Yonkers and Syracuse experienced declines.

Big 5 City School District Cohort June Graduation Rates

Region

2013

2014

% Point Change

Statewide

80.2

80.4

+0.2

NYC

71.1

72.7

+1.6

Buffalo

62.7

62.6

-0.1

Rochester

51.9

53.5

+1.6

Syracuse

60.5

58.3

-2.2

Yonkers

82.8

80.3

-2.5

2014 Cohort Graduation Rate Data by Need/Resource Group

Like the statewide average, graduation rates in all Need/Resource Groups remained relatively flat this year. Low and average-need districts continue to have the highest graduation rates, at 93.9 percent and 87.7 percent, respectively. The graduation rate in low-need districts, however, fell 0.9 percentage points from last year to this year. Large city, high need schools continue to have the lowest graduation rates, and a significant gap remains between the graduation rates of high- and low-need districts. The charter school graduation rate declined this year, from 74.8 percent for the 2013 cohort to 72.3 percent for the 2014 cohort.

Cohort Graduation Rate Data by Race/ Ethnicity

While steady progress is being made to narrow the achievement gaps between the graduation rate of black and Hispanic students compared to their white peers, the achievement gaps between these groups of students remains significant. In the past four years (since the 2011 cohort), the graduation rate gap has narrowed by 4.7 percentage points for black students and 3.8 percentage points for Hispanic students, when compared with the State’s white students.

Statewide, black and Hispanic students each improved their graduation rate by 0.8 percentage points this year; those improvements helped to narrow the achievement gap by 0.9 percentage points this year, when compared to their white peers. Additionally, white students graduated with a Regents diploma or a Regents diploma with advanced designation at a rate nearly 22 percentage points higher than did black and Hispanic students.

Asian/Pacific Islander students improved their graduation rate by 0.5 percentage points; multi-racial students declined by 0.9 percentage points; and white students remained essentially flat.

American Indian/Alaskan Native students, who represent the smallest race/ethnicity group by cohort size, experienced the greatest growth, improving their graduation rate by 1.8 percentage points from last year to this year.

The Board of Regents and the Education Department will continue their efforts to close the graduation rate gap through the implementation of the State’s ESSA plan and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and by providing students with better access to high-level coursework and Career and Technical Education coursework.

Cohort June Graduation Rates & Achievement Gap by Race/Ethnicity

Race/Ethnicity

2011 Grad. Rate

2012 Grad. Rate

2013 Grad. Rate

2014 Grad. Rate

2011 Gap to White Peers

2014 Gap to White Peers

Change in Gap 2011 to 2014

American Indian/ Alaska Native

64.8

64.8

65.8

67.6

23.3

21.3

-2.0

Asian/ Pacific Islander

84.5

85.9

86.9

87.4

3.6

1.5

-2.1

Black

64.6

68.2

69.3

70.1

23.5

18.8

-4.7

Hispanic

64.6

68.0

68.4

69.2

23.5

19.7

-3.8

Multiracial

80.0

80.6

82.3

81.4

8.1

7.5

-0.6

White

88.1

88.7

89.0

88.9

     

Gaps in the graduation rate remain for our Big 5 City School Districts, as well. Among the Big 5, Yonkers has the smallest graduation gap between Hispanic and white students at 4.6 percentage points. Buffalo has the highest graduation gap among both black and Hispanic students, as compared with their white peers, at 15.1 and 25 percentage points, respectively.

June 2014 Big 5 Achievement Gap Compared to White Students

City

American Indian/ Alaska Native

Asian/ Pacific Islander

Black

Hispanic

Multiracial

New York City

18

-3.1

13.8

16.1

-3.3

Buffalo

20.5

0.4

15.1

25

19.7

Rochester

S*

S*

9.9

13.1

S*

Syracuse

10.3

-3.1

5.8

11.4

-2.8

Yonkers

4.4

-9.5

10.5

4.6

-3.1

*Data is suppressed due to small number of students.

Cohort Graduation Rate Data for English Language Learners

The graduation rate for English language learners (ELLs) improved overall this year. "Current ELLs" (students who were identified as ELLs during the school year of their last enrollment) improved their graduation rate by 2.4 percentage points over last year. "Ever ELLs" (students identified as English language learners in any school year preceding the school year of their last enrollment) improved as well, by 1.1 percentage points over last year.

With a graduation rate of 85.5 percent, Ever ELLs continue to show strong progress, surpassing the overall statewide graduation rate by more than five percentage points. However, current ELLs still lag far behind the statewide rate, with only 29 percent of the 2014 cohort graduating on time. Current ELLs benefit from extra time in school, with graduation rates increasing 5.1 percentage points from June to August to 34.1 percent.

The State’s ESSA plan places a strong emphasis on improving the educational outcomes of ELLs.

Cohort June Graduation Rates for English Language Learners

ELLs

2013

2014

% Point Change

Ever ELLs

84.4

85.5

1.1

Current ELLs

26.6

29.0

2.4

2014 Cohort Graduation Rate Data for Students with Disabilities and by Gender

The graduation rate for students with disabilities improved 1.7 percentage points this year, moving from 54.2 percent for the 2013 cohort to 55.9 percent for the 2014 cohort. While the graduation rate for students with disabilities continues to slowly improve, the rate still lags significantly behind the graduation rate of non-disabled students. Additionally, students with disabilities continue to earn Regents diplomas and Regents diplomas with Advanced Designation at a rate far lower than their non-disabled peers. Students with disabilities benefit from extra time in school, with graduation rates rising 2.6 percentage points from June to August.

2014 Cohort Graduation Rate Data by Gender

Female students continue to graduate at a significantly higher rate than their male peers, with 2014 cohort graduation rates at 84.5 percent for females and 76.5 percent for males. The graduation rate for females improved by 0.4 percentage points over last year, while the graduation rate for males remained flat.

2014 Cohort Dropout Rate Data

The percentage of students who dropped out of school remained relatively flat this year, declining from 6.2 percent for the 2013 cohort to 6.0 percent for the 2014 cohort. Notably, the dropout rate for ELLs dropped 2.2 percentage points, from 29.7 percent last year to 27.5 percent this year – but remains significantly higher than all other subgroups of students. This school year, districts with ELL students are required to put supports in place to increase the number of ELLs that graduate, and to track and decrease the number of ELLs who drop out of school.

Cohort Dropout Rates

Subgroup

2013

2014

% Point Change

Statewide

6.2

6.0

-0.2

Current ELLs

29.7

27.5

-2.2

Students with Disabilities

11.6

11.1

-0.5

The dropout rate for students with disabilities improved slightly this year, decreasing 0.5 percentage points, from 11.6 percent for the 2013 cohort to 11.1 percent for the 2014 cohort. The drop out rate for students with disabilities declined in four of the Big 5 city school districts. And in just two years, Yonkers has halved its drop out rate for students with disabilities. At 4.9 percent for students with disabilities, Yonkers’s dropout rate is significantly smaller than any of the other Big 5 city school districts and significantly smaller than the total public statewide rate.

Four, Five and Six-Year Graduation Rate Data

As in previous years, the data shows that persistence pays off for students who do not graduate in four years. For the 2012 statewide cohort, the four-year graduation rate was 79.7 percent; students continuing to a fifth year improved the rate to 84.5 percent; and a sixth year improved the rate even further, to 85.8 percent. With the addition of a fifth year, the 2013 statewide cohort graduation rate increased significantly, improving to 84.9 percent, up 4.7 percentage points from the four-year graduation rate of 80.2 percent.

Current ELL students demonstrated significant increases in graduation rates given additional time and continued services. For the 2012 cohort, the four-year Current ELL graduation rate was 26.9 percent; the five-year rate rose to 36.8 percent; and the six-year rate reached 40.5 percent. That is an increase of 13.6 percentage points and represents approximately 1,000 more students earning a diploma. For the 2013 cohort, the four-year Current ELL graduation rate was 26.6 percent and the five-year rate rose significantly, to 37.2 percent.

Cohort 4, 5 & 6-Year Graduation Rates

Cohort

4-Year

5-Year

6-Year

% Point Change

2013 Statewide

80.2

84.9

 

+4.7

2013 Current ELL

26.6

37.2

 

+10.6

2012 Statewide

79.7

84.5

85.8

+6.1

2012 Current ELL

26.9

36.8

40.5

+13.6

Multiple Pathways to Graduation

The Board of Regents is committed to providing multiple pathways for students to earn a regular high school diploma, and the Board approved regulations to establish multiple, comparably rigorous assessment pathways to graduation for all students. By offering these multiple pathways, the Board recognizes the importance of engaging students in rigorous and relevant academic programs. Specifically, Regents-approved regulations recognize students’ interests in the Arts; Languages Other Than English; Career and Technical Education; Humanities; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by allowing an approved pathway assessment to meet the students’ graduation requirements; more information about these Multiple Pathways is available on the Department’s website.

In addition, at its June 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents approved regulations to establish a new Career Development Occupational Studies (CDOS) graduation pathway for all students. The CDOS Commencement Credential certifies that a student has the standards-based knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level employment. Previously, only students with disabilities could exit school with a New York State CDOS Commencement Credential. These regulations expanded to all students the opportunity to earn the CDOS Commencement Credential.

Last year, the Department implemented a new system to collect and report data on the number of students who earn a diploma through one of the new multiple pathways to graduation. School districts reported that more than 11,200 students earned a diploma through one of the pathways, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. These graduates are included within the overall graduation rate numbers announced today.

Safety Net Options for Students with Disabilities

In 2016, the Board of Regents also acted to enable superintendents to make a local determination as to the academic proficiency of certain students with disabilities seeking to graduate with a local diploma and began requiring that a parent or guardian request this option for their child. In 2017, the Board expanded the superintendent determination to allow the CDOS credential as a safety net for students with disabilities who pass their Regents coursework but do not pass the ELA or math Regents exams. In school year 2017-18, 952 students with disabilities received diplomas through a superintendent’s determination, an increase of more than 600 students over the prior year.

Data Collection & Verification

The graduation data is reported by educational institutions to SED throughout the school year. The 2014 cohort graduation rate data was available for verification until the close of the state data warehouse in August 2018. District superintendents certified the data in September 2018.  For more specific data points and for school- and district-level graduation data, visit the Department’s public data site. A PowerPoint presentation with additional data is also available

Conference Call with Commissioner Elia:

Commissioner Elia will conduct a conference call for reporters at 11:30 a.m. with a PowerPoint presentation that can be joined by webinar. For call-in information, please contact the NYSED Office of Communications via email at: NYSEDCommunications@nysed.gov.