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June 17, 2013
HS graduation rate fell in 2012, for the first time under Bloomberg
New York City's four-year graduation rate fell slightly last year, from 60.9 percent to 60.4 percent, State Education Commissioner John King announced this morning in Albany. King's announcement, to the Board of Regents during its monthly meeting, set the stage for a press conference that Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott have called for this afternoon. The annual graduation rate announcement is typically a festive occasion for the mayor, who has staked his education legacy in large part on increased numbers of students finishing high school each year. But last year, when the city's graduation rate flattened (showing a 0.1 point decline) after several years of steady growth, Bloomberg acknowledged that tougher graduation requirements could put pressure on the city's graduation rate. Students who entered high school in 2008 were the first required to earn a Regents diploma by passing five Regents exams with a 65 or higher. The less rigorous local diploma option, which for years helped prop up the city’s overall graduation numbers, disappeared, a change that critics said would leave thousands of students at risk of dropping out.
June 17, 2013
State releases 2012 high school graduation rates
New York City’s four-year graduation rate fell slightly last year, from 60.9 percent to 60.4 percent, State Education Commissioner John King announced this morning in…
January 31, 2013
Find your school’s graduation rate
Use the EdNews searchable database to find four-year graduation rates for individual districts and schools, and to compare multiple districts and schools.
January 24, 2013
State’s four-year grad rate inches up
Colorado's four-year graduation rate crept up 1.5 percentage points to 75.4 percent for the class of 2012, according to new data.
November 26, 2012
Officials: A's reflect successes, but standards may be too low
It wasn't easy for high schools to keep their graduation rates or progress grades up this year. For the first time, most students were required to pass five Regents exams before graduating, and schools' college readiness rates were factored into their overall progress scores. Still, 72 percent of schools received As and Bs—up from 64.4 percent last year.
June 11, 2012
Bloomberg praises 2011 grad data growth, but hedges on future
Bloomberg with Walcott and Nilda Gomez-Katz, one of four high school principals at the old Bushwick High School building. Mayor Bloomberg did his best to put a rosy spin on the newly-released graduation rates that showed New York City's progress last year has flattened for the first time in seven years. Stunted graduation numbers weren't a setback as much as they were an impressive achievement in the face of higher standards, he said at a press conference this afternoon. And better rates of improvement in other cities weren't an indication of New York City's failures, but a credit to what those school districts were doing right. "They're doing a great job and they should be congratulated," Bloomberg said, even though in past years he's used such comparisons to tout his own city's growth. "That doesn't mean we aren't doing a great job." But even Bloomberg grew sober when asked about future graduation rates. Beginning this year, all students who began high school in 2007 or after will not have the option to earn a less-demanding local diploma, which for years helped prop up the city's overall graduation numbers. "That'll make it tougher," the mayor said. The man to his left, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, quickly agreed.
June 11, 2012
New York City's graduation rates flatten after six years of growth
After years of steady improvement, the city's 4-year high school graduation rate flattened in 2011, according to new figures released by the state today. Of students who entered high school in 2007, 60.9 percent graduated four years later, according to the new figures. When August graduates are included, the rate rises to 65.5 percent. Sixty-one percent of students who entered city high schools in 2006 graduated on time in 2010. That year's graduation rate with August graduates included was 65.1 percent. The plateau comes after six years of growth that saw graduation rates rise from 46.5 percent in 2005 to 61 percent last year. Before that, graduation rates were stagnant for a decade and its steady improvement over the past six years has been one of the Bloomberg administration's cornerstone achievements to cite in defending its education policies. And as graduation standards increase, the flattened figures aren't likely to resume that rate of improvement in coming years. Graduation could drop by as much as much as 10 percent next year. That's the percentage of high school students – or about 8,000 students – who graduated with a local diploma, which allowed them to graduate despite scoring under 65 on one Regents exam. The local diploma has been phased out and the option won't be available to this year's students.
May 23, 2012
Advocates seek last-minute extension of less rigorous diploma
Tougher graduation requirements almost two decades in coming are putting thousands of city students at risk of not earning a diploma this year. Advocates are asking the state to give more students more time before fully implementing more stringent graduation requirements, but city officials say educators and students have had plenty of time to prepare. For the first time, students in New York State will only be able to graduate with a Regents diploma, requiring they receive a 65 or above on at least five Regents exams. In the past, students could graduate with a local diploma, allowing them to receive a 55 on at least five exams. In the 1990s, state officials initiated a change to make requirements for the local diploma increasingly stringent, until it could be phased out. Last year, students were able to receive a local diploma by passing four Regents exams with a 65, and one with a 55. It's impossible to know how many students will be affected, but the Department of Education estimates that 10 percent of the city’s class of 2011— almost 8,000 students — received a local diploma.
April 17, 2012
Colorado business leaders come together for Job One
Find out what Colorado's business and higher ed leaders have to say about the importance of quality early childhood education and access to college in this story reflecting one stop on the EducationNation tour.
April 6, 2012
Find your district's high school graduates
Search our database to see how many of your district's graduates went to college in Colorado, out of state - or not at all. Today is College Friday, after all. Time to don your alma mater's cap, T-shirt, or sweatshirt with pride.
March 23, 2012
This week's teaching & learning tidbits
Measure would encourage some kids to be held back a grade - TED offers free video lessons for high school and college students - U.S. graduation rate rises slightly, report finds - Exploring the link between reading level and dropout rates - DPS might have to pay to create jobs for pink-slipped teachers - Boulder Valley homeschool program moving forward.
February 23, 2012
City alters Regents grading, credit recovery policies after audit
The Department of Education is cracking down on graduation rate inflation, following an internal audit that uncovered errors and possible evidence of cheating at 60 high schools. The audits, conducted by the department's internal auditor, scrutinized data at 60 high schools that had posted unusual or striking results. Of the 9,582 students who graduated from the schools in 2010, the audit found that 292 did not have the exam grades or course credits required under state regulations. At one school, Landmark High School, 35 students had graduated without earning all of the academic credits required for graduation. At another, Pablo Neruda Academy for Architecture and World Studies, 19 students had gotten credits through "credit recovery" that the school could not prove complied with state requirements. At two schools, Fort Hamilton High School and Hillcrest High School, an examination of Regents exams uncovered problems in the scoring of multiple students' tests. Department officials said they had asked Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon to launch inquiries at nine schools based on issues raised during the audits. (Schools where investigations were already underway were excluded from the audit.) Students who graduated without sufficient credits won't have their diplomas revoked, officials said. And schools won't have their graduation rates revised to reflect the audited numbers, either, except potentially where the city found schools had purged students from their rolls without confirming that they had enrolled elsewhere. Instead, department officials are cracking down on loopholes in city and state regulations about how to graduate students. Among the major policy changes are revisions to Regents exam scoring procedures, new limitations on "credit recovery" options for students who fail courses, and an alteration to the way schools determine whether a student has met graduation requirements. The changes reflect a new understanding of the degree to which principals had become confused with — or, in some cases, ignorant of — graduation policies. They also reflect an unusual acknowledgment from the Department of Education that its strategies for delivering support to schools and holding them accountable are not always successful.
February 9, 2012
IBO: Schools up for closure tonight enroll very needy students
A slide from the IBO's report about schools up for closure. For the third year in a row, the city's data watchdog has concluded that the schools the city is trying to close serve especially needy students. In 2010 and 2011, the Independent Budget Office put together longer reports about the city's school closure proposals on the request of Robert Jackson, chair of the City Council's education committee. But this year, the office, which has a special mandate to scrutinize the Department of Education's facts and figures, compiled details about the demographics, performance, and funding of schools on the chopping block on its own. Then it released the statistics in an easy-to-read, stand-alone format. Among the many people who are receiving the IBO's 13-slide presentation by email today are the members of the Panel for Educational Policy, who are set to vote on the closure proposals tonight, according to spokesman Doug Turetsky. "It's an accessible format so people can see the stats and come to their own conclusions," he said. UPDATE: Department of Education officials disputed some of the data in the slides and said the budget office had not given them as much time to review the report before publication as an agreement between the two offices requires. They urged the IBO not to release the report and then to retract it once it was published because data on at least one slide did not match information the city had provided. The budget office retracted one slide that showed change over time in the number of students with special needs at the schools. But other slides showed that the schools up for closure enroll more than the average proportion of students who have disabilities, are overage, or are considered English language learners, confirming analyses published elsewhere.
January 26, 2012
Report finds lasting graduation rate gains at city's small schools
The Bloomberg administration has long touted the small high schools it created as outperforming large schools closed to make way for them. But a new report finds, for the second time, that the schools also post higher graduation rates than other city schools that stayed open. Being randomly selected to attend small high schools opened under the Bloomberg administration made students significantly more likely to graduate, even as the schools got older, according to the report, conducted by researchers at the nonprofit firm MDRC. The researchers updated a 2010 study that examined "small schools of choice" that opened between 2002 and 2008 and did not select students based on their academic performance. Of the 123 schools that fit that bill, 105 had so many applicants that the schools selected among them randomly, through a lottery. The lottery process enabled the researchers to compare what happened to two groups of students that started out statistically identical: those who were admitted to the small schools and those who lost the lotteries and wound up in older, larger schools. That type of comparison is considered the "gold standard" in education research. The original study found that the small high schools had positive effects on their students — but it looked only at the schools' very first enrollees. The new report looks at those students in the fifth year after they enrolled and also at the second set of students who enrolled at the schools. It finds that the higher graduation rate — 67.9 percent, compared to 59.3 percent for students who were not admitted — continued for the second group of students who enrolled and cut across all groups of students, regardless of their race, gender, family income, or academic skills upon enrollment. Students at the small schools were also more likely to meet the state's college readiness standards in English, though not in math. "Small schools for a variety of reasons, I always felt, were going to succeed in certain ways," said Richard Kahan, the head of Urban Assembly, a nonprofit that started a handful of schools included in the study. "But I would not have predicted the impact."
January 21, 2012
Find your school's four-year graduation rate
Colorado's four-year graduation rate increased slightly in 2011, up to 73.9 percent, state officials announced Friday, though the data shows little progress in some areas, including the long-running gender gap. Find your school's grad rate in this interactive database, courtesy EdNews Colorado.
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