Saturday, January 18, 2020

NYC Graduation Rate Continues To Show A Racial Gap

The New York City high school graduation rate inched up to 77.3% and of course Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza hailed it.  However, they were silent on the racial achievement gap.  Black (74%) and Hispanic (72%) were lower than Whites (85%) while Asians(88%) had a 3% higher graduation rate than Whites.

Of all kids who began their freshman year in 2015, 88.2 percent of Asian students were handed a diploma last year, followed by whites at 85 percent, blacks at 73.7 percent, and Hispanics at 72 percent, according to the figures.  More discouraging was the graduation rate for Special Education students and English Language Learners who only had a graduation rate of 52.5% and 40.9% respectively.

While City Hall and the Department of Education cast these annual hikes as evidence of skillful stewardship, continually shifting standards and graduation requirements give critics pause.   Moreover, students have been given new routes to graduation in recent years. Changes include the option of taking assessments in languages other than English and swapping out a required social studies exam for a test in another subject, including art and math.  Finally the State made it easier to appeal low Regents grades.

 Statewide, while the State achieved an 83.4% graduation rate,  only 12% of black students and 17% of Hispanic students earned advanced designation, compared with more than 47% of white students.  I suspect that these numbers are lower for New York City.. Charter schools in the State only had a 80.8% graduation rate,which is  2.6% less than traditional public schools in the State.

Chancellor Carranza has vowed to have a graduation rate of 84% by 2025 which will only increase the already abundant academic New York City high schools.

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