The state education department released graduation rates for the class of 2012 on Monday. Students who entered high school in 2008 were the first who didn't have the option of graduating with a so-called local diploma, meaning they had to earn a Regents diploma requiring them to pass five Regents exams.
Four of the Big 5 districts posted graduation rates slightly lower than in 2011, but Buffalo saw its rate drop by more than 7 percentage points to just under 47 percent. New York City's rate was 60 percent. Yonkers held at 66 percent while Syracuse was at 48 percent and Rochester 43 percent.
Superintendent Pamela Brown issued the following statement:
Upon my arrival in Buffalo, I learned that the District's graduation rate from 2011-2012 was around 48% based on preliminary results. In response to that, the District immediately implemented several strategies in order to improve our graduation rate, including the following:
Creating a College-going Culture through:
Setting an aggressive target of an 80% graduation rate by 2018
Informing the community about Say Yes scholarships
Ensuring that all graduating seniors apply for college and scholarships
Improving Instruction through:
Providing professional development for all staff
Conducting Instructional Rounds in all schools
Increasing access to student data for early intervention
Interventions for Struggling Students through:
Providing after-school academic programs
Providing a Credit Recovery program
Offering Summer School for all students