Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
The mayor congratulates students at New World HS in the Bronx.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The city’s 2018 four-year high school graduation rate has reached a record high of 75.9 percent and rose in every borough and among every ethnicity, while the dropout rate has fallen to a record low of 7.5 percent, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza recently announced.
In Queens, the graduation rate increased to 79.5 percent in 2018 from 77.8 percent the previous year. The World’s Borough graduation rate is second only to Staten Island, which boasted an 80.8 in 2018. The largest improvement in graduation and dropout rates was in Brooklyn, according to data provided by the City Department of Education.
Additionally, graduation rates improved across all ethnicities, with a decrease in the gap between black and white students and Hispanic and white students:
• The graduation rate was 88.1 percent for Asian students in 2018, a 0.6-point increase from 2017.
• The graduation rate was 72.1 percent for black students in 2018, a 2.1-point increase from 2017.
• The graduation rate was 70.0 percent for Hispanic students in 2018, a 1.6-point increase from 2017.
• The graduation rate was 84.2 percent for white students in 2018, a 1-point increase from 2017.
And dropout rates fell across all ethnicities, according to the administration:
• The dropout rate was 3.7 percent for Asian students in 2018, a 0.3-point decrease from 2017.
• The dropout rate was 7.6 percent for Black students in 2018, a 0.3-point decrease from 2017.
• The dropout rate was 10.5 percent for Hispanic students in 2018, a 0.2-point decrease from 2017.
• The dropout rate was 4.0 percent for White students in 2018, a 0.4-point decrease from 2017.
The four-year graduation rate is over 75 percent for the first time ever, the mayor noted. The dropout rate decreased across Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The graduation rate across the 25 Renewal and Rise high schools has increased by 20 percentage points to 72.4 percent in 2018 from 52.5 percent in 2014. And the dropout rate across Renewal and Rise schools has decreased by 3.9 percentage points to 14.3 percent in 2018 from 18.2 percent in 2014.
De Blasio unveiled the $150 million Renewal Schools program in November 2014, dedicating new leadership and resources to more than 100 long-struggling schools by setting clear goals, providing targeted resources, and holding each school accountable for sustainable improvement.
Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, Renewal schools that met at least 67 percent of their benchmarks and have demonstrated a sustainable school improvement structure that will allow them to build on their progress, will transition out of the Renewal Schools program and into the newly created Rise Schools program. According to DOE, Rise schools have demonstrated that they have the will and conditions in place to accelerate student group and meet school improvement benchmarks and have the capacity to lead/implement a school improvement strategy.
“Having served many challenging years as [chairwoman] of the NYS Assembly Education Committee as well as being a parent of a recent NYC high school graduate I feel a great sense of pride and hope in our young adults who have accomplished so much. Congratulations to all!” said Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Long Island City).