RCSD graduation rate increases by 5.2%


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City School District graduation rate has increased by 5.2% according to data released from the state on Thursday.

The New York State Education Department has released the graduation rates for the 2016 cohort — those students who first entered 9th grade in 2016 and graduated in 2020.

From 2015 to 2016, the graduation rate jumped from 63% to 68.2%.

According to RCSD, more than 80% of the RCSD high schools showed increased graduation rates compared to August 2019. The district released the following data:

  • 8.1 percentage point increase for English Language Learners, from 42.6% to 50.7%
  • 7.1 percentage point increase for Black students, from 62.6% to 69.7%
  • 5.8 percentage point increase for Economically Disadvantaged students, from 59.8% to 65.6%
  • 4.0 percentage point increase for Hispanic students, from 62.6% to 66.6%
  • 0.9 percentage point increase for Students with Disabilities, from 47.0% to 47.9%
  • 3.9 percentage point decrease in Dropouts, from 16.8% to 12.9%

“Our students endured an unprecedented school year that no one could have expected, and the increase in our graduation rate is due to the collective work of students, families, staff, teachers, and administrators,” Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small said in a statement. “The data points us toward key information, highlighting areas that require attention and focus to better educate our scholars and ensure their programmatic needs are being met. Increasing the graduation rate remains our focus, with a strategic plan that prioritizes the purposeful use of data to help improve academic success through student-centered learning while closing the achievement gap of our students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, and English language learners.”

The Big 5 City School Districts saw varying rates of increase this year, with New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers all experiencing increases greater than the overall rate of growth statewide.

Big 5 City School District Cohort June Graduation Rates
 20152016% Point Change

In the entire state, the overall August graduation rate increased to 84.8%, up 1.4% points from 83.4% for the 2015 cohort. The 2016 cohort graduation rate is 8% points higher than it was a decade earlier, when the 2007 cohort graduation rate was 76.8%.

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