NY Graduation Rate Slightly Below U.S. Average

NEW YORK (AP) -

About 77 percent of New York state’s Class of 2012 graduated on time, slightly below the national average, according to a new report on high school graduation rates released Monday.

The graduation rate for low-income New Yorkers was 68 percent, while wealthier students had a graduation rate of 84 percent, giving the state an overall rank of 34th in the nation for students graduating on time. The national rate is 80 percent, a milestone, but authors of the report hope to reach 90 percent by 2020.

“After the nation witnessed flat-lining high school graduation rates for three decades, rates have risen about 10 percentage points over the last 10 years,” the report says, noting that improvements have been driven by gains in graduation rates among Hispanic and African-American students.

In New York, 63 percent of black and Hispanic students graduated on time in 2012.

The report examines efforts to raise graduation rates and credits New York City with successful programs like an anti-truancy drive undertaken by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010. It says it can be replicated elsewhere without spending much money.

The report also highlights efforts to close what it calls “dropout factories,” schools where the senior class is less than 60 percent the size the freshman class was three years earlier.

It praises efforts that started in New York City to replace large schools deemed to be dropout factories with clusters of smaller schools.