Rochester, N.Y. – The Rochester City School District’s graduation rate is expected to dip slightly when the figures come in for the Class of 2011.
The district projects state data will show 49 percent of students who entered high school in 2007 graduated by August four years later.
The district has struggled to maintain graduation rates above 50 percent:
• 2008: 52 percent
• 2009: 46 percent
• 2010: 51 percent
• 2011: 49 percent (projected)
“I was hopeful for continued progression and that’s where my disappointment lies,” said school board member Van White.
District officials said the state changed the rules for counting students in each cohort, which negatively impacted the rate. The state education department has not responded yet to an inquiry about whether the calculations changed.
But the biggest reason cited for the failure to make any improvement is the requirement for students pass four Regents exams. For the first time, the Class of 2012 has to pass five Regents exams. Interim Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said the rate will likely drop again, as two out of five seniors have only passed three Regents exams.
“The challenge is greater. Our students families and community and the district will have to work much harder than we have done in the past,” said Vargas.