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January 7, 2015

Niskayuna High School graduation rate stays steady at 96 percent in recent state report

Statewide data shows overall increase, as officials focus on lagging college readiness figures

Overall high school graduation rates in New York state rose slightly in 2014 to 76.4 percent, according to a Dec. 18 report issued by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The figure, a measure of graduation rates for students who entered ninth grade in 2010 and graduated in 2014, is a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

For Niskayuna High School, the graduation rate stayed constant at 96 percent, where it has been each of the past three years.

The recently departed NYSED Commissioner John King, who led the department at the time of the report's release, called the statewide increase in graduation rates "encouraging." However, he also stressed the importance of remaining focused on implementing the more rigorous Common Core Learning Standards. He noted that, even among the students who graduate in four years, only 38 percent performed at the college-ready level in English and math, an academic readiness marker known as the "Aspirational Performance Measure," or APM. (A student reaches the APM by earning a 75 on an English Regents exam and an 80 on a math Regents.) Similarly, only 31 percent of graduates statewide earned the Advanced Regents Diploma.

For the Niskayuna High School Class of 2014, 74 percent of graduates were deemed college and career ready by the APM measure, and 65 percent of students earned a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation.

In commenting on the report, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch noted that "the reforms we started in 2010 are being put into practice every day in classrooms across the state, and we're starting to see the benefits." She concluded by reaffirming the Board of Regents' commitment to giving all students the opportunity to graduate ready for college or career by creating "multiple pathways to graduation, each focused on rigorous coursework and a program of study."

The Board of Regents is expected to vote in January on new regulations that would allow students to replace an existing Regents requirement for graduation with exams in one of five pathways, including the humanities, STEM, Career and Technical Education, the arts or bi-literacy.

Click here to view the district-by-district data for New York used to inform the report.

Some content courtesy of Capital Region BOCES School Communications Portfolio, Copyright 2014; All rights reserved. For more information or permission to use, call 518-464-3960.