Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Record High Graduation Rate From Harlem To Hollis

February 8, 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that New York City’s 2017 four-year high school graduation rate is the highest on record – 74.3 percent.The dropout rate is now at its lowest ever – 7.8 percent. The graduation rate rose and the dropout rate fell in every borough and among every ethnicity.

“New York City is showing that when we invest in our students, they rise to the challenge and do better and better. Our kids are graduating high school and going to college at record rates, while dropping out less than ever before. If we are going to make New York City the fairest big city in America, it starts with giving our kids the education they deserve, and we are executing this vision every day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Our graduation and dropout rates continue to improve steadily and show that we’re on the right track,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This is a day to recognize the incredible impact our educators have on our children’s lives, and to celebrate their dedication to their craft. We need to keep improving, redoubling our commitment to our Equity and Excellence for All agenda to ensure that every child gets a high-quality education.”

The rates below are the graduation and dropout percentages among the cohort of all students who entered 9th grade in the fall of 2013. All percentage point changes are comparisons to the previous year.

  • The graduation rate rose to 74.3 percent, a 1.2 point increase.
  • The dropout rate fell to 7.8 percent, a 0.6 point decrease.

Graduation rates improved across all ethnicities:

  • Black students’ graduation rate increased to 70.0 percent, a 1.3 point gain.
  • Hispanic students’ graduation rate increased to 68.3 percent, a 1.0 point gain.
  • Asian students’ graduation rate increased to 87.5 percent, a 1.8 point gain.
  • White students’ graduation rate increased to 83.2 percent, a 0.9 point gain.

Dropout rates fell across all ethnicities:

  • Black students’ dropout rate fell to 7.9 percent, a 0.9 point decrease.
  • Hispanic students’ dropout rate fell to 10.7 percent, a 0.6 point decrease.
  • Asian students’ dropout rate fell to 4.0 percent, a 0.6 point decrease.
  • White students’ dropout rate fell to 4.4 percent, a 0.3 point decrease.

Graduation rates increased and dropout rates fell in every borough. The largest improvement in graduation and dropout rates was in Queens:

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Graduation rates also increased at the City’s 28 Renewal high schools. The graduation rate increased to 65.7 percent, a 5.7 point increase. The dropout rate was 16.4 percent, a 2.2 point decrease.

The Class of 2016 4-year graduation rate reflects an updated rate of 73.0 percent instead of 72.6 percent as previously reported due to a data revision by the New York State Education Department.

“Congratulations to our students, educators, and families for their tremendous work resulting in our City’s highest-ever graduation rate and lowest-ever dropout rate. We are thrilled to keep this steady progress going by supporting high-quality teaching and learning in every classroom, from 3-K through graduation. As we do, we are sending a message to each one of our students that our work doesn’t end when they receive a high school diploma – it’s about putting them on a path to succeed in college and careers,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

Earlier this school year, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña announced:

  • The highest-ever postsecondary enrollment rate – 57 percent of the Class of 2016.
  • The highest-ever number of New York City students taking and passing Advanced
  • Placement exams in 2017, with a 9.9 percent jump in students taking at least one AP and 7.5 percent jump in students passing at least one AP over the previous year.
  • The highest-ever college readiness rate – 47 percent of all students, and 64 percent of graduates, in the Class of 2017 graduated high school on time and met CUNY’s standards for college readiness in English and math.
  • The highest-ever number of high school juniors taking the SAT – 61,800 students. All juniors are now able to take the SAT free of charge during the school day.

Elementary and middle school students also continue to make gains on State English and math exams. City students have now outperformed their New York State peers in English for the second year in a row.

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives will continue to build on the progress, ensuring that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready.

Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

More information on New York City’s graduation rates can be found at

“Record-high rates of graduation and college admission are a sign that our future is bright because we are developing the aware, informed, and engaged young minds that will become the leaders of tomorrow. Our students, families, and educators are continuing to prove they are capable of incredible achievements when the necessary resources are provided. There is more work to be done, but we are headed in the right direction,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education.

“Congratulations to Chancellor Carmen Farina and Mayor de Blasio on their leadership” said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan. “As the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I have worked to secure additional funding for our students, and supported their efforts to reduce the achievement gap. Congratulations to students and parents for all their hard work to build a better life through education.”

“The improvement in these statistics show that investing in an agenda that focuses on academic excellence, student and community support, and innovation makes a difference in the lives of the students. We need to continue our support for the Equity and Excellence for All Agenda in order continue improving the quality of education our students receive. This agenda increases fairness and unleashes the potential of our students, educators, administrators and the community as whole,” said Assembly Member Carmen E. Arroyo.

“Our students and teachers have done amazing work. By giving our children the resources they need, we are putting them on the path to success. New York City is doing the hard work, and it is paying off for our students and our city’s future,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.

“The steady improvement we see in these numbers is gratifying for all of us,” said Mark Cannizzaro, President of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, the union that represents New York City’s school principals, assistant principals, other supervisors and administrators. “It’s due to the hard work of many people, not least the students themselves. But we should especially thank the teachers and school leaders whose dedication changes the lives of students across the city every day.”

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