Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced that New York City’s 2019 four-year high school graduation rate has reached a record high of 77.3 percent. Since the start of the administration, the graduation rate has increased 8.9 percentage points, from 68.4 percent in August 2014 to 77.3 percent in August 2019.
“I have never accepted the status quo and I certainly won’t when it comes to the future of our children,” said Mayor de Blasio. “For the sixth year in a row our record graduation rate is proving that when you invest in equity and excellence for every student in every neighborhood, success follows.”
“New York City students continue to raise the bar and then exceed it. For the sixth consecutive year, we have achieved a record high graduation rate of 77.3 percent, and this year we are seeing that success grow across every borough and every demographic,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “This isn’t happening in a vacuum—college readiness rates and postsecondary enrollment rates continue to rise, and we’re on track to achieve our goal of an 84 percent graduation rate by 2026. We’re going to continue to focus on narrowing the achievement gap and ensure that we are seeing both equity and excellence in action in our schools every day.”
Among the cohort of students who entered 9th grade in the fall of 2015, the graduation rate rose 1.4 percentage points compared to the year prior. For the sixth consecutive year under this administration, graduation rates hit record highs, graduation success is across the board, and the achievement gap continues to narrow:
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- The graduation rate was 88.2 percent for Asian students in 2019, a 0.1 point increase from 2018 and a 5.6 point increase from 2014.
- The graduation rate was 73.7 percent for Black students in 2019, a 1.6 point increase from 2018 and a 9.9 point increase from 2014.
- The graduation rate was 72.0 percent for Hispanic students in 2019, a 2.1 point increase from 2018 and a 10.6 point increase from 2014.
- The graduation rate was 85.0 percent for White students in 2019, a 0.8 point increase from 2018 and a 4.4 point increase from 2014.
The graduation rate for Current English Language Learners (students who were identified as ELLs during the school year of their last enrollment) and Former English Language Learners (students who had been classified as ELLs and exited ELL status within the past two school years) increased by 4.3 percentage points, rising from 57.4% in 2018 to 61.7% in 2019. When looking just at Current English Language Learners, the graduation rate increased by 6.2 percentage points since 2018, which is more than twice the gain made by the rest of the State.
There were also gains among students with disabilities, with a 2.1 percentage point increase, rising from 50.4% in 2018 to 52.6% in 2019. Since 2014, graduation rates for students with disabilities in New York City have increased by 12.1 percentage points, outpacing the gains made by the rest of the State over the past five years.
The largest improvement in graduation rates was in the Bronx, with a borough-wide record-high of 70.2%.
The improvements in graduation rates reflect larger improvements in postsecondary awareness, readiness, and access across New York City public schools. Earlier this school year, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced:
- The highest-ever postsecondary enrollment rate – 62 percent. A record-high 48,782 students in the Class of 2018 enrolled in college, up approximately 8,000 students since the start of the administration and approximately 3,600 students compared to the year prior.
- The highest-ever college readiness rate – 54.9 percent of all students, and 70.7 percent of graduates, in the Class of 2019 graduated high school on time and met CUNY’s standards for college readiness in English and math.
- New York City students have now outperformed their New York State peers on State ELA exams for four years in a row, after doing so for the first time in 2016. They have closed the gap with their New York State peers on State math exams, with 46 percent of students meeting proficiency standards in Math.
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, including Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools are central to this pathway.
“Congratulations to our students and teachers for all their hard work, and to the parents who partnered with us to make this happen,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers. “From the success of the Community Health Academy of the Heights – a high school we are celebrating today – we have shown we can make amazing strides on behalf of our kids when we work together.”
“The record-breaking increase in graduation rates for Bronx schools is a true testament to what our students are able to achieve when we begin to invest in their success. Retaining talented educators and providing classrooms with sufficient resources are critical factors in improving the educational outcomes of the next generation. I will continue fighting for the future of our students to ensure we do our part to fully and equitably fund our Bronx public schools” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
“High-quality education is an essential foundation for our children’s lives, and at the heart of social and economic justice. Today’s announcement of record-high graduation rates for city-wide four-year high schools, especially here in the Bronx and for minority students, shows the tremendous progress of our city’s schools, and the educators and students working hard to make it happen. While there remains much left to do, I commend the Equity and Excellence for All agenda, and Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Caranza for their leadership and commitment to creating more diverse and accessible pathways to success for all our students,” said State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda.
Assembly Member Michael DenDekker said, “I am glad that New York City’s upward trend in graduation rates is continuing. I am so proud of the students, teachers, and families that worked together to attain these improvements. I know we still have a lot of work to do, such as making sure New York City students get their fair share of funding from Albany, but I am confident that we can overcome these obstacles together.”
“Congratulations to our graduates, who will lead our city and state into the future. I am proud that the Mayor and Chancellor Carranza chose to announce the city’s increasing graduate rates in front of an educational jewel in my district, Community Health Academy of the Heights (CHAH). It is because of the support provided by schools such as CHAH, that not only improve students but improve families. We must continue to invest in our students to graduate and pursue higher education as well support families holistically,” said Assembly Member Al Taylor.
“As graduation rates increase, we must thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for their leadership on this issue. Education remains a top priority for me as the Council Member that represents Bronx Community School District 9 and I will continue to work with the administration to increase the graduation rate for all students in the Bronx,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
“I am thrilled that graduation rates on NYC are on a steady incline, a testament to the dedication and effort of our city teachers and educators. Our inner-city youth face systemic challenges at all levels and continue to thrive in academic settings, which is a testament to overcoming obstacles and the excellence of our student body. So proud that our Black and Brown students, in particular, are graduating at record highs,” said Council Member Laurie Cumbo.
“New York City’s public school students are making great strides toward excellence,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “By pushing and working for equitable resources around the City, this administration has succeeded in guiding students towards higher graduation rates which is a key indicator for life-long success. The Equity and Excellence for All initiative is creating a generation of New Yorkers with a really bright future that includes a pathway to college and good careers. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for prioritizing our kid’s education.”
“As today’s announcement demonstrates, our hardworking students are excelling on a path towards high school graduation. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Richard A. Carranza deserve a great deal of praise for their tireless commitment to improving the quality of education in New York City. I firmly believe that New York City’s record graduation rates will have a positive longterm impact, both on the career paths of our students, and their families who have worked very hard to guide their children towards success. The continued growth of our student body will be influenced the strength of community-based partnerships that encourage them to strive for a better future, and I am proud to be a part of that process,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.
“As an Immigrant, a former teacher for 13 years and co-founder of Gregorio Luperon High School and Washington Heights Health Academy, I understand the value of education and the hard work that has to be done to provide the same quality of education regardless where our children are born and raised. By providing a quality and equitable education we are securing our children’s future. Our children will be the next doctors, astronauts, musicians and community leaders,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “We must continue bringing valuable resources and opportunities to all the underserved, immigrant communities to ensure our graduation rates continue to rise. I will continue working alongside DOE Chancellor Carranza, Speaker Johnson, colleagues, parents and teachers to ensure all of our students reach graduation.”
“Increasing graduation rates across the city are surely good news,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik. “As a member of the city council’s education committee, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and with the administration to move the rates even higher.”
“I want to applaud our teachers, staff, administrators and particularly our students and their families for all their hard work in getting more of our students across the finish line,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “I’m very proud of our schools that continue to move in the right direction year after year and I thank the Chancellor for helping New York City schools to continue striving for educational excellence.”
Photo credit (l to r): Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.