Miles to go

The New York Times reports this morning about high school graduation rates and college readiness of New York's graduates. New York City spun the data as a positive: high school graduation rates are increasing. The New York State Education Department offered a caution, however: fewer than half of the students who graduated are ready for college.

And by "ready for college" NYSED has a clear definition: students need a score of 75 or better on the English Regents exam, and a score of 80 or better on the Math Regents. Statewide, 36.7% of the cohort entering high school in 2006 met that standard, though 73.4% graduated in four years. In New York City, 21.4% of the cohort met the college-ready standard, though 61% graduated. (All data are for 2010 graduates.)

NYSED and Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the Board of Regents, appear to be using data in the way they should be used: to figure out what's happening and to seek changes in practice that lead to improvements. School data should be public and from all appearances NYSED is not using the data punitively (though there could be lots I don't know here). I especially liked Ms. Tisch's Times quote: “This is talking about useful truths. We are all aware that this is very challenging, and that the tenacity of the achievement gap is undeniable. But the only way to correct the problem is to find something that allows you to state clearly where you are, and that’s what this is.”

The New York State Education Department press release and data are here.
The New York City data are here.

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