Thursday, January 16, 2020


Graduation rate rises to 77.3 percent, increases in all five boroughs as achievement gap continues to narrow

  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:

  • 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%.

2019 # Cohort
% 2019 Grad
% 2018 Grad
Pt. Diff
Staten Island

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.

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