For More Information Contact:
Jonathan Burman, Tom Dunn, Alan Ray
FOR STUDENTS WHO BEGAN 9TH GRADE IN 2000 AND 2001
Statewide high school graduation and Regents Exam results released today show that:
“The Board of Regents is extremely concerned that the gap in graduation from high school is not closing,” Regents Chancellor Robert M. Bennett said. “This problem is something that should focus the attention of everyone in this State. We must and we will take additional decisive actions to solve it.”
“Sixty-four percent graduate in 4 years. That is a disturbing number. It is unacceptable,” State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said. “Confronting the facts will convince most people that the gap is not some distant condition affecting others, but something right in our town. Reforms so far have improved results in elementary and middle grades, promising higher achievement in high school in the future,” Commissioner Mills said. “But it is critical that we take action to change high school now.”
The overall picture shows that students who started 9th grade in 2000 and 2001:
· Were in 4th grade in 1995-96 and 1996-97, before the Board of Regents raised standards and required a more rigorous curriculum in school.
· Were in 8th grade in spring 2000 and 2001, just after the new 4th and 8th grade tests – which measure higher standards – were first given. They showed low levels of achievement in 8th grade.
· Therefore did not benefit from a curriculum based on high standards, and many therefore were unprepared for high school work.
For example, in both 2000 and 2001, 25 percent of these students statewide – and 44 percent in New York City – showed serious academic problems in 8th grade Math, scoring in Level 1.
Later classes showed significant improvement on the 4th grade and 8th grade English and Math tests. For example, in New York City, the percentage scoring at Level 1 on the 8th grade Math test was cut in half by 2005 – from 44 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2005. The percentage meeting all the standards almost doubled, from 22 percent in 2000 to 41 percent in 2005.
Fourth graders have also improved significantly over time. In 2000, only 42 percent of 4th graders in New York City met all the standards in English. By 2005, 60 percent did. The percentage of New York City’s 4th graders with serious academic problems declined from 19 percent in 2000 to 8 percent in 2005. Most high need school districts have made similar or, in some cases, more improvement.
The students included in the 2000 and 2001 cohorts are all students reported by school districts who started 9th grade in 2000 and 2001 and had graduated, were still enrolled, had dropped out, or had transferred to a GED program as of June 30, 2005.