Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The State Department of Education released its report
on graduation rates throughout New York State on Monday. Syracuse was among the districts that saw an increase in graduates.
Nevertheless, Central New York’s largest school district lags behind its suburban neighbors to the north. The North Syracuse School District registered a graduation rate of 83 percent, while the Liverpool Central School District recorded a rate of 81 percent.
48.4 percent of students in the Syracuse City School District who were ninth graders in 2007 graduated on time in June 2011, a two and a half-point increase over last year's rate of 45.9 percent.
Most of New York’s school districts saw increases overall.
Buffalo’s graduation rate increased from 47.4 percent to 54 percent, while Yonkers’ graduation rate went from 63.2 percent to 66.2.
New York City saw a decrease of one tenth of a percent to 60.9 percent, while Rochester’s graduation rate decreased from 46.1 percent to 45.5 percent.
In Syracuse, administrators say they know there is work to do, but that the numbers are encouraging, despite the new challenges the district faces. Deep budget cuts the past few years haven’t helped the district’s efforts, plus they say the measurements keep changing.
Although the improvement recorded in Monday’s report seems slight, the newer students faced more Regents exams to earn their diplomas than their predecessors.
"I'd have to say these incremental steps aren't really the pace we'd like to be at, we really would like to be on the bullet train moving a lot quicker,” said Syracuse Director of High Schools Brian Nolan.
Next year, there will be an increased focus on ELA and math across the district as a new curriculum is introduced to address the subjects.