New York students are passing the state’s high school exit tests and earning diplomas in record numbers, but the graduation rates for minority students are “unacceptably low,” Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills said this month in releasing graduation rates for the class of 2004.
Sixty-eight percent of students who entered 9th grade in 2000 graduated on time last spring, and the state expects another 6 percent of that class to earn diplomas by the end of the current school year.
While 81 percent of white students earned diplomas on schedule, however, their minority classmates struggled to earn diplomas by passing the state’s Regents exams in English, mathematics, global history and geography, U.S. history and government, and science. Just 42 percent of Hispanic, 45 percent of African-American, and 68 percent of Asian students graduated on time, according to state data released on March 9.
Overall, the number of New York state students earning diplomas increased for the eighth consecutive year, the data showed.