Education A National Roundup

N.Y.C. Schools Report Lower Rates of Graduation for Blacks, Latinos

By Catherine Gewertz — December 13, 2005 1 min read

Fewer than 10 percent of New York City’s African-American and Latino students receive a standard high school diploma in four years, according to officials.

At a City Council education committee meeting late last month, data compiled by the committee showed that about 54 percent of students overall graduate in four years.

Of those, 18 percent earn a Regents diploma, awarded when students score 65 percent on five state exams. Most get a “local” diploma by scoring 55 percent on those tests. The local diploma is being phased out.

Only 9.4 percent of black students and 9.8 percent of Latino students—two-thirds of the city’s student population—earn Regents diplomas in four years, according to the data.

Education committee Chairwoman Eva S. Moskowitz, who convened the Nov. 29 meeting, called the numbers “appalling” and asked city leaders how they are responding. Michele Cahill, a senior adviser to Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, said the district was replacing many large comprehensive high schools with smaller ones, adding math and literacy coaches, and expanding options for students at risk of dropping out.