YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers Public Schools leads the big five city schools in annual graduation rates, maintaining stability in 2013 at 72.3 percent.
New York City comes in at 66 percent, Buffalo is 56 percent, Syracuse is 51.9 percent and Rochester is 48.1 percent.
The 2009 cohort data released today by the New York State Department of Education includes August graduates and indicates that Yonkers’ rate is less than 6 percentage points away from the state average.
“As one of the state’s largest cities, with the dynamics of urban life, Yonkers continues to outperform its counterparts. We anticipate that the restructuring efforts being undertaken by Superintendent of Schools Michael Yazurlo with input from the Board Trustees will produce greater gains in student performance over the next few years,” said Yonkers Board of Education President Dr. Nader J. Sayegh.
The district experienced a decline in its Aspirational Performance Measures (APMs), from 22.8 percent in 2012 to 9.7 percent in 2013.
In a correspondence to the New York State Education Department, David Weinberger, the school district’s executive director of Student Information, Assessment and Reporting Dr. addressed the issue.
“A possible contribution to the difference appears to be from the changes in the English Regents Exam that occurred prior to graduation of the Cohort 2008 students," said Weinberger. "While the APM rests on both English and Math, the change in one of the measures may have contributed to the pattern. The District has been paying close attention to the College and Career Readiness of our graduates and expects to see APM progress for students in Cohort 2010.”
Moving forward, Yazurlo said that steps have been taken to address APM.
“The District is incorporating strategies to improve our student performance by aligning our professional development and high school English Language Arts curriculum to better reflect the Common Core State Standards and the requirements of the new assessment.”