From 13 WHAM News

Rochester, N.Y. (13 WHAM) – The Rochester City School District is seeing signs of improvement for its graduation rates in new data released by the State Education Department.

That data found an increase in the graduation rate for the 2015 cohort of students in public schools – that is, students who entered the ninth grade in 2015 – compared to the 2014 cohort.

Rochester saw 3.7 percent growth in 2015, compared to the year prior. 2015’s cohort had a 63 percent graduation rate, compared to 59.3 percent in 2014.

Of the “Big 5” cities measured – New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers – Rochester’s level of growth was most significant, followed by Yonkers at 2.5 percent growth.

Overall, public schools throughout the state saw a graduation rate of 83.4 percent in 2015, up 0.8 percent from 2014.

In a statement, Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said, “The Board remains steadfast in its goal to ensure educational equity for all children in New York State. The narrowing of achievement gaps is a step in the right direction, but we can never truly close achievement gaps until we address opportunity gaps. To do this, we must ensure that our education system is providing opportunities for everyone, especially our most vulnerable students, which is why the Board of Regents and the Department are reviewing the State’s high school graduation measures and what a diploma from New York should signify.”

Rochester School Board President Van White celebrated the news Thursday on social media, but cautioned there was more work that needed to be done.

The news comes amid a turbulent season in the Rochester City School District, with dozens of teaching positions cut. The district is looking to bridge a multi-million-dollar deficit.

Superintendent Terry Dade has said he is confident the state will provide additional funds to help the district overcome the deficit.

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