With its graduation rate at an all-time high of 63 percent, New York City’S Department of Education has taken several steps over the past few years to track graduates beyond their diplomas.
In 2008, DOE launched a data-sharing agreement with the City University of New York (CUNY) to track its graduates’ performance, and last school year the department began providing schools with reports on what percentage of their graduates required remediation after high school.
The system’s grade on that subject likely would be “needs improvement.” In 2007, 46 percent of public school graduates who attended CUNY took at least one remedial course— that figure was at least as high as 70 percent of graduates at one-third of the city’s 250 high schools—and 40 percent of DOE graduates had dropped out within two years, according to a story in The New York Times last August.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has since awarded the city a $3 million grant to align academic standards between high schools and CUNY in hopes of shaving the dropout rate. DOE also has created a college-readiness working group that’s set out such goals as 70 percent of city high school graduates enrolling in college, a three-year CUNY associate degree graduation rate of 25 percent, and a six-year rate of 61 percent.