Updated: 06/23/2014 10:12 PM
Created: 06/23/2014 12:08 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri
Rochester still has the lowest graduation rate of all the major city school districts in New York State.
On Monday, the New York State Education Department released statistics for students who entered high school in 2009.They say 43 percent of all Rochester students from this group graduated. That is down almost half a percent from the previous group.
Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says he wasn’t surprised by these numbers, but they are still unacceptable.
The superintendent says the problem is three fold. First, the phasing out of nine city schools and the moving of students left the district with poor record keeping about where students are, if they dropped out or moved out of state.
Second, the superintendent says there needs to be an improvement of students’ reading ability at a younger age. He says the district has already started putting more of a focus there.
Third, the graduation rate will approve when attendance does.
Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said, “I will guarantee you, if we improve the elementary schools, then our children will see significant improvement. However, our children have no time to lose. We need to do everything we can to help our current student population.”
The superintendent says improving the graduation rate will take a few years, but he says the district, parents and the community should be working together to make it happen sooner.
Across the state, the graduation rate in 2013 increased from 74-percent to 74.9-percent.