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April 19, 2006

Study finds New York's high school graduation rate is far below the national average

New York’s high school graduation rate is the third lowest in the nation and far below the national average, a new study from the Manhattan Institute has found.

In New York 58 percent of the class of 2003 graduated within four years, far behind the national average of 70 percent, the study found. Only two states, Georgia (56 percent), and South Carolina (54 percent), graduated fewer students. The estimate was derived from calculating enrollment, population change, and diplomas granted.

The report also found that New York City had one of the lowest graduation rates among the top 100 largest school districts in the nation at 43 percent.

Disparities between graduation rates for whites and those for minorities were even wider in New York, the report found.

“Nationally, the graduation rate for white students was 78 percent, compared with 72 percent for Asian students, 55 percent for African-American students, and 53 percent for Hispanic students,” the report said.

White students in New York graduated at almost the same rate as their counterparts nationwide—74 percent. But graduation rates for minorities in the Empire state were far lower. The graduation rate in New York for Asian students in 2003 was 62 percent, 38 percent for African American students, and 33 percent for Hispanic students.

While lagging in graduation rates, New York is far ahead of most states in spending. A recent analysis of Census Bureau numbers by the Council’s research affiliate, the Public Policy Institute, found that New York spent $12,930 per pupil, 56 percent above the national average of $8,287.

The Manhattan Institute’s report is available at www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_48.htm#10.