Graduation rate holds steady

District looks to raise percentage of high-achieving students


The Baldwin School District’s graduation rate remained consistent with previous years in 2012-13, according to data released by the New York State Education Department last month, and while there’s always room for improvement, Superintendent James Scannell said he is happy with the results.

Last year, 92 percent of district students who had started ninth grade in September 2009 graduated by August. The state average in that category was 74.9 percent.

Also in 2012-13, the number of Baldwin students who earned Regents Diplomas with Advanced Designation grew by nearly 4 percentage points, to 43.2 percent, well above the state average of 31 percent. Boosting the number of students who receive advanced Regents diplomas has been a district and Board of Education priority, Scannell said.

“We’re pleased to see that we’re in a positive trajectory,” said Mary Jo O’Hagan, the board’s vice president. “Obviously we would like to see it higher.”

Thirty-eight percent of the district’s 2010-11 graduates earned advanced Regents diplomas, and in 2011-12, 39.3 percent did. The jump of 5.2 percentage points in just two years is something Scannell is pleased about. “We’re proud that we’re making good, steady progress,” he said, adding, “We’d like it to be higher, sure.”

Going against the trend, the number of students who earned Regents diplomas without advanced designation slid from 50.4 percent in 2011-12 to 44.1 percent last year.

In order to bolster both categories, Scannell said, the district has targeted math — specifically the algebra 2/trigonometry Regents exam — as an area where students need work. According to Scannell, additional extra help and review sessions are offered to students in algebra 2/trigonometry and other advanced math classes.

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