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Education

Buffalo graduation rate dips slightly

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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The graduation rate in Buffalo's public schools is down slightly, according to numbers released Thursday by the State Education Department.

The graduation rate for students who entered ninth grade in 2010 is 52.8 percent. The rate for the 2009 cohort was 53.4 percent.

Buffalo was 56% in August of 2013 for the 2009 cohort of students, and 55.5% in August of 2014 for the 2010 cohort.

"The fact that they've gone down a half a percentage point is a disappointment," said Don Ogilvie, Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent. 

"The fact that they've gone down a half a percentage point is a disappointment," said Don Ogilvie, Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent.

Buffalo is the only of the "Big 5" districts to see a decline. New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers all saw their rates rise. 

The statewide graduation rate increased from 74.9 percent to 76.4 percent.  

The rates reflect the first group of students who began high school following New York's adoption of the Common Core learning standards, which are intended to better prepare students for college and careers.

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Credit WBFO News file photo
International student at Lafayette High School in Buffalo.

"It could be something as unimportant as a change in the cohort size," noted Ogilvie. "We have the traditional concerns that we face, the high percentage of students who are English Language Learners and students who need special programs.  I get tired of those used as excuses."