Here’s an explanation given to me by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott about the significantly different methods used by the city and state departments of education to calculate city schools’ overall graduation rate, which the city says is about 58 percent, but which the state, until now, has put at a less flattering 43 percent.
According to Walcott:
“The state includes self-contained special ed students. And those are students who have severe issues and so the ability to obtain a degree in a four-year period of time for them and qualify for regents tests is really extremely difficult. And so, they [state officials] factor them in. We do not.
“We keep a separate category on the progress of those students. And that’s also been kept that way since the mid eighties. So there is still a trend-line to show. So we’re talking about that, and then there’s a difference of inclusion of GEDs that are obtained in a four-year period of time.”
— Azi Paybarah