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Record number of New York City students are going to college, vocational programs

Stephanie Snyder

The percentage of New York City students attending postsecondary programs is at its highest rate ever, education officials announced Wednesday.

Fifty-five percent of students in the 2015 graduating class enrolled in a college, vocational, or public service program after graduation, a two percent uptick from the previous year.

The new data comes from an analysis of data in the city’s newly released “School Quality Reports,” which offer school-by-school breakdowns on everything from graduation and attendance rates, to student demographics and performance on exams. (You can find your school’s reports here.)

Also included in the announcement were citywide gains in college readiness — defined as graduating on time and meeting CUNY’s standards for avoiding remedial classes in English and math — which reached 37 percent in 2016 among all students, and 51 percent among students who graduated, both up two percentage points from the previous year. That definition has been criticized by some who say it masks the extent to which students are actually ready to complete a college program.

Still, the city celebrated the gains as a step in the right direction. “I am excited to see that the hard work of our educators is paying off with more students than ever before enrolling in college, and more students than ever before ready for college,” schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a prepared statement. “But it’s clear there’s so much work to do.”

Wednesday’s announcement may offer a new window into the performance of schools that serve higher-need students. In June, the city expanded the reports to cover programs including transfer schools, which enroll students who dropped out or fell behind at traditional high schools, and schools in District 75, which serve students with more severe disabilities.

Officials also recently rolled out a new “School Performance Dashboard” — a more interactive and customizable version of data included in the school quality reports — which has been updated with the 2015-16 reports released Wednesday.

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