High school graduation rates for classes in 2020 have risen moderately across New York State, helped by the exemption from state exams as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, state education officials said Thursday.
The state reported that the percentage of eligible students for diplomas across the state rose to 84.8%, an increase of 1.4 points from 2019. That number includes both students who graduated in June and a small number of students who graduated in August.
Although profits for the year were relatively small, state officials said results have improved steadily over the last eight years. The overall increase during that period was a total of 8 percentage points.
Educators cited several factors, including the “continuous” efforts of the school community to provide distance learning to thousands of students as the school closed in March as a health measure. It also cited regulatory changes, including a state decision to exempt students from certain Regents exams normally required for graduation as long as they pass the course.
“During the pandemic, we were all forced to adjust the way we proceed in our daily lives,” said Leicester W., the newly appointed Prime Minister of the State Council, who sets much of the state’s education policy. Young Jr. said. “Thanks to the school community for their tireless efforts to ensure the continuity of learning for all students during this unprecedented time.”