Buffalo Public Schools expect 74-75% graduation rate this semester

Jul 16, 2020

Buffalo Public Schools students have had a bad school year: COVID-19, school closings and trying to learn on a computer screen. Even so, Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash told the school board Wednesday that the students did really, really well.

As the school system works on getting its re-opening plan ready in two weeks, administrators are also correlating results from this year -- exams and all of the rest. It has not been easy, with teachers in one place and students all over the place, trying to learn.

The district was long known for -- at best -- weak graduation rates in the city's high schools. Cash and other past superintendents had that as a priority, because it is a clear thermometer for grading city education.

Cash told the board this was a good year.

"We are going to be between 74 and 75% graduation rate for the class of 2020, this year. (voice: "Great!") That is a really, really big deal: 74-75%," Cash said. "And those children that worked hard, our staff and teachers and principals, every one, the parents all are to be commended."

Cash said when summer programs are added in, the graduation rate will rise around 6% more. He said it would have been easy to just give up when schools shut down.

"We said, 'Nope. Nope. Not this year, not with our students and not under our watch. And 74-75% June, probably another 6 up for August. And here's a big one, 12 out of our 20 schools have scores in the high 80s and 90s."

He said the scores will not be Albany official until some time in August, but these numbers look solid. He said individual schools also had good scores, continuing the long, gradual and steady improvement.