Jump to the introduction, which includes important notes about these numbers.

Capital Region high school graduation rates 2016 (2012 cohort), by district (graduated as of 2016 August)

Capital Region high school graduation rates, by district, year to year

Capital Region high school graduation rates 2016

erasers on chalkboard

The state Department of Education recently released its annual collection of data about high school graduation rates around the state. The four-year statewide graduation rate for 2016 (that is, the 2012 cohort of students) was 79.4 -- up almost 1.5 percentage points from the year before.

As we do every year, we've pulled out the stats from Capital Region school districts.

Sorted stats (including notes and qualifications) after the jump.

Detailed tables

There are two detailed tables of Capital Region high school graduation rates by district above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

Please also see the notes about the numbers.

Capital Region combined

Here are aggregate numbers for school districts in the Capital Region's four core counties.

Here's another way of grouping students: by whether their district is tagged by NYSED as "Urban-Suburban High Needs," "Average Needs," or "Low Needs."

A few things

+ Schodack Central School District took the top spot with 97 percent graduation rate. (Its rate as 92 percent last year.) It also had one of the smallest graduation class cohorts in the Capital Region, just 70 students.

+ The Albany and Schenectady districts were again near the bottom. But both posted relatively large gains compared to the year before. Albany's district rate increased from not quite 57 percent to more than 60 percent. (Albany High School's rate was 62 percent.) And Schenectady's district rate rose from 59 percent to more than 65 percent. (Schenectady High School's rate was 68 percent.)

It was the Albany district's highest mark since 2008. And it was Schenectady's highest during that period.

It's worth noting that both district have relatively large counts of economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. Albany has had the region's largest count of limited English proficient students in its cohort, by far: 42 (with five students graduating). Schenectady had the next largest group with 13 (with three students graduating).

Roughly 10 percent of Albany school district students across all grades don't speak English as a first language. [TU 2016]

+ The rates for the two charter high schools in Albany:
Green Tech: 90 percent grad rate in a cohort of 69 students
Albany Leadership: 72 percent grad rate in a cohort of 87 students

A note about the data

"Graduation rate" in the tables we've put together here count students from the cohort that entered high school in 2011 and graduated as of August 2016 (four school years plus one summer). That differs from the statewide number mentioned at the beginning, which is fours years without the summer.) "Dropped out" is students who did not get a degree, did not transfer to a GED program, or are not still enrolled.

These numbers are organized by district, not by high school. And in some instances -- even in districts with only one high school -- the group of students in a district's cohort are not the exact same group as the cohort from the district's high school. (Students are sometimes enrolled in other programs.) For example: The Albany school district cohort this year is 27 students larger than that of Albany High School. As a result the district-level and high school-level graduation rates (as of 2016 August) differ by a few percentage points (60 percent vs 62 percent).

As in years past, we've also included the percentage of students in each district's cohort who were tagged as being economically disadvantaged or having a disability in each district's cohort. We've also included the size of each district cohort because working with a cohort of 90 students is a different challenge from working with one of 500.

Here's the NYSED glossary explaining economically disadvantaged and other terms.

All data is from NYSED -- here's the page from which you can download the numbers.

Many of the Capital Region's school districts are relatively small, and so their high school class cohorts are often small. As a result, a few students one way or the other can shift percentages by what seems like a large amount. That's something to keep in mind as you review the numbers, especially year to year.

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I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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